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GeoffreyP

How to create perforated metal texture?

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I'm trying to create a texture similar in look/behavior to the 'stainless steel mesh' or 'silver plate mesh' in the standard textures library. These consist of stacked square holes which transmit light - I want to create a perforated metal sheeting with round holes which are offset. (Other pierced surfaces could be called for too). Is there a procedure for this? Thanks for any help!

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The best way to do this would be to use a mask transparency effect. You need to create a black and white pattern that corresponds to where you want the holes. The black portion will be where the holes are cut.

Matthew GiampapaNemetschek Technical Support

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Another possible method would be to create a 3-d "skin" or "mesh". I have had success using a series, or pattern of duplicated lines, mass extruded to very thin (like 1/4"). This was for a chain link fence, but could posibly be adapted for your needs. The same effect could also be acheived by clipping holes from a 2-d polygon and then extrudung it (again, thin). Have fun! PLC

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Thanks very much for the responses, folks. I tried creating a mask, and it worked very well. (I have so much surface of varying shapes that the 3-D skin approach might be dicey for this project, but I'll play around with that too). I appreciate the help! smile.gif" border="0

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This sounds like a very useful technique -- could someone elaborate on how to use a mask transparency? Is this something you could create in Photoshop? How do you apply it in creating a texture? Thanks!

Kristen

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If you're familiar with Photoshop, this isn't difficult to do at all. To create the round holes for the perf metal, I made a circle in VW, filled it with black, and used the duplicate/rectangular array with an offset to stagger the hole positions. (Remember: black is going to be what's transparent). I could have done this in a drawing program like Illustrator, or directly in PS, depending on the pattern and effect desired. I exported this as an image file, and then opened the file in PS. (One small bug that VW has is that you will get a blank (white) border around the exported image, but you can crop this off in PS.) What you want to be left with is a tileable pattern that VW will use to cover the surfaces. You may have to go back and play with your image positioning / cropping in PS so that you don't get obvious breaks or other tell-tales that show separate tiles - it should be an accurately repeating pattern in both directions. Name and save the image as a JPEG - it should be as small as will serve the purpose. (For my perf holes, a 3" x 3" tile at 72 d.p.i. was just fine). Now in VW, bring into your drawing the texture you want to apply the mask to. Go to your drawing Resources pallette and choose Edit. Go to Transparency, and choose Mask Transparency from the drop down menu. You'll then be required to choose the desired mask, so select the JPEG mask you made, and then "okay" your way back to the Edit Texture window. You'll then see the effect of your mask on the texture you're working with, although you'll have to return to your rendering to see the true size of your pattern. If the pattern 'holes' or whatever are the wrong size, you can adjust this by returning to Edit Texture and changing the size there (select set by image which will allow you to set the tile size), or by adjusting the scale of the texture in the Edit Mapping window in your Object Info Pallette (Texture tab). Good luck

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