||In this tutorial we'll use
some images whcih were painted in PD Particles for use in the popular
3D program Poser by Curiouslabs/e-Frontier.
You can also find the eralier version Poser 5 here at a discount for
those artists who are interested in getting into 3D with Poser.
Poser is a human figure 3D posing and animation tool. One thing you
often want to do is create custom painted patterns for fabrics on
clothes. Or to paint some scars on skins. Or change the color of a hat
Another common task is to add things to the 3D scene, such as a
background image, or some pieces of imagery throughout the 3D scene
which are mounted on billboard polygons, usually rectangles or squares.
Such billboards can show a texture image all over, fully opaque. Or,
you might have some areas which are transparent and where you can see
through, such as when you have a window in a wall, or a bullet
hole in a soda can.
And of course when dealing with foliage, trees, shrubbery, bushes and
grass etc... And that's what we'll do here with PD Particles.
After starting Poser 6, click the Props menu and select the Primitves
||The Primitives collection
includes basic shapes like spheres, cubes, square rectangles and more.
Double-click the 'Square' object to add it to the scene.
||Now that the prop has been
inserted into the scene, click to select the square we just inserted,
to make sure it's the 'current' object. Then switch to the
Select the 'Simple' tab.
Look for the Diffuse Color area, click on the empty grey box below the
white color bar. That's where you will eventually see a texture after
we load an image through that.
||Poser pops up the Texture
Manager dialog to let you select the image.
Click the Browse... button.
|Select the image of some
foliage which we painted earlier. This one does not need to have a mask
in the alpha channel, as we'll use a sepaate mask file for
Transparency. It could be a Targa image format, Jpeg or other formats.
|If you don't have an image of your own to
try, get this one: Targa file (zipped) lightbush1-24bit.zip
||The Texture manager now
shows the selected image. Click 'OK' to continue.
||The color is now affected
by the image texture loaded in the diffuse channel.
There are other channels to look at.
||Repeat the procedure for
the Transparency channel.
Click the empty grey box.
|Select the image file
which contains a greyscale transparency or opacity mask for the prior
||And here's the image,
going soon into the transparency channel. Black is transparent. White
is opaque. Grey values are somewhere in-between.
|| The interactive view
now shows the effect of the transparency ask.
Back in the main Pose room, you can now see the foliage with
transparency around it.
Be sure to set the interactive viewer to textured mode.
We've also put a human figure behind it. Some of it will show through
the transparent parts of the front polygon.
When you render it however, there may be a few imperfections.
||In this case, there is a
slight darkening in the transparent area, which ends up making it
possible to see the border of the square polygon. Not good enough, even
if you may not notice it against a noisy background unlike this plain
grey colored background.
One reason for this may be that it is not fully transparent, i.e. that
it was not totally black in the greyscale image used for the
transparency channel. We didn't check for this, and we may want to load
the image back into an image editor which can spread the dynamic range
from min to max values: fully transparent black (0,0,0 for red, green
blue) and and fully opaque white (255,255,255). PD Pro can do that,
your image editor probably too. Another approach is to use flood fill
tools (fill can) and force the color to black.
Other imperfections might be caused for other reasons. For example,
bright highlights might cause unexpected bright spots, which might
appear over the opaque or even some transparent parts depending on how
the lightsources hit it.
If your 3D software has an option like 'No Interaction with light if
fully transarent' then you may want to use it.
Also, if the lights cast shadows, try raytraced shadows instead of
Zbuffer based shadow maps. Shadow maps might not 'see' or use the
transparency mask on the polygons. Objects behind the billboard
polygons could be dark or show the outline of the rectangle as a cast
To avoid reflection, highlights etc... be sure to select black colors
for the unused channels.
Here's a different view, with another figure in another pose. We've
also added another square prop and mapped another image on it. This one
only has diffuse color, no transparency channel used.
If you don't have an image of your own to
try, get this one: Jpeg file - image1.jpg
And voila, the rendering is done, with the camera poised in such a way
that the back polygon fills the view with the background image, and the
foreground has some additional foliage showing in front of the 3D
- part 2