PDA

View Full Version : Text impressed into surface



tony_free
04-26-2008, 08:32 AM
I am a beginner at Lightwave. I want to impress some finely-detalled hand-written text into a surface. I have found that I can do this using a displacement map, which consists of a b&w image of the text. However, in order for this to give sufficient detail, I need to create the surface with a very fine mesh of segments (more than 300 cells to an inch in both directions). This makes the surface into an enormously large LW object. (I have divided it into 8 parts to make it manageable and each part is a LW object of around 110MB.) The result is really unmanageable and runs extremely slowly on my system. This consists of 2 x dual core Opterons at 2.4GHz and 8GB of RAM. Is there a better way of doing this. I would appreciate any help that I can get.

Surrealist.
04-26-2008, 11:50 AM
Yes. At the very bare minimum you only need 1 polygon. Depends if you need the object to have a shape or not.

Just hit TAB and covert it to a Subpatch object. Have a quick look at my tutorial to show you how to make some other primitive shapes in subpatch,

But for the sake of simplicity, let's just say you need a flat surface. Take only one Subpatched polygon into layout.

Set up your displacement, but in the Geometry tab of the Object Properties panel set the Render Subpatch Level to something around 100 for fine detail. For most displacements you want your Subdivision Order set to First. Take a look here for more info (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78993&highlight=displacement).

You can also control the area that the subdivision takes place using APS driven by a weightmap as an input to a gradient. Use the Search for that here and you'll find more info. :)

Surrealist.
04-26-2008, 12:38 PM
I forgot. There are a few videos on APS here (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials/videos/index.php).

And you might find more info here (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77002).

dbigers
04-26-2008, 11:16 PM
Im not sure about "fine" handwriting, but I have used regular fonts in the clip map area with good success before. Of course clip maps work on the object level, but you can copy the area on your model that needs the effect and past it into another layer.

In layout raise the layer 2 object that you pasted a tiny bit and apply the clip map to it, revealing the surface on the underlying object. Just apply a dark color to the underlying object's material, or whatever color you want the text to be. Use the material that you want the letters impressed upon for the layer 2 object since it will mainly cover the underlying surface, only allowing it to show where the letters are.

For this to work you will need to invert the clip map so that it cuts out the letters since they are probably black and the area around them are white space. I just tried it on a simple plane and it worked very well. But I am not sure about finely detailed writing. Perhaps if you scan it to a high resolution. Worth a shot just in case.

Of course if it were just fonts the easiest thing would probably be a stencil boolean in modeler. Good luck and let us know what you come up with.


EDIT: For really clean edges you can past the map in the transparency area of the surface for layer 2--revealing the material and object underneath just like the clip map technique. But the edges will be cleaner with the transparency style.

Sekhar
04-27-2008, 12:43 AM
Alternatively, use a bump map. You'll need one polygon and an image map for tracing the bump (text in your case). Below is an example I created for you with sharp and diffuse texts to show what's possible. In the ZIP file you'll find the scene, object, and bump map (PSD).

Surrealist.
04-27-2008, 08:22 AM
Sekhar...yes... bump map can work in many cases.

dbigers... interesting concept.

dbigers
04-27-2008, 08:52 AM
Interesting yes. But too much work. I dont why I didnt think of bump maps. Late night last night.

Surrealist.
04-27-2008, 11:07 PM
Well OK since we have opened up the discussion, here some ways you can add any fine relief-type detail to an object such as this:

1) Booleans

2) Bumpmaps with images

4) Displacement (Requires a subdivided/tripled mesh or subpatch object)

5) Hand model with the use of stencils in subpatch mode like this:

http://www.lightwiki.com/images/4/4e/SinSq14.gif

http://www.lightwiki.com/images/5/56/SinSq15.gif
(from tutorial in my sig)

starbase1
04-28-2008, 05:23 AM
Alternatively, use a bump map. You'll need one polygon and an image map for tracing the bump (text in your case). Below is an example I created for you with sharp and diffuse texts to show what's possible. In the ZIP file you'll find the scene, object, and bump map (PSD).

Normal maps work in a similar way to bump maps but generally look a LOT more convincing. (And are extremely memory efficient)

There are a couple of drawback for a beginner like yourself:

They only work with nodal surfaces(its well worth getting to grips with these).
You need to convert the bump map into a normal map - there are several tools out there that will do this for free.

Either by converting the image, or by using the bump-to-normal free additional node.

If you want to attach your image of the text, I'll try making one for you...

Cheers,
Nick

tony_free
04-30-2008, 02:06 AM
I would really like to thank everyone who posted replies to my question on 'Text impessed into surface'. I haven't yet had time and I don't have the knowledge to explore the possible solutions. I think that Normal maps on nodal surfaces may well be the way to go. I have ordered a couple of books on Lightwave 9 to learn how to do this. Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge with me.

Best wishes,

Tony

Surrealist.
04-30-2008, 02:55 AM
Hey Tony,

Good luck with the books. But if you need any specifics just let us know.

starbase1
04-30-2008, 02:58 AM
I would really like to thank everyone who posted replies to my question on 'Text impessed into surface'. I haven't yet had time and I don't have the knowledge to explore the possible solutions. I think that Normal maps on nodal surfaces may well be the way to go. I have ordered a couple of books on Lightwave 9 to learn how to do this. Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge with me.

Best wishes,

Tony

Like I said, if you need a sample let me know - sometimes it's faster to pick apart something that works!

RollerJesus
04-30-2008, 05:35 AM
Hey starbase, I need a sample using normal maps. I've been struggling with them as of late.

Sorry to hijack, but I'm hurting here.

starbase1
04-30-2008, 09:13 AM
Hey starbase, I need a sample using normal maps. I've been struggling with them as of late.

Sorry to hijack, but I'm hurting here.

OK, I'll try and knock up a quick and dirty sample this evening.

I strongly recommend getting the godlike Denis Pontonnier additional node pack ASAP though, it's free and packed with goodies, including the essential bump-to-normal node which means you can feed in a nice simple grey scale, and get super 3d stuff out.

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/dpont/plugins/nodes/Additionnal_Nodes_2.html

nICK

RollerJesus
04-30-2008, 09:16 AM
Thanks, will do.