Want to learn texturing for props and other hard surface models, don't know where to start.

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gfelton polycounter lvl 2
I would consider myself moderately proficient when it comes to modelling, but once I finish models, I'm not sure what to do with them. I want to learn how to texture them. At the moment, I've no clue whether or not I should put my models in a 3d painting app and go from there or if I should export UVW maps and texture them in photoshop. I'm just really confused on what direction to take, but one thing I do know is that I want to learn to be able to texture them. What processes/techniques would you guys recommend and where would you suggest I go to learn about them? Thanks guys, any guidance is appreciated.

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  • Eric Chadwick
    First step is to share images of what you've done so far.

    We have lots of things to look at here
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/TexturingTutorials

    Also check out Texture Baking.
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Texture_Baking

    Have you made any models to import into a game engine? Or have you made only high-poly hardsurface models? 
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Modular_environments
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    First step is to share images of what you've done so far.

    We have lots of things to look at here
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/TexturingTutorials

    Also check out Texture Baking.
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Texture_Baking

    Have you made any models to import into a game engine? Or have you made only high-poly hardsurface models? 
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Modular_environments
    Thanks, this is of great help to me!

    As for what I've got so far, following along with some stuff I've read about seems and pelting in Max, this is an hour of work:

    Not gonna lie, laying down seems and shit is a pretty daunting task, especially on geo this complex with no prior experience to UVW mapping.
  • throttlekitty
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    throttlekitty polycounter lvl 8


    Actually that looks good so far, though you could use to collapse some of the vertical loops, and most if not all the loops inside the boxy form. Being consistent will help you when texturing, the seam on the fluted part is rotated compared to the main body it's connected to.

    Generally we don't unwrap the highpoly, since there's a lot more to work with within each uv shell. Unless you need them on the lowpoly for a specific reason, get rid of supporting edges, trailing edges from nearby forms (like what comes off from the knobs toward the front), and any superfluous flat edges that don't contribute to form. It's much easier to work with.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Unless you need them on the lowpoly for a specific reason, get rid of supporting edges, trailing edges from nearby forms (like what comes off from the knobs toward the front), and any superfluous flat edges that don't contribute to form. It's much easier to work with.
    Thanks for this, was unsure of what to do with a lot of the 'excess' geometry in my mesh. I'll gut the support edges and report back with the progress.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Did some derezzing, just a little bit of work freed me up of 200k+ polys! Jokes aside, forgot to disable turbosmooth on some other pieces :/

    and the other side:

    I know for sure side count on those cylinders needs to be taken down a notch, just don't know where to start. Going to begin adding seams!
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    Funnily enough i have modeled the exact scope! mine was the NSPU/1PN34. link here. https://www.artstation.com/artwork/br0Da

    yours is looking fine, remember to unwrap according to there you want you smoothing groups to be (look up 3ds max smoothing). then using textools (free texturing plug in for max) Set your smoothing groups from UV shells. A guide is to have each surface that you want to be "hard" on its own UV island. This info is used by other applications and engines to smooth your model. Once your done texturing take it into Substance painter where you can bake a normal map from a high poly if you have one. 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    jaker3278 said:
    Funnily enough i have modeled the exact scope! mine was the NSPU/1PN34. link here. https://www.artstation.com/artwork/br0Da

    yours is looking fine, remember to unwrap according to there you want you smoothing groups to be (look up 3ds max smoothing). then using textools (free texturing plug in for max) Set your smoothing groups from UV shells. A guide is to have each surface that you want to be "hard" on its own UV island. This info is used by other applications and engines to smooth your model. Once your done texturing take it into Substance painter where you can bake a normal map from a high poly if you have one. 
    Yours looks awesome however the variant I modelled is the 1PN58 which is a later make. It's been pretty tough to unwrap with how much geometry is, probably not the best choice for my first unwrap lol. Thanks so much for the info though, really helpful given how you've already done pretty much the same model. Thank you :D
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    just do what you can and post the results up on here so we can give you pointers. your not going to get it perfect or right first time. Remember to use select by angle in the uvw modifier that way you dont have to select every face yourself. Post up your results when your done will be interesting to see.  =)
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks for all the replies boys and girls, since most of this was done on a computer lab at a library, this will be the last update as I head home (Internet is down at my house so I have to come here). I finalized a decent lowpoly and added seams. Will set up my UVs tomorrow:


    jaker3278 said:
    just do what you can and post the results up on here so we can give you pointers. your not going to get it perfect or right first time. Remember to use select by angle in the uvw modifier that way you dont have to select every face yourself. Post up your results when your done will be interesting to see.  =)

    I wish you had told me about the select by angle tool sooner, would have saved me a lot of tedious work. Nevertheless, your feedback is invaluable, and for that I thank you :)
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    Ah dam wish i had known, will try and think of other tools that could help too.  
  • throttlekitty
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    throttlekitty polycounter lvl 8
    gfelton said:
    I wish you had told me about the select by angle tool sooner, would have saved me a lot of tedious work. Nevertheless, your feedback is invaluable, and for that I thank you :)
    If I had a dollar for every time I've been in that scenario...
    I think you picked a good asset to learn with. Overall it's fairly simple shapewise, with a few tricky unwrap spots. But you'll get much more experience than unwrapping a cube.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    I think you picked a good asset to learn with. Overall it's fairly simple shapewise, with a few tricky unwrap spots. But you'll get much more experience than unwrapping a cube.
    Yeah that was kinda my mindset going into it. Then it changed into a 'fuck it, why not' thought process lol.

