Skill Level Intermediate
- Hi, I'm George Maestri and today I'm going to show you how to create a chain link fence using textures and opacity. Now here we have some simple poles, and I'm going to stretch that chain link fence between them. Now to do this, I'm actually going to use a texture. Now I have a file in the exercise files folder. It's called ChainLink.jpg, and it looks like this, and it's basically just chain link against a white background and it will tile so that way we can make it as big as we want.
Now I'm going to actually open this in Photoshop and the reason I'm doing this is because this is a jpg. It does not have an alpha channel. Now, for this to work, we need to create a file that does have an alpha channel, and that alpha channel needs to create the opacity that we need. Now, the easiest way to do this is to have a file similar to this where it's all against a single color here. So I have this all against white, and really all I have to do is use a select tool here, called Color Range, and I can just click on one of those white squares there, and just maybe dial down my fuzziness just a little bit.
And when I click okay, it selects everything that's white, which is basically everything but the chain link. So I can invert the selection here, and then just do an edit, copy, and paste. Now, what this does is it creates a separate layer, but if I hide the background layer, which is the original layer, you'll see that I get my chain link against all of these little checkers. And in Photoshop that means that we actually have an alpha channel. So all I'm going to do here is just right click over this, and delete the background layer.
So all we have now is this layer with the opacity, and that will give us the alpha channel we need when we save it out in a format that supports it. So I'm going to do a File, Save As, and under exercise files, I'm going to save this as a png file. And I'm going to call it ChainLink.png. Now, I already have one out there, but I'm just going to go ahead and overwrite that and click okay.
Now that I have this, I can bring it into SketchUp and create my chain link fence. So I'm going to minimize Photoshop, and let's go back into SketchUp. Now, in order for this chain link to work, I will need a surface onto which to apply the material, so I'm just going to draw a simple rectangle, and I'm going to draw it between these two poles. Now, I'm going to constrain this to the green axis by hitting the left arrow. And when I do it creates a plane that stretches between these two.
Now, in order for this to work, we do need to create a material. So I'm going to go into my materials window here, and I'm going to go over to my edit tab, and then I'm going to create a new material. Now, when I create this material I need to give it a texture image. So I'm going to go browse for that image file. Going to go into my exercise files folder and I'm going to pick ChainLink.png. Going to open that up.
Now it's going to assume a dimension. Now, in this case my dimension is two feet or 24 inches by 24 inches, or two feet. So I'm going to make sure that those two values are in there, and once we do that we can click okay. Now, that creates this material. Now all I have to do is apply that material. Now, when I apply the material, look what happens. I get that opacity and it looks like a chain link fence.
Now that's because I do have the alpha channel, so when you start to create materials that need to have a little bit of opacity, start to work with the alpha channel. Now, with this, if I want this to look a little bit more realistic, I can certainly go into my view, edge style, turn off edges and profiles, and now I have a chain link fence that looks fairly realistic. So hopefully this gives you some insight into how to create these sorts of materials.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.