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Messages - Bman

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Thanks Trevor.  I had to look up the term, but my understanding is a 1D,2D, or 3D "Sprite" is a concept/program code or object (however it is manifested in physical geometric shape) that displays a static bitmap image that is always visible from any direction facing the player's point of view or camera view(?).  That's not exactly correct but I digress.  Game doesn't support "sprites" in the traditional sense.  Anyway, I haven't had time to test yet, but I'll build a concentric-cylinder (lightsaber) blade shape as you mentioned. Thanks.

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Trevor, I searched for your post you are referring to, but I don't think it exists anymore.(?)  Direct link ?

Anyway, in the mesh image shown below (un-textured at the moment) is what I tested with one of the above Lights.png texture map on each intersecting plane. But I think I need to use the "two-sided" texture mapping feature in Anim8or for each plane, before I export to .3ds format.  I've also wondered if scaling the applied texture map has any significance. (?)

In the game environment, I rotated the model around and it appeared the back side of some planes were transparent because the game engine thinks that the face normals exist on the textured side.  Also, I had deleted the sphere enveloping the planes, but if I fill in the faces of the sphere and map a pure transparent black texture to the entire sphere, that might allow the shadow property applied from any random light source to fall on the opposite side of the enveloping sphere (which is invisible anyway) and not affect the interior planes.  The only other cosmetic effect left is maybe add a 90 degree plane at the bottom or center of the intersecting planes (inside the sphere) so you see the flashing light effect looking up from below the model.

I'm still not clear about volumetric 2d/3d sprite objects or how to do that.  Game engine is 3d flight simulation game using 3d meshes/objects.  I read some threads about lightsaber blades and making concentric cylinders, but you're right that it adds a higher poly face count if I did it with multiple spheres... and color banding effect.  Wanted to test what Selden wrote too about  UV tool's "Spherical projection".  Wasn't aware of that.


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Hi Trevor, good to see you here.  Are you talking about this thread topic?  http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,946.0.html
Not quite sure what you mean by "volumetric" 2D-sprites. Sorry I plead some ignorance.  What I'm trying to do is create flashing landing lights like you see on commercial airline planes.  But specifically for the top dorsal wing and bottom hull of the Lambda Class Shuttle.  The only way I've been able to get the game engine to not cast a shadow behind the sphere mesh when a light source is coming from any direction, is to just use a plain white texture (no alpha channel) and set the color white to full illumination either via Optech or Jeremy's new editor.  Thoughts?

Oh, so maybe multiple spheres each a slightly larger than the other with a fading "white" transparency and have black as the transparency ???    :-)

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Thanks Selden for the instructions.  I'll give it a try.  I"ve posted some screenshots above so it will make more sense.  In the above pics, there's the whole sphere where texture map is mapped to just the front and the back of the sphere.  Lower pics, I cut the sphere in half and rotated the x,y,z coordinates to experiment.  Just a plain white light instead of the white and blue.  I like how it shows, it's just getting that same look all the way around, but I need to delete the texture on back side.

Here's another crude way of explaining it.  Suppose the light source is the "pupil" of the eyeball.  Idea is to be able to see the pupil straight on from any 360 degree angle of the sphere.  Kind of like how you look at the tiny pupil of the eyes of a praying mantis and the illusion is that it's pupils always seem like they follow you from any direction. Lol.  The game engine... pretty old, so it can't take advantage of ambience, emissions, diffuse, bump & envir. texture maps unfortunately, but it does handle basic lighting from .bmp/.png encapsulated in .dat files, not from meshes themselves.  It does handle transparency and illumination pretty well though.  Models (meshes) are in an old .opt file proprietary format.   Thanks.

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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.........

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General Anim8or Forum / Re: .Bmp textures format question
« on: February 21, 2015, 04:01:43 am »
Thank Raxx for confirmation.   So that means for me I have to find another program or utility to change the textures back to 8-bit or 32-bit colors on the .3ds model.  Kinda defeats the purpose.  :-)     Is there a reason why Anim8tor only uses 24-bit colors within it's platform and not other color formats ?   Was it just an arbitrary decision or an optimal format when the code was written ?   Thanks.

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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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