    Spent a good two hours this morning peeling off pelts and I'm just about done. Progress pic as I head to lunch:

  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Pelts are done, just need to organize them now! Not sure how hard this is about to be, oh well, here goes nothing!

  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter lvl 7
    You'll want to do a better unwrap than that, it'll be hard to texture and a lot of wasted UV space. I shouldn't take 2 hours to unwrap what is basically a few cylinders and and boxes. 
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    The unwrap doesnt look to bad. just organize it into the 0-1 space. Why would this be hard to texture? once your in substance or quixle. 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    ZacD said:
    You'll want to do a better unwrap than that, it'll be hard to texture and a lot of wasted UV space. I shouldn't take 2 hours to unwrap what is basically a few cylinders and and boxes. 
    What do you mean? Did I over-complicate the process of adding seams or are you interpreting the above picture as my final UVW layout? At the moment I'm rearranging the islands to make the map more legible, that picture was merely me just laying out the peeled islands, a block out if you will.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter lvl 7
    Where's the main body of the bazooka in those UVs? What does the mesh look like with a checkered pattern? 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    ZacD said:
    Where's the main body of the bazooka in those UVs? What does the mesh look like with a checkered pattern? 
    So it's a rifle scope, the 1PN58 to be exact. The checkerboard maybe hard to see in this image as I wasn't able to get it to appear without the wires and went ahead and selected the main body islands for you.
    jaker3278 said:
    The unwrap doesnt look to bad. just organize it into the 0-1 space. Why would this be hard to texture? once your in substance or quixle. 

    I'm not too sure why I said it'd be hard, as it really won't be once I'm in substance.
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    sorry i was quoting ZacD , he said it would be hard to texture. 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    jaker3278 said:
    sorry i was quoting ZacD , he said it would be hard to texture. 
    haha, no worries
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Imgur's down so I'm just gonna host it here -


    Jesus this took way too long, here's everything within the checkerboard. Yeah, there's a lot of wasted space but truth be told, I've no clue how I'm going to fill it.
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    Scale up all the pieces uniformly until you think they will take up all the space and then rearrange so they all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can scale individually too.   
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    jaker3278 said:
    Scale up all the pieces uniformly until you think they will take up all the space and then rearrange so they all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can scale individually too.   
    Scaled em up, will have an image soon.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Got it:

    Hopefully substance painter tomorrow!
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 3
    Just make sure that the pieces are inside the UV space, it looks like some are very close to being out or are out. 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    jaker3278 said:
    Just make sure that the pieces are inside the UV space, it looks like some are very close to being out or are out. 
    They're all inside of the texture area, some areas are just incredibly close to the border than others making it look as though they are protruding.
  • Eric Chadwick
    One thing that can help to speed up the arranging step... Try out the Pack UVs tool. It has some limitations, but it can also speed things up a ton.

    Also look at PolyUnwrapper. Well worth the really low price, and Jorge offers great support. It's like TexTools but way better, and not a dead project either. Highly recommended.
    http://polycount.com/discussion/134417/polyunwrapper-4-0-released/p1
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    One thing that can help to speed up the arranging step... Try out the Pack UVs tool. It has some limitations, but it can also speed things up a ton.

    Also look at PolyUnwrapper. Well worth the really low price, and Jorge offers great support. It's like TexTools but way better, and not a dead project either. Highly recommended.
    http://polycount.com/discussion/134417/polyunwrapper-4-0-released/p1
    Thanks for this, already have textools but I'm always looking to expand my tool library.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    To my misfortune today, Substance painter didn't finish downloading and I'm unable to use it. I have a copy of photoshop on my laptop but I've never considered using for texturing. I don't know if any of you have experience using PS's 3d features but they look as if they'd make for good compromise.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Best way to learn is to just dig in and try it out. Some people have found the 3d controls in PS to be clunky. But better to try it yourself, don't trust others' opinions too much, or you miss out.

    The Death of Curiosity

  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Best way to learn is to just dig in and try it out. Some people have found the 3d controls in PS to be clunky. But better to try it yourself, don't trust others' opinions too much, or you miss out.

    The Death of Curiosity

    Damn, that was a really good thread. Thanks for sharing Eric.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 2
    Well, texturing using PS's 3d mode has been somewhat frustrating yet a generally interesting experience. There's a lot I wish it could do, especially with PS's excellent layers system. The 3d mode leaves a lot to be desired yet I was able to get some use out of it. Like Eric mentioned, the controls are pretty clunky whereas I had to have a pallet of my controls open at all times and would have to click each button to rotate, pan, and dolly. I did a little bit of painting for an hour or so which was quite fun, regardless of the somewhat uncomfortable controls. I eventually stopped derping around with the paint and tried to add some details (text) by typing stuff out, rasterizing, then merging said type with the 3d layer. The type would become part of the texture, however it would be very low resolution. I did some trouble shooting but couldn't find any truly viable methods to fix it. To add decals I went ahead and exported my UV's and am currently doing some flat texturing by classical means (pic relevant):

    Really want to try substance painter out now -.-
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni polycounter lvl 3
    Your UVs are bad, and it's making your life more difficult. Right now, they're just scattered all over the place. Those cylinders should be straightened and everything should be packed in some sort of relation to another piece especially for Photoshop texturing. 

    Look at Tim Bergholz AK tutorial (epsecially the low poly + uv mapping part).
    https://gumroad.com/l/ztGD
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