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§ - imagemap (SceneScript element)

 <imagemap "ImageFile" | "source"

This language element may be used inside a  <trait block.

This allows you to specify an image already loaded (or to be loaded) into F/x that will be used to supply the coloration of any object that it is attached to.

For ImageFile, the complete path and filename must be specified. If the image is already loaded within F/x, then it will be used from there. If not, it will be loaded and then used.

If you specify the literal parameter "source" instead of a complete path and filename, then the currently assigned source image will be used as the image map, instead of a file being loaded from an image. An additional benefit of this approach is that in the timeline, you can use an animation as the source input to the raytrace operator, thereby allowing you to use an animated image as an image map.

Using F/x's Save Project menu item in the File Menu can be very useful, because it saves the settings of all the effects, as well as saving all images that were loaded when you use Save Project. You can then later use Load Project to immediately load all of the components of a ray tracing project, including all image and bump maps, as long as they were loaded at the time you saved the project.

The ray trace command will load required images automatically if they are not already loaded at execution time.

Images used for imagemaps may contain alpha channel information (use TRIM, Targa, and TIFF files to save images with alpha information.) If they do contain alpha information, then the transparency of the alpha channel is applied to the object, which can be very useful.


Transparent image map regions still filter colors

You should be aware that even when an imagemap is 100% transparent due to a fully-on alpha (A) channel transparency for a pixel, the RGB color of the pixel(s) involved is still used to filter scene elements viewed through the transparent pixel(s).

This means that if pixels in the image are full white (255,255,255) then objects will be filtered through a "clear" surface. If the color of the transparent pixel is red (255,0,0) then objects seen through the pixel(s) will be red. Transparent colors multiply the colors further out along a ray, so white is essentially 1,1,1 and will result in the color completely passing through, while red as described just previously is 1,0,0 and will only pass red information — 0 multiplying anything being 0, the green and blue channels will be forced to black.

The color you always want to avoid having in a transparent pixel is black: 0,0,0. Black will result in no color passing through, and this will render useless any transparency in the map image.

See also the  <texturemap,  <imagescale,  <bumpmap,  <bumpscale and  <bumpdrama language elements.

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