Introduction to Maya - Modeling Fundamentals Vol 1
This course will look at the fundamentals of modeling in Maya with an emphasis on creating good topology. We'll look at what makes a good model in Maya and why objects are modeled in the way they are.
# 1 12-02-2007 , 03:00 PM
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using still images in maya

Super noob here about to pull my EYEBALLS OUT OF MY SKULL trying to figure out how the heck to use a still image in a scene in maya. I have a project set up entirely in After Effects. Camera moving around all over the place, using 2D objects in 3D space. No problem. However, AE's 3D capabilities are limited, so I need to do one scene in Maya, but still have 2D elements- photographs of buildings.

I've tried:
-using the photos as image planes, but the images don't actually render.
-saving the images as .eps or .ai files (the only 2 filetypes on the supported "import" list I can see that I can get to from Photoshop). I import, but it doesn't show up in the scene. I got an error message about illegal characters in the namespace, but I changed it so there was no error message and still nothing.
-creating planes and using the images as textures. This almost got me there, but the transparent parts of the plane (not covered by the texture) are still visible, not to mention me having to spend time tweaking specularity, reflections, etc., when I've already spent the time in Photoshop preparing the images.

Even more frustrating is that, judging from dozens of pages of Google entries and Maya tutorials, I am apparently the first person in history to have this question.

All I want to do is import a g@#$%^! still image! Is this impossible? A million thanks to the kind soul that can put an end to my suffering.

# 2 12-02-2007 , 03:08 PM
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ok... you want a 2d image that you can then insert into maya, a 3d program, to render out and create another 2d image?


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# 3 12-02-2007 , 03:15 PM
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Hello poodlepie,

You need to attach the image to a shader then use the shader on an object, a poly plane for instance.

Create a plane to the dimensions of the image, if the image is huge then scale it down eg. if it is 1024x1024 pixels make the plane 102.4x102.4 or 10.24x10.24 pixels.

Open up the hypershade window (Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade) and create a new shader.

Double click the new shader to open its attributes and click the checked box to the right of the colour attributes. This will open the create render node window.

Make sure that the 'Normal' option is checked at the top of the window and hit the 'File' button.

Navigate to the file that you want to use and select it. The still image will now be attached to the shader.

Now apply the shader to the plane by selecting the plane and in hypershade right click the shader and select 'assign material to selection'

Hope that's what you needed,

Mat.

Oops, Just re-read your message and you already tried that!! Although you could do it this way and use an alpha map plugged into the transparency attribute to get the transparent parts to be transparent.

Sorry,

Mat.


Last edited by happymat27; 12-02-2007 at 03:18 PM.
# 4 12-02-2007 , 03:22 PM
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yea i was about to say that...

although if you use an image like a .gif (that already has transparency) then you can just map that to a lambert shader and throw it on a plane. the transparency in the gif file should take care of the parts of the plane your image isn't on.


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# 5 12-02-2007 , 03:37 PM
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NeoStrider & happymat27-
This is mix of 2D and 3D elements. There will be a 3D car, street, and sidewalks. The 3D car will drive through a scene consisting of buildings, signs, birds, sky, etc. that are 2D objects. It may sound weird, but it looks pretty cool so far- this "city" scene is the last one in the project. I've been able to get by with AE only so far.

So, yes, I did already try attaching the image to a shader, and applying that to the planes. And when I rendered, I saw the transparent parts showing through. The images are in .png format, so there is proper alpha info for transparency. I used a Blinn shader, however, not a Lambert. Maybe that's where the problem lies. I'll give it a shot...

Thanks very much for the feedback.

# 6 12-02-2007 , 10:08 PM
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well a blinn also accounts for specular highlights and reflectivity... where a lambert does not. what you may be seeing in the areas where there is no plane could just be reflections and specular highlights.

at the same time, you could just render out your 3d car onto your 2d image frames, save the sequence as .tif files, and then use the alpha in after effects to get rid of the remainder of the image - to then interact with the 2d layers moving in 3d in after effects...


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# 7 23-02-2007 , 01:51 PM
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Just wanted to thank you guys for the input. The lambert shader did the trick for me. Here's a screenshot of the scene so far. Still fussing with lighting, placement, etc.

-Adam

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# 8 23-02-2007 , 01:58 PM
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Just wanted to thank you guys for the input. The lambert shader did the trick for me. Here's a screenshot of the scene so far. Still fussing with lighting, placement, etc...

-Adam

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