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Building a photographic texture base
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Eddie Russell


Eddie Russell
In this lesson, we'll learn how a photographic texture base was built up for our robot asset. All right, so, again, I've got our robot asset open here. And I'm actually looking right now at version three. So, now, as opposed to with the truck texturing course, I started with flat colors. Here I didn't go real far with that. I just kind of worked out some of the details for the color in the face before I jumped in and really began laying down some base photographic textures. So, again, this is where my selection groups came in very, very handy. So, let me go ahead and show you here. We'll just go ahead and start with selecting version two. So, we can select the arm here. Go ahead and hide these first three because those don't need textures. Those first three elements, or first three selection groups, encompassed basically items that were either utilizing overlapping UV's or elements that were going to reuse maps from the truck texturing course. So, with that said, let's jump over here and select maybe RA1 yellow, version two. And you can see here, I've planned out all the areas from the shoulder to the elbow that I want to be yellow. Now, when I look for a yellow texture-- now, I look over here to the Image Manager, and I've got a lot of images loaded in here. You'll find most of these images in the Images folder in your project files. Now, I may have to remove one or two just because we don't have rights to distribute those. But for the most part, they should all be there. So, let's go over here, and grab our paint through tool, just drag this yellow image onto our screen here. We'll just shrink that down some. Now, when it comes to basically covering the entire selected area, remember we've got quite a bit selected here. Basically, what I want to do is I want to stamp this down. Because this particular image is actually a seamless tile. So, it should be able to sit right next to copies of itself and actually look like it all flows together. So, with that said, let's jump over to the UV tab. We'll just hit A to find our selection. There we go. And we'll just zoom in on that particular patch here. Now, when it comes to stamping this particular image down, we're going to be using the Stamp button up here and the Toggle Repeat option. But before we do that, let's talk about our paint buffer for just a moment. Remember, your paint buffer is sort of this invisible 2-D plane that's stuck to your camera. And if we jump over here to our painting palette and scroll down some under this paint buffer area, we can see here that our paint buffer has a size that we can actually set. I have mine currently set to 4K. Remember, I'm working with 4K patches. I believe the default setting is 2-K. By bumping that up what its going to allow me to do is shrink down my images that I'm going to tile even smaller. And it's going to retain more of that detail. If I go and stamp this down right now with a 4-K paint buffer, and we zoom in on it, you'll notice that more of that detail within this image is actually kept as opposed to if I had a smaller paint buffer, it would get a little bit fuzzy and just not be quite as crisp. So, let me go ahead, and I'm going to hit my Toggle Repeat option which will allow this to repeat itself all the way out to the paint buffer edges. And let me go ahead and just hold down my Z key, and I'll zoom out on my paint buffer here. You can see the paint buffer is indicated by those little white corners. So, you can see here that everything that I have selected is within my paint buffer. So, I'll hold Z and come up and reset that. And I want to show overall my projection palette. I have it set to project on selected geometry only. So, with that said, let's go ahead and stamp this down. We can either hit the Stamp button here, or we can actually hit the apostrophe key on our keyboard. You can see here that I've been stamping this down over all these areas that we had selected. So, we'll just stamp that in and bake that down. Jump back over to our orthographic view here. As soon as [? Mory ?] is done baking that down on that channel. There we go. And you can see here that we've got a nice seamless texture that's been baked into all of those areas that I had defined with my selection group. So, now this is a process to carry on this process through the entire robot would take quite some time. As a matter of fact, this was probably one of the more lengthy processes in texturing the robot. So, let me just go ahead and kind of move over and instead of working in his arm, let's look at his torso. There's a lot of different shapes here in the torso. But if you kind of look at how this model is constructed, it's all in layers. So, let me just select patch mode here. You can see here that this is probably the outermost layer of shapes. If we select maybe one of these shapes behind, you'll see that there's another kind of layer of shapes in there. There's some kind of outer shapes. But we have some shapes inside those here. So, really it's done in layers. And let me go ahead and scroll over here in my selection groups down to the torso groups that I've created. You can see here that let's just go ahead and select a few of these. I'll select those two. See if I can't get his waist here. There we go. Let me just go ahead and make sure that we have all the geometry shown here. And we do. So, I want to go ahead and switch over to version three really quick. I believe there's a piece of geometry in version three that wasn't in version two. Yeah, there it is right there. Let me go ahead and select that particular patch. And let's go ahead and again, we're going to just choose to hide all of our unselected geometry. There we go. Now, I've got this narrowed down to kind of the innermost layers. And you can see that even on the innermost layers of our robot, we still have a lot of detail here. If I come in and select this patch here, you can see here that-- zoom in on that, there's a lot of shells here. We can come in and use our face selection with our smart selection tool here to kind of come in and select individual shells. But we could even break these shells up even further into more detail. This is kind of what I've done with the selection groups. Let me come over here and just maybe grab a couple of these here. You can see here this level one dark in