Join Steve Nelle for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing maps, part of 3ds Max 2009 Beyond the Basics.
This is a file called Editing Maps. You can find it over in the Chapter 1 folder in the Exercise Files. Why don't we begin by opening up the Materials Editor and why don't we simply grab one of the grey sample balls and drag and drop it onto the object in our scene. From here I would like to get a little more real estate in our Perspective view, so let's go ahead and scoot the Material Editor to the far left side of our screen. When I'll move our cursor into the area where the viewports intersect. See the cursor line up with four arrows going each direction? Let's hold that down, we can now pull that up and maybe pull it little bit off to the left hand side.
So that's a little bit better as far as the size of Perspective view, but why don't we clear out the Command panel on the right to see if we can get a little bit more room to be able to work. We will go to the Customize pull-down menu, choose Show UI and then simply turn off Show Command Panel. Here we go. There is actually an alternative method to loading a map up onto Diffuse channel. You know you have always kind of gone down below under maps and simply then clicked on the None button to the right of Diffuse Color, this time instead though, go back to where the color swatches are and from here you are going to notice an empty great little box to the right hand side of the color swatch for Diffuse Color Map box.
If you click on this it serves the same purposes actually going down and clicking on that None button under Diffuse Map. So from here we have the browser open and simply click on Bitmap and why don't we from here choose the one called Diamond Pattern? There we go. We'll say Open. We will put our show map and Viewport on and now we can go ahead and get to work. I'll pull that back over just a inch. If you take a look at this image that we have got loaded and you can see it's a very small picture and because of that as it's applied to a larger surface, it's actually stretching quite far, it almost be like taking a stamp and trying to pull it over the entire surface of an envelope.
What I would like to do is see if I can make the pattern little tighter by repeating several times, so I think it will be a little bit more recognized as a pattern wise. So we could maybe then go apply it to a carpet or floor and actually get something out of the design. In order to do this, we are going to change the Tiling value that you now see in the Materials Editor. Now I want you to notice there is actually two Tiling numbers. If you scoot to the left-hand side, you are going to see the letters U and V, which probably at this point in time are a little confusing. Let me see if I can to make this little clear. You might remember in the Max 2009 Essential Training, we covered Coordinate Systems and in that particular video we discussed the fact that the world that we work in is basically assigned three letters, X, Y and Z. Well I'm keeping things simple here, but think of the U and V directions very similar to being X and Y. So with that in mind if we tile in one direction, we'll be going up and down and if we tile in another direction, we'll be going left and right.
Let's see how this works. Let's take the top Tiling number to a value of 2, and we'll do the same thing on the bottom by hitting the Tab key and then hitting 2 and then pressing Enter to lock that in. So, what we have now done is we have now tightened up this pattern, making it smaller by tiling it. So here is how it works. The higher the Tiling Value, the smaller the pattern becomes. Let's try a larger number, how about 6 and 6? So we'll go to 6, this time instead of hitting the Tab key, I'll just use the down arrow on the keyboard. That will take us to the next one down. We will hit 6 again and press Enter and you can see now we got a design, that's much tighter and much more recognizable, ready to be used.
Now to the left of Tiling you have an Offset setting. This one actually shift the map left to right and up and down. Watch this, I'll click on the spinner. You can see what's happening here. I'll go ahead and zero that out by right clicking and by going to the Offset and We, you can see we move in the opposite direction. Again, I'll cancel that out by right clicking. Directly to the right of that, we have an Angle setting, which in essence kind of rotates the map. If we go to the W value, let's go and type in 45 and you can see how this switches things around and why don't we also type 90 and you can see what that's done.
In between the Angle and the Tiling, you have a setting that says Mirror Tile. Now this is pretty neat. Every map that you might build into a material actually has four built-in designs included in it and you can make those pattern changes by merely switching around your options here. Watch what happens if we take the top tile over to mirror. See how a design changes. Let's take the bottom one from tile to mirror, there is a third design and we have a fourth one yet if we simply take the mirror on the top back to tile. So I show you this, merely so you keep in mind that if you would like a particular design, but maybe you would like it to be little jumbled around or changed around somewhat, experiment with the Mirror and Tile settings until you get just the look you are aiming for.
Let's go back to Tile and Tile, there we go and why don't we also take our Tiling value to the left back to 1 and 1, great. Now I do that because I'm about ready to load a different map. Now you do that by going a little bit lower down under Bitmap Parameters. Again the long button here that says Bitmap; there is the Diamond Pattern that we have applied. We are going to switch this map out by clicking directly on that button. This simply signals to Max that we are going to switch out the maps we are using here. So in this case, why don't we go ahead and choose one called No Stopping.
