Alpha Mask in 3DMax
The image that is going to be used for this tutorial is taken from the below link, it’s always a good idea to use a high resolution texture for crisp and sharp results. (Download the version of the leaf with the Alpha Mask)
- Launch Photoshop.
- Open the leaf image you downloaded.
- First we will fix the holes (Eaten away).
- Select the Clone Stamp Tool.
- Press ALT and Left click on the area on the leaf to define a
source from where to copy the pixels to fill the holes.
- Paint over the empty hole to fill it in. You need to select an area that matches and blends well.
- Save file as “Leaf_Diffuse”, make sure you save it as transparent PNG.
- Next open up 3DMAX (Any version will do).
- From the command panel select “Plane”, draw a plane of size Length 2’ and Width 3’.
- Press ‘M’ to launch the Material Editor and assign a Shader to the plane (Make sure the plane object is selected in the viewport).
- In the Material Editor press the small grey box next to Diffuse
- Double click on the “BITMAP” Map type in the Material/Map Browser window(if the roll.out is collapsed you will have to open it by pressing the ‘+’ sign). Browse to the location where you saved “Leaf_Diffuse.png” and select this to assign it to the diffuse slot.
- In the Material Editor press the button that says “Show shaded Material in Viewport”.
- You will notice that your leaf appears stretched. Next we fix that by applying a UVW MAP from the modifier list.
- Next make sure that the UVW MAP stays selected. We do a Bitmap Fit (See Image).
- After pressing the Bitmap Fit button select the “Leaf_Diffuse.png” once again. This will fix the leaf.
- If you feel you need to reposition the leaf on the plane, in the command panel click on the ‘+’ icon next to “UVW MAP”, select GIZMO . Now you can translate the XYZ in the view port. (See Image)
- Now, if you press F9 and render you will see that the leaf image is not transparent. In the next steps we take care of that.
- In the Material Editor (Press ‘M’) to open it.
- Select the grey box next to the Opacity Slot.
- In the Material/Map Browser that opens click on ‘Bitmap’ (Same as in Step 12 ). Browse to the location where you have saved “Leaf_AlphaMask.png” and select it.
- This is the most basic process of applying an alpha mask, hope you liked it and found it interesting.
- You can go further and duplicate the leaf and make different arrangements.
- Here is the final image, rendered from 3D Max. I have used Bend modifier, rotated the planes to give some variation. Used skylight with Lightracer and Scanline.