View Full Version : Need help with texturing a film strip object

07-02-2005, 12:09 AM
Greetings fellow lightwave artists. I must first admit to my relative Noobism. Sorry. Now that that is out of the way here is my question.... I have created a film strip object that I am going to use for a web graphic. This is a reder of the object:


It is seperated into 51 segments, and I have pictures to use as textures for each of these segments of "film cells" an example is below:


Obviously a planer projection texture map looks like crap, and won't warp with the contour of the film strip. How do I "attach" the textures to the strip so that they warp and look natural as the film twists and bends?

I am truely stumped. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

07-02-2005, 03:12 AM
Look for UV Spider. It will walk from one end of film strip to the other creating a continuous UV map. Start by selecting atleast two adjoining polygons (preferably the leftmost or rightmost, not in middle!), this sets the starting position aswell as the direction of the walk. Run UV spider. If you know the lenght and height of the filmstrip use that knowledge to get the right proportions, otherwise use default settings and then later stretch the thing till it looks right. After that, it might be a good idea to split the strip up into several rows so your using the UV space abit more efficiently.

Another option that would allow you to use a non-square image, is by projecting the image onto flat filmstrip, then morphing it to another shape (in Layout only). This would require you to create a second filmstrip that is built exactly like the currect one, just layed out flat. So either copy the one you got and modify it or create a brand new one using the same method you did on the first one, just make it flat this time. After that, place the old one in a background layer and run Bkg To Morph. This will make it into a morph target for the one in the foreground. Next, setup the planar projecting map on the flat version. Now open up Layout, and morph it to the other shape. (if you want more info on this technique just search for "Bkg To Morph" on this forum).

07-02-2005, 12:12 PM
I would make a flat strip of film (a box with almost no depth). I would make enough divisions to bend the strip, but I wouldn't bend it yet. I would make a UV map and apply a texture. This should be fairly easy with the film still flat. After I had the UV made, I would bend the film to whatever shape I wanted, the UV map will bend as you bend the film.


07-02-2005, 12:54 PM
Thanks whit. Again sorry for my noobism, but could you walk me through the steps of creating a UV map like that? My first thought to solve this problem was creating a UV map, but after looking through several tutorials, I could never figure out how the heck to do it. Even my al knowing "Inside Lightwave" book had next to mothing on the subject.

07-02-2005, 04:24 PM
The best ways in my opinion would be the UV spider one or using a morph back to a flat and non-bent film strip. I'll talk you through the UV spider technique anyway. You have already modelled the bend of your film so UV spider will create a strip of polys in your UV map all nicely aligned and everything.

I'll try and run through, step by step, how to achieve what you are after. This won't be definitive because i'm no expert, it should work though! :D

1) Select the furthest left polygon of you film strip.

2) Go to the 'map' tab at the top of modeller. Under the 'texture' section go to 'more' and then 'more' again (blimey, that's a bit too much 'more' for me). Then select 'UV spider'.

3) In the UV spider options, type a vertex map name like 'filmUV' and leave the other settings i reckon.

4) Press enter.

5) Then in one of your viewports (or if you just have one up.) Change the view to UV texture.

6) You should see a strip of polygons filling the whole UV space. Press 'h' on your keyboard for the stretch tool.

7) Go to the UV window, and stretch vertically so they become more like a strip of film. Basically so they aren't as tall.

At this point i just assumed your film strip had only one row of polygons on the vertical. If it has more you have to alter the UV spider settings and do each row of polygons after one another. For example, if your film object had two rows vertically. You would enter for your top polygon: 'v start: 1.0' and 'v end: 0.5'. This will make it only tak up half of the UV space. The bottom polygon would have to be 'v start: 0.5' and 'v end: 0.0'. (When doing multiple rows, make sure you use the same UV map that you created for the first row.)

I'm hoping this is making sense, it's seeming quite complex now i'm putting it into words. :o

One thing to watch out for when using LW 8.3 is the way it deals with entering number fields. If you type a number in and then just click in another box, it won't accept the entry. The same goes for UV spider. Make sure when you enter a number press the 'TAB' key to move to the next field. This makes sure it accepts the number entered.

(i hope newtek rid of this evil infliction, it doesn't help in the slightest, i hate it).

Anyway, hopefully now you'll have a perfectly UV'd piece of film. Now all you need to do is go to the texture editor... and...

1) Choose the film object surface and choose the 'T' next to Color.
(sorry, i may be going VERY basic here, just don't wanna miss anything out).

2) Choose 'UV' under projection.

3) Choose 'filmUV' (or whatever you called you UV map).

4) Then load the image of film you have.

5) Back in the main modeller interface. Go to the UV window again, and on the drop down box next to veiw choice, pick the film texture you just loaded. This just shows it in the UV viewport so you can make adjustments.

6) Scale the UV's so the polys fit the image you have.

Thats it! (i say 'that's it'... but it's quite a lot isn't it! :D )

The best option would have been to uv using a planar UV before you bent the Film object. But hey, you've done it now i hope, so it doesn't matter! :D

If you need anymore pointers just shout!

07-02-2005, 05:51 PM
Here is a link to a tutorial, such as it is, to make a UV on a flat surface and then to bend it like a filmstrip.



07-02-2005, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the tutorial. Unfortunately I am still running lightwave 7.0 so I don't think it has the UV spider function (or at least I couldn't find it) I will be upgrading to 8.3 this fall but for now I have to make due with Old School. (Doesn't even support SSE2... Render = SLOWWW haha )

I think I've finally got the UV thing figured out (for now at least). Just took a different way of thinking about texturing for me to finally understand it. Too bad we can't just download all this stuff into our brains like the matrix. Oh well. Thanks all!

07-02-2005, 10:55 PM
Here's a simple technique that will work on any version of LW. Build and texture the strip flat, copy it to a new layer and bend it all up, send to Layout. In the object properties dialog for layer one go to the deform tab and select layer two (the bendy one) as the morph target and DO NOT select morph surfaces. Hide or move layer two out of the way and render.

These are the tricks we all used to do to make palnetary rings ala Saturn way before we had UV mapping. :)


OH, PS I did a filmstrip animation years ago and instead of worrying about mapping each segment with a different film-frame, I mapped it with an image sequence. I also animated the speculaity light back an forth a little to give the illusion of the filmstrip moving. It looked pretty cool.

07-03-2005, 03:24 AM
Whoops, sorry. Just assumed you'd be on 8. I thought 7.5 had it?! Why not get the upgrade?

Although... It's easier to do it using morphs by building the model again but leaving it flat, UV-ing and then bending using a morph. Or the way Philthorn says. Much easier.

Just thought i would try teaching an interesting tool. Failed miserably! :D

07-03-2005, 10:42 PM
Alright, behold the glory that is my first ever UV textured object. + a lil bit of Photoshop.

I don't know why UV texturing seemed so daunting to me at first, but now that I know the work flow of it, I am upset I put off learning how to do it until now. Oh well live and learn. Let me know what you think.