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  1. #1
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    Tutorial: How to set up Image Planes with Textures

    Here is a tutorial on how to use Textures as Image Planes.

    Step 1: Resize your images
    This is not a MUST, but since you are using textures I highly recommend that you keep your image size in a format that Maya can interpret easily. This means you should keep your Pixel Ratio always to a number that is the power of two. Like: 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024.
    If you are using Photoshop you can edit your Crop Tool in the Tool Option Box to fit any desired Pixel Ratio. Just type in the same pixel number for width and height (make sure you write px at the end, e.g. width = 512 px height = 512 px). Select, crop and done.
    Alternatively you can also edit the pixel ratio under Image->Image Size (turn off Constrain Proportions if your aspect ratio is not even, beware of stretching though!).

    Step 2: Naming Conventions make life easier
    Another good thing is to include the image size in your file name. Now, I’m not talking pixels (you can easily detect that by hovering the mouse courser over your file), but whatever measurement you are using in Maya (cm by default I think). Here is the naming convention I use for my image plane files:
    Name_view_filesize_.extension
    e.g. car_front_10x10cm.jpg,
    car_side_10x10cm.jpg
    This is simply good house keeping, you can ignore this step completely if you desire so.

    Step 3: Create your Poly Planes
    For each image plane you are planning to import into your scene you will need a poly plane.
    Create a simple plane (Create->Polygon Primitives->Plane, leave all options on default) and then click on the Polyplane input node in your Channel Box. Under width and height enter the length you have set for your image planes (which you can read from your file names if you have followed step 2). Make sure that you are actually using the correct measurements by checking your preferences (Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences, go to the settings tab, look under working units). Rotate your Plane in the right direction so it faces your orthographic camera (don’t worry if you get this wrong in the beginning, you can always correct that once you have your textures set up). Repeat this step for each image plane you need.

    Step 4: Set up your textures
    Open up your hypershade (Window->Rendering Editors->Hypershade) and create a lambert. Double click on the lambert to open up the attribute editor and rename your texture accordingly (e.g. front_car_image). Now, under Common Material Attributes look for the color input (first on top) and click on the checkermap to the right. That will open up the Create Render Node window. Click on File and the attribute editor should switch to your newly created file node. Under image name click on the folder button and open up your image plane file. Back in your scene select your poly plane, right click and go to assign existing material and choose your newly created texture. Repeat this step for each image plane you need.

    Step 5: Create a Display Layer for your image planes
    In the channel box all the way on the bottom click on the “Create new layer” button. Name it Image_planes and click ok. Select all your poly planes, right click on your new layer and choose “add selected objects”. Now you can easily turn your image planes on and off if they ever should get in your way. I suggest you also set the layer to reference so you can’t accidentally select your image planes. I also like to move the poly planes out of the way in my perspective view, makes it easier to model.

    Step 6: How to use wireframe with your Image Planes
    You should be able to start modeling now. The only problem you might face is that as soon as you switch your view to wireframe your textures and consequently your image planes disappear. In order to work in wireframe mode with the textures still visible I use a little animation trick. Go back to your hypershade and double click on your custom lambert shader (should be named lambert1). Check your timeslider to make sure that you are currently on frame 1. In the attribute editor right click on the transparency node (right beneath the color node) and choose “Set Key”. In your timeslider click on frame 2 and then move the transparency slider all the way to the right (so your shader becomes invisible). Right click again and choose “Set Key”.
    Now you can easily access a fake wireframe mode while modeling. Simply move to frame 2 and your model’s shader will become invisible. Back to frame 1 and everything goes back to normal.
    Last edited by Count_Zero; 09-28-2007 at 12:29 PM.
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress."

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  2. #2
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    make this a sticky i can never find this!!!!!
    Brony, deal with it.

  3. #3
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    Nice. Thank you.
    I have figured out what the internet is. You know what they say about an infinite number of monkeys hitting keys at random on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time? Well the internet is like that. There is some big cosmic alien running that experiment here in order to find the answer to some big question or to create the greatest piece of literature known to the universe. From what I have seen so far I am sorry to say they are going to be greatly disappointed.

  4. #4
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    Oh please!
    there is a much simpler way that i stole from someone and remade as a VTM.
    http://geedie.sitesled.com/imageref_maya.rar
    Takes 2 minutes to set up... just as long as your images are of the same resolution size.

  5. #5
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    That someone you stole from is DezFx. You can find the tutorial and a MEL script on Dez's homepage.
    http://www.dezfx.com/HTML_pages/Tuto...aneCamera.html

    That method works too, but you can still get the graphic issues with older cards and the alpha gain might not work for some people. Which originally was the reason why I used this method (and wrote this tutorial for people with the same issues). Although I don't have the graphics issue any longer, I have come to prefer this method over Maya's image planes. I like having faster and easier access to the transformation and visibility of my image planes.
    It will probably take more than two minutes to set it up, but taking into consideration how much time I'll inventually invest in the entire modeling process I care little for five minutes saved in setting up image planes.
    Last edited by Count_Zero; 08-30-2007 at 10:33 AM.
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress."

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  6. #6
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    The Counts method is preferred by me.

  7. #7
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    very nice tutorial

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Count_Zero View Post
    That someone you stole from is DezFx. You can find the tutorial and a MEL script on Dez's homepage.
    http://www.dezfx.com/HTML_pages/Tuto...aneCamera.html
    nah, it was a WMV that someone pointed me to. it was a bad recording (done with Windows Media Encoder) so i redid it.
    As for Dez's page. Love it 3 words:
    FAKE MOON LANDING :P

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