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Creating detail that doesn’t exist with textures
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Eddie Russell


Eddie Russell
In this lesson, we'll learn how smaller details can be created for our robot without relying on the geometry. OK, so in the last lesson, we looked at building this base photographic texture for our robot here. Now hopefully, if you're creating these textures on your own, you've taken some time in between lessons to experiment and create your own texture set or texture base for the robot. So at this point, looking at some of these areas, I'd really like to add more detail here than the geometry is providing. Right now, we've really pretty much relying on the geometry for our detail. But looking at areas like this right here, where there's this big, wide, open flat area that's really called out, I'd like to see really more than what the geometry's creating. So looking at the wire frame in that area, really very simple, very flat. So this is something we can easily do by painting images down as texture. So let's go ahead and turn those wires back off. Let's jump over here and take a look at our Image Manager. Now you'll find in here several detail images. And there was something in each one of these images that I liked. I may or may not use all of them to texture our robot, but they're there in the project files for you if you want them. Things in this image I really found attractive were these recessed areas where there's a handle, this little bracket shape here with these bolts, and this one here. Also, these little latches right here-- these are all really great little details that we might be able to find a way to incorporate into our robot at some point. So let's jump over with this geometry selected right here, into our UV view. Now we could always paint a texture into the ortho view, but I'm not going to rely on the camera to ensure that I have it aligned correctly with the shape. So with that said, we'll just grab our paint-through tool. grab this image right over here. I'm going to take one of these vents and project it onto here. But I'm going to show the wire frame to make sure I'm centering this in the correct area here. Now if your image preview is a little too opaque, or maybe even a little too transparent, you can always adjust that by hitting the Shift-plus and minus keys on your keyboard to increase or decrease that preview's opacity here. So I'm going to drop that down to where I can see those wires, and we'll shrink it down just a little bit more. I'll reach over here into my brushes and grab just this hard 100. And in the brush editor, I'm going to turn off the pressure flow control. And we'll just begin painting that into place. There we go-- creating a metallic panel there that has this nice vent shape in it, again, that does not really exist in the geometry. So let me bake that down here. And we'll grab our selection tool. Now we're going to need to focus on the bottom of it here, because really in that image, you can see it gets quite a bit darker in this area, but yet it doesn't extend all the way to the bottom. And we also have this nasty little seam right here. So let me just grab my paint-through tool again. And size this image up, Raise the opacity on it to look at the tones in the image. Maybe use that right about there. Drop that opacity back down. And let me grab a different brush here. I'll grab the default. And we'll need to make sure our geometry is selected. I'll just begin painting that in right here. Now I'm going to want to blend this up into this area right here, but I'm going to use, even a different brush for this. I really like the-- let me just get it in the screen there-- the super soft brush, right here in the basic brushes. And we'll just begin slowly blending that together. Let me shrink that brush down just a little bit here. All right. That looks pretty good. Might come down and hit that area right in there one more time. And we can turn off our wires and bake that down. Great. So let me preview that over here in the orthographic view, and you can see how nice that looks now. It looks like there's that added little bit of detail. So I'm might want to put another little bit of detail down in this area. And as a matter of fact, let's go ahead and do this in the orthographic view. So we'll grab our paint-through tool again, and let's grab this image here, shrink that down. And drop the opacity even further. I'm making sure that's rotated so that it fits nice and snug there. Size it down even a little further. And let me grab my hard 100 again. I'll just jump in here and begin painting that. I'm going to paint a little bit outside of this, because we can always zoom in and erase this back before we bake this down. And there we go. All right. We'll hold Z to zoom into my paint buffer here, and let's grab our eraser tool. I'll make sure that's set to that same hard 100. And there's actually a keyboard shortcut here that works in MARI that's very similar to the keyboard shortcut for Photoshop. So we've got these nice hard, straight edges here, with the exception of these curved corners. And we can actually just click our paintbrush down once there, hold Shift, click it down over there, and we draw a straight line between the two points. So exactly like in Photoshop. We'll clean that up just like so. Round those corners off a little bit. And there we go. Feel free to spend as much time doing this type of thing as you want. Just hold the Shift key down and clean up those last couple of areas here. And let's reset our zoom paint buffer tool, and we'll bake that down. Great. So I think that little detail looks really nice right there. Might consider even adding sort of a seam at some point, right here. We've got a nice seam on either side of that. Maybe carrying that seam on through. But let's look at some other areas. Now if we orbit around and look at it this little shape he's got on his hip right here, there's an area here that kind of bothers me. It's this area right in here. As a matter of fact, let me just jump over here, load this selection group up, and we'll deselect some of this. You can see that selection group had quite a bit in there, but it saves me the trouble of having to actually jump in and select individual triangles and really zoom in in my UV tab, and really make sure that I have exactly this area right in here selected. So this is another area where I would think about possibly breaking this up into some more detail. So let me zoom out, make sure I don't see any other green areas here-- which I don't. So we'll just jump over here to this particular patch. And let's grab our paint-through tool. I I'm going to grab detail 06 here. I'll reset the image, and we're going to zoom that down some, increase the opacity on it. And this is just some nice mechanical detail. But if we look at it at full opacity, you can see it's fairly bright. Let me just stamp that down into place. And let's bake that down, and then just jump over and preview that. So you can see that mechanical detail. Like I said, it's very, very bright. Let's think about maybe not applying it with the normal blend mode that we just used. Maybe we want to change the blend mode here. So we'll jump back to UV tab. Undo that a couple times. Undo back to where-- that's in our paint buffer at this point. So you can see here, it's in our paint buffer. And let's jump over to our projection palette. And in the painting mode drop-down, maybe we could change this up. Let's look at some different blend modes here. Maybe we could look at Darken, which doesn't do much. Color burn gets it pretty dark. Color dodge gets it really light. So we could play with a few of these here. I'm going to go with color burn, and you can see that there. And now if we want to bake that down, we can jump over here and you can see it's quite a bit darker yet we still get that detail. Now I may want to come in and actually brighten that up just a little bit, maybe with one of my filters. But I'll play with that in between lessons, get that exactly where I want it here, as well as pull out some other areas where I think maybe some additional detail could show up. Maybe in this little crevice along his arms, right here and here. Just other various little areas here. So at this point, I'm not going to spend a whole lot more projecting these initial images down onto the model. I want to move on to adding the decals. That will really help to make this robot identifiable as the actual dump truck that he transforms from.
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.