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Transforming a 2D Image into a 3D Object

Author: Anonymous

Tools Needed

  • Bryce Photoshop


You wil see how avariety of different tools and programs work toghether to make a 3D image. Michael Jed shares a few tricks and insights to make your work eye catching and more realistic.

Step 1 - Photoshop - Preparation


Select your object, by using tools such as the Lasso, Magic Wand, Eraser and/or other paint tools, and discard the background. For those of you familiar with them, the Quick Mask and Extract modes can be utilized. Similar results may be obtained with other paint programs such as Painter and PaintShopPro.

This can be a very time consuming process. Be patient and very accurate.

Your object should now appear, alone, on a transparent background.

Save your work periodically.

The final image will now be processed into two files: one containing a gray-scale image for applying to the Symmetrical Lattice and the color image, you have already saved, which will be used to apply a texture map.

Take your prepared image and save it again as a name that identifies it as your gray-scale. Under Image > Mode, select Grayscale. Then, under Image > Mode, select Brightness/Contrast and move the brightness scale till your blacks become a visible shade of gray.

Since black is at ground level in Bryce, anything that is black in your image will not be visible when the gray-scale is applied to the Symmetrical Lattice and your image will appear to have holes in it where you do not intend. Moving all the shades up a few notches, into gray, insures the entire image will show in the Symmetrical Lattice.

Now create a new layer filled with black and merge your gray image on top of the black layer. (If you merely flatten the image, the background, if in default, will be white and white registers as the highest point of your image and you do not want that.)

Step 2 - In Bryce


Create a new scene.

Create a Symmetrical Lattice and click on the “E” to edit it.

Click on the “grid” and change it to “1024 - Massive Resolution”.

Click on new terrain and then, with everything in default, click on Picture and load the grayscale image.

To attempt this technique, you may now load grayhummerJPG provided for this purpose.

If the middle image is not black, click on it to make it black. The B/W hummer should appear in the 1st and 3rd windows. Click Apply.

Your SymLat should appear in the shape of the hummingbird showing various elevations based on the grays in your image. Edit with any Bryce tools if you need to and then click the arrow to apply.

Placing the SymLat in Bryce:

Step 3 - Step 3 Placing the SymLat in Bryce


Your image now appears as a shaped SymLat in your scene window. It comes in face up and we will deal with that in a minute. For now, let's map it, so it doesn't resemble a terrain anymore.

Click the A to edit attributes. Make the Y depth 3. As this is really a 2D mapped image, there is no real need for much depth. Click the arrow to apply.

In the working window now, click on the M to add the texture map.

Step 4 - Step 4 Texture Source Editor


Click the Image Texture icon and then the Texture Source Editor.

Open your colored image. You may select the hummerJPG here. Apply the texture and go back out to the working window.

Click the A and edit the rotation values as follows:

X -90, Y -45 (these coordinates my need to be adjusted depending on the size and placement of your object)

Step 5 - Step 5 Linking Image to Camera


Once your object is placed so that it is straight on to you as possible, link the camera to your object. Then whenever you move the camera, the SymLat object will remain at exactly the same angle and distance from it. You can do this by clicking of the Link Icon and then clicking and holding down on the camera and dragging to the object you wish to link and releasing (in this instance, the object).

Step 6 - Step 6 Creating Your Scene


Add water, a city, trees, a whole scene, etc….and render…

In terms of the working image for this tutorial, the hummingbird, note the addition of plant life and a water plane. Our curious little hummer has found a flower he's never encountered before. The Attributes dialog box is included here to show you the final values of the hummingbird object in this image.

Step 7 - Step 7 Post-Rendering Your Image


In Photoshop:

With the final rendered image, zoom in and use the smudge tool to bland any blemishes and the image into the background.

When you have blended all the edges of the Symmetrical Latttice into the scene and cleaned up the picture to your satisfaction, play with adding perhaps a lens flare or other special F/X.