This scripted object plugin will bring you a new object primitive called 'ImagePlane'. After creating and attaching an ImagePlane object to a (perspective camera), it will always directly face the camera and fill the entire camera view perfectly.
You can assign image textures to that plane, the result being similar to a viewport background image, but on a geometric plane that has a certain depth in the scene. This allows pushing camera-aligned images in front of or behind certain objects.
The image plane will adjust correctly to the camera FOV (taking image and pixel aspect into account), it will stay at the specified (animatable) distance to the camera, will always face the camera and fill the visible area 100% (unless you have used offset and scale to modify the plane). It is useful as a replacement for background images as the imageplane moves right in 3D space and can both occlude other 3D objects and be occluded by them. It can be mapped with a 100% self-illuminated material that has an image sequence in the diffuse slot and the corresponding alpha channel in the opacity slot; this can be displayed directly in the viewports and is quite useful for creating set extension layouts when combining real footage with CG, for example.
Can this plugin be used with image sequence instead of a single image?
Absolutely. You can just use an animated map for the imageplane. It's the same workflow as for any other animated bitmap sequence. You could also use Qinming Ren's FFmpeg plugin if you want to use compressed movie formats as texture source.
rly good Plugin
Very handy plugin! But when I'm animating some object in front of the Image Plane I wish to see all objects except the Image Plane in wireframe mode. I solved that problem by placing ImagePlane to a new layer. Then changed a viewport parameter of this new layer to "shaded". But it could be much easier to have a button in Image Plane parameters for that procedure.
Thank you for for the feedback. So you want a button to move the image plane to a new layer, switch that layer to 'always shaded' override and then set the image plane display properties to 'by layer'? What about multiple image planes? And what if you don't want them to be on that layer anymore?
Hi Martin. I don't use multiple image planes. Actually, I don't need them to be on a new layer. It would be cool if there will be "always shaded" button in parameters.
Please try the latest version 1.54 at http://scripts.breidt.net/#imagePlane You will have to uninstall the old version and manually install the new one (just copy it to plugins directory and restart). It now comes with a button to move image plane onto a separate layer that is always shaded, so you can easily work in wireframe mode while keeping the image plane shaded/textured.
Thank you! Great! That is exactly what I've wanted.
ImagePlane is a huge timesaver and one of the first 3rd party plugins I add to a fresh Max install. It brings many of the features of the Maya image plane to Max - but it's even quicker to setup and simpler to use. press the 'x' key, type 'image plane', choose a camera and you're done. The image plane will always match your render output/aspect ratio. Most importantly, you can set any depth you need (so the image plane can appear in-front of scene geometry) and you can even render it if you need! It's one of those plugins that should just be in 3ds max by default!