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Make That Prop Your Own - Creating a Custom Texture

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I love old typewriters. I wrote my first novel on an old beater my parents bought at a garage sale. The typewriter worked. The novel didn't but that's an entirely different story.

I wanted to create an avatar portraying me working on my latest masterpiece so I purchased the Antique Typewriter by keppel. Antique Typewriter comes with two textures for the paper: one blank and one with text, but instead of using keppel's default text, I wanted to use lines from a story I wrote.

Modifying a texture isn't a difficult thing. All it takes is a few minutes and a graphics editing program. I used Photoshop but any image editing software will work, especially for a simple change like I required.

If you're new to Poser and want to modify a model, there is really only one thing you need to know. Poser models and their colors are two separate things. Textures are what give a model its specific look. To make a model uniquely your own you want to modify its texture files. In my case, I needed to modify the texture used for the page.

If you install new models in an external runtime as I do (highly recommended) then it's just a matter of navigating to that runtime folder, in my case: D:Poser Content15. PropsRuntime.

Texture files are stored in the textures folder (shocking!) inside your Runtime folder as noted in this image.

At first glance, I see no "Antique Typewriter" folder and no "keppel" folder, the names of the product and the author respectively. A little "seek and ye shall find" reveals that the textures I'm after are in the "Antique Typewriter" folder inside the MeshManglers folder.

Thankfully the keppel used "Sheet Paper" and "Sheet Paper 2" for the paper textures and "Sheet Paper" is the default page with writing on it. That's the one I want to change.

When making changes to an existing model the very first thing I do is back up the file I will modify. That way if I screw something up recovering from my error is both quick and painless.

Next I opened up the image file in Photoshop to begin the process of making it my very own.

As you can see, the image file is not quite what you might expect. The writing is only found in the upper right-hand corner of the image. When you remember a piece of paper has four dimensions it all makes sense. The model for the page also has dimensions for length, width, height and depth.

After a little experimenting I discovered that Courier Regular 7pt, while not an exact match for the font keppel used, it is close enough for my needs. I created a new text layer, set the font to Courier Regular 7pt and entered my own custom text.

It is important that my custom text match the width and height of keppel's original. If it doesn't then I probably won't get the results I desire.

Once the text dimensions were set properly I needed to create a blank page. While I could load in the blank page texture it was just as fast to duplicate the original text layer and remove the text. Either way works, of course.

Now with both text and blank page layers in place, I turned off the original texture layer and Voila! My custom text is now on the page!

I saved the file, overwriting the existing JPG file, and loaded Poser to see if I could achieve my desired result.

As you can see by the image below everything worked precisely the way it should and now I have a personalized page for my antique typewriter!

Creating a unique texture isn't difficult. A little time and a graphics editing program is all you need.

It is important to note that in this specific case I took an existing texture file and replaced it with my own. What if I wanted to keep the original texture available but add my own custom texture as another option inside Poser? That's the subject of my next article.

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