I figured out how to abuse the data-driven graphics feature of Photoshop CS5 even further so I could use it to spool out cars with unique shop numbers and roof numbers. This time, more pictures and less boring text.
First, I set up the texture PSD file of the classic Interceptor scheme as a template. This involves just creating variables and assigning them to layers.
The next thing I did was set up a comma delimited text file to use as the data set source, in good old Notepad:
Yes, that’s it. Just a list of values.
Once both of those things are set up, a few button clicks in Photoshop will change the text layer strings and save each change out as a separate file:
A bit of duplicating and re-merging in Ultimate Papercraft 3D gives me an 8-up layout, and all of the materials have been reassigned to the new texture variants:
I also spent a few minutes tweaking a copy of the OpenOffice layout template to work with the 8-up version:
Okay, all of that is just a one-time setup thing. I literally only have to do that once. From this point on, I can simply copy the Ultimate Papercraft 3D and OpenOffice 8-up templates to another folder, and after assigning variables to any other scheme, I can painlessly export a different 8-up without tediously editing a lot of layers and saving things out by hand.
The only real limit on how many variations I can include in a single PDF is completely dependent on the amount of video RAM and system RAM on my machine, and the amount of work needed to set up the unique variations is much less than it used to be when I had to do them all individually by hand. Nice. I definitely could get used to this feature.Note: Don’t worry about how odd the texturing looks. The model is currently wearing a baked global illumination lightmap, which is the source of all the shading, and that lightmap is only used to make the Metasequoia work-in-progress screenshots look a bit nicer. I usually crank the lightmap opacity almost all the way down when exporting paper models for real, so the PDF won’t be anywhere nearly that harshly shaded.