3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 1 - Main Concepts

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Duration
5 min

3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 1 - Main Concepts

In this introductory tutorial, you will explore the main concepts and workflows for the Blended Box Map. The Blended Box Map is ideal for projecting maps onto an object without requiring complex UV mapping. It also allows you to blend between projection directions to eliminate hard seams.


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

Related Links

Transcript
1
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If you're not very comfortable with UV Unwrapping techniques, you may want to consider the new Blended Box Map.

2
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This new map type made its debut in 3ds Max 2017.1 Update and lets you project maps onto objects in a way that doesn't require complex mapping.

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The main concepts are easy to understand, as Blended Box Map is similar to box mapping, in that it projects images from three 90-degree directions.

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In a new scene, set your units to Default, i.e. System Units to Inches and Display Units to Generic.

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Create two identical spheres of about 20 units in radius,

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and apply a UVW Map modifier in box mode to only one of them.

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This will illustrate the differences between box mapping and Blended Box Map.

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Press M to go to the Material Editor.

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Create a Standard material with a checkered pattern in the Diffuse channel.

10
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Make the checker pattern tile 3 times on each side.

11
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Set the material to display in the viewport and apply it to the sphere with the UV Mapping applied.

12
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You can see the effects of the seams where the three box projections meet. They don't look pretty.

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This is happening because the individual faces of the model look for the closest projection they find, and are mapped either from Front, Side or Top.

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This effect worsens when you try to substitute the checker pattern with an actual bitmap,

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like the common_dirt texture you downloaded for this tutorial.

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A link to downloadable assets is provided in the description section of this movie.

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Again, you can see how bad the seams appear in the viewport.

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Now try the Blended Box Map type on the other sphere.

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Create a new Standard material,

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and add a Blended Box Map to its Diffuse channel.

21
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Double-click this new map to see its logically arranged UI.

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Just for now and to mimic Standard Box Mapping, set the Blend Amount to 0. We'll come back to this in just a moment.

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Apply this new material to the second sphere in the scene.

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Unfortunately, Blended Box Map doesn't show in a viewport, so you need to test render the scene in order to view the results.

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From there, you can decide if you want to project a single image,

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three images,

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or even six images, one for each side of the box.

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Proxy colors give you an idea of what to aim for.

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Set it to a single projection,

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and replace the blue color by the same dirt map you used earlier.

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For now, both spheres present equally bad seams. This is where the Blend Amount kicks in.

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Set the Blend Amount back to 25 and try again.

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Sphere #2 now looks significantly better.

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To get a feel for what is happening, go back to proxy colors in 3-projection mode, but leave the Blend Amount to 25.

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You can see how the three colors blend with one another.

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If you so choose, you can also use a Blend Map to affect the transition between projections.

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Try a Noise Map as a TextureBlend map,

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but make sure you decrease the noise size to about 5.

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Try it in Regular,

40
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Fractal,

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and Turbulence modes to see the various effects.

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You can also control the spread of the transition map by altering the Blend Map value.

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Now that you have the main concepts covered, you'll try this new map type in a more contextual scene.

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This is what you do in Part 2 of this tutorial where you use Blended Box map to texture an uneven terrain.
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