The new material editor in Accurender nXt has 2 modes, simple and advanced. This tutorial covers how to create a displacement grass texture using the advanced settings in nXt. To do this tutorial, you will need two bitmaps. One for the displacement, and one for the grass texture. This tutorial will show how to create the displacement using Corel Photo-Paint (other Photo something software should be simular). The Displacement Map and Grass Texture can be downloaded from AccuStudio, for this tutorial we will use grass_noise.png and grass_garand.jpg. Note: the default displacement used in this tutorial is black and white. You can use a gray scale noise image to soften and vary the length of the grass some. The gray scale image is grass_noise_gs.png.
Launch Photo-Paint and create a new image.
  • Set it up with a resolution of 200x200 at 100dpi with a white background.
  • Select Effects > Noise > Add Noise. This will create a gray scale speckled image. Each pixal represents a blade of grass.
  • The simplest way to convert it to black and white is to use the 3D Noise, select Effects > Noise > 3-D Stereo Noise. An alternate method is to convert it to 1 bit, Black and White, you will need to play with the method to get the best random pixal placement with this method.
  • Save you image to PNG
  • Note: to create a gray scale image, do not do the 3D noise (or convert to 1 bit) and continue to apply the noise setting 2 or 3 times more, until you achive the desired density.
The next step is to launch AutoCAD then Accurender nXt by typing AR5 at the command prompt. On the nXt pallete Click the double down arrow next to Materials to expand the materials section. To create a new Textured material, click on the little down arrow next to the sphere on the left and select Textured...
A dialog appears, select your displacement map. On the material Dialog, click the Advanced button.
Once the Advanced Dialog appears, click on the Textures tab. This is where you change the settings to the displacement map and add the grass texture.
Before adding the grass texture, verify that the settings are correct for your displacement map. The size of the map, may not come in correctly, in this case we are working in the Imperial units and will set the maps to 24x24. Change "Type" to Displacement map, set Height to 150 (100 to 150 for short grass and 300 for tall grass), Facet Size 1 to 5 and leave Z Offest at -0.50, then click OK to close this dialog.
Next add your Grass Texture map, from the Textures tab, click one of of the blank Image buttons. a selection dialog appears. After you select the Grass Texture map, the image properties will show up. For our Grass, we have changed the Tiles size to match base bitmap (48x32.51) set the Bump to 0.25 and leave all of the other settings as is. After you have adjusted size, click OK.
After each bitmap has been added, you can rename and then save the new Texture. Edit the name and then click OK.
Apply the material to an object or layer and then render. Note: a displacement texture comes with a performance hit. The grass adds almost 2 BILLION Apparent Faces to this model. It took 2 hours to do 100 passes.
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