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Working with transparent images

From: MODO 501 Essential Training

Video: Working with transparent images

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.

Working with transparent images

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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This video is part of

Image for MODO 501 Essential Training
MODO 501 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 4608 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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