Texture work on the main set

The texturing process benefits now from the experience gained during the work on the entry set. Laying out the workflow and making decisions is a bit easier now.

As already mentioned in my previous post, I use a different approach for the main set regarding the layout of the objects and materials/textures. I have one huge mesh and use several materials/textures to cover its surface. With this I hoped to get better results with seams and evade the struggle of managing different objects with one seamless texture surface.

The approach works, but has its own pitfalls. Its mainly a question of dividing the mesh ( in terms of uv sets) so that enough detail is possible for closeup shots and that you do not have too big resolution jumps from one uv patch to another.

I started out using blender for the texturing work, but wanted to give Mari another try and so did the texturing so far using Mari. Well, what can I say. Mari is some seriously heavy piece of software. Heavy in its demands on hardware as well as offered features regarding textures. One easily sees from where this product originates and it handled my project just fine.

Now having to go back to blender for texturing is like going back to the dark ages. Some things can be done in blender but always with the extra effort or penalty in speed, sometimes to the point of unusablilty, especially when working with multiple highres textures painted on a highres mesh. And there are obviously some things you cannot do in blender but then blender is not a dedicated texturing software such as Mari is.

Depending on my future way and financial means, I seriously now consider buying Mari. If The Foundry only had a Mari PLE ( as they do with Nuke) but alas …

Here are some facts on the texturing:

  • one object/mesh with 14 uv patches
  • I use 2 uv sets one for rendering and one for painting
  • each patch gets a diffuse and a bump map (each 4K), painting is done on the whole mesh at once
  • I rebake the bump maps to normal maps using blender 2.5x making use of the much improved bump mapping und thus transfer the good results to blender 2.49 where the render will be done.
  • the textures ( tga files ) amount to 1.2 GB at the moment

Allthough I can cover a lot of shots with this setup there are a couple of shots where I will have to use an extra set. This is for shots where the set is seen in extreme closeup. For this I duplicate the original object and remove everything which is not seen. I duplicate it again and do a new uv layout taylored for the new shot demands. To keep continuity I then bake all textures from the old object to the new one. With this I get a very good blueprint for further detailing the closeup sets.

Whats finished now is the main part of the main set with two extra closeup sets already rebaked but detailing not yet done.

There is one thing which still bothers me, but for which I do not have a solution. I envisioned a much ‘sharper’, rockier terrain and tried to get this look with sculpting. But what ever I tried, when zooming in, the terrain always gets smooth and ‘polished’. There may be tricks to get really sharp edges and creases but I never got something really convincing. Even with the polycount at extreme values you tend to end up with smooth edges. If there is some expert blender sculptor, who  can give me some tips on this, I would be more than grateful … 🙂

I did some test render to see how the whole setup works and thus you are able to have a peek at some of these here.

As always during these test phases, the lighting setup is just a single spot and a hemi, so that you just can see something. Ara ( and the dragon) are not ( or not fully) textured for these renders.

Author: loramel

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3 thoughts on “Texture work on the main set”

  1. Two question: woudn’t a reduction in sculpting levels prove to create a sharper mesh? Are you using the sculpting tools in Blender 2.49 or 2.56?

    1. A reduction would make the mash blockier and in certain areas sharper, but that is not what I want. I still want little detail and variations and for this a have to increase the level.
      For sculpting I use blender 2.5x (directly from svn).

      I am currently resculpting the cliffs and found a method to get sharper egdes and reduce a bit the smooth look. Its a combination of the pinch and contrast brushes.

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