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Stylized textures - need help =[

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polycounter lvl 8
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snow polycounter lvl 8
Hi all, working on a cart model based off one I've always liked in the game Guild Wars. It's modelled just for practicing stylized textures (I scrapped a previous house I planned on doing as it was too big). This thread is really because I want to seek help and try and improve. This is my first time hand painting textures so they're pretty bad.

The look I'm going for is semi realistic textures, as in, not overly toony, they look realistic but handpainted - if that in any way makes sense.

Anyway, here is a tilable wood (256x256) that I've done...


woodtile.jpg

and the material that will drape from the top of the cart:

fabric.jpg


I didn't mind the fabric, until I applied it on the model. I'm not really sure what's wrong about it, (obviously it won't stay plain grey), but it doesn't look like that's how the folds would go or something.

cartwip01.jpg

Anyway love to get some tips and hints, thanks as always.

Replies

  • Kuki
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    Kuki polycounter lvl 8
    I suggest you to avoid a Tiled texture for the wooden part, I mean spending a little more texture space you could paint some custom details, studs and shadows that will pimp your texture map.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Hi Kuki, that might be a good idea, I guess I was going for really low poly mmo specifications. But if it turns out good it would showcase my skills better if it weren't tiled I guess.

    Thanks.
  • glenatron
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    glenatron polycounter lvl 9
    The cloth folds should be a lot tighter / crisper towards the corners, where they are getting pinched, and a lot thicker and softer towards the middle, where the weight of the cloth would be.

    Try varying your brush size/hardness, and making sure you use less opacity when painting the folds toward the middle of the cloth.

    white-cloth-draped_~x10059222.jpg
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Ah I see, thanks glen.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Also it would help to get photo reference of cloth that's hung in a similar way to the arrangement you're trying to create there. How exactly is your cloth attached to your cart? The folds and creases would be directly related to this. For cloth, photo reference is key!
  • Logan5
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    Logan5 polycounter lvl 9
    Heres a useful tutorial I found on painting cloth, it focuses on getting the folds going in the right direction, may be of use :)

    http://www.store.forbiddenwhispers.co.uk/freestuff/tutorials/ClothTutorial2.pdf
  • Spug
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    Spug polycounter lvl 12
    I'll try to do a paint over when i go on lunch today :)
  • Spug
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    Spug polycounter lvl 12
    Messed with them for like 5 mins, here is a small paint over.

    woodcc.jpg

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    tarp.jpg

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Quick update, just worked on texturing some crates today, just a simple viewport render shown below. Kind of developing a workflow for myself finally that I hope will carry on to soon to be attempted stone/metal textures. I'm making a tutorial for myself as I go so I can always come back to toon textures and remember how I did things, so I'm happy to post it when I finish it for everything. (Not implying I'm any good, just if it can help anyone!)

    I'll be adding nails to this crate, as can be seen by the couple i quickly placed, but just after any recommendations on the wood at the moment.

    I talk to much, thanks :).

    woodcrates01.jpg
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Oh and one more thing, does anyone know how to UV unwrap a low poly barrel. It's my next prop I'm texturing, however, as you can see below by the ugly grey lines, I'll never get nice uniform planks.

    Currently I have two sides mapped, with all the other sides stacked on them, and the uvs are straight.

    I guess one way is to bump the number of sides up, however I'd rather keep it low poly.

    barreluvproblem.jpg
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    Look at your screenshots with the painter's eye. Would you expect a bright grey or white object to shade all the way to pitch black in real life ? Now imagine any great looking stylized lowpoly asset presented that way. They would all look like ass.

    Tweak your ambient setting in your 3D app. Also have a preset when the ambiant is fully white (ie 100% self illumination). Half of your problems will disappear.

    Always have the best example possible at hand to compare your stuff to. Look closely : not a single pixel of this image is as dark/pitch black as the shading you have on your viewport screengrabs.

    ff_xii_e306_08.jpg

    On the asset side : dont work with too high res textures, it will just feel odd. Use UV mapping creatively to straighten edges out. Make constant self-critiques : take screenshots of your work, paint over them in photoshop until it looks satisfactory, then replicate that look on your asset. Rinse and repeat.

