Using background images to fill out a scene

I’m looking for better options to include 2D images both for a backdrop and incidental items to add to my scenes.

Currently I use HDRs for my main background but it’s often hard to match the focus of trees, mountains etc with my scene. I’ve tried using free and paid stock backgrounds but have issues with color, exposure, shadows and perspective not fitting in either.

Similar problems arise when I try to use images for objects scattered throughout the scene and end up resorting to time consuming modeling for items that I hoped a simple photo on a plane could achieve.

I even tried rendering my own 2D backgrounds in blender which still requires a fair amount of modeling and even though I have the same lighting and camera settings etc the render coloring is still not quite right compared to the scene.

Am I being too hopeful or lazy trying to avoid the extra modeling or is there proper method to achieve satisfactory results with 2D images in an animated scene?

I too am guilty of this, but i would vote for lazy :slight_smile:
You could color grade your images before hand or create layers/collection and grade in composting tab and alittle in the materials tab.

Hope someone with more experience and knowledge can offer more.

Haha thanks for the vote on lazy but I think it’s more about being practical using images instead of models in the background.

Color correction though is probably not as much a concern as finding photos taken from a perspective that fits with my scene camera position