version three. I've kind of got all the areas that I want to color sort of a dark color. So, let's go ahead and do that. Let me just go and grab my Paint Through tool again here, jump over to my Image Manager, grab this Metal Zero 8 image. Here we go. And let's go ahead and stamp that down again with the apostrophe key. Then I'll go ahead and bake that down. And if we jump back over here, you can kind of see that I've got that exact texture that I was looking for applied in all those areas. Again, using my selection group, if I de-select that you kind of come in here and see that I've used a combination of the Smart Selection tool as well as the Lasso Tool. Grab the wire frame here. And you can kind of see how the topology looks for this object. You can see I've grabbed kind of a rim piece right here as well as kind of selected around this sort of this channel right in the middle here. With that said, let me go ahead and turn off the wire frame here. Let's go and select maybe this next selection group here. Go ahead and zoom out a little bit on that. I've got some duplicates in here, just kind of trial and error, basically, making one selection group and finding something else I wanted to add to it and recreating it. So, I may come in here and clean up these selection groups just a little bit before packaging up these project files. Now, this selection group is for the machinery area or MACH. This is what I'm going to use this particular image for right here. Now, again, let me just go ahead and drag it over to our screen here, jump over to our UV tab. Look at what we have selected here. Now, part of the challenge in texturing all these flat surfaces is while this feels like a lot of detail, we want this to really feel hyper-detailed. So, on the innermost levels where they're not on the surface, I'm going to use this image to kind of fake detail, if you will. If I just double click on that, you can see that there's a lot of just kind of random machinery here. Looks like a photograph of somebody's car's engine. So, we'll just go ahead and grab that one, let's go ahead and stamp it down, bake it down onto the channel. And you can see here that with the particular patch I had selected, we've actually added that texture everywhere. So, just kind of orbit around this really quickly here. Let me go ahead and jump back over here and zoom out a little bit. Load that selection up again here. And let's just kind of repeat that process for these other patches here. Bake it down there. Stamp it, and bake it down. And lastly, stamp it, and bake it down. All right, great. Jump back over here really quick, and let's take a look at this. Now, we've got machinery kind of evenly distributed, but you know when we were doing this first texture, it really only covers one half of this visible geometry. So, let me just jump back over into patch mode, and I'm going to select this particular patch here. We'll hit A to zoom in on that. Now because of the way these UV's were laid out, what I can do is I can do a quick copy and a quick paste to copy all the texture on this half to this half right over here. I'll just go ahead and jump back over to the UV and go to Patches, quick copy, let me just zoom out on that here, find the patch, and it looks exactly the same. It's right over here. And we'll go to Patches, quick paste. And now you can see that all that texture was mirrored over to this other patch all because it was laid out with the UV's to be able to do that. So, really useful little tool right there. Now, like I said before, this was one of the most time consuming parts of texturing of our robot. So, what I'm going to do here, let's go ahead and reveal all of our hidden geometry. Go ahead and choose Show All right there. And I've been working on sort of a temp channel here. So, let me just jump over here. And I want to hide this Images Demo channel. And let me jump back over to my robot shader. And you can see all of the textures that I've created on the actual Images channel here. Now, again, looking at this here, you can see that there's a lot of work that went in to not only deciding what texture to put where but actually creating all the selection groups that allowed me to actually drop those photos in. So, again, we've got kind of the same deal here with the arms and the legs which is really-- it could save me a lot of time as far as texturing these particular elements. So, let me just come in here, and we'll just choose to hide the un-selected. There we go. Now we can come in and select this patch. Do the quick copy and quick paste trick again. And we can quickly and easily mirror those textures over to the other arm and the other leg. Now this creating kind of a base photographic texture for the entire robot is great. But if I come here and Show All again, there's a few areas where I might want to break this up even yet a little further. Now, if I zoom in, there's just some big areas that I think we could actually create more detail than the geometry actually creates, kind of these areas right in here. Maybe these areas that look kind of like his knee caps right here, and just break up some of these, kind of these open flat spaces even a little further. So, in the next lesson, I want to go about actually doing that.
In this tutorial we will learn about the process of texturing our transforming robot's robot form. To get started, you should know that this MARI tutorial will focus on providing you with a high level glimpse at the thought processes that went into painting textures for our robot. While we won't focus on painting every stroke of our textures, we will be walking through each step, demonstrating techniques as well as providing insight into the process. This also means that if you use another application for texturing, you’ll still get valuable information from this course in terms of how different texture elements will be identified and layered. This course will begin by focusing on selecting geometry and how MARI’s selection groups can make this much easier. From here we will focus on laying down a base of photographic texture for our robot before moving into adding additional details like dirt, rust and scratches. To wrap this course up, we will learn how to repurpose channels of data for our specular map and then export those maps out of MARI. After completing this course, you'll not only know how the texture maps for our robot were painted but you'll also gain insight into the thought process behind painting them.