Mapping an image on a surface that won't be distorted


I have come across a need to map an image onto a surface to give a more realistic effect. Or if I could somehow use the picture frame surface and project this onto another surface to capture the curvature of the real object.

I have tried adding the picture as a material, texture mapping, and draping. Texture mapping projects the image onto the surface, but it comes out much more distorted than the picture, and I would like to find a way to do this without distortion. Adding it as a material is very difficult to orient and position.

I have found another user’s post that is similar.

However mine are not oblique pictures. They are straight down and there is no need to account for the distortion on the ends. Similar to his topic, I am looking for a way to use the image for accurate measurements and geometry, which is why I do not want to lose the quality of the image.

Thanks in advance,

I think you’re describing what is best handled by the Decal feature using Planar mapping.

Thank you for the reply, John.

I noticed the decal feature still comes out as distorted as the texture. Would you happen to have any other ideas?

To help further, we will need an image file and the surface you’re trying to map it to.

May I send this privately?

I’d recommend you make a different surface that is illustrative of the same problem and post it here.
This forum is the right place for “How do I…” questions.

I hope this works.RhinoSupportTest.3dm (324.5 KB)

Hi Martin - no idea if this helps you at all - but I’d try something like this -

RhinoSupportTest_PG.3dm (1.2 MB)

Is that even close?


I would like to try it on a larger image. Would you mind letting me what feature/process you used?



Hi Martn - I set the image as a PictureFrame. Set the materal on the PF to 70% transparent or so, and looked for a location on the image that corresponds (just guessing) to a feature on your surface - in this case the upper left in the Top view looked possible. I moved the point on the picture to that location and from there used Scale2d and Rotate to line the PF up to the surface - again just guessing, you’ll have better info about how to align the thing. Once is looked OK, I used the PF as a custom mapping object and applied it to the surface. In this case you could just as well use planar mapping and set the plane corners to match the PF corners. Then, applied a copy of the PF material to the surface, (with transparency turned off).


Ah I see. It must just be the size difference of the images of what I sent you and what I am trying to use that makes it look as sharp. I have tried both the planar mapping and custom mapping the object on to the surface, and there was a clear quality difference.