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This chapter is from the book

ALPHA ONION SKINS

A variation of the last tip is to map a reference image onto a NURB or poly card instead of using image planes. If the reference image is a drawing or is linework-based, copy the Color channel into the alpha in Photoshop, invert it, save it as a .tif, and then map it with a File Texture to the Color channel in a basic Lambert shader. The alpha will be respected when textured shading is used, turning the card into a transparent onion skin of linework. Next, turn down the Alpha Gain in the File texture node to fade it into the background and align as in the previous tip. Now place them into a layer and use Reference display mode to avoid selecting them during your modeling. They basically become 3D overhead transparencies—a bit more interesting than your garden-variety bar chart, however.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2

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