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Old 21st January 2013, 12:43 PM   #11
ElMuttso
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

I will send a reply in about 20 min I am suck using my phone now and that just doesn't get it. Look for private message.
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Old 21st January 2013, 01:37 PM   #12
Stiglr
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

I know it sounds hopeless now, but rest easy: AC3D has possibly the EASIEST mapping tool in the category. So, take a deep breath.... and I'll try and muddle you through it.

Texture: by multiple of two, the most common texture sizes are: 256 x 256, 512 x 512 and 1024 x 1024. You can go bigger or smaller, but then you start getting into performance issues with your intended target software. Stick with those three pixel dimensions and you're likely to be OK.

Understanding how to use the TCE requires an understanding of 3D software. The cognitive problem is that you're trying to assign 2D faces to a 3D object. Thankfully, your object is very, very simple, a house. Let's try and take it step by step for a "rough fitting":

1) Open your house .ac file. Start with the "Front" viewport.
2) Select the entire house in Object mode. If your model is subdivided (separate walls, windows, roof, stairs, whatever) then select ALL the objects.
3) In the menus, select Object > Texture> Load texture... then assign all the objects to your 2D file. This will likely produce a jumble of images on your 3D object. That's to be expected (exhale.... that's it...) But what you've just done is to "assign" the entire house to be textured by the same 2D file.
4) Now to fix the mapping. Because your house is probably based on a basic cube, it should be easy to texture. Round or organic objects are much more complex to texture. But this is simple, provided your texture file is already set up to texture your specific house model, and/or the relative dimensions of its walls and roof are roughly the same as your house. If you're trying to, for example, use swaths of various textures, like brick, concrete, wood, shingles, etc. on a 2D map, it will be slightly more difficult to get the effects you want... but only slightly.

Let's assume your texture has been tailor made to the shapes in your house. In this case, it is only necessary to line up the walls and the roof to areas on the 2D graphic. But, the house is in 3D, while the 2D graphic is in cut up pieces, and flat. Let's get them to match.
5) After you've textured the entire object(s), press F10, which opens the TCE. A window will pop up over your viewport display, showing your 2D graphic. There will be some lines and shapes describing your house superimposed over the graphic, but it won't make any sense to you, visually. Again, don't panic. It's just that you haven't yet defined the viewing aspect for any part of the house, and the computer doesn't really know how to display it. So it just fits everything over the graphic.
6) Pick one "side" of the house, or one object in the house to begin with. Start with something on the 2D map that you can readily identify visually, like the front face of the building. Move the TCE window off to one side so you can see the front of the building in the Front viewport. Switch to surface mode. Click in dead space to deselect everything. Then, select only the surfaces that make up the front facade of the house. Next, in the TCE window, find the Remap section. Select the button, front. Notice now that the superimposed shape in the TCE window overlapping your graphic will look more recognizable: this is because you've told AC3D to view only those front faces of the house from the frontal aspect. All the other surfaces of the model are not displaying.
7) Now, you should be able to drag the "front" shape(s) to where it belongs on the graphic, and to reshape it to fit exactly. You can drag the square boxes to resize the entire object in the TCE; or, if you find you need to move any of the vertice points, press the Select by Vertex button and then (after clicking in the dead space to DEselect all the vertices), click or drag to select only the vertices you want, and then move them into position over the graphic so that they align. You can watch the effect it has on the object in your viewports as you work, provided your viewports are set up to view the texture (Orth menu, texture checked; if not, press T to toggle texture display on).
8) If your front facade is made up of multiple objects, you can de-select everything, then re-select only the textures you want to work with in the viewport, returning to the TCE to see the resulting shape and make it overlap the corresponding areas of your texture.
9) Move to a different facade, say, the roof. Select only the surfaces or objects that make up the roof. Make sure you're in Surface Mode. Return to the TCE, and select Remap: Top. That should provide the visual cues you need to drag the surfaces to fit the roof section of your graphic. You may need to rotate your TCE textures to make them display properly: you'll find the Rotate and Flip buttons will help you with that.
10) If you're trying to texture different parts of the house with multiple textures of varying materials (e.g., a wood wall texture, a brick texture, a painted plastic texture, etc.) you'll need to have separate objects for each texture, and assign these individually, as in Step 3). Then, once you select the object or surfaces, you'll need to resize them to get the scale of the material texture vis a vis the object/surface to look right. As an example, if you're using a brick wall graphic, you'll have to make sure that you end up with a believable looking number of rows and columns of bricks displaying on every face... and get these to meet at the corners without distortion. This you'll have to do by "eye" and by trial and error. You can do it a face at a time, an object at a time, however it takes to get the visual results you want. But try to maintain relative aspect scale as you drag the surfaces across your texture. and it may help to use the tile view in the TCE to get a repeating texture: In the TCE, under the View menu there's a Tile texture selection. See how that changes the way the texture appears in the TCE.

