Setting, video as background?

Hi, I’m new here so excuse me for posting what i guess is a common question. How do you set the background image in blender as a movie in version 2.45. I have came across several tutorials saying you need to import it as a texture than apply it to the background, but these seem to be for what i guess is earlier versions of blender and most of the shortcuts and menu’s don’t correspond to the tutorials. I have managed to import camera tracking data from Icarus and that all works fine but am unable to place the video in.
Any help will be much appreciated.

p.s…I’m loving blender more and more, slowly managing to get my head round some of the control’s!


Welcome to BA.

These steps should work to set a video file as your world background. That is to the best of my knowledge.
Press f6 (texture)
Click the World button.
Click Add new, and set the Texture Type to Image.
Click the Load button and select your Video file.
Adjust the frame settings that appear below the file name.
Press F8 (world).
On the Map to tab, click the Hori button.
On the Preview tab, click the Paper button.

You could also do this with composite nodes, I am not real familiar with the nodes system bot the wiki has an article on it here:

Keep Blending!

I’m afraid that didn’t seem to work, I’ve had a look at the nodes and it seems heavy going, quit allot to get stuck into for a newbie. Ill keep playing and searching to see if i can figure it, in the meantime heres the files which I have been using if anyone has time to see if I’m doing anything stupidly wrong!

Zip Contains:

thanks again


Okay, I downloaded your files and the problem is not with you or my instructions, the problem is that Blender does not like your AVI file. I can load any of the other Avi files I have on my box and they work fine. With yours Blender shows the following error in the console window:
“BLI_split_dirFile needs absolute dir”

I have no ideal what that means, but not even the VSE in blender would show more than frame 1 from your file. I think I have seen another thread with this error, but I do not recall there being any resolution. Good Luck.

Hi Matt
Oh! That will explain allot, i thought i was getting somewhere but could only render one frame. The footage was shot from a Nikon camera so i guess is some strange format. Thanks very much for finding that out


No problem, wish I could tell you what the error means. The strange thing is that your avi plays fine in Media player and VLC. So I don’t know why Blender doesn’t like it. Also, one lesson to learn from this is that many times Blender only reports errors in the Console window. I always forget to check there when things are working right.

I eventually gave in and composited it in after effects, though i had to export my blender render with camera movements as a video, i aways thought you could import a mesh into blender bit not so. Not bad for first attempt, goes out at the end though, heres the results.
First Video Tracking Attempt


Not bad, just sad you had to resort to affect effects to get the results.

Why is it sad? I would have suggested rendering the frames to TARGA or PNG with RGBA on and then sent to a compositing appliction like AE/Shake. That’s the normal part of my workflow.

Blender does a lot, but sometimes it’s a matter of using the right tool for the job.

Sorry, did not mean to offend anyone. What I meant was, Blender has at least three ways to add a video sequence, World Texture, Composite nodes, and the VSE. It is sad that none of these worked with his file. So this case Blender should have been one of the right tools, but it was not.

The Path error message means that you have not properly pointed to the file, usually through a relative pathspec that is missing a breadcrumb or backslash, something minor like that.

@OP: my clue was looking at the console window - numerous “Error reading frame from AVI” over and over. This means that the application cannot properly recognize the correct codec to use in decoding the stream.

Blender and VLC and did not like that AVI file, although Media Player with its tons of codecs was able to play it So, I told VLC to fix it, and then used VLC to re-encode the AVI to a codec that I knew worked: an H.264 MP4 container and Blender loved it. use the settings shown in this image.


Hi PapaSmurf, this is tarting to make more sense now, i managed to convert the original video in VLC but it was too fast, i had set the frame rate at 30fps as in the original and the bit rate at 64Kbps as per the original too but still get terrible quality and fast playback!
I feel a bit stupid having to ask all these questions although i expect its all part of the steep learning curve!

Well, dealing with codecs is never easy. If your camera is a consumer variety, the frame rate at which it captures video may not be 30 fps. It may be as low as 10 depending on resolution and compression and what kind of media you are saving to. Do a test with your camera to see what the actual is: Videotape a clock on the wall or a stopwatch. Then use that to compute an expansion factor to use.

Blender has a Speed control that slows down a video and expands it for this purpose. I would use that first to get a video that has a realistic speed FIRST, then proceed with rotoscoping.

@Papa, Thanks from me too. I know there was at least one other thread with this error and I don’t remember there being a solution. I hate questions I don’t know the answer too, so here is one less. I should have suspected the codec was to blame. Shame on me.