… try, try and try again. Thats especially true for this project of mine.
The last post showed my progress on texturing the main set cliffs and while the basics were ok the whole setup didn’t fully work out.
As remarked upon at my wip at blenderartists, the textures were too uniform, having the effect that the sense of scale was reduced. My initial idea of applying fractal principles to the texturing was taken obviously too far.
Another point was the too smooth sculpt which didn’t work well together with the texturing.
With this lesson learned I went back and did a new iteration.
First a sculpting iteration. I tried several brushes and approaches and finally settled on a combination of the pinch, contrast and a bit of the layer brush to give the whole a bit of a sharper appearance. I didn’t succeed 100% but I managed better than the first round ( I guess ).
The approach I used has its limits though. Especially the pinch tool, while producing relatively sharps edges, compresses the mesh at these edges, which can produce problems when texture painting.
Sculpting changes the geometry and therefore I had to rebake the currently painted textures to the new geometry.
Next came the iteration on texture painting. This time no longer being able to use Mari, I had to go back to the tools at hand: blender and gimp/mypaint/digikam. This step back was immensely tedious. The turnaround times exploded and I had to readjust my workflow to accommodate for the longer waiting times. I might have a bit of a surprise waiting here, but I have to wait for confirmation before I really tell you about it.
Anyway, using the the textures at hand I approached the whole texturing with a new point of view. The last texture set was simple as I first created the a monochrome base map showing the basic texture of rock. This texture was directly used as bump map and a diffuse map was than derived from the base map by simply painting some color on it.
That resulted in the images shown before.
This time I created the bump map from scratch, using a reference texture from rock walls and placing cracks and fissures were they logically would appear. The cracks were high contrast but the general texture was subdued and a bit blurred at well.
For the color diffuse map I applied the base texture using a screen operation on top of a pure color map on which I painted the color variations. I tried to do big scale variations for the color imitating big scale variations in geologic composition, like having a darker layer going with the general direction of the layers. With this you get a a better effect of estimating the scale ( I hope ).
Small scale variations are already in place through the screened base map, but to go further I used different masks derived from the base map (high/low contrast, inverted …) to paint over the color map. This gives consistent and yet not too busy variations on the color.
Doing this with a set of 14 4K maps, once need to be very patient.
But the result is better now, so the patience was rewarded 🙂
And here are the same shots as before but this time with the new textures. Again just the most basic lighting applied and the right side of the cliffs are not yet fully colored and detailed.