Specifying a Spherical Backdrop

Reference Number: KB-00643 Last Updated: 12-09-2014 06:14 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I would like to use a panoramic backdrop for my 3D views. How can I set my backdrop so that it is spherical?


The backdrops available in the Chief Architect Library Browser are rectangular images that will wrap around the 3D model in camera views - as though they were applied to an imaginary cylinder.

A spherical backdrop, on the other hand, is a specially edited image that will look distorted when applied to an imaginary cylinder but will look correct when instead applied to an imaginary sphere around the 3D model.

If you have a spherical backdrop image that you would like to use in the program, you can import it into the Chief Architect Backdrops library and then specify it as Spherical.

To import a spherical backdrop

  1. Select File> Import> Import Backdrop> from the menu. In the Import Backdrop File dialog:

    • Browse to the spherical image that you wish to use as a backdrop in Chief Architect, select it, and click Open.

    • Your image will be imported into the User Catalog in the Library Browser. (In version X3, it will be added to My Library; in version X2, to the Import category.)

    • The image used in this example can be downloaded from the Attachments section at the bottom of this article. 

  2. Select 3D> 3D View Defaults to open the 3D View Defaults dialog.

    • In X4 and prior this was called 3D Settings

  3. On the Backdrop panel:  

    • Click the Select Backdrop button, and in the Select Library Object dialog, select your newly imported image and click OK.  

    • A preview of the selected backdrop will now display in this dialog. Notice that it appears distorted.  

    • Check the box beside Spherical Panoramic Backdrop and click OK

  4. Create a Camera view to see what the backdrop looks like once applied to imaginary sphere.

    • Notice that the backdrop image no longer appears distorted.

  5. You may want to experiment with the values for Horizontal Angle and Vertical Angle to achieve the type of view you are looking for.

    • One common alternative to the default value of 360 degrees for the Vertical Angle is 180 degrees.

sphericalbackdrop.jpg 0.5 Mb Download File