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2D PROPS FROM PHOTOS

Author: Ned

Tools Needed

  • Any decent image processing application
  • Poser application

Introduction

You can make your own 2D props for just about any Poser project. All you need is a camera, a PC and a lot of gray matter!

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Step 1 - TAKING THE PHOTOS

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Hello again from NED STUDIOS!

Today I will teach you another useful trick and show you that thinking “out of the box” really pays out!

Who says that all the props you use for your Poser projects have to be in 3D? If your final product is a 2D render then some of the props can be in 2D as well. Especially those in the background. Let's take foliage as an example (although it could be anything else).

We are going to make a poseable, scalable, “see-through” bush and place it in front of a blue sky background. Here's how:

If you have a digital camera you are half way there! Go out and take some photos of trees and bushes and make sure you get a good contrast between the subject and the background.

(see figure 1)Hook up your camera to your PC and download your photos. Most of the time I use Microsoft Picture It “Photo premium 7” but you can use just about any decent image processing application to perform the following tasks:

Make a crop-out image since you only need the bush, not the sky. I use “cutout by color selection” operation. Don't try to crop it out by hand or you'll go mad half way through!

(You need every single leaf and twig and if you don't know how to crop the entire bush out, I suggest you check out the help files of your application)

Save the image as PNG file (see Figure 2) since this is your future texture for the prop.

In the same image, place a black square in the background and click on the bush. Make it black and white and turn contrast all the way to full white with no gray tones! Save it as JPG file. This will be your future transparency map (see Figure 3).

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Step 2 - PROP ME UP

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Open Poser and prepare your blue sky background if you wish. This could be a photo too.

Now comes the fun part:

Open Props/Primitives and choose one of the squares. I chose “Hi-res square”. Prop it up at 90 degrees and open Material room. Click on the square and attach new nodes for 2D image map and transparency map as seen in figure4. Adjust your dials for transparency and do a test render. This will tell you what parameters you still need to adjust but basically, that's it! If you got it right the first time, the bush (the square) can be moved around, scaled and you can see the sky through leaves and twigs.(fig 5)This is now a very useful prop since you can place a few of these one if front of another and, with some creativity, make the scenery look like a real forest! Not to mention that (depending on the size of your textures) your render time might improve dramatically! Give your prop a name, save it in Poser's Props library and use it as often as you like.

Happy “propping” and catch you later!

see some of my work at: http://www.yessy.com/ned/graph.html?fs=0 and drop a comment if you wish

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