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grain

Billboards following Camera

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grain

Hi,

 

How to get a billboards (of a tree)

to rotate to follow a camera. :?

 

Can someone shed a ray of light onto this problem

 

Thanks

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Cad64

What version of Max are you using?

 

If you can't, or don't want to use full 3D trees, you could try this approach:

 

After placing your camera, select one of your tree billboards, go to the "Animation" menu and select Constraints > LookAt Constraint, then select your camera to create the constraint. You will have to play with the settings in the Modify panel to get everything working correctly, but it's all pretty straightforward. You will have to repeat this procedure for each billboard you want to follow your camera.

 

Another option would be to try this plugin: http://plugins.angstraum.at/treeshop/index.htm

 

Yet another option would be to use RPC's: http://www.archvision.com/

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grain

Hi and thank you Cad64 for your reply.

 

The 'LookAt Constraint' in 'Animation' worked straight away without

any further modifications. The face of the billboard now stays square/perpendicular to the camera. Thanks!

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Cad64

So you're using Maxwell for rendering? I've never used Maxwell so I may not be of much help.

 

I use Mental Ray, and I generally create a black & white Opacity map to go along with my Diffuse map. It's a very simple way to achieve opacity, but it does mean that you have to use two separate maps.

 

There is another way to do this, without having to create a separate Opacity map. It may be a little difficult to explain, but here goes:

 

Using the "Standard" material

1. Load your tree bitmap into the Diffuse slot as you normal would

2. Go to the "Maps" section of your Diffuse material

3. Click the "None" button in the Opacity slot

4. In the "Material/Map Browser", in the "Browse From" section, choose "Scene"

5. Select the "Diffuse Color Map" and click OK

6. Back in the "Material Editor", in the "Bitmap Parameters" section, set "Mono Channel Output" to "Alpha" and set "Alpha Source" to "Image Alpha"

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grain

Thanks again.

 

Another smaller problem

 

Ive used boxes for the billboards. Should I have used planes as Im picking up some marks around the edges. Is there any simple way of changing them to planes.

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Cad64

Yes, you should use planes. Using a box defeats the whole purpose of the billboard. You will have to convert each box to an Editable Poly and then delete all the faces except the one that faces the camera.

 

Select the box, right click and choose "Convert to Editable Poly"

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grain

Is it the 'Make Planar' command (cringe)

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Cad64

'Make Planar' will collapse your box and make it flat, but you will see a big problem once you do this because the front face and the back face will now share the same space, thus overlapping and causing display problems.

 

If you want to create a plane, just select Plane from the "Create" panel.

Plane.jpg

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grain

I hoped there would be a global way of removing the thickness from all 75 of my billboards. (They are instances)

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Cad64

If they are instances, then all you need to do is:

1. Select one of the boxes

2. Add an "Edit Poly" modifier, from the Modifier List box

3. Choose polygon sub-object mode

4. Select the faces of the box that you don't want

5. Hit delete

 

This will delete the faces from all instanced boxes.

When you're finished, select the "Edit Poly" modifier, right click and choose "Collapse To". And click "Yes" in the Warning box.

Untitled-1.jpg

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grain

Thats done the trick. Thanks so much!

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grain

Hi Cad64

 

Your advice has been very helpful to me. Thank you.

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Cad64

No problem. I'm always happy to help out in the Max section. :)

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Pierce999

No doubt it will work for me. Nice idea.

I know this is old thread. But I am looking forward ideas in this regard. Thanks Cad64. I agreed. Sure this will be referenced long into the future.

Edited by Pierce999

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