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Decals in FormZ/Maxwell


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I am trying to apply a partly transparent texturemap to an aluminium object and render it in Maxwell. A decal so to say.

I know that this doesn't work in Maxwell like it does in RenderZone but I'm curious to what the best workaround is.

In the attached example I've got a simple texture with gridlines. As PhotoShop shows, everything but the gridlines is transparent. This makes the whole FormZ object transparent except for the lines.

Is the best way to simply put a plane slightly in front of the object and map the gridlines on that plane and have an aluminium MXM for the actual object? Is there a rule of thumb as to how far the plane needs to be in front of the object to prevent co-incident planes? I guess it depends on hither and yon settings.

Or are there other, more elegant solutions?

Any help greatly appreciated.


// Tom



Screenshot 2021-06-29 at 14.14.30.png

Screenshot 2021-06-29 at 14.15.18.png

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Hi Tom,

It's not really a decal, if you imagine a bear label or sticker, that's a decal.

The technique you're using above is great for elements with none or close to no thickness such as mesh fencing, netting etc. So if your element will be seen as having thickness then modelling would be better. But regarding your question about the material, I'd make a metal material for Maxwell then just load the transparent image (alpha) you made into Opacity/Mask in the material layer. Then the visible lines will have the metal finish.

Btw, you can do decals in Maxwell by using the stacking feature

Edited by Des
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Hi Des,

Super useful, many thanks for your reply. I'm going to look into your suggestions.

I'm actually trying to make part of the texture map transparent while keeping the aluminium. Like screen printing a logo on an aluminium sheet.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

// Tom

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Another suggestion would be to open your Maxwell material editor (mxed), then select the Browser tab, in the Material Filters on the right, scroll down and select metal in the material type.

Then loads of pre-made metal materials appear on the left. Select a similar one to the metal type you need, then import it. Go back to the editor tab and the material you selected is ready to edit. You can then replace the textures to suit (say your transparent image from earlier).

It's a great place to start and there are hundreds for free.

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