NEWBIE CHALLENGE #07 - LIQUIFY YOUR HEAD
A break from head modelling this session. Hooray, I hear you cry.
Ever played with the Liquify filter in PhotoShop, Mesh Warp tool in Paintshop Pro, or various distortion tools in other apps? Well, ZB can do it too .. and way better. You may have seen recent posts by Bas and Kris using photos for various effects, and we're going to do something similar.
It's simple and fun to do, but is a good way to learn how ZB uses textures. It's also a good opportunity to experiment with many of the tools in Projection Master and the mesh Deformation options in the Tool palette.
In your favourite graphic program, load a photo. Better make sure it's not copyrighted, eh.
Carefully draw around the main focus of the picture with pure black (0,0,0). Do this carefully and your life will be much easier later. Make the photo square by adding height or width as appropriate, making sure the added area is pure black too. Make sure there's no pure black in the central part of the photo though .. shift the colour slightly if there is any. You'll see why in a minute. Save it as a .psd or other format ZB likes (avoid .jpg).
In ZB, select the Plane3D tool, create a polymesh, draw the polymesh on screen, and divide it several times (4 times gives you approximately 260k polygons). Load your photo. Because the polymesh is square and so is your photo, there's no distortion.
Use the Move tool ..
.. and the Draw tool (experiment with Standard, Inflate and Pinch, both with ZAdd and ZSub). Make sure the MRGB, RGB and M options are turned off! Drop the plane in Projection Master and have fun with the various tools. Out of PM, play with the Deformation tools. Remember this is a relatively flat mesh, so some options won't appear to do much. Some do too much.
Now for the trick .. in the main Texture palette, click on Transparency and all the pure black in your picture disappears! The mesh is still there .. you just can't see it. It's not 'hidden' as such .. if you click on 'Delete all hidden' in the Geometry palette, ZB will tell you there's nothing to delete.
Keep playing! Try different lights and materials. Try filling a background layer with an interesting colour and putting your mesh in a layer above it to get Z Shadows on the background when you render.
Make some cool, funky, out-of-this-world weird photo things. Extra kudos points if you can get some great shapes happening without too much obvious distortion in the texture. It helps if you make several small changes at a time to your mesh, rather than one big change. Good luck, citizens! Make me proud.