Poly's Opacity Mapping Tutorial

 
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Polystyrene

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Poly's Opacity Mapping Tutorial Reply with quote

*Finally updated this for Create Mode!*

I often get people asking me for help with products that require opacity mapping, so I thought I'd write a bit of a tutorial Smile

Opacity Mapping

Opacity maps are used to tell Create Mode which parts of your product you want to be seen and which you want to be invisible - it basically cuts out parts of the texture.

The Rules:
* your opacity map must be the exact same size as your texture map
* black = invisible/shows skin
* white = what is seen
* grey = sheer (darker grey = more clear; lighter grey = more solid)
* only use blending if your product has sheer/ semi see-through parts. This is because of blending clashing - if you have a blended material in front of another blended material, it often causes one of them to disappear. This is why your avi sometimes goes bald when you stand it behind windows. So it's best to leave blending turned off whenever possible.


Example 1 - Clothing

For this example, let's make a skintight tanktop. We'll derive from a skintight top, such as this one. This top covers all of the upper body and arms, so to turn it into a tank top we need to use an opacity map to cut out the parts we don't need.

First of all, here is a guide to show you which bits of the template correspond to which bits of the body. This 256x512 template is used for most skintights - it wraps around the body of the avatar.


Now, for our tank top we want the "fabric" to cover these parts:


So, for our opacity map we make the parts we want to see white and the parts we want to be invisible black:


To put the opacity map into Create Mode, go to the Materials section in the Meshes tab. You can see where the texture and opacity maps go. Click the Edit button over the opacity map slot, choose your opacity map, then click Open. To add your texture click on the Edit button over the texture slot, choose your texture map, then click Open.



Click "Apply Changes" and you'll see that your opacity map has changed the boring skintight top into a boring tank top!



Example 2 - Backdrop Furniture

For this example we'll make a backdrop/enhancer. Derive from a flat plane, such as this one. This product is basically a wall, which uses an opacity map to cut parts out and turn it into something!

Say we want to create a word plane with the word "Hello!", we'll make an opacity map with the word in white and the rest black:


If we want to make the word red we can use a red texture map the exact same size as the opacity map:


Put in the opacity map and texture map just like in the first example. Make sure that blending is turned off by unchecking the Use blending tick box;


Click "Apply Changes" and you'll get a floating "Hello!"



Now say that we want to make something a bit more fancy - we will add a flame effect to the opacity map. Because we want this effect to be semi see-through, we use shades of grey:


Put the new opacity map into Create Mode. And this time we want blending to be turned on, so that we can see the semi see-through parts:


Click "Apply Changes" and you'll get the floating "Hello!" with a flame effect:




These are all very basic examples, but opacity map can be used to create all sorts of products, from simple shapes to complex designs - just play around and use your imagination!

I hope that my tutorial makes sense Razz if you are confused or have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

You may use the opacity maps I have provided to create new products if you wish.

Have fun!

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Last edited by Polystyrene on Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool tutorial Poly!!! I am still new to the previewer and wondered about those things like opacity ,skin and etc. in that frame of the previewer. I do not
quite understand that. Any suggestions? This is all I have done with deriving
and made 2 stickers.
http://www.imvu.com/shop/web_search.php?manufacturers_id=12362494
I love doing this stuff so farr ,but it does get confusing to me and any help
will be greatly appreciated.
EDIT: Heck I gave credits 2 times for deriving the same darn product and
it was that rat that took my credits the second time. Seriously,I tried and tried to submit,but at times the previewer would not agree with me and I have posted about it on here and also sent an email and got a reply but they still have to get back to me again because I was told to ask billing.
Darn rat.
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Wolfie

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opacity is for when you want things to be partly transparent, So black is invisible white is visible and then shades of grey in-between are semi-transparent, the amount going by how close to white or black it is, so if you want something to be sheer, you would use a grey tone on the relevant parts of you OP map and turn on Opacity in the previewer. But if your only using a solid shape like polys example it is best left unchecked. Now opacity has a draw back of that if anything else using Opacity is on top of it or in front of it, it will vanish, ever had your hair vanish when looking through say glass or water? that's what happens when Two items using opacity meet.

the skin composite is always left on when using a mesh that's a skin-tight, It means that the parts that you decide you don't want to be seen get replaced by the avi's body. play around with previewer and see what happens to your OP if you turn it of Shocked Arms and body parts will just vanish. normally If its turn on when you derive from something its best left on, but you can always turn it on and off to see what happens. trail and error has always been my way of learning.

