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SoftImage|XSI Tutorial [Page - 2]
Texture blending using weight maps in Softimage XSI by "Christoph Schinko"

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In the PPG (property page)of this node, a weight map is created by linking New>Weight Map . And right away the painting of the weight map can begin by activating the paint tool in the viewport by pressing “w ” (make sure that “weight maps ” is activated inside the visibility options -the “eye ” icon-of that viewport).

Do the same for the third texture layer – you ’ll get another weight map, and can paint on the contribution of the third texture node to the landscape.

Hint 2: Select the grid and hit Explore> PolyMesh> Clusters> WeightMapCls in the MCP (main control panel) to easily select and therefore switch between your weight maps.

To get closer towards the final look, each texture should create ink lines aswell,depending on their structure and appearance. This can be done by connecting a Math> Scalar Basic node with the host_unblend_group of the toon shader. The Scalar basic node is now fed with the same tree that causes the texturing (everything including the Mix8Color node). But, as we’ll need different settings for each texture node (to have control of the inking independently of the colouring), let’s duplicate the tree by middle-linking on the Mix8Color Node , and hitting Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste the selected tree. Feed this new tree into Scalar Basic Node> Input 1. You can re-connect the old MapLookupColor Nodes and get rid of the new ones, just to have less nodes in the tree.

The adjustment of the ink lines for each textures needs a bit of tweaking. Color-values just above 1 seemed to work best for the “Ostbahn ” project. The Vein 2 value of the marble texture was set to 1,05, the Color 1 value of the fractal node to 1.2, and in the terrain node, the color values were increased and the boundaries changed. This way, the ink contribution of each ground structure an be adjusted quite easily, and you’ll still have control over the colouring of each part.

Hint 3: In SoftImage|XSI, the “node preview ” function of the rendertree used to be extremely useful. Unfortunately, it died, but can be revived like this: Create a new key map under File> Keyboard mappin . Under the “Render Tree ” group, the lost command “Node Preview (Obsolete)” can be found, and is easily dragged and dropped onto “P ”, where it belongs.

Hopefully,this tutorial helps you to understand weight maps and the rendertree in XSI, a little bit better.

Author: Christoph Schinko
Email: stoph[@]hristoph-s hinko.com
Homepage: www.christoph-schinko.com
About Author: Christoph Schinko is a character animator and independent filmmaker, and has been a Certified Softimage XSI instructor for over 5 years.

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