Creating Billboard image

I’m new to blender… (ie only been using it for 3 hours now) I also have no experience in this area. The most I’ve done is use dvdauthor to create dvd’s and gimp to cut and paste images.

I want to create a 3d landscape with pictures of friends hanging from various rock cliffs. Then fly the camera through looking at the pictures.

I’ve figured out how to create the 3D layout using python script. I’ve also figured out how to do the fly by.

Two items I haven’t figured out yet.

  1. Creating the image billboard to scale. I’ve been using a mess plane. Then putting a mat (or whatever you call it). Problem is it scales the image to the plane size. Thus making people 100 feet tall or 100 feet wide. Is there a way to tell blender not to stretch the image? Or a way to specify the pixels? Could anyone point me to a tutorial for a better way to do this?

  2. I’ve figured out how to colour my entire object as one colour. But how to I get it multiple colours. ie for the landscape it’s all one object. So how do I colour/pattern the mountains different from the grass floor?

I’m trying to do this in a week… I know I’m crazy… So any direction would be appreciated.

Unfortunately I don’t know where you can find a tutorial on texturing but here’s one on adding multiple materials to the same mesh:
http://download.blender.org/documentation/htmlI/ch10s07.html

Colin Lister put together a fantastic tutorial on materials and procedural textures as part of the Blender Summer of Documentation.
The link.
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Materials
He specifically addresses your image scaling issue.
the tut is probably worth doing twice…
cheers