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Transparent Textures and Vectorial Hatchings in 3D Documents

Vimal Kumar
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

Transparency and Vectorial Hatches ( renamed as Surface - Cover Fill Foreground in AC 25) are some nice features of the 3D Documents, so the wish of combining these two for a single surface at some point (for example displaying mesh-like surfaces) is quite reasonable. Let’s see how to tweak the attributes to achieve this.

hc091.png

 

 

 

As a start, create the element that is supposed to represent the mesh. In this example it is a 1m long, 1m high wall, with a Basic structure of 1mm thickness only. By default the 3D Document will show only the color of the Surface.

hc01.png

 

 

The Surface we need must be transparent and must have a vectorial hatching (Fill) at the same time, so let’s create the Fill first.

1., Draw the segments of the Fill with the actual size, using Lines and/or Arcs. Then select and Copy them.

hc02.png

 

 

2., Create a new Symbol Fill and Paste the drawing elements. Set the availability (must be Cover Fill at least), screen-only pattern (for previews in the lists) and verify that the Stroke sizes reflect the actual size.

hc03.png

 

 

3., Once the Fill is created, go to the Surface settings. The new Surface must have transparency, so the easiest is to Duplicate an existing transparent Surface, such as Glass.

hc04.png

 

 

4., Set the Surface settings:

  • Change Surface Color (the default representation of uncut Surfaces in 3D Document)
  • Add the newly created Vectorial Hatching
  • Search for a texture and verify that it has the same sizes as the Fill strokes earlier (Use a PNG image that has transparency. If the linework of the patch is too thin or the image resolution is small, the texture preview might show black, but by changing the sizes, the preview sphere at the top left should still reflect the pattern. If still won’t work, try a larger image or clearer pattern.)
  • Check the Transparency checkbox

Note: To carry these settings over to renders, you have to Match Settings…/Update CineRender settings from Basic after switching the engine to CineRender by MAXON.

hc05.png

 

 

5., Apply the Surface Overrides on the element with the new Surface. OpenGL will nicely reflect the Transparency already.

hc06.png

 

 

6., Create a 3D Document and turn on Vectorial 3D Hatching (renamed as Surface - Cover Fill Foreground in AC 25)(Transparency is on by default).

hc07.png

 

 

Now you have surface that looks the same in all 3D viewpoints:

hc08.png

 

 

Note that there is a limitation though: The vectorial hatchings of uncut surfaces behind the transparent element will not be shown.

hc10.png

 

 

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