[BETA] Images as Planes improvements

Images as Planes is one of my favorite blender add-ons. But it also regularly bugs me with caveats like defaulting transparency mode to “Mask”. And there are minor annoyances like the images not being oriented or stacked in a useful way.

So I took a hack at it. You can download my work in progress here:

(unfortunately, the zip you download seems to need to be uncompressed first)

Before I spend more time cleaning it up, I’d like to get some feedback on the functionality. Could the interface be more clear? Should I remove any options? Any there any options you wish it had?

A quick tour of the features is on

. For now, here’s a list of what I added (should I drop any of these?):

  • Z-axis stacking, similar to this older enhancement
  • Automatic setting of sensible alpha setting for Blender Internal (no need to manually set Z Transparency separately)
  • Fix movie length bug with Cycles
  • Alpha is enabled by default (if image has no alpha channel, it will do nothing)
  • New “Shadless” shader for cycles that will now up in reflections and refractions but not emit light to diffuse surfaces.
  • Ability to set the orientation of the created planes (Z up is usually facing the sky and no to useful to me), including facing the camera (handy for compositing)
  • Ability to set a constraint for tracking to the camera for “billboard” type sprites (for some special effects elements for fake round things like columns)
  • Ability to size relative to the camera view (handy for importing layers to composite)
  • Set up Compositing nodes using drivers and the “Corner Pin” node to inject into compositing without rendering (unfortunately after a change in the 3D view, you need to jump a frame in the timeline to see it :/)

Do you want any of these?

  • Ability to save your own defaults
  • Remove match movie length option (always set it. Why wouldn’t you?)


+1 for saving my own defaults.

Will test this as soon as possible. Thanks

[Edit] Why is your version 1.99.1 and the last native version 2.05, shouldn’t you be tracking against it with a version like 2.05se ?

Hm… you’re right, the latest is 2.something

Looks like I somehow I borrowed some parts from an incorrect file… from 2013 D:

I just checked and mades sure recent changes from git are ok. I only missed the latest changed to 2.0.5 from 2.0.4, so I’ve integrated that change.

Hum…I read the code and I have a remark, you must change the main function name to not create error with the original addon, I mean?
because some addons use the original addon with them.

Interesting improvements. Congrats.

EDIT: remark 2=> Name the addon so io_import_images_as_planes_mod.py (like modified) because some users add the version of the py file in plus like you: io.import_images_as_planes2.py as release 2.0

Thank you so much for updating this! :slight_smile:

What other add-ons use this one? And in what way are other add ons using this one? The goal is to have this replace what is shipped with BF-Blender, so I should maintain compatibility where viable.

To replace it you must demand to the original author first and the Blender foundation.
If it’s for replace it so don’t change nothing. You just have to notify users that they must remove the official addon of addons_contrib folder. when they use your release.

Hi SpkyElctrc,
Thank you for creating and sharing your addon. Here is a another feature addition to the same addon in case you would like to add it to your version. Again, thank you for your work, and thank you for sharing!

hi, read here:
Start a task here: https://developer.blender.org/maniphest/task/edit/form/3/
assign to meta-androcto
be exact in the changes you have made technically & reasons why new behavior is better.
I don’t really see any issue with this.

Ah, yes, it should handle image sequences. I’m not quite sure that’s the best way, but I’ll look into working with them.

I put together a very quick overview of the features (hopefully it makes sense):

And in doing so noticed bugs with the Corner Pin option. That will definitely need more work :expressionless: Are others interested in that sort of functionality? Or are you have just rendering planes and compositing when doing that sort of thing?

I know of the submission process. I’ve submitted some fixes to the C(++) codebase before. I just want to see what potential other users think before submitting a diff.

I’ll take a look into prefs saving, image sequences and also the corner pin stuff more, do some more testing, and hopefully update on github in a few days. If that seems like a stable good feature set, then I’ll submit there and refine from feedback in that process.

Great work!
This are very handy timesaver extensions.

Great Update!

Many thanks SpkyElctrc!

Thank you for rework!
Can you add render size as image size option?
Can you see my thread and help me?


Off hands new/improved features seem to make sense. Would you please submit it for review at https://developer.blender.org/differential/diff/create/ and add me as reviewer? Thanks. :slight_smile:

You mean making the image fill the camera’s field of view? I did add that as a sizing option, since it’s useful to me too. Or did you mean something else? I wonder how I can make that clearer in the UI.

I noticed the existing script is indeed being used by some other add-ons, so in addition to some cleanup, I’m working on verifying that it doesn’t break things that depend on it. I’ve been busy the past couple days, but hopefully I’ll have a “release candidate” for submitting to developer.blender.org tomorrow.

Awesome, that sounds great.

Heres one nice addon that I think uses it, the Slideshow addon: https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?360518-Addon-Dynamic-Slideshow

The changes are now feature-complete. It was trickier than I expected getting image sequence support to work, but I’m glad I did, since I can imagine using that myself. Quirks with the corner pin node have been fixed making that workflow for compositing better. It is also compatible with other add-ons (like that slideshow one) and let’s you configure defaults.

I’f be interested in any feedback. I’ll be working on cleanup for submission to developer.blender.org next.

Thanks you so much and congratulations.
Good Luck for the trunk addition.