Simple Texturing process

So let's start with title explanation, why "simple"?? Just because I try to make the texturing process as simple as possible, and the model too, (I'm a lazy guy)....and especially because my predecessors are much better than me in this discipline... So, no uv map, no vertex color map, just images in color, diffuse, specular and bump channel. This project is created with Lightwave but the theory and techniques should stand up well with all packages.

As I said before, simple is the key word in this case. Look at the mesh, nothing special here: primitives graphics box and cylinder, then play a bit with bevel, smooth shift, and a lot with the clone tool ;) Oh!....ok, I 'll stop speaking about the mesh because you will be able to download the complete scene later.

This is a render of the different materials I used in the scene, hehe, I'm just showing these ones because when I first saw the multitude of great textures on the Total Textures CD's, the problem was more about choosing which to use than how to use them!!

Like my father always said: images are better than words, so let's see the differents textures steps. First color map, then 2 different diffuse channels, the first is a black and white copy of the color channel, the second is a "dirt" map, then copy the diffuse layers in the specular channel and finally in the bump one.

This is another way to show you the the different channels: color, diffuse, diffuse/dirt, specular and bump and the final texture, you can add some procedural texture map to easilly change the color or add more dirt to the texture.....or simply blend 2 images from the cd in photoshop or other 2D software, but we'll discuss that technique later.

I made this table to show you the process in different manner. Just experiment with layer opacity and fusion mode (alpha, additive...) For example the alpha mode is quite good for dust and scratch layer. And i usually "surf" between 30 and 50% opacity for diffuse layer. If there is something you still don't understand....hum....what can I say... just drop me a line

...proceed to page two to learn more...

Now we can start to talk about the render process, as you will see in the scene file, there is only one light (area). But before I want to hold your attention on the old dirty plate object.

Select the plate, hit the P key to open the object property panel.

In the geometry tab set the display subpatch level to 0, especially if you haven't got a professional graphic card, then set the render subpatch level to 2, usually I use 6 but this time I had already subdivided my object in modeler. Don't forget to set the subdivision order to "after displacement" for smooth render. Now hit the Displacement map button and put the same layer as the bump with .04 in texture amplitude. As you can see, I try to capture the different way to access the different object properties, but the shortcuts are very important to accelerate the workflow.

And this is the result : before and after the displacement, great way to had detail no?

Now, go to scene tab/compositing and choose a great sky image in the CD, this one could be great, what do you think? I profit from this stage, before forgetting the name of the image, to put it in the reflection image panel for the windows

In the backdrop tab, choose add environment ---> textured environment. Hit the texture button and put a gradient under layer type. Choose pitch in input parameter then try to add daylight color in gradient key. Not so difficult.

The last step, in global illumination panel, it the shading noise reduction for better area light shadow render. Enable the radiosity render in backdrop only mode, and about the rays per evaluation??...... I think it depend of your computer ;) I crop the caustic part cause we don't need to enable caustics in this scene.

During the creation of this image a friend said "Wow! remind me Spiderman"....Ho! thanks, but I really prefer Batman so I worked a bit more and.....this is a more Batmanish render of the same scene, with same textures, just replacing the gradient color in texture environement panel and adding a volumetric spotlight, the sky is made with Skytracer2.

I hope this small tutorial will be helpful, if you have seen any mistakes or have a question, don't hesitate to send me a mail, I will answer with pleasure. And now you can dowload the full scene here and use enjoy. But wait, now we will speak about another way to use the images from the TotalTextures CD, so...

...proceed to page three to learn more...

Ok, now you have find a nice texture on the CD but you need another color in your this is different way to cheat with the texture color, the first image shows you only the color channel, in this case I put a 60% opacity layer in multiply mode and I choose a more yellow/orange surface color this time. In the second image I just add the diffuse channel, like before you can play with the opacity.

Then, I add the bump and specular channel, nothing special here, I used the same process as the previous scene, and this is the new wall......but now let's play with a gradient layer and you will see how you can radically change the color of the object. In the image 4 I added a gradient layer in the color channel and choose Bump to the input parameter, you can see it in the next screen shot.

I put black in the low bump parameter, green in the midle, and beige in the high bump level, and totally neutralized the other key with a low alpha input. All these walls are made with the same layer, I just changed the colors, alpha Key value and input parameter for the last one. (previous layer)

Here you can see the same texture in a simple environment, just 1 light, and radiosity enabled. The stairs are created with the same displacement technique as the previous scene, the barrel is a cylindrical mapping with another texture from the CD, no UV map were used.

And now, I would like to thank the 3D Total team for the best european 3D resources and particularly Tom for his patience ;) and for letting me try these 3 awesome CD's. I I hope volume 4 is coming soon, because I really think it's a good way to learn how textures work in 3D, and a way to have nice results quickly and "easily" without having to have a lot of experience.

And finally the last one, still the same wall....maybe i'm addicted now ;)) Hope you enjoyed this basic tutorial..... and understood my "random" English....

Happy texturing.

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