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Topics - Bman

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Hello, I'll state my project and steps first, then follow up with my three questions.  I'm working on a simple round sphere mesh that I want to export in .3ds or .obj format to serve as the blinking landing lights for an existing model for a 3rd party game.   Steps I've done....

1) I've created a 256x256 image in GIMP.  Background layer is pure black [0,0,0]. The top transparent layer is black too but includes a simple round white [255,255,255] circle with a slight Gaussian blur to make the edges of the circle fade away.  So basically it looks like a realistic flashlight in the dark.  I merged the layers and designated the pure black color to alpha to make it transparent and saved as a "Lights.png" image file.

2) In Anim8or... I made my sphere mesh and from the front view, I selected all front and rear faces to apply the "Lights.png" texture... I think from in Diffuse bucket.
I'm not clear on the best way of using the Materials/texture editor for this example... reading tutorials, but I clicked the UV tool to map the image onto the mesh.

3) Saved, exported to .obj format and then converted into another format.

4) In the rendered game environment, the sphere mesh implodes into nothing and then expands back out to it's normal size in constant one second intervals (transformations of 0; 0; 0) which gives it a nice blinking effect.

Here's my question/problem:  The texture map fades to transparency in the middle/side sections of the sphere since the texture map is stretched across the front half and rear half of the sphere.  What is the best way/tips to give an illusion so that you would see the same light texture from any 360 degree angle?
The second problem is any light source from within the game environment, say a star, sun, planet, or nebulae from an above angle, will cause a shadow to form on the bottom half of the sphere mesh darkening part of the "light" texture.

The current solution I have right now is a pure white illuminated sphere (all faces) without the alpha channel but it defeats the purpose and looks cheesy.  Would it be better to texture the sphere pure black (transparent) on the outside face normals of the sphere, and then map the Lights.png file to inside face normals of the sphere?  And then again, how would I get this to look like a realistic flashing light from any 360 degree angle?  I thought about putting multiple square planes inside the sphere each with same texture map, but the face normals flip geometrically as you move around the sphere.   ::)

Thanks for reading and any advice is appreciated.
Edit: Posted screen shots below to help explain.........

General Anim8or Forum / .Bmp textures format question
« on: February 20, 2015, 07:09:26 pm »
Hi,  newbie here.  After creating my model in Anim8tor,  is there anyway I can apply standard   8-bit (256 colored)  *.bmp textures files to the faces of my model ?   Also can high resolution  32-bit colored .bmp files be used to texture models too ?    If  not,  is there any work arounds like  plug-ins or scripts that can be used ?     I plan on exporting my finished model into  .3ds  or  possibly  .obj  format.

My understanding from searching threads here  (and not listed in the manual)  is  that only  24-bit textured .bmp files can be imported and exported on applied models.    Is this a feature  Steve plans to  add to the program ?   Thanks.

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