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#1 Posted : Thursday, May 14, 2015 11:06:22 AM(UTC)

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Hi All,

I would like to share results of some experiments I performed involving mapping/aligning my own custom image textures to objects in VIACAD PRO V9 (Build 1109). Although this is a bit long, it might save some people from repeating same. I was experimenting because I wanted to do precise (U,V) mapping of non-tileable, non-seamless custom image textures to planar surfaces. Results are summarized below (I am on WIN 7, 64-bit). Caveat is that obviously that different builds of VC9 PRO, the MAC version, or different modeling techniques may yield different results.

If you used the "Create image from file..." option by right-clicking in the "Render Library" window to create a custom material and now want precise alignment/mapping to a planar surface, I found the following to apply:

* You can indeed perform very precise alignment of custom Materials/Texures to planar surfaces by selecting the "TextureSpace" Shader Class in the "Render Material Settings" window, and then adjusting values for the "origin" and "scale" attributes within the various "Types" options. BUT...

* Materials/Texture alignments do not "stick" to objects. If you rotate or translate your object, the material alignment does not go with it. Rather, it appears that the texture alignment space is "fixed" and independent of the object to which it is mapped. Thus, if you rotate/translate your object, the texture space remains unchanged and the projection of the texture image on your planar surface will change (the material will still appear on the object, but the alignment will be different).

* It looks like the texture space works best for seamless, tileable textures. The texture space appears to repeat the texture on an infinite, fixed plane that does not rotate or translate with the planar surface of your object. So if the texture you are mapping is not seamless/tileable, you will see the alignment change when you translate or rotate your object.

* If you want to precisely map a custom, non-tileable texture (like a picture on a wall, a fire in a fireplace, a logo etc.), the object must be in its final position and not translated or rotated after mapping, or you will have to re-map.

* I found that you can immediately see the effects of material parameter adjustments on your model by selecting "Drawing" under the "Preview" dropdown box in the "Render Material Settings" window. The object must have been previously selected for this option to show-up. I also check the "Crop" box to render just the object I am working on. To render the entire screen, uncheck the "Crop" box.

* If you want to apply a material to just one face of an object (e.g. solid cube), be sure the "Apply Normal" box is selected in the upper right of the "Render Library" window. If the "Apply Body" is selected, the material will be applied to the entire object.

* These will project to object surfaces quite nicely, especially curved surfaces, and can be quite precisely aligned.

* My custom Decals will often (but not always) translate with the object, but do NOT seem to rotate with the object. So if you translate or rotate the object, the Decal might not always "stick" (at least in my experiments). Single 2D surface mappings seem to be OK, but 3D solids not always. Whether (or not) the Decal rotates/translates with the object appears to depend on the type of object.

* In order to use a custom Decal on my setup (WIN 7, VC9 PRO) I need to:

1. Copy my custom .bmp or .jpg images and stencils to the following directory (WIN 7):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Punch! Software\ViaCAD Pro 9\PhotoRender\Textures

(Copying to any other directory does not work for me...e.g. the "user" directories did not work. Images must be in the program directory above on WIN 7. I hate messing with program directories, but it is the only way it works...for me anyway.)

2. Apply a predefined Decal from the Decal library to a solid or surface (I could not get it to work
with a mesh yet...the decal just jumps to the origin on the grid even with grid snap off).

3. Select the Decal on the object, goto the Inspector and use the dropdown boxes to select my custom
image and stencil. Click on "Apply" button.

4. Render the scene to see the custom Decal on the object. Make any final adjustments.

* The color RED is used as the transparent color for stencils. The more red, the more of the image shows-through. Any color other than red in a stencil will block or attenuate your image when mapped to a surface.

* My custom decals never show-up in the Render Library anywhere. Only access to my custom decals is through the Inspector.

* Tim Olson created an excellent video tutorial on Decal application. I hope he uploads somewhere soon. For now, see post #23 under forum thread:

"Punch! CAD » ViaCAD & Shark » Rendering & Display » Adding a image to one side of a cube(#4121)".

Tim O. provided a link to the tutorial (I don't know if I am allowed to, or should post Tim O's links directly.)

Hope this helps somebody. If not, I can remove.

The Other Tim

Edited by user Thursday, May 14, 2015 5:31:35 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Corrections and formatting.

Tim (NOT Tim Olson)
ViaCAD 2D/3D and PRO V9 1184, Blender 2.49-2.78.
Win 7 SP1, Core I5, 64-bit, NVIDIA G105M
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