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Changing shapes...just not getting it...

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Kentwolf
Changing shapes...just not getting it...
on Jul 21, 2007 at 10:04:01 pm

I have had PI3 for a few yearws. Works great.

I am now trying to change some shapes in the Pro Emitter (Holo Poster 2). This is a new procedure for me.

I am able to add a shpe to the Library, but when I make that new shape active, it appears to make a *number* of other shapes NO LONGER active.

1.) Where can I see exactly what shapes are used by by the current emitter? i.e. The man's face used in Holo Poster 2, where can I see that this is an image used in the current emitter??? Where can I see the shapes for the words, "madness, underground, etc." I do not see it anywhere.

2.) Is there a way to make multiple shapes active?

3.) What I envision is a place where you can see all the shapes used in the current emitter; it would be nice if, from that sort of dialog, one could simply swap out the shape in question.

4.) I added a logo. It was a black text PSDD saved as an 8-bit TGA with alpha. After import, it is used in some places as a black logo (fine), but in other places as a red outlined black logo. Where can I control this?

I am pretty proficient regarding video tools, but not on this changing shapes thing. I am just not getting it.

Is there a more concise procedure somewhere? I know these are a lot of questions and are probably very simple to some others here. I am just having a hard time with this. I am sure it would all suddenly become clear to me once I get a good explanation of things.

Thank ya'll for your help.

Kent Wolf



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Elvis Deane
Re: Changing shapes...just not getting it...
on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:08:11 am

1. When you select a particle type in the Properties window and go to the Change Shape tab, whatever shape appears automatically in the right hand area beside the list of shapes in the library is the shape for that specific particle type (it'll match the shape in the top left corner of the Particles tab). Once you start selecting shapes from the list, then you'll only see the current shape for that type in the top left box, the bottom right box will display whatever shape you've selected in the list. So in the case of the HoloPoster, first select the 'images 1' or 'images 2' particle type in the Hierarcy part of the Properties window, and the faces will appear in both those boxes. The arrows below that image box will flip through the images that make up that type (they are a sequence of images, which are stored as one shape). If you wanted to replace just one of those faces with an image of your own, the best way to do that would be to save out the images (using the Export Shape button), then saving your own image with the same name as the specific face you want to replace (image_0003.png or whatever the case may be). Then if you re-add that sequence as a shape, your image will replace that chosen face.

That probably sounds a lot more complicated than it is. If it isn't clear, I'll see what I can do about posting a visual example.

2. To use multiple shapes for one particle type, you have to name the files sequentially, and then import them. Then check the Random Start Frame box, and move the slider below it from Fast to Off.

4. Was there any white rim around the logo at all? If you're saving an image with an alpha, it's always best to make sure the colour of the area surrounding the alpha is the same as the colour of the object . So if you're making a chunk of white text, put it against a white background. It'll be invisible to the naked eye, but when you select the text and create the alpha, that will be white on black, and you won't have to worry about any edge bleeding that might occur.

--
Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry


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Kentwolf
Re: Changing shapes...just not getting it...
on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:39:15 pm

Elvis:

Thank you very much for your comments. They are very helpful to me.

I do understand what you're saying...

>>...you'll only see the current shape for that
>>type in the top left box...

Got it. Sure would be nice if there was a shape *name* there as well. That would be a real time saver. Perhaps in the next version.

>>...That probably sounds a lot more complicated than it is.

Nope. I understand.

The exporting of the sequence is very helpful. Nice.

>>...multiple shapes for one particle type, you have to
>>name the files sequentially...

Got it.

>>...it's always best to make sure the colour
>>of the area surrounding the alpha...

I am not perfectly clear on this one.

I envision an image, say, the letter "X" on a transparent background. To me, this would be a white letter X on a transparent (checkerboard) background.

The only way I can envision an "area surrounding the alpha' would be a single pixel width at the perimeter of the whole image.

I believe I get the message of that you basically want white whatever (text, image) on a black background. Correct?

>>...Was there any white rim around the logo at all?

At one point, yes. This was due to the feathering of the alpha mask generation. Took it into MaskPro and got rid of it.

Questions:

1.) How else could one quantify the "area surrounding the alpha?"

2.) Is there a reason I could not regularly use a white whatever on a transparent/checkerboard background? Typically, if I am making a white image on a transparent background, I make a black background layer to aid in visibility, then turn the black background layer off when not being used. If this an OK method in your opinion? I would imagine that PSD files result in substantially larger library filesize.

3.) Besides copy, then rename, what is the best way to add a new image layer in the emitter properties dialog?

4.) In your opinion, do you know of a good methodology of generating the style of images, like the face, so that it shows up well in PI?

It almost looks like the Photoshop "Stamp" efect is used on a grayscale image, but that doesn't quite do it; almost, but not quite.

What is a good way to make a file with essentially white highliights, with enough detail to still make the face recognizeable, but make it so it works properly in PI?

Thank you very much for your response. It is very helpful to me.

Kent Wolf



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Elvis Deane
Re: Changing shapes...just not getting it...
on Jul 23, 2007 at 6:31:42 am

White on transparent is fine in theory, but the reality is that when Photoshop saves out the file, it will fill that transparent area with something. That something is whatever you have selected as your Background colour, at least as far as I know. So if your Photoshop background colour is set to white as you are creating a black shape on a transparent BG, it may end up with a very thin white rim around that black.

I'm not sure what you mean by image layer. Do you mean the particle types, images 1, scratches, splatter, etc?

I think the effect used to create those faces was Halftone. So greyscaling the image and then halftoning might do the trick.

--
Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry


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