Let's click once on that and view, very good, we can close that up. Now we'll load it up by simply clicking on Open. Now in as much as the map can easily be seen inside the Perspective view on a flat surface, the same doesn't hold true for a sample sphere. So why don't we in this case go ahead and change that from a spherical shape over to a cube. So, any time you are dealing with a design or in this case some wording in some kind, it might indeed be a little bit more appropriate to change it to the box type icon. Now if you go up to the icon and right click and choose Drag/Rotate, check this out, see how the cursor is changed.
If you now hold down and move it around, is that something you can actually rotate around on the sample cube to get a better look at the overall surface. Once you set it down, it's kind of at a cockeyed angle. You can reset that by right clicking again and just saying Reset Rotation. Now you got to be careful. If you decide at this point in time that you wanted to make a copy of that material, you are not on the correct command. You can have to right click again, change back to Drag/Copy, now you can go ahead and move that to a new sample ball. Couple other things that I want to show you here.
For these I think we are going to go ahead and convert our Perspective view into an ActiveShade. Go and right click on the name Perspective from Views, go down to ActiveShade. This is actually a rendering technique; we'll be covering in much more detail in the chapter on rendering. For now though, I want to talk you about being able to blur out a map. If you go below the Tiling a little bit to the right, choose Blur Offset. Now a little dabble do on this, you don't have to use a very large number to create your effects, so why don't we start by typing in 0.1 and you can see what's happened here. Let's go back at maybe 0.05, little less blurred and why don't we simply right click on that to zero that back out.
Max also gives you the opportunity of what is referred to is cropping a map, which is basically the option of using only a portion of the map that you have got loaded it on any given branch. Watch this, we'll open up View Image. From here now you got to look closely because of the colors in the actual background itself, but you have little handles up in the corners and then also at 12 and 6 and 3 and 9, we are going to go ahead and grab the handle way down at the lower right end. We are going to pull this up and I'm going to reposition this, so the white little bounding box only surrounds the word NO.
In essence, this is going to tell Max that the only part of this image we want to use is now going to be inside that little bounding window. Now if you close this up, you will see there is actually no change within the rendered view, reason being is we have one more option we have to activate to the left-hand side of View Image. Let's go and turn on Apply. There we go. Max even offers the opportunity to reverse the colors within an image. Let's go a little further down here. We will pull that up as far as we can go and then we'll open up the Output tab. From here turn on Invert and you can see the effect that's created.
Let's go and turn that off. One more thing more in this area is this Enable Color Map, let's go ahead and turn this on. This allows you to adjust the tonal range of the image. If you look at the graph below, you will see the line that runs diagonally and our both ends to the line, you have these little black squares, which you refer to as control points. This service handles to be able to move up and down the values on each side. Now the control handle on the left is used to control the darker areas of the map. So if you move that down, you can see how it darkens things up and if you move it up a little higher than 0, you can see how things become lighter.
Let's go back and take it back to its original setting. The control handle on the right-hand side, controls the lighter areas of the image. So again, if I take this and simply move it higher, you can see you have been able to brighten that up. Let's take that back to where it was, very good. Now you even have the opportunity of adding additional control points along in that diagonal line. Here is an icon here called Add Point, let's go ahead and click on that and now I can come anywhere along that diagonal line and click.
I have got a new handle, which can now be controlled, but before moving it around, I need to change back to the Move command. Let's do that. Before we adjust the middle handle, let's take the one in the far right and drop that down. This will really show you the effect, there we go. Now we'll take the middle one and we'll crank that way up. So that's pretty cool. You can radically adjust the coloration within any map that you might have loaded in. Just go and turn Enable Color Map off and we'll also go a little further up and we'll disable the Apply button for cropping, which returns us to the look at the original map.
So that will give you an idea some of the settings you have at the map level, now in our next video, I would like to show you how we can actually apply several materials to the same object. It's a technique that's going to require us to work at the sub-object level, applying skins this time around to a selection of polygons. It's important stuff to know, definitely so that you don't want to miss out on. Let's go and check it out.
Special Note: Fundamental 3D modeling concepts and techniques, along with features such as transformations and modifiers, are covered in 3ds Max 2009 Essential Training.
- Building simple, complex, and multi/sub-object materials
- Using bitmaps to create realistic bumps, reflections, and transparency
- Creating lights to effectively illuminate a 3D scene
- Understanding camera types, lens lengths, and motion blur
- Creating realistic movement with keyframing
- Mastering traditional animation principles and practices
- Applying ActiveShade, RAM Player, and other rendering techniques
- Using particle systems, space warps, reactors, and other special effects
- Getting to know Character Studio, Bones, and their associated "skinning" modifiers
- Using compositing techniques and effects