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Re: Exact Placement of a Layer Map

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Edward Wu
Re: Exact Placement of a Layer Map
on Mar 9, 2009 at 5:15:34 pm

Hi Alex,

If you need a Layer Map to fit exactly onto your Illustrator shape, one of the best ways to do this is to trace the outline of the cartoon head inside of Illustrator. You can use either the pen tool or if the image has clear outlines, you can use the "Live Trace" feature to save some time. However, if you are using the Live Trace tool, make sure to clean up any unnecessary shapes or lines.

The key to having the layer map fit perfectly is to have the texture map (the cartoon head picture) be the same size as the Illustrator shape. Since the Illustrator outline was traced from the cartoon head picture, you know the outline is the same size as the picture. However, one thing to check is to make sure that the cartoon head image is cropped to the edges. If you leave margins on the cartoon head picture, the margins are being applied as well, which could be the reason you are seeing the layer map being stretched.

Below are the condensed steps to have your layer map fit onto the Illustrator shape:
1) In Illustrator, import the cartoon head picture
2) Trace the outline in Illustrator
3) Save the Illustrator file without compression
4) Open the cartoon head picture in Photoshop
5) Use the crop tool and crop the picture so that there are no margins on any side
6) Save the cartoon head picture
7) In After Effects, set up your Invigorator project (create a new Composition, Solid, and apply Invigorator to the Solid)
8) Import the the cartoon head picture, and apply it as Layer Map 1
9) In Invigorator, open the Illustrator file to get your 3D shape
10) Apply Layer Map 1 to a new material swatch, and apply the material to your 3D shape

If both files are the same size, the map should fit perfectly. Hope that helps. If you need an example project, you can leave your e-mail address and I will that over to you.


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