DriveWorks Pro 18: Decal Entity [send feedback...]

Decal Entity

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The Decal entity lets you add a Decal to your 3D scene. The entity works with Decals. Once you have added the Decal entity to a Node, Decal Appearances can be added to that entity.

The Decal entity enables control over the Decals projection method, its properties and appearance. This entity allows full control over every aspect of how the Decal will display on your model.

image showing decal entity added on a nodeimage showing decals added to a machine control panel

Decals need to be positioned within a 3D scene. When added to a Node, you need to place the Node into the position you require.

image showing a 3D triad

With the Node selected, the Decal entity points in the direction of the blue arrow when the Orthographic projection method is selected. The bounds of an entity determines how far the Decal is projected. For all other projection methods direction does not matter, just the bounds of the Decal entity.

Information Panel

With the model Node selected and the Decal entity added to the Node, the following will be displayed in the Information Panel:

image of Decal entity settings

Render Order

Render Order is a number that determines the order that Decals are rendered. Higher numbers will be rendered first working backwards towards the lower numbers. This helps in layering Decals on a 3D model. This can be considered similar to z-index on forms.

Projection Method

Projection Method is the projection method used for the Decals appearance. There are three options to choose from Orthographic, Cylinder and Sphere.

  • Orthographic - Linear or flat projection onto the surface of a model.
  • Cylinder - Cylindrical projection onto the surface of a model. This projection method is perfect for cylindrical objects such as cans or cylinders.
  • Sphere - Spherical projection onto the surface of a model. This projection method is perfect for round spherical objects.

Decal Appearance

Decal Appearance is the name of the Decal to apply to the Decal entity. Each Decal entity needs a Decal Appearance to render onto the model.

Cull Threshold (Orthographic Only)

Cull Threshold is the angle at which the Decal will stop being rendered. This is used on the Orthographic projection method. This will give you a wider projection angle on the models surface.

Wrap Percentage (Cylinder & Sphere)

Wrap Percentage is a percentage value that the Decal should wrap round either a cylinder or sphere.

Parameter Panel

With the model Node selected and the Animate Scale entity added to the Node, the following will be displayed in the Parameter Panel:

  • Render Order

    Render Order is a number that determines the order in which the Decals are rendered. Higher numbers will be rendered first working backwards towards the lower numbers. This helps in layering Decals on a 3D model. This can be considered similar to z-index on forms.

  • Projection Method

    Projection Method is the Decal projection method to use for the Decals appearance. There are three options to choose from Orthographic, Cylinder and Sphere.

    • Orthographic
    • Cylinder
    • Sphere
  • Decal Appearance

    Decal Appearance is the name of the Decal to apply to the Decal entity. Each Decal entity requires a Decal Appearance to render onto the model.

  • Cull Threshold (Orthographic Only)

    Cull Threshold is the angle at which the Decal will stop being rendered. This is used on the Orthographic projection method. This will give you a wider projection angle onto the models surface.

  • Wrap Percentage (Cylinder & Sphere)

    Wrap Percentage is a percentage value that the Decal should wrap round either a cylinder or sphere.

Using the Decal entity

The Decal entity is used with the Decal Appearance to add a Decal to a models surface inside a DriveWorks 3D Document.

To set up a Decal:

  1. Open a DriveWorks 3D Document in DriveWorks Administrator.
  2. Make sure your 3D Document has a model in the scene.
  3. In the navigation tree, on the left hand side, locate the folder called Decals.
  4. Right click the Decals folder and select Add Decal.
  5. Enter a name for your Decal and press OK.
  6. Select your new Decal in the Decals folder. This will display the Decal Appearance properties on the right hand side.
  7. In the Decal Appearance properties on the right hand side, add an image to the Diffuse Texture property. This is the image that will be used as the Decal on the model.
  8. Next, add a new Node to the tree. This will be the Node that you will use to position your Decal.
  9. Right click your new Node and add the entity called Decal.
  10. In the properties panel on the right hand side, select your Decal in the Decal Appearance property.
  11. Now you can place the Decal using the Nodes Position, Rotation and Scale properties.

Controlling the size of the Decal

The size and shape of the Decal is controlled by the Nodes Scale properties. You can stretch or warp the image to fit the surface it is being projected onto.

For best results, control the size of the Decal with the X and Y Axis. The Z Axis is used to control the length of the projection. You can see in advance how this will affect the projection as a white box will preview the size and shape of the Decal.

We advise limiting the stretch on a Decal in Z Axis. The Decal Node should be positioned close to the model that it will be projected onto. This is because, increasing the Z Axis will stretch the projection in both directions which can result in other models unintentionally displaying the Decal.

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