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The Textures group lets you select a color texture and specify how to map it over the mesh.
The Color Texture pop-up menu is where all the magic starts. From this pop-up menu, you can choose a layer in the current comp as a texture to be applied to your geometry. The texture covers all of the geometry, like wallpaper. This can be any type of layer, including text layers, shape and video layers, or Adobe Illustrator files.
NOTE: When using a text layer as a Texture layer, be sure that your text size is large and that you choose the Texture Filter > Linear setting for smoother, anti-aliased edges on the text.
NOTE: An alpha channel can be used, but all pixels should be either full on or full off (no semi-transparencies) unless the Rendering > Blend pop-up menu is set to Add and Rendering > DepthBuf is set to Off. In that case, any kind of alpha channel will work.
The Texture Filter pop-up menu allows you to choose how the texture is filtered when applied to the geometry. The choices are Nearest which means the nearest neighbour is used. Linear uses a linear interpolation. Solid Face means the full polygon face will be one solid color from the texture. There are three Texture Filter modes:
The Anisotropic value enables anisotropic filtering, this means that more sample points are used depending on how much the surface becomes parallel to the viewing ray. This is useful when using a detailed texture and sampling artifacts (such as moiré) are visible when the surface is viewed from the side.
The Normal Map pop-up menu allows you to select a layer to use as normal map. A normal map is an RGB image where the RGB values represent the normal vector at that position in the texture. The normal describes which way the surface is facing, and can create the illusion that the geometry is displaced. In texture libraries, there is usually a normal map provided for each texture and there are also ways to make normal maps from a texture. The normal map is expected to be encoded so that the red channel is the X part of the normal and zero means -1 and full on (255 in 8bpc mode) means +1. Green and blue are Y and Z in the same way.
Normal Map Strength controls the influence of the normal map. This is useful for controlling how much the normal map distorts the surface. It can also be set to negative values in case the normal map needs to be inverted.
The Specular Map pop-up menu allows you to select a layer to use as specular map. The specular map controls how reflective the surface is at each position in the texture. Specular maps are usually provided for each texture in a texture library. The specular map controls both specular reflection from AE lights and the environment reflection.
The Texture Coordinates pop-up menu allows you to control how textures are mapped onto the surface of the geometry. There are six options:
Texture Scale X sets the X axis scale for the texture. This value can also be used to repeat the texture. When Segment > Segment Mode is set to Extruded N-gon, X maps along the path, allowing Texture Scale X to repeat the texture along the path.
Texture Offset X can be used to reposition the texture along the X axis. Texture Offset Y can be used to reposition the texture along the Y axis. Wrap X controls if the texture repeats or clamps along the X axis. The default is Auto where the plug-in tries to guess what is desired based on the type of texture coordinates and how scale and offset is used. If the auto mode fails, this can be set manually to Repeat or Clamp.
Wrap Y controls if the texture repeats or clamps along the Y axis. The default is Auto where the plug-in tries to guess what is desired based on the type of texture coordinates and how scale and offset is used. If the auto mode fails, this can be set manually to Repeat or Clamp.
The Caps pop-up menu controls how the texture is used on caps. For caps to be visible, they must be enabled in the Segment menu, and tapering on the path must be disabled. There are four ways to map textures on caps:
Caps Solid Color is enabled if the Caps pop-up menu is set to Solid Color. You can choose the color for the caps by either clicking the color swatch to open the color picker, or by using the eyedropper tool to select a color in your scene.