Advanced Material Room 1- Creating 'Sticker-Maps'

Overview - Poser 5 and later including Poser Pro

Poser's Advanced Material Room allows a lot of control over textures- but it's not always obvious how to set up certain effects. This tutorial shows two ways to overlay one image on another. You can use these techniques to put logos on a shirt, decals on a car, or eyebrows on a figure's face- it's quite flexible.

1. Setup- The Advanced Material Room

In this example we'll put a logo on Simon's shirt. Start by locating the image map for the surface that you want to work with. The T-shirt material uses a separate image map as shown here. We'll open that image map in Photoshop (you can use any image editor that supports layers.)

2. Create The Overlay

With the image map open, we'll create our logo on a new layer- position it where you want it to show up on the shirt, then hide the shirt layer and export the other layer(s) as a new PNG or JPEG file. Here I'm saving the new file into the same folder as the existing T-shirt material.

3. Simple Color Math

Now, back in the Material Room, create a new Image Map node (NEW NODE>2D TEXTURES>IMAGE_MAP) in the T-shirt material and bring in the new image- called Overlay in this case. All that's left to do is to hook it into the T-shirt material so it'll render properly. There are several ways to do this depending on the effect you're going for- the first way works well if you're using a greyscale image for the overlay. Just create a new Color_Math node (NEW NODE>MATH>COLOR_MATH), set its function to MULTIPLY, and hook both image maps into it with the color channels set to white, as shown. This is very simple and prevents 'fringing', but it wouldn't work well for a color image since the colors are set to Multiply!

4. Bring Out The Blender

For color overlays it's best to use a Blender node controlled by the grayscale version of the image that you're using as an overlay. With the two Image Maps in place, create a new Blender node (NEW NODE>MATH>BLENDER) and a Math_Functions node (NEW NODE>MATH>MATH_FUNCTIONS) and attach them all as shown here. You can change the level of the Blender and Math_Functions nodes to get the effect you want- experiment a bit and see what works best. For this example I've set the Blending value of the Blender node to 1 and the Value_2 setting of the Math_Functions node to 1.5.

By way of explanation, the Math_Functions node strips out the color information in the Overlay image, converting it to grayscale and allowing it to work as a transparency map. You could if you like also create an entirely separate grayscale image to control the overlay- this is good if you want to overlay an area with a pattern or a procedural texture in a specific way. In that case you'd attach the grayscale image to the Blending channel of the Blender node and go from there.