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Having problem with a 3D model in Element

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Javier Chacon M
Having problem with a 3D model in Element
on Aug 23, 2014 at 4:11:38 am

I bought a model of a shipping container from 3docean to use in my project. As I was trying out textures in Element 3D, I noticed the model was see-through. It didn't have walls, and it completely ruins the realism of the shot. I'd like to know what could I do about this. I have Maya as well, but I don't know how to use it. I could follow instructions, if the solution depends on it.

I also noticed, the container model doesn't really get the textures, it only gets the color, not the actual detail of the texture like the grunge for example. I leave some pictures so you guys can see what I mean and if you can help me with this. This is literally the last shot I need to do to finish post-production for my short film, and I ran into this little issue, any help is really appreciated.

This the container, you can see through the walls.

And this is what I mean about the texture. The picture below is what this red texture actually looks like.

But on the container it shows a plain red. I'm having those two issues. And I have no idea how to solve them. The see-through one is my main inconvenience. Any help would be really appreciated, thanks in advance!

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Matthew Woods
Re: Having problem with a 3D model in Element
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:04:32 pm

I can tell you what is wrong, and that you will need to use Maya or some other 3d software to fix it, but I can't give you specific instructions because I don't use Maya. At least you will know the problem and the terminology to find your answer.

The transparency problem is because the normals on many of the faces are reversed. The normal is the vector that the renderer uses to tell what direction a surface is facing. OpenGL which element and many game engines use usually renders only one side of a polygon. If the polygon is facing the wrong way, it is transparent. This is a common problem with a lot of free 3d models because a lot of modeling software display both surfaces of a polygon, and the modeler doesn't know he needs to flip some of the faces.

There is an option in an element material to display both faces of the polygon, but I would recommend against it. If the normals are wrong, then your lighting will hit the surface wrong even if you display the back face. The best thing to do is to use your copy of Maya (or other 3d software) to flip the normals. This can sometimes be quite time consuming depending on the model, because often this isn't a global change. Usually there is a mix of correct normals and reverse, and you only want to flip the reversed normals. This can sometimes mean a laborious selection of individual polygons, but for this model it doesn't look like it should be so bad.

I would google flipping normals in Maya.

The texturing problem is because the model hasn't been UV mapped (texture mapped). If all you want to do is apply a tiling Element grunge metal texture to it, a simple cubic UV map should work fine for this model.

Again google cubic UV mapping in Maya.

Good luck!

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