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Image-based layers

From: Light and Texture for Product Visualization in MODO

Video: Image-based layers

Image based textures will give the perfect ability to edit pixel by pixel the details on the surfaces of your 3D models. But it's important to know how to control these images both inside and outside of Modo. You can see here we have this cube with a few different layers of textures. Two of these layers are based off of a color texture. So you can see here's the color logo. And the other layers are based off of a gray scale texture. You can see that this is a variation on the logo with the increasingly light areas of triangles and then the white logo.

Image-based layers

Image based textures will give the perfect ability to edit pixel by pixel the details on the surfaces of your 3D models. But it's important to know how to control these images both inside and outside of Modo. You can see here we have this cube with a few different layers of textures. Two of these layers are based off of a color texture. So you can see here's the color logo. And the other layers are based off of a gray scale texture. You can see that this is a variation on the logo with the increasingly light areas of triangles and then the white logo.

Now, it's important to have these these two different textures in order to properly address the color and value based layers within our material. Now, if we were to take, for example, just a simple color texture and apply it to a value-based layer, the result would be something less than ideal. So, let's go ahead and take this displacement layer. And I'm going to change it from the gray to the regular logo color. You can see that with this done we get some strange overlapping happening with the displacement on the triangles. Let's hop over to Photo Shop and see why this is. If we look at this texture with a color base interpretation, it simply takes the color values and apply them to the surface.

But when looking for a value, all that Modo can see is the Brightness values. In other words, if we were to go to our images, and, take our, Saturation and pull it all the way down, this is all that Modo can see. So you can see that we have the lightest area in the center section, and then kind of decreasing areas as the overlapping happens in the different colors, have different levels of brightness. This may or may not be what you want. So it's important to know that if you have different values within your red, green or blue channels that you want to use for a value-based texture, you would need to go and separate those out in order to use them within Modo.

Another thing that you can do is to use an alpha in your texture in order to get an extra layer of control within your image. I have a V2B_Logo_Deep texture. It's a Targa file. I'm going to open that up, and you can see that I have the same red, green, and blue channels. But, then, I also have an alpha, which is the edited version of the logo that has the stair stepping of the triangles. If we click back over to Modo, and I'm going to select this Displacement layer, and I'm going to change the image, and I'm going to load in (BLANK_AUDIO) that deep logo texture that has the alpha channel.

You can see that at default, it's going to use the brightness values on the color. But with this texture, since I have the alpha channel, if you look down at the bottom of the texture, you can see that there's an alpha channel section. And right now, the alpha channel is set to use. You can also choose to ignore the alpha channel or use only the alpha's. So, if I click over to Alpha Only, you'll see that I get back to where I wanted it to be with the stair-step approach. If you do this with your textures and you use a texture format for your images, that is capable of supporting an alpha channel, you can include an entire extra, layer of possibilities within your image-based textures.

This can make it so that you don't need to use multiple different images in order to get the desired results. So, for example, I can change all of these value-based textures to that deep texture, and then go down and change my alpha channel to Alpha Only, and I could go to my two color-based textures, and also change those to my other texture. So you can see that using that single image, I still get to have my color based textures, but at the same time, I still get the depth with that extra layer to control the value based textures.

You may notice that the texture looks a little bit washed out once I've applied the image to the color channels. And that's because that alpha channel is now being blended into the black underlying texture. So, if I go down here and change my alpha channel from Use to Ignore, you can see that the color vibrance bounces back up, and I get back to where I expect to be with kind of a texture. Another option that you have with using image based textures is the Antialiasing. Now, when you're using a finished render with Antialiasing, you will actually be anti-aliasing a texture twice.

So in a lot of instances, it's a good idea to take your Antialiasing and disable it, especially for color-based textures. However, when you're using this textures in other capacities the Antialiasing can offer some extra functionality. For example, if we look at this minimum spot setting, on this Texture layer, which is my displacement layer, it's set to 10. And the effect of this is actually something similar to a simple Gaussian blur. So if I take this and set it back to 1 and we look here, notice that this edge gets to be very rough and jagged and sharp. You can also see it here along the logo text.

And this isn't exactly what I was going for with this. Now I could go into Photoshop, create another version of the texture that has everything blurred a little bit, so that I get a little bit more rounding on my displacement instead of a sharp drop off. But instead of doing that I can actually control that right here inside of Modo. This is going to be another way to allow me to use less textures, take less memory footprint, but also have more control at the same time. By increasing this to something like 10, you can see that we start to get a little bit more of a rounded off appearance, and that's going to be more consistent with what I want.

If I take it and increase it even farther to something like 50, you'll notice that it starts to really soften up the edges of this embossing effect. So, here along the video2brain text, you can see that it really rounds off farther and it gives the appearance of a wider emboss. In this case, that isn't what I'm looking for but in some instances that might be something that I would want. So, for this one, I'm going to take it and turn it back down to ten. Properly using image-based textures will allow you to have good control and flexibility without constantly bouncing back between your image editor and Modo. And at the same time, this proper usage will allow you to use less textures, decrease your memory foot print, and get better render times for your finished images.

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