Chief Architect Help Database - Article Number: 221
How to create custom photograph backdrops for use in Chief ArchitectThe information in this article applies to:
- Chief Architect 9.5
- Chief Architect 10.0
In Chief Architect, custom backdrops images can be imported into the library, allowing you to display your plans in camera views and overviews with backdrops that show your local area or even the actual building site.
Location, location, location
Whether you've already chosen a building site and you want to show your customer what the finished building will look like or you want something exotic, think creatively when trying to find a photo spot. A parking lot, a pond, a clearing in the woods or atop a plateau: each has great potential for a unique building location background. It’s good to see variety when you’re looking through the program’s library, so while you’re in the field searching, imagine yourself finding that perfect place to build.
Position is critical
Once you've found the perfect location, it’s all about camera position. Usually, the photos you take will be comprised of land, horizon, & sky. Try to position the sight boundary of the ground in the middle of the view. This way, when it is viewed in Chief Architect, there will be ample room for the building to sit without creating odd or unrealistic views.
Remember, too, that prominent items in the background can be distracting. As you rotate around the house the background will be repeated, so anything eye-catching will turn up again and again. Optimally, everything in these scenic photos should “blend into the background”. Don’t sacrifice a good picture, however, just because the moose won’t move out of sight.
Once you have composed the perfect scene shoot, shoot and shoot again. Creating several digital pictures will only take a few moments; but by creating several pictures and moving your position slightly for each one, you will have a variety of terrific backgrounds to choose from once its time to create your renderings or 3D views. POV renderings, if created with a familiar background, will be virtually indistinguishable from a real photograph when presented to your client.
The next time you take a trip or go on vacation, keep your eyes open for something exotic. The following are some terrific starting points in your quest for breath-taking backgrounds.
- Hillsides/Mountains (taken from both on & off the mountain)
Add your images to the library
Using the instructions that came with your digital camera, load the images on to your computer. You may want to use a photo editing software program to touch up your photos or piece several photos together to create a panoramic view.
Once you are satisfied with these images, add them to the Backdrops library in Chief Architect. To do this, browse to the folder you installed Chief Architect in and find a folder called Backdrops. In this folder you will find a folder call -My Backdrops. Copy the photos you wish to use in this folder. Finally, open Chief Architect and choose your favorite backdrop.
To learn how to add a custom backdrop to the Backdrops library, see article 222 in this database: How do I add custom backdrops to Chief Architect?
For information about using spherical backdrops, see article 643: How do I specify a spherical backdrop?
Last updated on: May 13, 2010