    Good luck!
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    A barrel roll?!

    barrelwip.jpg

    Love any feedback on my painted barrel. Also after suggestions on making the crate more interesting, perhaps still go with adding nails?

    Thanks.
  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 15
    No crate would ever be constructed like that. nobody weaves planks together. this is killing it. if you really want the haphazard layout, at least make their order consistent.

    overall i think your textures lack punch. there's little contrast, everything is very similar shades, there's little highlights or light indication. and the font on the barrel is far too obviously an overlaid font. If you want it to look hand painted, hand paint it. If you want it to look stenciled on, I would choose a more appropriate font.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Hey, this is a good start!

    First thing that caught my eye though is how monochromatic the textures are. Both look like the wood was painted in grayscale then colorized.

    Next thing I saw was how the lettering doesn't look like it's painted on wood. There shouldn't be any paint in the cracks, the font is too clean and regular to be hand-painted, and the edges aren't affected by the wood grain.

    Another issue is that the texture features don't continue across the geometry edges. For example the cracks/grooves in the barrel planks should make dents in the plank-ends along the top of the barrel.

    Also the crate doesn't show the thin ends of the planks... those geometry edges look artificial because the texture just "ends" without hints of the sides of the planks.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8

    Also the crate doesn't show the thin ends of the planks... those geometry edges look artificial because the texture just "ends" without hints of the sides of the planks.

    I'm not really sure how to get around this to be honest given it's all tiled, I will have a play around. I did have a palette to start with on both, I think the reason it all looks like ive overlayed it is because I've been using low opacity (due to lack fo confidence) so I've kind of just blurred all those original colours together.

    And I will certainly fix the font, that was hurried and I'll definitely write it out myself, thanks!
  • Eric Chadwick
    snow wrote: »
    I'm not really sure how to get around this to be honest given it's all tiled, I will have a play around.
    Make it a 128x256 texture, with the top/bottom of the crate in the top half, and the sides in the bottom half.

    Or get even more creative by using a couple unique strips in the texture, cutting an extra set of edges around the top to help cut the UVs up.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    barrelwip.jpg

    Worked on the overall barrel contrast, changed the font to look like it has actually been worn and hand drawn on. Added more defined highlights.

    Kinda sucking at this, crits welcome :/
  • Eric Chadwick
    Good improvements!

    If you find reference of real hoop-clad barrels, you'll probably see that parts of the metal bled into the wood, staining it on either side of the band. Might help to use the search term "cooper" since that's what the old barrel-makers were called, coopers. Also the shadow under the first band is bugging me... there seems to be an optical illusion that it gets slightly brighter right where the metal meets the wood, so I would add a slightly darker shadow line there (think ambient occlusion, shadow gets darker).

    Also the geometry is pretty simple, looks like around 100 tris. I would add extrusions for the hoops (although they are atypically thick), and an intrusion for the top. A small polygon count is not as crucial as we once thought, see Too much optimization (do polygon counts really matter?) (more here).
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks Eric. I'll probably make those changes, I'm working on the crate again now, I'm probably just going to roll with the crate as is for now just doing a paint over to see if i can get a bit more of a better look going.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Not sure whether it's much of an improvement. But it's time to sleep :(.

    cratewip.jpg
  • Slum
    the texturing is better, but it still looks wrong. those diagonal slats aren't quite right. You should just do straight parallels.

    I also thing the cast shadows on there are a bit much. They imply a lot of depth which looks odd, considering how thick the whole surface would be.
  • Mark Dygert
    I think you're making some good progress but I think you've kind of muddled up the function of your crate.