I hope this makes it easier for you to understand. You have to "tell AC3D" from which angle to view every object or surface, then align it with an area of the texture. Depending on how well the graphic is set up for texturing, this can be more or less difficult. But the TCE gives you an extraordinary level of control for lining things up with a minimum of fuss.

PM me if this still isn't clear: if you have Skpe, we can arrange a time to meet online and share a screen and I can show this to you in real time. The "light will come on" very quickly.

Let us know how you're coming along!
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Last edited by Stiglr; 22nd January 2013 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 21st January 2013, 02:02 PM   #13
ElMuttso
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

Send me a private message
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Old 12th May 2018, 07:20 PM   #14
ericRacer
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

I know it's an old message but thanks to Stiglr for the explanation.
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:11 PM   #15
Stiglr
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

Happy to help, even if it was FOURTEEN YEARS ago!!! :0
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Old 25th May 2018, 04:38 PM   #16
jinx
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

Stiglr, is there a way to select the various faces, resize and place them all in the TCE square, print the screen shot of the wire frames into a file, and then paint over the wire frames to generate the final texture image? I'd rather do it that way. My problem is that I don't know how to select the surfaces and get them all into the square. Every time I select a surface and go back out the the 2D views to select more surfaces, the the surfaces I had in the TCE disappear from view. I have to be missing something basic, but the documentation on the software is horrible.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 25th May 2018, 05:55 PM   #17
jinx
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Default Re: Mapping (Frustrated)

I figured this out on my own.

This is what they don't document:

To map the various surfaces onto a template for painting or texturing later (final product will be an image file showing the wireframe, which can be used as a base layer for a template):

1. Open your model file. No need to open a texture file.
2. In Surface mode, select everything.
3. Open the TCE window (Tools/Texture Coordinate Editor).
4. At lower left of TCE window, set your default size. I work in 1024x1024.
5. Close TCE window.
6. In whatever chunk you desire (such as a whole side, or one or more surfaces), select the surfaces and leave them highlighted. Check and make sure you didn't mistakenly select more surfaces than you intended.
7. Open the TCE window. Your selected surfaces will be black frame, highlighted. Resize and re-position as needed. Close the TCE window.
8. Repeat 6 and 7 until everything is selected.
9. In the main screen, select all surfaces.
10. Open the TCE window. All of your surfaces should be present. Click anywhere on the TCE window backround to de-highlight the wireframes. Everything should now be white wireframes. Rearrange and re-size everything so it fits in the black square (click or drag a box to highlight and move or re-size). You now have a a white wireframe template of your model inside of a 1024x1024 square.
11. Hit print-screen or use the TCE screen capture, and save the file.

The file can now be used as a base layer in a graphics editor like Gimp or Photoshop. Paint or add graphics as you so desire. Save the final image, and you can now use this as your texture file. When you re-open AC3D, load the texture as normal, and repeat steps 1-10 above if needed, using the new texture. You now have a textured model.
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