Posts Tagged ‘plug ins’

AC3D Plugin: Material by Crease Angle and Planar Map by Material

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Two new plugins today!

The first plugin, Set Material by Crease Angle, sets the materials of a model based on the crease angle of the mesh. For each selected area, the plugin creates a new color in the palette and “flood-fills” the area until the angle between the surfaces exceeds the crease angle of the mesh. The result is that contiguous areas are all set with the same palette material, and a new material is applied wherever a discontinuity occurs. This allows you to easily break a model into sections along its creases for easier texture mapping, or many other purposes.

The second plugin, Planar Map by Material, actually includes three new commands.

The first command is Fit UV Coordinates to Map. This command is essentially the same as the “max” button in the TCE, forcing all UV coordinates into the 0-1 range, but unlike “max” this scales the map proportionally instead of independently on each axis.

The second command is Adjust UVs for Bilinear Filter. This is useful for game developers. This command scales your texture coordinates by a ratio of 240/256. The purpose is to create a small seam along the edge of the texture map so that if your game is using mipmapping with a bilinear or trilinear filter, the texture won’t bleed into its neighbors in your texture cache nor will it bleed into itself if you haven’t clamped the edges.

The last command, Planar Map by Surface Material, is probably the most useful of the three. Planar Map by Surface Material applies a “best fit” planar projection to all surfaces grouped by material in the current selection. If you section your model by material, this will treat each material color as a contiguous group and apply whichever planar projection fits it best in the TCE. You’ll still need to do some manual adjustment after you map it this way–especially texture packing, as this leaves plenty of room between areas so the surfaces aren’t too difficult to select–but it can save a lot of time in laying down a base mapping before you manually refine each area.

More information about each plugin is available in the readme.

Download the Material by Crease Angle plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

Download the Planar Map by Material plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

AC3D Plugin: Bake Texture Layout

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

This plugin “bakes” a texture from one object to another, allowing you to transfer texture data between two models with the same geometry but different texture coordinates–without having to re-paint the texture bitmap! This is useful if you start to paint a texture, and change your mind later about the UV map; or for games when you can’t change the layout of the map for technical reasons, but would like different UVs for convenience during painting. It’s also good for fitting text onto a warped surface or other projections that would be difficult or impossible to paint by hand.

Download the plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

AC3D Plugin: Pivot Tools

Monday, November 12th, 2007

This plug-in collection adds a series of tools to AC3D that allow you to manage object pivots more effectively. With this plug-in set, you can: Set an object pivot to the highlighted vertex, zero the object pivot, rotate around the pivot instead of the centroid (numerically), or manually enter a pivot location. These functions are very helpful for setting up your model for animation or import into games.

Download the plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

AC3D Plugin: Texture Monitor

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

New for AC3D! This plug-in adds quick reload to the tools menu, allowing you to reload all your textures in just one click. It also includes a tiny disk monitor client that automatically notifies AC3D when your texture maps are saved to disk by your paint program. With this plug-in, you can see your changes made in Photoshop, Corel or your favorite paint program show up in AC3D right away–without any additional clicks.

* UPDATED 5/14/2008: New version with faster reload! This version tracks textures more intelligently to prevent the same texture from being reloaded more than once per cycle, even if it’s used multiple times.

* UPDATED 11/27/2008: The texture monitor is now obsolete. As of 6.4, AC3D now includes its own, much better texture monitor.

Download the plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above. Disk monitor feature requires TCP\IP loopback support for communicating with AC3D.)