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Creating the preliminary dirt pass
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Eddie Russell


Eddie Russell
In this lesson, we'll learn how the initial dirt was applied to our robot model. OK. So at this point, we pretty much have the robot covered in sort of an initial pass of photographic textures here. Now that we've got that as well as the decals done. Now, thinking about the environment that this robot or, in his vehicle form, the dump truck, may be found. I'm thinking those are going to be found in kind of a construction site type environment. An environment that is very, very dirty. So in order to convey that in the robot form of our character here, we need to go ahead and begin thinking about adding some dirt to him. Now in his current state, if we used it as he is right now, he would look very pristine, very new. And that's definitely not the image that I want to convey with the textures for our robot. So if you have watched the truck texturing course in this pipeline, we know that we created the dirt for the truck using a dirt channel, and then a dirt mask channel. And essentially just filled the dirt channel with a solid color. And then begin to paint into the mask to reveal that solid color in areas where we wanted the dirt. Now looking at the shot for this particular project, I know that the dump truck is going to be fairly far away. So we're not really going to see the textures up close. So I'm not really concerned about hyper-realistic looking dirt on the dump truck. Now with the robot, on the other hand, he's going to be kind of the focal point. He's going to get up close to the camera. So I want to get very realistic looking dirt on him. So I'm going to go ahead and handle the dirt in two different passes. We're going to do kind of a broad pass of dirt, which is going to be kind of the low contrast dirt that's going to cover most of the robot. Then we're going to do a pass of dirt that is a little bit more high contrast, things like mud streaks or dirt streaks that are very high contrast, very refined edges. Kind of a fine pass of dirt on the robot here. And I'm not going to use a channel, a dirt channel, and then a mask on top of that channel. Because what I'd like to do is I'd like to come over here and use one of these dirt images in my Image Manager. You can see here that we've got this light colored one. We've also got here this dark colored one here. So with those two images, rather than that stamping that down over an entire channel, having basically all that pixel data here in MARI. I'm going to go ahead and jump over to my Shaders palette here. And let's go ahead and add a new Shader module. We'll just scroll down and choose the Masked Tiled Shader Module here. And I'm just going to call this Dirt Broad for the first one. And there's a lot of different options here. We won't touch on all of these here. Let's go ahead and just click this button here. And browse over to the dirt01 file. This one right here. And I do have in my Channels palette-- you may have noticed this-- I have a Dirt Broad mask. So let me just go ahead and plug that into the Shader module right over here. There we go. OK, great. So now you'll see here the Shader module is on the top of my stack. But if we jump in and just look at this Dirt Broad mask, you'll see that it's entirely filled with black. So it's hiding that entire texture. Just so I can look at the size of this image and how it's being tiled, I'm going to jump down here and invert my mask. Which is going to reveal the texture here. And we can kind of zoom in on that and see exactly the size of that dirt, and kind of the details that make up that image. Now I think that I'd like to tile that in a little bit smaller area across the model here. I think it's a little bit large. So we can jump up here to the U repeat and the V repeat, and really input whatever number we want to. We can change those values here independently of one another. And you can see here that it looks like it's stretching the texture when we do just one of those. So given that this is a square texture, I'm going to go ahead and jump this up to maybe six. Set this one about the same. Kind of look and see what that looks like on our model. I think that looks pretty good. But we can always come in here at any time and make changes to that if we have created the mask and it's not quite looking exactly like we want it to here. So with that plugged into the Masked Tiled Shader Module, at this point we can jump over here to our Dirt Broad mask. And I'm going to go ahead and select my-- Actually, let's go ahead and jump over here back to our Masked Tiled Shader Module. And we'll just turn off that inversion of the mask. Make sure our mask is selected. And I'm going to jump over to my Brush Editor really quick. So I do have a custom shelf here that I've set up. It's in your referenced files folder, the project files, if you want to load this particular shelf up in your copy of MARI. You going to see here a lot of different color swatches that we actually used when we were texturing the truck. But down here at the bottom, I've saved in some different brushes that we're going to use. So I'm going to go ahead and grab my Paint tool here. And hit D my keyboard just to reset that back to the default color scheme. And let's go ahead and select Dirt Broad 01. We'll just shrink that down so you can kind of see what that looks like in the preview down here. And you can see here this is kind of a really soft, almost like a misty like dirt. So this is kind of going to be one of the brushes we use to begin painting in this dirt here. If we look at Dirt Broad 2, you can see it's a little higher contrast. But yet it's still very uniform. We're still getting kind of a solid pattern of this small speckled dirt. The Dirt Broad 3, you can see here, is a little higher contrast yet. So if we just scale that up, you can kind of see here that we're getting a little bit more blotchy dirt. So we've got three good brushes here to begin painting this in with. Now I'm going to go ahead and start with the Dirt Broad 01. And again, we're going to be using white here first. And let's just go ahead and jump in to patch mode. We'll just select a patch and begin painting on it. Now, this is obviously a process that's going to take quite a bit of time here. But I think you'll get the idea within just a couple minutes here. So we'll just kind of begin painting in some of this dirt, bake that down. Let's go and check our projection palette, and make sure that our masks are set appropriately. So I do have my edge mask and my back face mask turned on. So if we preview that here, you can see the edge mask is set fairly well. I think that we're not going to be losing too much information from that. So you can see here, basically I'm just coming in and painting this dirt in. Now I'm not doing this in the UV tab. I'm doing this right in the orthographic view. And I'm not really too concerned right now about painting the back sides of these little pieces. Now I may check in with Delano as he's working on the animation for our transformation, and see if there's any of these areas that might be revealed in the transformation. Remember, there's a transformation going on here between the dump truck and the robot. So these plates and these shapes, these different pieces, are going to be flipping. They're going to be turning. And if I need to come in and paint some texture on the backsides of some of these pieces, it would not completely surprise me. So I'm going to stay in pretty close contact with him, and just kind of keeping an eye on what's going on on the animation side of things. Let's jump down here and grab a different brush, maybe this one for a moment. Now a really helpful keyboard shortcut to switch between brushes here is the N key. And that will allow you to switch between the last two brushes that you used. So I want to jump over to my Eraser tool right now. And I'm going to again grab some of these brushes that we're using here. Shrink that down. So now not only can I paint with these brushes, but I can also erase away with them and just kind of soften some of this up in areas. If one of those brushes is a little too high in terms of contrast, what I may do is jump over here. Let me just grab that brush we just used, Dirt Broad 2. Let me jump over to the properties and turn on the Flow and the Alpha control, based on pressure. And now when we paint with that brush, it's a little bit less harsh. And you know, in areas, if we really wanted to-- Let me just come over here and choose the center of this plate. We can just paint this all the way up to 100% opacity, and you can really see that dirt texture starting to be revealed there. So now I'm not really going to do that with this broad pass of dirt. But if you get to the point where maybe you want to paint in some dirt that has a little bit higher contrast level to it, feel free to just layer it on even thicker. But really, when it came to this project, handling the dirt in two passes seemed like the logical way to go. We wanted to come in and kind of hammer this broad dirt out first. And then after that's in place, we can come in and really start selectively placing in some of the higher contrast dirt. All right, great. So with that said, I'm going to go ahead and bring in all the low contrast dirt that I painted for our model here. And in the next lesson, we'll pick up and we'll talk about bringing in some higher contrast, some fine dirt.
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.