Saturday, January 12, 2019

More Plasma Machine

So here is another render of the Dreamland Models plasma machine, and it's a bit nicer than the last one--it's in a different warehouse, (this one by Stonemason), and it's a bit darker-- and because of fewer windows, also renders faster. But it still wasn't quite what I wanted, so I hauled out Hexagon ( a 3d modelling program) and tried some things. I need to learn more about Hexagon anyway, so it was a good reason to sit and experiment. And I did learn a lot today--I learned how to use the line tool to make cables, which is something I have wanted to be able to make for literally years, because it is the way you also make things like plant stems, and vines. And seaweed. So here is my crude Plasma Machine, but I am going to paint up the new texture maps I made for it and try those out tomorrow--this is with mostly just color applied to the model, not real painted textures:

I think this one looks a little more heavy-duty and menacing--the gorgeous wall and floor are by Danie and Marforno from their "Timeless" set. I still want to build a real platform under it, put a glass cover over the front, and make the plasma flames look a little more like plasma instead of ribbons. I've been struggling with getting things to glow in Daz Studio and it turns out you need to go select one of the pre-made Daz Uber materials, because that gives you the necessary slots to make things "Emit" light--the old "Ambiance" settings are kind of hit or miss in the newest version of the Studio.

Probably the most important thing I learned today was how to load a model with different groups in it into UV Mapper, and then how to Select by Group and then move things around on UV Mapper's generated map so things are the right size, easy to see, and mapped the best way to paint them. I hadn't realized before that once you have a little group in a pile, and you have the Select tool dotted lines around them, you can as UV Mapper to remap just that group in that spot! So you end up with a final map that is easy to use and the different parts of the model are clearly marked in different colors. The key is to be sure that the model that you are loading in the first place has all the parts named correctly, and that you make sure that those names stay intact when the model is exported from Hexagon or wherever. And then when you are happy with the UV Map you have created, you need to to Save Model as well as Save Map, because the model itself is changed by UV Mapper to match the map you made. Rename your model, too :D I usually put a name like tube_Mapped once it gets mapped.

(Also you can keep redoing each section you aren't satisfied with; trying different axis and methods..UVMapper just changes it and doesn't seem to get bogged down with changes. )

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