Tutorial four
A Chain Link Fence
This tutorial creates a chain link fence using Enhance:AM textures. In the tutorial the only texture used is AM_Linear which can be downloaded for free. Just follow the links to the respective demo sections, depending on your AM version, from Enhance:AM Home Page

Introduction
In this tutorial we are using the AM_Linear, a simple linear gradient texture. More details about AM_Linear can be found at The AM_Linear Manual Web Page

Step One - The First Wire Mesh
Create a new project using the default set up and add a primitive plane. The first thing to do is create the wire links going in one direction so add the AM_Linear plugin from the AM_Geometric series. Change the Wave Type in the Function Parameters Section to Triangle and up the Pattern Repeat to 3. Now, the links for the fence are going to be silver so set Color1 to 200,200,200 a light grey. Then set Color2, Color3 and Color3 to 100,100,100 a mid-grey. To complete the chain link color map set Blend1 to 0%, Blend 2 to 40% Blend3 to 40% and Blend4 to 100%. In the same way as we created the thin lightning spark in Tutorial3 we are going to create an alpha map to control the transparency and make the holes between the wire. To do this make go to the Alpha Map section and set Alpha1 and Alpha2 to 0% with Alpha3 and Alpha4 set to 100%. Then go to the Affect Transparency section and set the Transparency to 100% and turn the Affect Transparency switch ON. Finally, go to the Axes Parameter section a Rotate the texture by 45 degrees in the Z axis. This orientates the wire correctly and it should look like the picture shown on the right.

Step One - The Final Wire Mesh
To finish the fence we are going to create the same as about but rotated so that the wire goes in the opposite direction. Copy the instructions above but rotate the texture -45 degrees around the Z axis to get the wire running the other way. The other thing to do is go to the Color Map section and turn the Force Attributes switch to OFF. When this switch is ON the attributes being controlled by the alpha map are forced so the transparency of this new layer is forced wiping out the underlying texture. With it switched OFF the layers are merged. It you render this you will notice that the underlying wire is now dark grey. This is because where our top layer is transparent is still affects the color. What we require is to layer the colors, also. This can be done by turning the Do Layering switch to ON. This means that the application of color is now being controlled using the alpha map which in turn makes the alpha value control the opacity of the color for the top layer. Where the alpha map is 0% the color is applied full on and at 100% no color is applied. So with our current alpha map no color is applied where the top layer in transparent and the underlying wire color now shows through. The final texture should look like the picture on the right.


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