Model layer

The T-Rex in the above screenshot is rendered by a model layer. The template used is from BixPack 39.

What can I do with the model layer?

With the model layer you can render 3D model files.


How do I add a model layer?

Choose LAYER > Add layer > Add model layer... to add a new model layer.

The new model layer can be selected from the layers dropdown to make it the active layer.

Examples

The installer comes with shows demonstrating the possibilities of the model layer. Choose FILE > Open show... and select a show from the BluffTitler/Media/Shows/Model folder.

To quickly switch between your own shows and the ones that came with the installer, click on the Personal and App buttons in the upper right corner of the file dialog.


3D model formats

BluffTitler supports 3D models in the .OBJ and .X formats. Change the model of the active layer by choosing MEDIA > Change model...

.MTL files

.MTL files are used by .OBJ files to store the materials. Without an accompanying .MTL file, .OBJ files are fully white and untextured. Make sure to place the .MTL file next to the .OBJ file.

Textures

Textures are stored as separate files. Make sure to place the textures next to the model file.

When you apply a texture to a model layer (by clicking the Change texture... button or pressing F8), this texture overrules the texture and colour as defined in the model.

Submodels

A model is built out of submodels.

Submodel property

When the Submodel property is set to 0, all submodels are rendered. When this property is set to 1, only submodel 1 is rendered. And when this property is set to -1, all submodels except 1 are rendered.

You can automatically create a separate layer for every submodel by pressing <Ctrl> U.

The container layer can be used to group the submodels together:

  • Choose LAYER > Add layer > Add container layer
  • Choose LAYER > Add layer > Add model layer...
  • Select the model layer
  • Press <Ctrl> U

This way you can give every submodel its own colour, texture and effect!

Special behaviour

The model can be given special behaviour with the 3rd style.

When you only want to to give this special behaviour to a limited number of submodels, for example only rotating the wheels of a car, you can prepare the model in your modelling app:

When the name of a submodel contains the text [BluffTitlerWheel], it automatically rotates as a wheel when moving.

When the name of a submodel contains the text [BluffTitlerWalkingSquare], it automatically walks as a tilting square when moving.


Model layer style 1

3D in background

In this style, the 3D model is rendered in the background.


3D in 3D space

In this style, the 3D model can intersect other layers.


3D in foreground

In this style, 3D model is rendered in the foreground.


Model layer style 2

Vertical align top

The model is top aligned


Vertical align centre

The model is centre aligned


Vertical align bottom

This style is useful when placing models on the floor.


Not aligned

This style uses the positions as stored in the model file, without any scaling and translations. It can be useful when a bigger model must be built out of separate model files.


Model layer style 3

Normal

No special behaviour


Wheel

The model rolls when it is moved.


Walking square

The model walks as a tilting square when it is moved.


Model layer properties

Position

The position of the model.

1st slider: horizontal (x) position

2nd slider: vertical (y) position

3rd slider: depth (z) position

Press <F2> to render the coordinate system.


Rotation

The rotation of the model.

1st slider: heading

2nd slider: pitch

3rd slider: roll

Press <F2> to render the coordinate system.


Pivot point

The point around which the model rotates when animating the Rotation property.

When you press <F2>, the pivot point is visualised with cyan, yellow and purple arrows.


Size

The size of the model.

1st slider: width (x)

2nd slider: height (y)

3rd slider: depth (z)


Colour

The diffuse colour of the model.

1st slider: red

2nd slider: green

3rd slider: blue

When the mouse is inside the tool window and you press <F3>, the colour dialog is displayed. But when the mouse is outside the tool window, the colour of the current mouse position is picked.


Specular colour

The colour used for specular highlights.

1st slider: red

2nd slider: green

3rd slider: blue

When the mouse is inside the tool window and you press <F3>, the colour dialog is displayed. But when the mouse is outside the tool window, the colour of the current mouse position is picked.

When this property is (0, 0, 0), the diffuse colour is used as the specular colour.


Specularity

The size of the specular highlights.

Set the specular colour with the Specular colour property.


Transparency

The transparency of the model.

0 means fully opaque

1 means fully transparent (invisible)


Submodel

When the Submodel property is set to 0, all submodels are rendered. When this property is set to 1, only submodel 1 is rendered. And when this property is set to -1, all submodels except 1 are rendered.


Submodel explosion

The Submodel explosion property explodes the model into its submodels.

1st slider: the positions of the submodels.

2nd slider: the rotations of the submodels.

3rd slider: random seed.

For a typical animation, the 1st and 2nd sliders are animated and the 3rd is fixed.

Use the Special/FragmentExplosion effect to colour the fragments.


The 3rd slider has special meaning when using a negative value:
-1: Not X
-2: Not Y
-4: Not Z
-8: Positive X
-16: Positive Y
-32: Positive Z
-64: Negative X
-128: Negative Y
-256: Negative Z

Values can be added. For example:
-6: Only X
-5: Only Y
-3: Only Z
-24: Positive X and positive Y


Depth bias

This property can be used to solve sorting problems.

Layers have to be sorted according to their distance to the camera. This sometimes goes wrong when using very big, very small or irregular shaped layers. When this happens, use the Depth bias property to fix it.



Demo models

The BluffTitler installer comes with a few models to play around with.

Bix

Bix is the alien mascot of Outerspace Software.

You can bring him to life by applying the Special/Bix effect. With this effect you can move his arms, legs and eyes.


EZ

Bix's sidekick is called EZ, pronounced as "easy".

You can bring EZ to life by applying the Special/EZ effect.


Avatar

The avatar model is a low-poly, low-res game character. By editing Avatar.png next to the model file, you can easily create your own characters.

You can bring your avatar to life by applying the Special/Avatar effect.


Stock models

There are many sites where you can download 3D models.

cgtrader

cgtrader offers many models in the .OBJ format.


sketchfab

sketchfab offers many models in the .OBJ format.


hum3d.com

hum3d.com offers many models in the .OBJ format.


3D CAD BROWSER

3D CAD BROWSER offers many models in the .OBJ format.