View Full Version : Road surface issue

Ty Catt
02-03-2009, 10:15 AM

Let's say I have a repeating surface I want to apply to a road (stripes and such).

The road was pretty twisty and curvy with a straightwawy on either end, so I had to construct it with multiple polys (for smoothness sake) and use the bend tool (with CAD points as background template).

Is there a way to have this surface repeat following the contours of the road and not an orthangonal direction (XYZ)? I have attached a quick example.

I know this technique works mainly with a per polygon object (i.e. the surface spaces out via polygon placement) and the illusion is seamless.

If I try to construct the road with the necessary polys, I'll be crunching CPU too long.

Any ideas?:question:



02-03-2009, 10:18 AM
UV Spider is your friend.

02-03-2009, 09:46 PM
Hey there Ty,

I live in the northwest corner of Ohio. Try this technique and see what you think. I made a road segment in a drawing program (CorelDRAW), and exported it as a JPEG file, some people use other formats like TARGA. Then, in modeler, I made one segment of road, the same size as my road segment image. I arrayed that section of road several times, and then, I used Merge Points to merge all of the overlapping points. Then, I applied my road segment image to the road (making sure the scale was the size of one road segment) in a planar projection. This should look like one long piece of road, now.

After that, I copied the straight road object to another layer. In this layer, I turned the straight road curvy by using Spline Guide, which can be found at Modify>Transform>More>Spline Guide. Make sure you have Spline Guide set to Bend. Don't worry about throwing the image out of whack on the curvy road, because it will be fixed when we're finished. Once I got the curvy highway looking the way I wanted, I put the first straight road object in the foreground and the second curved road object (same object, just curved) in the background layer. From there, I went to the Map tab and ran a Bkg to Morph between these two layers. After completing this operation, I saved the object as a lwo file and opened it in layout.

In layout, I loaded just the first layer of my road lwo file. From there, I opened the object's properties dialogue box, went to the Deform tab, clicked on Add Displacement, and added Morph Mixer. The object already should have the one morph target that we made in modeler, but we have to activate it here. Now, you may control how much curve you put into the road. You can even bend it in the opposite direction by moving the morph slider into negative territory.

Here are some renders to show what I did. This technique took me about 20 minutes to setup.

Don't forget, you will have to have a few different images for passing zones as opposed to no passing zones. In the real world, curves/bridges are wider than the straight away.

I hope this helps!

tHREEL, but you can call me AL.

02-04-2009, 02:01 AM
For bending the road now, there is also the Pictrix Curl plugin, highly recommended.

Ty Catt
02-04-2009, 08:02 AM
Nangleator- Just downloaded the Vaughn tutorial on UV Spider. Thank you!

Threel- Brilliant- that helps immensely! Thank you so much for that walk-through! Can't wait to try it!

Colkai- I gotta check out that plugin! Thank you!


02-05-2009, 05:33 AM
In future, UV the road before bending it ;)

It's one of those things that you learn to look for and a reason that pre-planning a project is so important.

02-05-2009, 07:51 AM
In future, UV the road before bending it ;)

It's one of those things that you learn to look for and a reason that pre-planning a project is so important.

UV mapping is great, when you can get the object that your working with to flatten out properly on the UV map. I've never had much success getting UV maps to behave quite right.

With my method, UV mapping is completely unnecessary, and it is thought out before hand. A friend of mine made a river scene, using the same method, a few years back. His scene even had moving displacement, which caused the river to flow quite nicely, I might add. :thumbsup: