Jump to content

Transparency gradient for texture maps

Recommended Posts

When I create a museum exhibition component, I sometimes place it on a floor that "disappears" into the background. I've been doing this in Strata Studio for years, but I'm trying to get away from having to export for rendering. I'd like to keep everything in Vectorworks. In Strata, I simply add a transparency mask gradient in the texture map that goes from black to white. Where it is black, the entire mapped image shows through. White is 100 percent transparent. An object with this texture applied smoothly goes from solid to transparent and is a nice effect for renderings. I do it with ceilings as well. I can't, however, see how to do this in VectorWorks 2020. When I google it, I get the same question, but it is from years ago: 2009, 2013, etc. Nothing modern. Any ideas are very helpful.



Share this post

Link to post

Thanks, Kevin, but I'm not sure I completely understand what you are trying to tell me. What is an "msg"? Is that a gradient? If so, then are you saying to save it as an alpha channel in Photoshop? I thought an alpha channel was basically a transparent background. That's how I've always used it, but I suppose I should try it. Then, once I have this TIFF file, where do I place it when I pull it into VectorWorks? Does it go in the "image mask" field of the Texture Map edit window (under transparency)? When I do that I end up with a texture that seems like it should work, but none of the mapping controls work in the Object Info window. I'm not sure it should be this difficult, so I must be doing something wrong that is very simple. I'll keep trying!



Share this post

Link to post

MSG is a typo. Should read mask.


An Alpha channel is a mask, but it doesn't have to be black and white. There are many uses for, and ways to create a grayscale alpha channel in photoshop.


So, If you have a 40' by 40' floor, create a texture that size in photoshop. Keep the over all resolution (DPI) low, mI typically keep all of my image based textures to 1-3Mb. That resolution is dependent on the size of my output.


Create a new channel and use the gradient tool to create the black to white gradient. Save as A TIFF file and then in VWX create a new texture. Import that file, set the size to the same 40' and use Image Mask Transparency and choose this image and choose the alpha channel in the Image shader.


Of course, you could create a 4" texture and change the size in VWX, but I use real world sizes to keep track of what I'm doing.



  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114


© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

  • Create New...