Content: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Background: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Pattern: Blank Waves Notes Sharp Wood Rockface Leather Honey Vertical Triangles
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  1. Texturing Tutorial

    I thought it might be helpful for budding modelers to have an idea of how to approach textures. I'm far from a great texturer, but I think I get decent results, and this is the process I use. I'm not going to go into the technicalities of actual commands in the image editors - you're on your own there, and you might need to read some other tutorials to learn the image editing program. First you’ll need an image editor. If you don’t have one, gimp is a good free one. After you have an editing program, export your model’s texture map. You will now have a .png file with colored shapes. Hopefully you already understand how these shapes relate to the boxes in the model. If not, you should play around with the shapes, put some numbers on them or something, so that you know which shape is which. Save/export it to PNG, load the image into your model's texture map, and see how things show up. Once you have a grasp on how the shapes relate to the boxes, you're ready to work on your texture. Export a fresh texture map if you have to. This will be your base file. Open it. Make a separate layer, and call it background. Name the layer with the texture map something like ‘texmap’ or whatever. Make this texmap layer translucent, and keep it above all other layers. This way you can turn it on for reference, but still see through it, and work under it on a separate layer. Next find an image of the animal on the internet. One that has the colors you want to use, in good lighting. I find this to be easier than trying to pick from a color wheel. Find an area of the animal’s hide that has even lighting, and is relatively free of shadows and folds. Copy an area of the animal’s hide that is approximately the size of your texture. Paste it into your image editor (you may want to use a separate one, such as Use the blur filter to further blur out fine details such as hair, which will probably be too jarring for your texture, which will be far smaller than the photo. It should be fairly smooth, with very subtle gradation. Now do a noise filter. The noise filter adds small artifacts in a random and evenly distributed fashion. This gives texture to the image, without being overwhelming. I often apply these filters separately, in, another image editor, so as not to mess with the layers I already have in gimp (I'm not super-skilled with gimp to know how to keep this from happening).Play with these filters until You like what you see. Now copy and paste it into the background layer in gimp. Use the clone stamp tool to get rid of any areas of shade or detail that stand out too much. This becomes the base color of your animal, and will cover the entire field. Put this on it’s own layer, and do not change it. This is now the default background for the entire animal. This layer will always be on the very bottom, and the texmap on the very top. Do not change either of them. By having one large base texture, you avoid a lot of copy-paste detail work trying to fit a base texture to every square of every box. With a nice generic underlayer, you never have to worry about that. Next, make a ‘Details’ layer. This layer will hang out right below the texmap layer. This where you put fine details like eyes, noses, and perhaps claws. If your animal has sharply colored stripes or spots, they can go here, or on their own layer. You can make separate detail layers for different colors of eyes, for instance, and quickly switch between them for comparison. Now make a ‘shadows’ layer, and a ‘highlights’ layer. These will be below Details, and above the Background. You will use these layers to adds darkness and lightness. Use layer transparency to allow the base coat to show through, and use the airbrush tool to give soft gradations of highlight and shadow. Experiment with darker and lighter variations of the background color for shadow, using the eyedropper and color wheel. By doing these on their own layers, you avoid messing with the background image. This allows you to erase the shadows and highlights entirely or using soft erasers, without erasing the background color as well. It makes it faster, in my experience, to get the shadows and highlights just the way you want them. It helps to use the selection box to select just the face you want to put the shadow on. The tool will not do anything outside the box, so you will have sharp edges. This helps show the box outlines, which can be useful from an organizational perspective, and if your texture is very packed, it may be absolutely necessary. Once you think you have it, make sure the texmap layer is off, and then export the file as a .png. Always keep a copy in your image editor’s format, so that you can still change things layer by layer. Nothing is worse than having details and shadows locked into a flat image, and wanting to change them. That’s the basic rundown - use a real image to get the colors right, add blur and noise for a whole-field background, and use layers to add details and shading. I leave the background covering the whole field, so I don't have to cut and paste bits of it around. This method does make it harder for someone else to understand the texture, if they don't have access to the texture map or model file. If you want to make this easier you can use the selection wand to select all the white space on the texmap layer, switch layers to the background, and hit the delete key, which will delete all parts of the background that are not actually in use.