Green Rascal Design

 
 
Going over my notes makes me realize how much lighting and rendering stuff we need to cover still. One thing I realize is that while I encourage the use of Mental Ray and its fancy materials, the Default Scanline does have some fancy options too. So later today I'll present Radiosity. I can already hear the groans.

In the meantime, there are some random things I have been trying to remember how to do that I'll put up here. Most notably, the displace modifier.
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Here I have a plane of no particular size. Also, I need to point out something I missed earlier. Under Customize > Preferences, check the box that says Use Real-World Texture Coordinates. Often I've said to make sure objects are using real-world coordinates, and this setting under preferences should cover it. It is a good thing to check up on when things go awry, but doing this step will help. Back to my plane, I have changed the Length and Width Segments to 100. You can see in the top view behind the preferences box how dense the plane looks in wireframe.

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Now I add the Displace modifier to the plane, select a bitmap, and pull the strength up. Here you can see I used my LEED AP badge with a strength of 9 inches. I haven't changed any other parameters yet.

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Here I have added a very slight blur to make it softer. If my bitmap were very intricate this would probably not be a great idea, but this bitmap is huge and pixellated, so I want it softer. Also, if I try different Map modes, and then go back to Planar, it becomes more square. I'm not sure why it did this. Sometimes accidents are great, and in this case it works. But just be aware that your bitmap can change size if you go from planar to shrink wrap and back for example. (This is why I advise everyone to set their Scene Undo Levels to 500 or so.)

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And if I scroll down and check Use Existing Mapping, this is what happens to this particular bitmap.

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If I changed this map to a brick, and uncheck Use Existing Mapping, here is the result. I also made the plane itself square to get rid of the flat sides. Here's also an example on a box. That's all for Displace.


 
 
Well I haven't been up to material stuff lately. My displacement on this ground plane isn't going well. It's not working the way I remember it, and I don't have photoshop on this computer in order to test out my theory on why it is not working. So generally, you can look at the teapot displacement and try it out on something if you like.
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choose map
Here I have selected the teapot from last week, and added the Displace modifier. It doesn't look like anything yet, but once I go down to Image: and choose a map to use, things will get more interesting. I have chosen the splash image from 3ds Max arbitrarily for the teapot.

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planar
By default Planar is the technique selected. By changing the Displacement Parameters called Strength and Decay, I can make the teapot look more like the bitmap I selected. I can also change the length and width of the bitmap to encompass more or less of the teapot. Here are examples of all the options in Map. Personally, I like Shrink Wrap.

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cylindrical
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spherical
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shrink wrap
Also, Alignment at the bottom has a big impact on how it comes out. Try selecting X, Y or Z and see what happens. Below I have Strength set to 1 or 2, decay set to 1 and blur set to 1 on the teapot. And an example of the problem I'm having with the ground plane.

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teapot displacement with blur to soften
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plane displacement not quite what I want here