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Making a Picture Frame - Part 2: Importing into 3D Programs

Importing into Bryce

Importing into Vue

Importing into Poser

Making a Picture Frame - Part 1: Using Shape Magic

Example Picture Frames

Importing into Bryce

To import the object into Bryce, click on the menu item File then click on Import Object. and select the object using the filename you gave the picture frame when you saved it in Shape Magic (e.g., pictureframe.obj).

The object will show up in the middle of the screen. You will be looking at it from the side view.

We need to rotate it 90 degrees into a vertical position by using the rotate icon on the tool bar. I then rotated it 90 degrees on the Y-axis.

I then moved it back and hung it on the wall.

With the object still selected, I then smoothed it by clicking on the edit icon (at A) which opens the Edit Mesh dialog box. Click on the ball at B, then click the checkmark at C. This isn't needed for a distant view as shown here but will make a difference for close-ups.

A Shape Magic object has up to 5 parts: a bottom face, a bottom section, a middle section, a top section and a top face (some of these may not be present if zero bezier segments was chosen for that part on the Side View page). If you check the box Group Names (at A in image below) when saving the object in Shape Magic, these parts will be labeled when imported into Bryce. You can then select each part independently to add texture, smooth, resize, etc.

To select a section, place the mouse pointer over the object section, then hold down the Ctrl key as you left click with the mouse. A dialog box with all the objects underneath the mouse pointer will appear (this is not a full list of the object names, just those under the mouse pointer). Scroll down and select a section as shown below. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys together when clicking with the mouse and you can select multiple objects. Once selected, you can add your choice of texture.

I first added an American Walnut texture to the entire object (see image A). I then selected the middle_section and added a Cherry texture (B). I then selected the top_section and added a Beech texture (C). Since it was easy to do, I made this into a mirror by selecting the top_face and adding a polished silver metal texture (D). By the way, the wood textures are by Tony Lynch - a great set available at the 3D Commune store.

To make this into a picture frame, I selected the top_face as shown at A in the image below. I then clicked on the arrow at B to bring up the materials selection and selected Flat White at C. Then click on the icon at D to open the Materials Editor.

In the Materials Lab, click on the first dot in the first column in the Diffuse row (see A below). Then set Ambience to 0 (see B). Then change the texture mapping by clicking the triangle at C and selecting Object Top. This choice works well to display an entire picture sized to the picture frame. Then click on the dot labeled P (see D below) to set the texture type to Picture. Finally, click on E to open the Picture selector.

Click on an open square as in A below. Then click on Load at B. If the middle frame is not white, click on the white dot at C and select Delete when the dialog box appears.

Here's the completed textured picture frame on the left and a resized model made into a mirror on the right. A close up of the completed model is shown in the image here.

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Importing into Vue

To import the object into Vue, click on the menu item Objects then click on Import Object... and select the object using the filename you gave the picture frame when you saved it in Shape Magic (e.g., pictureframe.obj).

The object will show up in the middle of the views. The top face will be pointing up in the side view.

We need to rotate it 90 degrees into a vertical position by using the tool son the upper right of the screen. With the object selected, click on the icon of a carpenter's square (see A below), then click on Orientation icon (see B below) then type 90 into the pitch box (see C below).

With the object selected, click on the menu item Objects then click on Change Object Material.

When the materials dialog appeared, I added a Black Marble rock (see A below) to the entire object.

I then added a different texture to the middle_section. To do so, click on the + sign by the filename in the box at the lower right of the screen (in this case, Picture_frame_hexagon). The + will turn into a - sign and the group names will appear. Click on the middle_section name (see B below), then click on the menu item Objects - Change Objects Material and select a material of choice. I chose a Red Marble texture.

To make this a mirror, I selected the top_face (see A below) then added a Chrome metal texture.

To make this a picture frame, go to the tool box at upper right of screen. Click on the paint tube icon (see A below). Then double-click on the sphere (see B below).

This will open up the materials editor. Click on the Mapped picture button (see A below). Then click on the Load button (see B below) and select a picture image. Click on OK (C below) to close the dialog.

Here's the fished frame rendered in Vue.

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Importing into Poser

If you want to add the same texture to the entire model in Poser, it's pretty straightforward to import. If you want to texture different sections, as we are doing in this tutorial, its' a bit more complicated than Bryce and Vue, as Poser is less forgiving of texture mapping.

To follow this tutorial, you will need to use UVmapper. If you don't already have it, you can get the free classic version at this link.

Using UVmapper will also make the model useable in older 3D programs (like Bryce 3D, Poser 3, Ani8tor, etc.) that don't accept .obj files with the relative addressing mode that Shape Magic uses.

Texture Mapping in UVmapper

First, load the Shape Magic model into UVmapper. Click on File from the menu bar, and select Load Model. Open the model using the filename you gave the picture frame when you saved it in Shape Magic (e.g., pictureframe.obj).

UVmapper will show the cylindrical mapping that was applied by Shape Magic. Select from the menu Edit-Color-by Group to see each section in color as below.

To add the picture to the frame, we need to make a new map. Click on Edit-New UV Map-Planar as shown below. Then click on the Y-axis button (see A below) and Don't Split button (see B below). This will make a texture map looking down at the top view of the object.

This is the map you will see. We could leave it like this, but when the picture texture is added to the top face of the frame, it will only show the middle of the picture. So we want to increase the size of the top face outlined in yellow below.

To be able to see more of the picture image, we are going to move the vertices of the top face. Start by selecting from the menu Edit-Select-by Group. Then select top_face when the dialog box opens. A black square will appear around the top face on the texture map.

Select and drag the upper left corner of the black box to the upper left of the screen. Drag the lower right corner of the black box to the lower right of the screen. Now the entire width and height of the picture texture will be used as shown below.

The last step in UVmapper is to save the model with the new texture map. From the menu, select File-Save Model. Then check the boxes labeled A-E shown below (some may already be checked). We check box C, Flip Texture Coordinates Vertically, so the picture texture will be right side up and facing in the right direction in Poser.

On to Poser

The model is now ready to import into Poser. Select File-Import-Wavefront Obj from the Poser menu.

Be sure to check the box labeled Flip Normals (see A below). The object will import into Poser laying flat on the ground (see B below).

Raise the object up using the Translate/Pull tool icon and rotate around the X-axis by typing 90 degrees into the parameter dial box.

Next we need to add texture to the object. Select Render-Materials from the menu. In the dialog box that opens, be sure the right name shows (see A below) then click on Object Color button (see B below) and choose a brown color.

Now we will texture the top_face by clicking on the Grouping tool icon (see A below). Click on the arrow in the top box of the dialog that pops up (see B below) and select top_face (see C). The top face will be highlighted in red as at D below. Next click on the button labeled Assign Material (see E below) then type in a name in the dialog box (see F). When done, click on the X to close the Group Edit box.

Select Render-Materials from the menu again. Be sure the right object name is showing (see A below). Click on the Material box and select the name you assigned to the top face (B below). Change the object color to white so the picture shows its true colors (see C below). Select the picture texture by clicking on the Load button in the Texture Map section (see D below). The picture image will now show up in the middle of the frame (see E).

For finishing touches, I used the Grouping tool to select the middle_section and added an orange color. I then added a yellow highlight color to the brown texture on the main frame. Here's the final render in Poser.

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