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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.
Using procedural textures is just one way to create materials on your models. I have got the FireExtinguisherSurfaced model loaded up, and if we jump over to the Render tab, you're going to see that we've got our surfaces that we've created in the last two videos, a nice rubber hose, we've got some metal, and we've got our occlusion shader on the material surface itself, just to create a little organic look to it. But what if you want to put a label on there? Well, there are two ways to do that, and we're going to do it with a solid image map, and then we're going to do it with a transparent image map. And I am going to show you both of those.
So first of all, what we're going to do is come over to the Shader Tree. I am going to open this up, I am going to open up the render, and I am going to open up the Base Material group. I am going to delete the base material here and then the Fire Extinguisher Base, I am going to open that up, and here you can see we have our Worn Edges preset that we had loaded. We could turn that off, and the reason I am going to turn that off is it's a lot to calculate for the computer. So we're just going to save a little bit memory and a little bit of redrawing time by turning that off. I am going to rotate around, and I am going to take a look closely.
This is my Z axis back here. I am looking down on the Z. I can also use my work plane icon reference right here as well. So that's the area we want to map. We want to map down the Z. So how do we do that? How do we put an image mp? Select the base material for this object and from the Add layer, click and choose Image Map. Then we're going to choose Load Image and then from your exercise files, Chapter 05, there's an images folder. Let's choose the firelabel. Click Open and right away you can see it just kind of plops it right on there, and it puts it above the worn edges and everything else, because again, modo's Shader Tree works up.
Everything you do kind of feeds up into the render. We can certainly move it around if we need, but the layer importance does play role in your model. When we come to the Items List, unless you're doing any kind of parenting or grouping, this organization here doesn't quite matter. In the Shader Tree, it's very important what layer is which, especially inside a material group. So I am going to go to the Texture Locator tab with that label selected, and again, remember that when you select something up here, the properties for it appear below, so we'll select the Fire label and then the Texture Locator.
What does that mean? Well, that is where the text is located on the model. And to make things easier to see, we're going to jump over to the model tab itself. You can definitely do shading in this view. That makes it really easy to get a good feel for where everything is placed, but you'll notice that it's just kind of wrapping it all around the top there. Well, not quite what we want. So we're going to come down and we're going to close the Transform and look just at projection. Projection means how the image is projected or thrown or put onto a surface. Projection Type is not UV; it's just going to be Planar, just flat. And it's down the Z just like we wanted, just like that.
But there are a lot of them. It's repeating, and I am going to press F8 on my keyboard to open up the Preview window. And you can see that okay, well, pretty much what we see here is what we see in our Viewport. And don't often judge-- this is really important-- what you see in this OpenGL view. A lot of times that's not going to be the true representation of your final model. Sometimes it is, but it's the final render in this Preview window that is really what's most important. So how can we fix this projection? Well, if you look down in the Project tab, you can see Horizontal Repeat and Vertical Repeat.
Well, I am just going to set each of those to Reset. And now our model has the texture all the way at the bottom, but it's not repeating anymore, and that's good. So all I need to do now is move it up. Well, that would be a Transform, so I'll open up the Transform category and for Position, I can just click and drag on the Y axis. And in real time I can just see that label come straight up on the model, and it's that simple to place an image map on a surface. If I come to the Preview window here, I can rotate around. So a lot of people think that you need to cylindrically map this, or you might need to do a spherical or do a UV Map, which we haven't talked about yet, but you don't.
You have some flexibility with the planar map. Planar of course is flat, but as long as this doesn't have to wrap too far around the side, you can very easily get away with doing a Planar Image Map. This is a very high-resolution map as well, so if I zoom in, you can see that it still stays drawn pretty well, and that's something that's really important to understand. What you put into your system, you also have to consider the output. So we're rendering this in HD, in high definition, 1920x1080 perhaps, and your Image Map is only maybe 200 pixels in size, and you're suddenly filling the screen, well, you're going to get a very blurry image.
So, keep that in mind. At the same time, if you're going to render maybe a whole slew of these, maybe you're creating an array of fire extinguishers, or this is just hanging on a wall, you can get away with a 200-pixel image, because it's not going to render any bigger than that. So, just something to keep in mind when you're working with image maps. The other thing you can do with the image maps, aside from using the Projection Type, is working in layers. And when you come here, you can actually change the Blending mode, just like you would in Photoshop. You can add it. You can subtract it, and Difference, and so on.
A lot of times people want to do an Overlay or a Soft Light, but depending on your surface and the image, it's not going to help too much. Most of the time I like a normal, and I would just play with the Opacity if I want it just to be kind of faded. However, there are other things you can do, and that's using layer masks. We're going to talk about that in the next video. But using image maps are great for putting labels on. You can put textures on grounds. You can put bark on trees. You can even take a picture of a whiteboard and build that whiteboard as a simple beveled box and then take that scribble that somebody possible wrote on a whiteboard, take a photograph of it, trim it in Photoshop so it's very clean on the edges, and literally just map it right on there and give your 3D object more a sense of realism.
Creating image maps are a great way to add realism and strength to your images in modo.
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