Stereo pairs from 2D using brush-type interface?

I’m checking out Blender and other 3D apps, looking for some very specific capabilities. I’d like to:
–import a 600 ppi 2D image into a mesh
–displace elements with a brush type interface to create 3D contours
–use a pair of virtual cameras at the 3D image to create a stereo pair (left and right images, ususally with a 2.5 inch separation between cameras).

A friend has shown me how to do this in Maya, but I’d rather not make that level of investment at the moment. I’ve done some searches here in forums and lists of tutorials, but not found anything directly related.

I’d appreciate pointers to any information source giving details about whether Blender can do this or something similar. I realize there may be other means to achieve the same effect besides the brush-type interface; what the trade-offs in time would be for any alternatives is very relevant.

Thanks in advance–
–Jim

I have been doing alot of 3d stereo pair work with blender lately and I coded my own simple (very!) plugin to automatically generate stereo pairs -either x or parallel… plus I have developed a few simple tricks for the camera placement and I can even work in 3d in blender.

I am not sure what exactly you are talking about as far as the brush displacement trick though… a few more details on how it works might be handy.

I checked out your site- love the “Time-for-Space Wiggle” and the greeting cards are great!

As far as sterio pair images, yes, that can be done. I have done a little messing with that. I do not know any of the mathematics behind it, but I will tell you how I did it. First, make your object that you want to view in sterio. Then, add an empty behind your object. Add two cameras side-by-side and close to each other. Then, select the first camera, then the empty and press Ctrl + T and select Constraint. Do the same for the second camera. Render your first picture and save it, then select the other camera, press 0 (on the keypad), then Ctrl + 0. Render that image, and you should have a sterio pair when you add the two of them together! I hope that you can follow this.

Thanks, Ryan and paprmh. It sounds like there are several options for making stereo pairs in blender, once you have a 3D image to shoot.

[quote=“paprmh”]
I am not sure what exactly you are talking about as far as the brush displacement trick though… a few more details on how it works might be handy.
quote]

I am not a Maya maven. As I watched, my friend used a brush-like tool that could be set to pull parts of the mesh out or push them in. Like a Photoshop brush tool, it could be wider or narrower, and had a stronger effect at the tip and lessening effect the further you got away from it (I think). The length of time he spent on a spot increased the effect, likewise the number of times he went over the same spot. After making a rough pass, he set the brush to a finer gradation for smoothing, I think, and then did an automatic smoothing.

Though I am not an expert, I suspect that the ‘brush’ interface aided in the swift application of an effect that might well be possible in other ways, ways that might take more time and require more passes for smoothing. That’s part of what I’m trying to figure out before I dip into any of these applications.

–Jim

you could import that image in your favorite image man prog. and create a second layer. Fill this layer whith a grey (preferably 127.127.127). Make this layer 70% transparant and paint with white the parts that should be elevated and with black the parts that should be lowered. Use soft brushes! Set this layers opacity back to 100% and save it .
Import this greyscale image in blenders texture window. Add this texture to a material and let it affect the displacement level. This should do the trick.

There is a way to paint height. In fact, I was thinking of posting about this modelling method a while back, but forgot about it. I’m sure others have made the same discovery.

Anyways, for test purposes, I started off with a 100x100 plane. parented it to a 2 bone armature, where all the verts were in group A with 0 weight and B with 1 weight.

Move bone A up several units, and start painting with say 1.000 weight 10% transparency on the mesh… apply deformation, and you win.

ok, short answer for Cockeyed, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, answer to the displacement painting is yes you can, only there isn’t an exact button for it. Setting up the armature system will take like 20 seconds though, and it gives you a lot of control (you can not only paint displacement in any direction, but also scaling and rotations!)

As I watched, my friend used a brush-like tool that could be set to pull parts of the mesh out or push them in. Like a Photoshop brush tool, it could be wider or narrower, and had a stronger effect at the tip and lessening effect the further you got away from it (I think).

Well, I could be wrong, but that sounds similar to the PET (Proportional Editing Tool) to me. Shortcut Key O.

My thoughts as to what you are looking for regarding the Maya style displacement brushes. I’ve had a little experience with Maya so I think I know what you mean. Blender doesn’t actually have displacement brushes at the moment, however blender does have a couple of the same features and might allow you to simulate a similar effect.

You can use displacement maps. They are controlled through the use of contrast brightness and are very effective. As with the Maya technique you’ll need a relatively high vertice count for detail. To actually brush the map on, I’m not so sure. Some work has been done with vertex painting but I don’t know if you can actually paint a bitmap yet, maybe as mentioned above or a plugin script. Once you have the map placed and UV coordinates set you can apply the displacement and get the effect. The mesh is only effected at the time of render though and can’t be made permanent.

You can also manipulate vertices with Proportional Edit as mentioned above. Also not as intuitive as Maya this techique does however actually move vertices around. This method was pointed out by Modron a while ago. To use proportional editing you need a mesh in the basic shape that has a high enough vertice count to get the results you are looking for. When you have the shape select a single vertice and duplicate it and move it to a convenient location. Make sure you only have the single vertice selected and hit the O key (or use |space|Transform|Proprotional Edit| menu). Use the middle mouse wheel to adjust the size of the ‘brush’ and start sculpting. Hit the O key again to turn off Proportional Edit and move the brush vertice to another location and then start sculpting again for another detail. Now that blender has undo this is an even more viable technique.

Another thought. Z-Brush 2 is out. I think it’s costing around $500 US or so? Some amazing work getting done with the soft.

I’m not sure what state it’s in because I haven’t used it, but on blender.org in the current development digest (called “Changing Times”, it’s currently at the top of the news items on the main page) tere is mention of a script written by Tom Musgrove that allows “sculpting” of a mesh. Or in the words of the project page for this script: “displace mesh follows mouse”.

Check it out, it might be what your looking for.

Wow, lots of options it seems. Thanks all.
–Jim