Layering an opacity material over object material

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  05 May 2013
Layering an opacity material over object material

Hi all,

I'm very new to 3D max, and I am trying to create an object with a logo on it. I have made the object and put a standard material on it. On one of the faces I wanted to put a logo. To do this I made a logo in Photoshop with an Alpha Layer, and using opacity applied it to the face I wanted, which worked. Trouble is, I want it to show the standard layer behind it rather than just having the rest of the face transparent.

I assume there's a way to layer materials, but I'm really stuck and can't figure it out. Hope that makes sense, I'd really appreciate someone's help figuring it out.

Thank you in advance.
 
  05 May 2013
Use a 'blend' material or 'composite' material. Both should work if there's an alpha channel.

With a blend material you'll need to copy you bitmap (the one with the alpha) and plug that into the blend mix slot, in the bitmap settings, change mono channel to Alpha.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by MisterS: With a blend material you'll need to copy you bitmap (the one with the alpha) and plug that into the blend mix slot, in the bitmap settings, change mono channel to Alpha.
No need to copy and keep track of multiple bitmap nodes. Instead use a Color Correction after the bitmap set to:
R: Alpha
G: Alpha
B: Alpha
A: One

Then link the Color Correction map to the Blend Mix. This can be used any time you want to extract the alpha from a bitmap without having multiple bitmap nodes for it.

-Eric
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by PiXeL_MoNKeY: No need to copy and keep track of multiple bitmap nodes. Instead use a Color Correction after the bitmap set to:
R: Alpha
G: Alpha
B: Alpha
A: One

Then link the Color Correction map to the Blend Mix. This can be used any time you want to extract the alpha from a bitmap without having multiple bitmap nodes for it.

-Eric

Great tip!
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  05 May 2013
Like he said - that is a bloody good tip! Thanks
 
  05 May 2013
Is it possible to use the image alpha of a decal as a bump? I tried using the suggested method to get the alpha - and I've tried using a copy, but I can't seem to create a composite bump map using a decal.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by MisterS: Is it possible to use the image alpha of a decal as a bump? I tried using the suggested method to get the alpha - and I've tried using a copy, but I can't seem to create a composite bump map using a decal.
Depending on how you are trying to use it you may need to set the A: in the Color Correction needs to be set to Alpha as well. When you set A: One the alpha is all white, A: Zero the alpha is all black, and A: Alpha the alpha from the original file will be passed through.

How exactly are you trying to use the alpha data? Are you trying to combine it with RGB data, other alpha data, or something else?

-Eric
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  05 May 2013
If you look in my sig you'll see my WIP. So it would be great to add the small decals using individual UVW maps rather than a large map for top and left etc.

How would you set your composite maps up using the suggested method?

I can get the alpha piped into a blend material but if I screen or linear dodge that onto a dark noise map to use for bump - it doesn't look the same as if I had painted the same bump map. Also didnt look right as a gloss map.

Great tip though - I've got a pretty large shader tree and it was a pleasure to delete some of it!
 
  05 May 2013
Without seeing the map stack or having a file it is hard to know why it isn't doing what you expect.

-Eric
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  05 May 2013
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