Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video The blending controls, part of 3ds Max 2018: Mastering UVW Mapping.
- [Narrator] We can make a start at using the blending box mapping tool by first of all opening up the material editor. And then, after making sure that we are inside the UV test tab, we can grab a blended box map from our map browser. And drag it onto the graph view. What this gives us is a map type that clearly has a number of inputs that we could use. Although, rather than do that right now we can instead use a very handy built-in feature of the map. And so, let's click and drag on the map's output and connect it to our materials base color input.
This as you can see in the material preview gives us a number of different colors showing up that represent the different projection maps being applied, giving us the perfect way to work with the first set of controls found on the map. Now if those aren't visible in the parameter editor then a simple double click on the map's header will allow us to see them. By default, the map is set to use just three of the six projections available on the X, Y and Zed, or Z axis. And we can see the colors that correlate to those projection axis by default.
If we render our camera view, we can clearly see them in action. The first set of controls that we will probably want to tweak, then are those that control the blending of the projections. And again, I would personally recommend getting these set up before adding any texture maps to the mix. Simply because the default cola set up gives us amazing feedback as to how the blender controls are working. By default, the blender mount is set to 25. Which, as we see in our render, gives us a tightish blend between the number of maps selected.
If we set this to a lower value, such as five and then render, we get an even tighter result. Which may be perfect for the type of textures that contain patterns that have blurred or blended too much, would draw more attention to themselves, than would a harsher transition. As you would expect, higher values give us a much softer blend. And so if we set this to 55 and render, we get a much smoother transition between the projection planes.
So, if blending the projections is that easy, why do we have a blend map option? In simple terms, this lets us mask the blend between the projection planes, so that the transition is not as obvious. For example, looking at our render, we can clearly see that our transition runs in a straight line. For certain textures though, we may need this to be much more disguised than it is. Let's locate and drag out a smoke map then, from the map browser and make sure that we can see its parameters.
We can set the size here to 25 and then pipe it into the texture blend input on our blended box map. If we render now, we can clearly see how the smoke map is being used to alter the blend amount. The value spinner on the blend map acts as a kind of opacity or strength control. If we set it to 100 and render, we are effectively using the map to do all of the blending. Perfect for breaking up any trace of the seen lines. Whereas lower values will use more of the original projection planes and control the transitions set by the blend amount control once again.
Let's set the blend map value to 15 and render one last time. This, as you can see, gives us some extra breakup on our transitions, but keeps the original projection lines in place. With the blend controls looked at then, let's start to add some maps into the mix and see how we would control these in order to get the texture that we are looking for.
Instructor Joel Bradley explains what UVWs are, how they affect textures, and why they are needed. He also reviews the different mapping spaces that are available and how procedural maps are used in texturing. Then he progresses to the hands-on portion of the course, starting with mapping simple shapes and models with the UVW modifier. He also reviews advanced topics, such as unwrapping and editing UVs with the UVW Editor. Finally, he introduces blended box mapping, for when you need to get a model ready for texturing quickly.
- UVW coordinates
- UV space
- Working with the UVW Map modifier and UVW gizmo
- World space vs. object space
- Peel mapping and pelt mapping
- Reshaping UV elements
- Smoothing and relaxing UVs
- Rendering UV layouts
- Blending seams with the Blended Box Map