December 31, 2021 Phoebe

How To Set A Background Image For Modeling Reference In Blender

Blender is a unique 3D software that allows users to embed 2D objects onto 3D environments and scenes. Its powerful tools make it easy to carry out animation experiments with maximum convenience and flexibility. Including animation, graphic design, film editing, and post-production, Blender has a seemingly endless list of applications. The topmost famous animators use Blender to make short films, feature films, TV shows, etc. In blog’s today, we will discover a basic idea of how easy it is to put set a background image for modelling reference in Blender.

1. How to set a background image in Blender version 2.9 and 3.0

Before you proceed, go to preference settings and then Add-ons. Search for “Import images as planes”. Activate the “Import images as planes” addon by checking the box.

There are four methods you can use to set background images in Blender 2.9 and 3.0.

To access three of the four methods, go to 3D View > Add > Image menu, or click Shift + A > Image, then select your preferred option. The first three options will appear as in the image below.

After you choose an option, the following are settings Blender makes available to use with your background image.

Method 1: Reference

They act as regular objects, visible from both sides. They do not appear in renders.

Method 2: Background

It is set to display in front or background. It does not appear in renders.Method 3: Images as Planes

It is a mesh with geometry and material. It appears in renders.

Method 4: Add background image on camera settings

Select your camera, then to camera settings, and then “Background Images”. It appears on camera view only. It does not appear on renders.

2. How to set a background image in Blender 2.79

  • Press N on your keyboard. The sidebar will appear. On the sidebar, go to “Background Image” tab. Enable it by checking on the box.
  • Press the “Add Image” button then “Open” button to select your background image.
  • By default, the background image you select will appear in all views. i.e From Top, Bottom, Front, Back, Left, Right and Camera views.
  • If you want the background image to appear on one specific view, click on the “Axis” dropdown and select the view that you would like.

How to add multiple background images

  • After adding the first background image using the above steps, click the “Add Image” button again.
  • A second row will appear and repeat the above steps. Only this time, use a different image and view.

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Hi everyone. I'm Phoebe Hoang - Customer Support at iRender. Being a person who has a passion for 3D graphic design, I really want to learn and share useful experiences with the CG community. Thank you


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