Camera Mapping in Blender 2.5

By popular demand! Learn how to easily create a fly-through animation from a still image.

29 minutes
Software 2.5
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.7/5 (49 votes cast)
NOTE: This tutorial is based off Blender 2.5, so some parts may not work in 2.6+. Substitute the ‘sticky’ function with ‘UV project from view’ instead.

During the tutorial you will learn:

  • What camera mapping is used for
  • How to easily project any image onto a 3d object
  • How to match the perspective of a photo
  • How to overcome a common camera mapping problem
  • How to use the very useful ‘sticky’ texture function

When I posted my Introduction to Smoke Simulation video, my inbox was flooded with requests for a tutorial on how I achieved the photo realistic fly-through of new york city. So by overwhelming popular demand, I’ve finally decided to reveal my secret: it’s called Camera Mapping.

Camera mapping is a clever technique that allows you to take a still image and convert it into 3d geometry for use in an animation. This powerful technique is used extensively by visual effects studios for feature films, commercials and television shows. It’s especially useful for faking helicopters flyovers because it costs just a fraction of the cost of hiring a real helicopter.

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make this animation from scratch:

Plus! At the end of the video I will reveal a bonus trick I learned on how to easily create a hand-held camera shake using a new feature in Blender 2.5!

Ready? Let’s begin…

You can download the photo that is used throughout the tutorial, here.

I originally planned to make the tutorial about how to create the new york city fly-through animation, but it proved to be too complex so I chose a simpler scene.

At a Glance

Screenshots from the video:

However I can offer you the source file:

Download New York City .blend

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you have any tips that could be valuable to others, share it in the comments below.

Download finished .blend Camera Mapping in Blender 2.5, 4.7 out of 5 based on 49 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Christian Mürner

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial! :)

  • Bryan Vivas

    Here’s my result of this tutorial:

    I downloaded the older version of Blender 2.5 and I could finish it.


  • Bryan Vivas

    Hi! Andrew Price
    I couldn’t do the camera mapping tutorial because I have Blender 2.64 and it doesn’t has the Sticky Texture Coordinates.
    Why Blender 2.64 doesn’t has it?
    Can I download and install it?

    Please help me, I want to do it thats great!

    I don’t know what version of Blender utilize? old or new?


    • Matthew

      Just do Project from view.

  • Ákos

    So I have to download 2.5 for this… as 2.6 doesn’t have Sticky anymore :( It is so strange they get rid of something that works so nicely with real life applications.

  • Guest

    o sorry im just seeing this qeustion has been there already, sorry.

  • Guest

    i dont have the option to select “sticky” in the the mapping menu in blender 2.64.
    can i do it some way different?

  • Carlos Garcia Siino

    I’m gonna have so much fun with this!

  • Nischal

    Hello Andrew I am Nischal and I am attending at the Roma Mitchell Secondary Collage. I would like you to come and visit our school some day because you are a great artist and can teach me and other many more about this programme. Adelaide, Australia. My kind regards

  • Bazzer

    Thanks for your awesome tuts Andrew, but I can’t get this to work in Blender 2.64.
    A space bar search for sticky gave me nothing at all. Has the name changed?
    Even your blend file doesn’t work properly in 2.64, all the textures just get tiled.

    Any solutions that anybody knows of?

  • Amerperfection

    Hello, your tutorial is interesting, but I’m on version 2.61 and from to 13 minutes 30, I’m stuck because the menu “Tool shelf” does not exist on version 2.61. For that alone, I did not go little further away from your tutorial :(

    Ps : Sorry for my english, I’m french.

    • Fábio Biff

      Try to press “spacebar” and type “Add Sticky”

    • Ashwin

      In 2.61, it’s called the tool bar. But you can’t add tools in 2.61 anyway. But you can always hit space again and access it. I can’t see why this trivial matter should put anyone off this tutorial.

    • mar adrian belen

      press T to show the tool shelf…. happy blending!!!! ;)

  • ofuscado

    I have created my first addon for blender camera mapping technique using uvprojection.

    Try this here:

  • jason

    Great video, but since I’m a newbie to this it’s hard to get the details. For example. There’s a lot of keyboard clicking going on and I have no idea what you are doing. Would be great to have a more detailed voice over of what keys you are clicking to adjust object faces, etc. Or even one that has the tutorial using all of the UI elements instead of keyboard shot-cuts. Thanks

  • MR E

    Hey Andrew, How did you make the sky get a pink shade in the new york fly over?
    can it be changed to a blue?