Projecting image onto mesh?

I saw this before, but it was back when I was a much newer to blender. The person had taken the image and projected it onto a flat plane and was able to make the image sort of indent itself into the plane. I was wondering if someone could explain how to do that to me, or post a tutorial in which I can find that :smiley: Its been on my mind all week! I’ve got some flat drawings I was thinking to use with them. Anyhow, Thanks in advance!


Two words: Bumpmap and displacement (as used on my image).

(I know, I went a bit overboard for a forum example… But it’s nice, isn’t it?) :wink:

Displacement requires high-poly meshes. (And that explain why my sphere is a bit rough around the edges. Not enough video memory to set the subsurf modifer beyond level 4.) What you see in the middle of the “temple” is a simple sphere with a Displace modifer using the Blender logo to push and pull the surface. The modifier is a bit demanding, it wants a vertex group and an UV map (The reason for the UV map is a bit obscure to me.) but the result can be really powerful… even insane if you want.

Using a bump map is a much lighter process but the effect is weak and you can see it’s a trick if you look in a wrong angle. This is only a material setting which is really easy to achieve… At least in Cycles, where you basically only need to plug a texture in the Displacement input. In BI, it’s a bit more convoluted.

Any way, here is the file used to render the image: Displace.blend (254 KB)

I used Cycles and the PNG logo is packed in the blend file. (Some older versions of Blender have problems with that.) If you want to use BI, you just need to redo the materials. The rest needs no change. You can replace the logo with any square image it will just work.

Oh wow! You’ve been more than helpful!! The file example helped a ton too! This was just what I was looking for :slight_smile: Thanks a ton! I’ll be sure to post the results of my work later today, or tomorrow :slight_smile:

An easy way is to use Blender Internal projection. Create a material and set the mapping to Object and choose an Empty in the scene. The projection occurs along the Z-axis of the object(Empty) You can scale the Empty and the texture will scale. Kind of like a slide projector on a wall. Assign the same material to multiple objects to cast the material across them all.


265_empty_projection.blend (1.3 MB)

Quick question to clear up some things, Does the displacement modifier work better with higher quality greyscale pictures? It is giving me really jagged displacements. Or is that just something that will always happen with this modifier?

Color or greyscale, it doesn’t matter… Except that greyscale gives you a better idea of the displacement. And the jagged edges are due to the fact that your mesh isn’t high-poly enough. Raise the subsurf level… or else blur your image. The sharper the edges, the higher the resolution of the mesh must be.

Same blend file than in my previous post but with a really blurred image of the logo. The walls around the indentation now have an angle and it makes the mesh much smoother.

Ah clever fix, Thanks! Looks much more awesome-er now :smiley: