03
Sep
08

Neon Signs made Easy with a single 2D image in iClone 3.0

No bar is complete without a wide variety of Neon Signs

No bar is complete without a wide variety of Neon Signs

Aloha iCloners out there, today’s tip is one worthy of bars the likes of the ones Tom Cruise graced in Cocktail. This tip showcases how to create Neon Signs with a single 2D image. This is a method that uses the same image 3 times to create anything you wish to glow with any great level of detail really, a Neon Sign just so happens to be a perfect representation of this technique. Also, helping out with this tip is a website that is sure to yield the images you need to create these signs with http://www.warsawwallys.com/ or http://www.neonsign.com/

  • Be sure your Pixel Shader is turned on
  • Click the Set Tab
  • Select the Props button
  • Load a 3D Plane default surface prop
  • Make sure the Diffuse Map is selected and click the Open button
  • Navigate to your custom Neon Sign image (visit http://www.warsawwallys.com/ or http://www.neonsign.com/ for collection of images)
  • Return to the Modify panel and click the Launch button to load your image into an external image editor such as Photoshop
  • Create a solid Black and White opacity image, leaving everything white you wish to make glow
  • Save the .JPG as an Opacity file
  • Return to the Modify panel and select the Opacity map and click the Open button
  • Navigate to your custom Neon Sign opacity image
  • Return to the Modify panel and select the Glow map and click the Open button
  • Navigate to the same custom Neon Sign image assigned to the Diffuse map
  • Use the Strength slider to gauge and customize the range of the Glow map
  • Save your new Neon Sign in your custom props folder

Creating Neon Signs with a single 2D image is a technique that can be applied to many different things. It’s also a low-poly solution to something that if you were to model such a curvy object you would sacrifice poly-count just to get it right, that makes this sort of texture effect technique valuable to Machinimators and traditional 3D filmmakers alike. iClone has aways had the ability to combine maps but never before have you been able to customize each maps settings with such accuracy. This is sure to save you enough time to maybe slide in an extra cocktail or two, or if your west of the Mississippi you may just get a tasty ice cold Fat Tire as well. I highly recommend it! Below is a high-speed video showing the same 2D image used 3 times to perfect this technique. Enjoy!

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