Mike Rankin shows how to add a background image that appears behind 3D objects in Dimension CC, to create a realistic scene. He demonstrates the use of background images built into the programs, as well as how to import your own background images. He demonstrates the use of the Match Image command, to control image size, perspective, and lighting for a more realistic composite. He also shows how to use the Horizon tool to adjust image perspective manually.
- [Instructor] Most of the time, when you're working in Dimension CC, you're going to want to add a background image behind the 3D objects that you're working with to create a convincing scene, and in this movie, we'll look at how to add a background image and some 3D models to simulate packaging for a new product. Once again, we'll start with a fresh file, and we'll just work with the background images that are provided with Dimension CC. But note that you can always import your own background images, either by dragging and dropping them from Windows Explorer or the Finder on the Mac, or by choosing File, Import, Image as Background.
But in this case, I'll go to the Assets panel, and click on the Images button, and these are the images that come with Dimension CC. And if you scroll to the bottom, you can also jump over to Adobe Stock and search for more images, or place an image from your Creative Cloud libraries. I'll scroll to the top of the provided images, and click on City Backdrop. And by default, the Match Image dialogue appears. This conveniently lets me decide if I want to do things like resize the canvas to match the image aspect ratio, the image size, or leave it alone.
I'll select Aspect Ratio, as well as Create Environmental Light from the image to light any 3D objects that I place onto the scene, and whether to match the sunlight and the perspective of the background. These are all things that you can do after the fact, but it's very convenient and efficient to do them right when you place the background image, so I'll leave all these selected and then click Okay. And now, in the Properties panel, I can see that the background is this city image, and I can turn it on and off, and in Environmental Light, I can see that's also being generated from the background image.
I'm also getting sunlight from the image, and camera perspective. And if I make any changes to these settings, I can always get back to the values that came from the background image by going to Actions and clicking Match Image, selecting the settings that I want, and clicking Okay. So you can feel free to experiment, knowing that you can always get back to the look that you had when you brought in the background. Now, if I choose a different background image, like Wood Table, I can see that this perspective is definitely not matching up with the new image, but the Match Image dialogue box pops up again to help, and I can make sure that Match Camera Perspective is selected, and click Okay.
And now you can see the lines of perspective match up nicely with the image. Dimension CC does a great job here because the perspective is very easy to figure out with the lines created by the boards. But if it didn't, there's a horizon tool that you can take to adjust the perspective. It's the last tool in the bottom of the toolbar. And you can drag on the horizon line up or down until the lines of perspective and the ground plane line up with your image. In this case, I'd want something that was parallel to the edges of the boards.
Also notice the tool options above the canvas area. There are three choices here, and they apply if you click and drag anywhere away from the horizon. So you can just raise and lower the camera, you can turn the camera, or you can do both. If you want to reset the camera so the ground plane matches the background image, then go back to Match Image again, select Match Camera Perspective, and click Okay. So now, let's imagine a project that we want to do with Dimension CC.
The client is a company called Hansel and Petal, and they specialize in plants, garden tools, and supplies. They want to launch a new line of three types of plant food that will come in resealable pouches, and you've been provided with the label design as an image file. It's up to you to mock up three realistic pouches of the plant food, using their label image. This is a perfect job for Dimension CC. So, at this point, we have an appropriate background image, with the house plant and a nice, woody table to put the pouches of plant food on, so let's add our first pouch.
I'll go to the Assets panel, click on Models, and find the food pouch, and click to add it to the scene. And it comes in with the default color and lighting from the background image, and it also comes in way too big and in the wrong spot. So I'll take the select and move tool, and click on the blue widget to move it closer, and I'll take the select and scale tool, and drag to scale it way down.
And maybe I'll move it forward a little bit, like so. Now, to add the label of the Hansel and Petal logo, I'll make sure the pouch is selected, and I'll go to the Actions panel, and click on the button to place a graphic as a decal. In the Exercise Files folder, I'll choose Hansel_Petal.png, and click Open. And the graphic is placed on the surface of the object, centered, and controls also appear that I can use to rotate and resize the decal.
I'll grab the circle widget and drag it to the left to rotate the decal. I'll go to a value of about negative 30 over here in the Properties panel. The decal is also too small now, so I want to scale it up, and I can do that by clicking and dragging anywhere on the circle, and if I hold the shift key, I'll constrain to maintain the proportions. I'll go to about that big, and click off to deselect.
Now, remember, we need three bags, because this is going to be a set of three different kinds of plant food. So, to quickly make the other two bags, first I'll select the existing bag, and I'll go to the Edit menu, and choose Duplicate. I can see in the Scene panel that I now have two food pouches. I'll click one with the select and move tool, and then move it over. And, as a shortcut to make the third bag, I'll just hold the option key here on the Mac or alt on Windows, and click on the bag.
I can see my cursor change to double arrows, and I'll drag to make a third bag. And I'll reposition these using the widgets. Pull this one forward a bit, maybe push this one back. And I'll slide this one over. And they're all a little bit too big right now, so I'm going to select all three by holding the shift key and clicking each one, then taking the select and scale tool, clicking, and then holding the shift key and dragging down.
That's a little better, and now I can move them all over a bit. Just want to be able to reveal this potted plant here. So, in this movie, we started a project of simulating the packaging for a new line of products by adding a background image, and then some objects that blend naturally with the background, thanks to the Match Image feature, which creates the appropriate lighting and perspective. Next, we'll continue the project by adjusting the lighting.