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Down and Dirty Tutorials For NST

Tools Needed


These tutorials are pulled from the set of posts I put up on the Message Board. I've attempted to spell check and flesh them out a bit more, but I'm afraid they will also require a little thinking on your end as well. You may need to do a little trial and error as well. Good luck with these and your own models. -rogue13

Skin Mapping

This exercise is for when you have a completed model in MD2 format and you are ready to lay the polygons from the 3d model onto the 2d skin.

1. In the 3d window, turn your model so you have a full view of one side of an hand. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll be remaping the back of the left hand from the standard female model. It helps, but not necessary, if you've done some of your animations already so you can get into different tight areas as you cycle through the frames. You want to be looking at the set of faces you're currently interested in as perpendicular to the 3d viewing plane as possible. Obviously it's impractical to line the view up for every single face. So we make an educated guess and try to average the difference between a set of faces.


2. Another tip to make your life easier: Check the color sections I've put into my presets in the lower left of the screen. The green will display as unselected polys on the model and the red will be selected. Pick your own color scheme if my Xmas theme doesn't do it for you.

Now make sure you've selected the triangle tool and have turned off the camera mode. [ The 3rd and 1st buttons respectively, check the screenshot as well. ] You can toggle between camera and edit modes by hitting the space bar.

Now select the faces you are looking at mapping by holding the cursor over the face and hitting the left mouse button. The right mouse button deselects it.


3. Now select the rectangle tool [ 8th from the left ] and click and drag a box onto the 2d skin that's vaguely the same proportions as if you put a box around your selections in the 3d view.


4. Select the Rectangle pulldown menu and select the only option you have, "Map from 3D View" You'll get a dialog box up. Until you get the hang of it, select "parallel" and "no backfaces".


You should almost always say no backfaces. If you know why you shouldn't select that for a particular case, you're probably not needing to be read this tutorial. The options here can help you set up your skin to map several pieces of the model to the same place of the skin. This saves space for other sections of the model and can help increase your level of detail that you can put it. Look at the dire avenger model and the terminator models for good examples of this. These are also advanced concepts and remember that although there is no undo, you can simply reselect the faces and remap them again if you bungle something.

Click ok and the faces will appear in the rectangle on the 2d skin. you'll also notice that the checkerboard pattern appears on the model. This is important. Npherno didn't pick the pattern on accident. It can help you arrange your skin so that you can paint across different sections properly without texture sheer.


Texture Sheer

Texture Sheer: when a triangle is mapped to a section of the skin in such a way that it causes the texture to warp excessively across the plane of the polygon on the model.

See the first side picture of the hand that has some sheer, because of the way the initial selection was laid down on the skin. See the second pic that I've adjusted the triangles and have gotten the texture to blend better with the adjacent triangles. This tends to make for some wacky skin arrangements. Where you pull your skin off of, and how its laid out can be an art to get right, if you're so inclined. This is something that takes time to get a good feel for it and don't worry if you end up remapping a section a couple of times to get it to lay out properly. Of course "properly" is subjective, here.



Sticky Mapping

This is for arranging the polygons on the 2d skin, once you've pulled them off the model.

1. after you select the faces you want to move, hit the paperclip button. this is the sticky mapping button.

2. now hold your cursor over the selected faces on the 2d skin and click and hold the right mouse button, then drag the faces to where you want.:

3. thats all you have to do :) but say you like the way a set of faces are lined up but you just need to scale them to fit. no problem.: do the same as above and hold the control key down, then click and drag the right mouse button. it will scale in relation to each axis that you drag the mouse button.:

4. if you've don this on an already skinned model, you are already quite excited but I suggest that you do a quick scribble on some faces and then experiment with the above concepts. you'll see why the button is called "sticky mapping" it also works when you adjust individual vertices.

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