viewport background dissapears

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  09 September 2012
viewport background dissapears

First post - so sorry if this is a noob question, but I have searched the forum, google, help, and now I've decided I must just be too stupid to use 3DS Max :-)

The shot is basically a VFX shot with a machine gun sweeping past the camera; one of the bullets flies past the camera and we track with it in close-up.

I have a TIFF sequence I'm animating to which I have matched the camera movement using Boujou. All good.

I've animated and exported several passes for bullets and debris and was partway through my third pass of adding smoke (FumeFX) when the background image dissapeared from the viewport, which has stopped me dead in my tracks as I cant see what Im doing.

I've been through the (ALT-B) menu settings for show background image in viewport, and tried every display driver combo possible under customize/preferences/viewport/display driver. Currently I'm using DirectX9 and Hardware. GL didnt help. I'm using scanline for FFX, but was on Vray for the bullets. Makes no difference.

Older projects that used to work now do the same thing when I open them up.

I'm on Windows 7 Pro 64bit, 12GB Ram, intel i7 2.67GHz 4 core GeForce GTX 260 (yes, I know it's crap, but I'm a noob, like I said - I'll upgrade when I know what I'm doing).

So now I'm stumped. Really stumped, and 3DS is such a huge program I don't quite know where to look.

I did read somewhere that you're better off creating a plane with a bitmap which is linked to the camera, but how do you make sure it matches pixel for pixel the render output with no scaling issues? Obviously this is important as the Renders will be comped back into the live action footage and has to match...

Thanks for any help
  10 October 2012
I've never experienced this. Try making a jpg-sequence to use in the viewport, instead of TIF? What 3ds max version are you using?
  10 October 2012
you should check this in Direct3D mode, if it's working there it's a nitrous problem

be aware that Nitrous has a scaling problems with screen mapped backdrop images when you activate safe frame display. The image simply gets scaled and NOT cropped as would one expect -> big problem for back plate work

What's the resolution of your BG images ? I made the experience, that BIG files (really BIG files) may not display in Nitrous while they display correctly in Direct3D

PowerPreview: High Quality Nitrous Previews for 3ds Max 2012|2013|2014

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  10 October 2012
I just released a tool ( Nitrous Texture Tweaker, Maxscript ) that might help in your situation

Please look for more info in the main thread

PowerPreview: High Quality Nitrous Previews for 3ds Max 2012|2013|2014

[ Free Download (ScriptSpot) ]

Home of The Frogs | Online Portfolio

Last edited by spacefrog : 10 October 2012 at 10:51 AM.
  10 October 2012

Hey, thanks for the help guys. It ended up being the first TIFF frame not displaying properly, but after scrolling the timeline a bit the rest of the sequence came up. So I could still get the animation done, but would still like to get to the bottom of it.

Thanks for the detailed info spacefrog; ill definitely check up on it when I get back (OS at the mo). And will try jpeg sequence too, ebee (I'm on 3DS 2010, btw). Thanks guys I;ll let you know how I go.
  10 October 2012
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