Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > Modding Tutorials

A Simple Texturing Tutorial (Warning to dialup users!) Updated with more goodies

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Well I wrote this about 3-5am this morning so take heart LOL.

Starting Out
Start with a base texture. I use a 2048*2048 texture, makes it easier to do painting high res.

Next I use texporter's output, if your using some other program than Max, you'll need to do it some other way. but you'll need a black and white outline of the uvmap
Settings Are:

* Image size 2048*2048 [match this with the desired texture size]
* Just edges no polygon fill (use edges only, all lines is too messy)
* No backface culling or marking overlap  (marking overlaps can be used to indicate possible problems though)
* No smoothing colors
* Use constant and use a pure white color

Save the results to a file and make sure to use bmp or at least use lossless formats only.

Now load that file into photoshop or whatever you use.
Either copy that layer into your base texture (or drag and drop that layer) and then change the outline layer to lighter or linear dodge (as long as you only see the white outlines)

Time to start creating the panels.  I base my big panels on the shape of the ship. Imagine what a good removeable panel would look like (sorta like car hoods, engine hoods...etc) For the lines I use a black line, 1 pixel width.  It is also a good idea to have them all in one layer (join mode), otherwise you'll have a couple dozen plus single vector lines. I then go to layer style for the lines and activate Bevel & emboss, set style to outer bevel, and give a size of about 2-3px.  Use the white outline that texporter made to guide you. It's a processes of adding a few lines, saving and viewing and repeating.

Ok heres the result.  This model doesn't have a whole lot of panelling

Now add detail textures (engines... and fancy stuff...etc). Sometimes its easier to change the UVmap rather than the textures (the engine glow in this example) A lot of the textures come from freespace and descent.  Sometimes adding two different textures together can produce another new one, other times using only a tiny section of one texture works. Don't forget you can change saturation/hue or even desaturate the texture.  Also don't forget you can use a texture overlayed over another one using one of the overlay modes. (Transparencies) Usually I have the 3d model in view and use ACDC to cycle through all the textures looking for something X that could go on spot Y.

Another hint for the photoshop users, use layer sets! It'll save you a lot of frustration when you have several dozen layers.

Next lets add some dark panels around the cockpit area and a few other sections...
Simply create a new layer.  Use the selection tool and draw out the area in question then flood fill. Afterwards lower the transpancy on that layer so you can just kinda see the details underneath it.

I decided the panels were too dull and large so I added a second line layer, using 1px line and 1px beveled outline and dropped the transparency to about 50%.

Next step is to add suttle panel color changes.  This gives the appearance that some of the panels were taken from another ship or brand or weathered.  Create a new layer. Theres two ways to do this, first way, you may need to hide the background, in my case it isn't necessary. Switch to flood fill, select opacity at 3%, make sure contiguous and all layers is selected. Select a panel, then flood fill it.  Select another panel and repeat... change the number of times you flood fill.. this will give a random tint.  If you find out that its filling the entire map.  Undo and use the second method.. first select the panel area and then flood fill. 

Optional parts: on some models, fighters mostly you can add rectanglur knotices and/or rivets just remember they will not show up much in the ingame version. 

Here are the results.  With this texture base the results are very suttle.  If you have a more uniform base texture then it'll show up better

Now comes the fun parts... making it dirty.  At this point memory usage is going to rise quickly.

First thing is to add a layer of overlay grim. It would be wise to create a new layer set (if available) for all the grim layers.  Create a new layer.  Make sure black and white are the colors and do a filter->render->clouds. Layer style use multiply and drop the opacity down to about 50% or less.

Dirty corners.
Now we're going to add slight shadowing corner areas.  Create a new layer set to darken at about 40% opacity.  Switch to brush and set to a blurry brush app 65px (use whatever settings best suits the situtation, just keep it blurry).  Find creases and sharp inward corners on the model and just roll the brush through that area making sure that about half of the brush is actually getting the area.  This is suppose to be a slight darkening. In this example, the base of the rudders, the hull area right in front of where the wings attach.

Battle Damage
You will need to do this in either two steps or one depending on how things are mapped out.  If all your uvmaps are going horizontal or vertical, then you can do this in one step. If you have some verticle and some horizitonal then you need to do each seperately. By horizontal/vertical i mean lets take the wings for example, in this case the front of the wing is horiztonal to the rear of the wing. Same with the main hull, however the rear hull isn't.  the front of the back section is vertical to the very rear.  Basically if you can draw a line(s) horz/vert across everything and they all appear the same direction on the mesh then everythings the same.  The reasoning for this is the blast marks need to go from front to back.  If you do everything the same way and their not aligned the same way you will end up with blast marks going from front to back and from side to side.

Ok first create a another new layer, set the style to multiply.  Select brush with some odd shaped brush style, leaves, rolled rag..etc about 90px or so.  Smear from front to back (or back to front) the brush across parts of the model, not huge smudges just odd random sizes. Do be careful around areas where there will be symetry in the model, otherwise the results will look too mirrored.  Next filter->blur->motion blur.  Set it to go horz (0 deg) and about 130 pixels.  This makes a large strecked blurry mess.  Now we need to scratch up those blurrs.  Use noise->add noise (monochromitic), try filter->texture->Grain (use vertical).  Also try angled strokes and splatter.  Play around, you'll want a scratched up blackish blur.  Once you've gotten a gritty mess, go back and select motion blur again, but this time use 45 degree angle and a much smaller blur pixel.  Once thats done, motion blur again, back at 0 and a nice large pixel number.  The 45 degree motion blur helps get rid of any streaking. Repeat the process for the parts that are going perpendicual to the what you just did.

You can repeat this process using smaller blobs and creating sharper blast marks.

Grease stains
One final step comes straight from modelling WW2 aircraft.  Creating grease/oil/rust streaks.  Create a new layer, position this layer below any of the details.  Switch to a smallish blurred brush and where ever there is a vent or something that could get rust or streaks, paint a smudge of black paint there.  Then switch to the smudge tool, select a similar sized odd shaped brush and smear the black blob in the right direction (usually going back or down on the model)  Once done, use motion blur to blur it out more. You might end up having to move the smear and possible drop transparency down.

One last darkening you can do is select the detail (it should be on it's own layer) go to the layer style.  Use outer glow and replace the color with black and switch the blend mode to darken (so it actually shows up)

Right now it could use some more detailing.  Try photoshops vector symbols to get arrows, warning marks... etc.  Be careful with text though, especially if that area is symetrical on the mesh, one side the text will appear reversed like in a mirror.

Adding glow maps is another topic all together.

Awefully good of you to take the time to write this. If it gets more good response, I'll sticky it.


That, sir, is absolutely cool.

very, very nice.  :yes:


NICE =D Are those Descent 3 textures you stole there?  :drevil:


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