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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.
In the previous video I showed you how loading up a image map can be placed right on your model for a label. And that's terrific, but a lot of times, what if you don't have a label? What if you have just text that you want to look like they're painted on, or just stenciled on? How would you do that? Well, the whole trick to doing something like that is using an image that has a 32-bit channel, has an alpha channel. So I created an image in Photoshop over a transparent background. Let me show you how to do that. I'm going to come in here to my Shader Tree, open up the Render, and we're going to go back down to the Fire Extinguisher Base.
I also have the FireExtinguisherNeedsLabel object loaded, which essentially is our fire extinguisher without any labels on it that we'd surfaced in our previous video. And what I'm going to do then is select the base material for that fire extinguisher. Now this base material that was created initially when we started our project we don't need, because now we have materials everywhere else. So I'm just going to press Delete, just to stay organized. Then we're going to select the bottom base material for the fire extinguisher, and I'm going to say Add Layer > Image Map > load image.
And from the images folder, within the CH05, exercise files, I'm going to load FireLabelTrans--Trans being transparent-- and you'll see that drops it right on top. But to see what this image really is, I'm going to click the Images tab. And what you can do in this Images tab is actually load a number of different clips, or sequences, like a movie file if you want, and actually put it on your surface. But the Format, if you look, RGBA 32, so that's an RGB color image with an alpha channel. The A is for Alpha, and it's a 32-bit.
A normal color image would be 24. But when it's a 32-bit file and I have it built over a transparent background in Photoshop, that transparency drops out in modo. So when we come back to the Shader Tree, this label is set to a Diffuse Color. And if we take a look here, you can see it's just the white label. I don't have any background. And what happens is that you see the surface behind it. So let's just apply it so that it's lining upright. So with that label selected, we're going to go to Texture Locator. And the Projection Type will be Planar, and then the Horizontal and Vertical Repeat, we just want Reset.
And you're probably thinking, why the repeats? Well, let's say you're doing something like rocks or ground or grass and you have a tiny little texture. That is something you'd place on an image, and then you'd have that repeating across a surface. When it's a label like this, we don't need it repeating. And then we can come up to Transform, and Position, we can move it up on the Y axis. So I'm just clicking and dragging. But I want to show you something. I'm going to go up a little bit higher. Do you see that box right there? That's the Texture Locator. A lot of times people don't like working with these numeric values.
So if you come to the Items tab, there is a Texture Group, and you might not remember creating this, but you did when you added that image texture. modo already created this for you. And with this little icon right here-- you see it's like a little Mona Lisa--that has a Texture Locator. If you press the O key with your mouse in the layout and go to Visibility, you can turn on Locators and Texture Locators. And what that means is every texture will have its own locator, and with that you can press the Y command as a Transform tool and grab the handles and physically move this on the model.
So instead of working with the properties and all the numerics here, you can just visually just come in and just move this around. So again, you just have to select the actual texture locator in the Items tab, and you'll be able to move this texture on your Shader Tree all around. Really nice way to work. You can play with the Stretch command-- either way, on the X or Z, depending on how you're mapping it. You can even rotate it. And what's neat about doing this is that a lot of times you want to just put like a stamp on something, and that's often hard to do.
But when you have an image that has a transparent background, you can very easily just put it on there, grab a texture locator, and then you're set. And what's nice about doing this, again, modo is about an efficient, smooth workflow. So why wouldn't you be able to go in and just grab that texture and move it, and that's the way it's set up. So, a pretty nice way to work. Let's press F8 to open the preview, and then let's arrange our camera so we can see the bottom and then zoom in a little bit so we can catch our label. Now this is rendering much slower because we've added these procedural textures, we've added this image map, we've added color, and all of that needs to calculate in the render engine.
But one thing that modo 501 does, if you move your mouse over an area like this, that will start rendering a little bit sooner than everything else. So as I'm moving my mouse, I'm telling this preview, redraw here first. And what's very nice about it is that texture is now blended with those surfaces that we've created. If you want to see it without that, just click the visibility, and you'll see that that's how that is placed on there. And like before, we can select this label itself, go to the texture layer, and in the Blend mode, you can choose Add, or Subtract, or Difference, Multiply, Screen, and so on, just to see how that blending can be applied.
One more thing you can do is change this by right-clicking, going to Surface Shading, and click Bump. And now I've actually placed that image as a bump map. And this is one of the reasons using an image with an alpha channel is so important. You can create a very nice stenciled look. So think about taking this one step further on a glass bottle. Let's say you're making a Coca-Cola bottle for a client, or a Pepsi bottle if you like that instead. And you take that high-res logo and it's transparent in the background, you can place it right on there and create this embossed look.
So image maps, while they're simple for very good labels, they also can be much more advanced for things like bump maps. And then speaking of bump maps, in the next video, we're going to take those to a next level and create a really cool landscape.
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