Animated Bitmap Backgrounds

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Animated Bitmap Backgrounds

Although Part VI of this book gives you the scoop on animation in 3ds max in detail, I considered it a good idea to cover the use of animated backgrounds here; we are dealing with all sorts of different backgrounds. An animated background is essentially a movie within a movie. In Hollywood, an animated sequence is sometimes used as a backdrop for a live scene. For instance, this happens often when the camera focuses upon actors speaking in the front

seat of a moving vehicle. The moving images that depict the street whizzing by are often a separate movie projected on the backdrop. In 3ds max, you can create animated backgrounds just as they do in the movies. (In fact, many filmmakers use 3ds max for just this purpose.)

Using animations as backgrounds

Although animation techniques and rendering procedures get a closer look elsewhere in the book (see Parts VI and VIII, respectively), you can use an animation for a background — it’s as simple as using a single image. 3ds max accepts sequenced single frames (images that have a numbered extension), AVI movies, and QuickTime movies as background files. You select a movie file just as you would a single image, and configure it as a background in the same way, as shown in Figure.

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Figure: Scenes from an animation that shows a modeled flying saucer moving against an old film clip of the Old West. You can find this animation (Saucer_01.AVI) in the ANIMS folder on this book’s CD-ROM.

If you have any AVI or QuickTime movies on your system, you can explore using them as backgrounds. (Meanwhile, watch the skies!)

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