Using ChanA and ChanB
If you want to follow along, I use Photoshop CS3 (PS) and this time I’ll be using one of Chip Midnight’s templates.
Open Chip’s or Robin’s upper-body template and save a copy. If we work in the copy, we can mess up without worry. In the top of the layer stack create two new layers. I’ll name one Hax and the other MyTex. I arrange them so Hax is on top, but that is not mandatory, so suite yourself.
For now turn off the other layers so you can see what is happening.
Important. Select the Hax layer.
Now open the Filter -> Tech Slop 3D -> Multi Chan Hax v1b… Click LOAD and navigate to the mucho23chan.mch file, click OK to load, and then check Wireframe. You should see Image 2 Page 1.
Notice the ChanA and ChanB selectors. We need to understand how to use these to use MCH. Claire considers ChanA like a master channel. I now think of it as the Target Map Channel or the Output Channel. Whatever name works for you is fine. I think of ChanB as the working or convert from channel… sort of a source channel.
Also, while it will become obvious with use, let me be explicit now. Warning: MCH is going to replace the contents of whatever layer you have selected when you click OK. The Reverse and Wireframe controls determine what is drawn into the layer. The contents of the layer are used as a source when Wireframe is unchecked.
In the Mucho 23 template file you will find 23 channels or UVMaps in ChanA and a duplicate set in ChanB. Play with selector ChanB to see what maps are there. If you check Reverse, then ChanA changes the map image. Unchecked ChanB changes the map. Both Chan’s have the same UVMaps. This opens up possibilities you may not immediately think of, more on that later.
If you are stepping through this, image #2 above shows UVMap 1 in ChanB selected. Notice REVERSE is NOT selected. This puts you working on the source side, ChanB, for a typical workflow. …ok… it is just handy to start there and I guess that is why it’s this way. For now just know that Claire and my tutorials start you in ChanB. You can actually go either way, A to B or B to A. More about why you would want to do that later.
With the Hax layer selected, ChanA on 1, ChanB on 2, click OK, MCH will draw the selected map into the selected layer. Remember. MCH REPLACES selected layers. So, you want to have the correct layer selected before opening MCH. You can see the result in the lower left of Image 5 (Page 2).
Next I’m going to color parts of the map so I can see what is happening. (Upper-right part of Image 5 – Page 2) I select MyTex and start painting. Image #5 shows how I arbitrarily colored my map. The Image 5’s lower-left is an image I “Photoshop’d” to show where the coloring was mapped with the target wireframe showing.
You can do this testing with all the maps to see how they work and what part is which in the regular SL templates. I suggest that if you do that, make a layer for each map and another for each texture layer.