By Joe Wilson
Adding a background image to your render is quick and easy with Toolbag 3. You can composite your model onto an image to give your renders more context and interest, or simply load a custom graphic with your logo or URL.
To add a background image, go to Scene -> Add Object -> Backdrop. This will add a Backdrop object your your current Camera, where you can load a custom image.
For best results, use an image with the same aspect ratio and resolution as your render (ie: 1920×1080). Be sure to enable Safe Frame from the Camera properties to fit the render region to the viewport.
Now, position your model so that it lines up with the background. If you know what focal length the photo was taken with, enter the same value in the Camera properties to ensure that the perspective is consistent. If you’re not sure what focal length was used, check the EXIF.
To ground your model in the scene, add a Shadow Catcher object by clicking the icon on the top bar, or by going to Scene -> Add Object -> Shadow catcher. For this to work you need to make sure that you have a shadow casting Light (Directional, Spot or Omni) in your scene. To soften the shadow, use the Width setting in the Light properties.
The Shadow Catcher object renders into the depth buffer, which means you can get a cool blurry background effect when using DOF (found in the Camera settings). You can use the middle mouse to quickly set the focus point for the DOF effect.
Each Camera can have a Backdrop object, which means a unique background image can be used for each shot. Multiple Backdrop objects are supported per Camera well, with support for alpha blending for each image, which is useful if you want to add another layer with a logo or URL to your website.
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