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In LightWave 10 Essential Training, author Dan Ablan provides thorough, step-by-step instructions on building 3D models, scenes, and animations in LightWave 10. Beginning with a tour of the interface and LightWave's two main programs, Modeler and Layout, the course covers key concepts such as building models from basic polygonal shapes, assigning textures, and employing lights and 3D cameras to build real world scenes. Also included are tutorials explaining particle animation, dynamics, and bones. Exercise files accompany the course.
A very important part of texturing has to do with applying image maps. You've seen how we can apply basic surface, how we can put a procedural texture on an object, but what about putting an image map on? What would you use that for, and how is it done? I've loaded up the 05_06_imagemapBegin file. I am going to select the green ball surface. I am going to click the Texture button for Color and the Texture Editor comes up. When we had used Procedural Texture before to create a procedural texture on an object like we did with the red, in this case, I want to use image map, and what that allows me to do is place an image on the surface.
So here the Projection is set to Planar. I am going to just change that to Spherical because my object is a sphere. Easy enough, but what image? Well, if you hit Load image, click and drop that down, say Load image, in the Chapter 5 folder, there is bricks and clouds. I am going to select the bricks, and you'll see that that actually gets applied there. But I need to do something. I have to tell it what axis. So in this case, I am going to use the Y axis. The reason is I want it to wrap around the object. So the Y is up and down. So it's kind of like wrapping it around the pole.
I click Automatic Sizing, and then you can see how that perfectly wraps on there. Pixel Blending allows that image to not get pixelated if I zoom in really close to it. This is a pretty high res image, so I don't have to worry about it too much. And that way I'll keep the Mipmap quality set to High. The Texture Axis if we place on the X, it will wrap around the X axis, which is left and right, and the Z of course it will wrap around the Z, which is forward and back. But I like it on the Y. We don't have a Reference, but we can place something there like a null object so that we have access to it later on when we are in Layout.
A null object is just a reference point that we can add. Automatic Sizing fixed it quite well, so we don't really need to change any of the size. You can play with the position if you wanted, move it up or down. You can work on the rotation a little bit if you wanted to angle at it slightly and you can make it falloff so it just fades away. It only gets applied to a portion. So for instance, if I did a 50% fade here, you will see that the bricks now fade from that center line, that Y axis that it's wrapped around, fades to the green surface beneath it. It's pretty neat.
What it can also do with this is say copy the selected layer just like it did with the procedural. I'll say Use Texture to keep that one. I can go down to Bump map, hit Texture, same panel appears, but it's a bump instead of the color texture, and paste the bump map down. What I end up with is a bumpy brick surface. I get a little bit more texture in there rather than just a flat image. When you place this, you can change the Width Wrap Amount, how many times it wraps around, so I could say wrap it around three times for both the width and the height. And then I could take the Texture Amplitude, which is how much bump, and you could see as I increase that it gets even a little bit deeper as far as the grooves.
I can bring this back down to one, keep it little more simple, and then I can copy this layer, Use Texture, go to my Specularity, and paste it down as well. So we are taking that same texture we applied one time and we'll click Use Texture, and we've applied it now in three places. So we've set the image map once, and determined all the sizes with an automatic size, and then we placed it on the bump and the Specularity as well. So image mapping can be very powerful. Let me do one more quick thing. We'll go to the Yellow_Ball and for Reflection, we have set to 20%.
Well, it's reflecting what's around it. You can see the ground. You can see a little bit of the green ball right there. I'm going to go to Environment, and notice that we had it set to Ray Tracing and Backdrop. Well the backdrop is black. You can see it reflected there. The ray tracing is picking up the floor. Let's change that option to Ray Tracing and Spherical map. The spherical map we'll use could be something else. We'll say Load image and from that Chapter 5 folder, we'll load the clouds. Now what happens is this yellow ball is reflecting clouds in the environment as well as what's around it.
So, quite an easy way to put some nice reflections in, and you could think of the possibilities of putting in metal and bricks and rocks and clouds and even faces, even pictures of rooms can be reflected all in your surfaces, very simply by putting a reflection map in. So image mapping is great for bricks, textures, any kind of picture you want on a surface, a label on a bottle, or a reflection map in a surface.
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