Self illuminated just gives items a kind of glow and light, i only really ever use that for making Lights and glass things, other wise if you wear a top in a dark room it seems like its fluorescent. but great for anything you want to glow.


vertex colours is another thing that's best used with trial and error, on meshes that are made with that as a feature will gain shadows from it, those that aren't will normally just turn black, again it can be turned on and off at will to see what it does, i have only found much need for it when doing rooms and furniture, but that's just me.

And geh i suck at explaining things but thought i would butt in till poly comes and gives a much clearer answer. Very Happy

always be open to asking for help groups and this forum are great to get advice and help. Love the leopard rats heh..
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wolfie,but the thing I do not get is what to do with the materials tab
with the diffuse color and opacity,I see it but what do I have to do with them and I really did not even mess with the materials tab in previewer while I
changed a texture from a derived product. I just left it alone because I really did not understand it.
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Wolfie

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diffuse colour is your texture, just a different word for texture. highlight it, hit change texture and browse to your texture .jpeg

below it is opacity. that's the black and white image like poly made above, same hit change and browse to your opacity map.

best thing to do is open the examples poly gives in the previewer and follow it step by step using the files she provided. you don't have to submit it, just open and try changing the opacity and seeing what it does, sometimes the only way to learn is by getting hands on.
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,I will try it and thanks again.Edit:so I have to make a sort of copy of the parts to cover ? Must I have PS or can I use Gimp for it also?
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've retextured a product, then you've used the materials tab - that's the part of the previewer where you put your textures in. With your rat, you didn't need to worry about using opacity maps so you just put the texture in. When you open a product in the previewer, Diffuse color (ie. texture map) is selected by default so you don't need to worry about selecting anything. The only times that you have to select Diffuse color or Opacity are when you want to change which map you are putting in. Is that what is confusing you?

When you derive from a product, the mesher will usually provide a template (such as the wiremap for the skintight top in my first example). This is so you have a guide to tell you which parts of your texture correspond to which parts of the mesh.

You can use any graphics program to make your texture and opacity map, it doesn't have to be PS just use whatever you use Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Help Reply with quote

Hey Poly and everyone.The part I don't get is how did you make your tank top like that because I have gimp but did you use the free select tool to do that.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi HG Smile Umm I don't have Gimp so I'm not really sure what you mean lol. Can you be more specific about what part you don't get?

Thanks prpeligrosa ^_^
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, my life would have been a lot easier if I had this in the beginning. D:
If you don't mind me asking, I believe a tut on using skin manager would be a great help to new skin developers too.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated this tut for Create Mode Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thread Cleaned:

Please remember that if you wish to thank some one for making and/or sharing a tut you need to message them privately about it. Things like "Thank you" and "great tut" are considered spam and will be removed.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I am missing something here. Do you mind helping me? ;c
I'm trying to change the shape of the leggings.
Example: this.
This is what I did.
But it came out looking like this. I'm trying to make them round like no-face's head. What am I doing wrong?
Product.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballet wrote:
I think I am missing something here. Do you mind helping me? ;c
I'm trying to change the shape of the leggings.
Example: this.
This is what I did.
But it came out looking like this. I'm trying to make them round like no-face's head. What am I doing wrong?
Product.


I hope I did this right but here it is
http://i58.tinypic.com/s5beaq.png
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Are you wanting to put it on the front of the leg, if so you'll need to put the rounded part like THIS
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