3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 3 - Animation

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Industry
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
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Subject
  • Modeling
  • 2017
  • 2017x1
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
7 min

3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 3 - Animation

In this tutorial, learn how to use Blended Box Map to project maps onto an object in a way that doesn’t require complex UV Mapping. This Part 3 movie shows the animation limitations associated with this map type and how to prevent them.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2017.1
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2017.1 or higher.

Related Links

Transcript

00:00:06 --> 00:00:14
Blended Box Map is a great addition to the 3ds Max arsenal. However, it cannot completely replace other mapping techniques.

00:00:15 --> 00:00:20
While it works great with static objects, this map can be somewhat limited with animated assets.

00:00:21 --> 00:00:26
This is because of the way Blended Box Map works, which is literally like a movie projector.

00:00:27 --> 00:00:36
Unlike UV Unwrapping which is baked onto the model, Blended Box Map can create mapping shifts when the object moves or deforms.

00:00:36 --> 00:00:39
Here's a simple situation that is easy to understand:

00:00:39 --> 00:00:41
Create a simple box.

00:00:44 --> 00:00:52
Make it about 25x25x70 in size but make sure it has a few Height segments for more detail.

00:00:53 --> 00:01:03
Apply some deformable modifiers to it, such as Taper, Twist and Bend.

00:01:05 --> 00:01:09
Animate these modifiers between frames 0 and 100.

00:01:16 --> 00:01:21
Go back to frame 0 where the box is clearly standing up as originally modeled.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:25
Create a Standard material,

00:01:27 --> 00:01:31
with a Blended Box Map applied to its Diffuse channel.

00:01:33 --> 00:01:37
For good measure, use the checker patterns to better study the effects.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:47
Set the projection to Cubic, Uniform with a size of about 8.

00:01:48 --> 00:01:55
At frame 0, the render shows that each face of the box is rendered with the proper projection bitmap as anticipated.

00:01:56 --> 00:02:02
A render at frame 100 however, shows that the mapping does not follow the deformation.

00:02:02 --> 00:02:11
Although the effect can be cool, the reality is that this technique may be useless in certain scenarios, if applied to an animated character for example.

00:02:12 --> 00:02:21
As far as animation is concerned, the limitations mostly concern deformable models such as characters skinned to a bone skeleton.

00:02:22 --> 00:02:30
Models such as cars or airplanes that do not deform but simply travel and rotate can still be textured with Blended Box Map.

00:02:30 --> 00:02:41
Let's test it out: open the scene named BBM_animated_car_start.max, it shows a sport car animated to take a sharp left hander.

00:02:41 --> 00:02:44
The tail of the car is slightly skidding in the process.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:51
Make sure you are at frame 0 and render the Perspective view. You may want to zoom in on the car first.

00:02:51 --> 00:03:00
A Blended Box Map is already in use on the car material. It is also using a dummy object to project maps conforming to the car shape.

00:03:01 --> 00:03:04
You still need to add the actual bitmaps though.

00:03:04 --> 00:03:12
You can use the Load Maps feature but what's interesting in this case is that we only have four maps instead of 6.

00:03:15 --> 00:03:21
Textures 2 and 6 representing the bottom and the back projections have not been planned.

00:03:31 --> 00:03:39
If you tried using existing maps in multiple channels, such as the front map as a back map for example, two things happen:

00:03:40 --> 00:03:44
First, it appears that the bitmap display is not working at render time.

00:03:44 --> 00:03:53
That's an easy fix but one that you can easily miss. You want to ensure the map used is enabled in the Blended Box Map UI.

00:03:58 --> 00:04:03
Second, the map is inverted, which makes sense because of the way it's projected.

00:04:03 --> 00:04:07
What you need to do is to make a copy of the map,

00:04:08 --> 00:04:16
and set the copy's U-tiling to -1 to flip it horizontally.

00:04:22 --> 00:04:26
The same thing applies to defining a bottom map,

00:04:27 --> 00:04:29
copied from the top map.

00:04:47 --> 00:04:50
The bigger challenge is in the animation itself:

00:04:52 --> 00:04:56
Rendered at frame 0, the car looks pretty good.

00:04:58 --> 00:05:04
Rendered at any other frame as the car starts moving and rotating,

00:05:05 --> 00:05:10
the effect is funky at best, unacceptable at worst.

00:05:12 --> 00:05:20
Again, this is a direct effect of how Blended Box Mapping works, projecting images literally like a movie projector.

00:05:24 --> 00:05:28
In the Material Editor, check the Blended Box Map settings again.

00:05:28 --> 00:05:33
Note the shy little checkbox that reads: Lock to Frame.

00:05:33 --> 00:05:40
This is your ticket to a hassle-free solution. Enable this option and specify a frame where the mapping works best.

00:05:41 --> 00:05:49
Typically, that would be where the model is aligned with the world, most probably at frame 0 as you probably used that as a base point.

00:05:50 --> 00:05:55
Render again at various frames and notice that the mapping stays uniform throughout.

00:05:56 --> 00:06:03
Again, keep in mind that this is a quick solution for easy transforms and does not apply for deformable objects.

00:06:03 --> 00:06:10
If that's what you have, then you would need to use a more traditional mapping approach such as UV Unwrapping.

00:06:10 --> 00:06:18
In the next movie, you learn about what is arguably the coolest feature of Blended Box Mapping, the ability to render templates.

00:06:18 --> 00:06:26
This makes it easy to export and process maps in a paint program and then load them back in 3ds Max for added detail and realism.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2017
  • 2017x1
  • Workflow
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