    Going for a simplified painterly style it seems a bit noisy to have so many cross support planks kind of basket woven together.
    Normally crates have some kind of lid that is not as firmly attached as the supports, allowing you to get inside the crate without destroying the support structure.
    The tile doesn't make a whole lot of sense at the corners (at the top/sides) because the planks are different sizes.
    Normally crates are reinforced on the edges and with horizontal pieces that go from corner to corner, for support and strength. Behind that structure you have either planks or plywood.
    CrateConstructionPaintOver.jpg
    2 layers, outer supports and inner walls with a lid.

    Some ref:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2336353/FishSticks00.jpg
    http://www.dreamstime.com/wooden-crate-thumb341016.jpg
    http://jyotipacking.com/images/Wooden%20Crate12.jpg
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    also if you want to be really spot on, there's going to be the sides of the boards showing at the corners, see reference.

    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_BzJwWvbhkG4/R-AqcN1KKkI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/L_zfCRDHljY/Wooden+Crate+Or+Box.jpg
    (you can see the sides of the top front and back pieces, but not the bottom, looking at it from the front or back, you will only see the top edge.
  • Devin Busha
    Off to a really great start man! It's always nice to see more hand painted goodness around here. As for crits, so far I think this has been your strongest texture. Although the contrast is pretty soft, the brush work is really nice and feels like something you really put effort into.

    As for your recent crate / barrel, there's not much I can say that hasn't been said already. I'm really surprised no one has linked Grace Liu's work yet. As for ref, you may find it useful to pull up a few examples from both hand painted and photo sourced images, then hop between the two so you're not getting too tied to one, and most importantly, so you can ground your art no matter how stylized you're going.

    Anywho, thanks for the help via PM! I was having the exact same UV warping problem. Goodluck and keep at it! :)
  • Ooghijmiqtxxa
    handpainthelp.jpg

    Basically what I'm trying to get at is that you can use photo sources to help you in getting the look you want for hand painted textures. I hope this helps!
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    By popular demand I scrapped the silly random planks! Yey!

    Eric - Added the shadow for you, not to sure about the bleeding and what you mean, i looked at images and couldn't really make it out.
    Vig - Can't thank you enough for the paint over, it's obvious why (below!!1).
    ZacD - Thanks for that reference, that's the type of box I ended up going with so that was perfect.
    Devin Busha - Thanks foradvice and no worries.
    Oogh - Thanks for tute.

    Here's another update. Still not really happy with it, but I'm glad it's slowly improving. I'd like to call these props done soon and move onto other stuff, so any final crits would be appreciated as always.

    I want to keep the box to a 128x256. I originally wanted cracks running along the top, but then I realised I'd run into seam issues when they go over the edges, so I thought having a plywood top kind of worked.

    barrelwip5.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
    Here's what I meant by bleeding.
    barrel_hoop_stainage.jpg
    Rust/impurities bleed from the metal hoops into the wood cracks on either side of the hoop, and liquids tend to seep into the wood there too, helping sell the fact that the two different materials have been touching for a long time. Your texture is missing this connection, making the metal look like it's just an overlay.

    Also the hoop shadows are really intense, so this prop will not work very well in a game level unless it is always standing upright. Limits the reusability, can't have a bunch of them in a corner with some turned on their sides and/or upside down. Better to reduce that shadow intensity.

    Your box is a huge improvement! Really amazing how far it has come. :) But it now lacks some AO that could help sell the thickness of the wood. Also the curling paper doesn't work so well, since it's such a flat mesh, better to have it fairly flat paper with just cracked edges instead.

    But yeah, up to you when to call it done.
  • achillesian
    lotta progress in this thread, good work.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Did a sword and shield today. All hand painted, however now I've finished them, I have this strong feeling they dont fit with the other props, like they are too serious. I'm considering painting a more cartoony lion head, similar to say the lion from Madagascar. The sword and shield are both on a 512x256.

    The floor was a study from a World of Warcraft texture I really like, kind of happy how it turned out, however it doesn't have that finish like WoW's - you can still really see the brush strokes, I'm not sure if thats a bad thing?

    And I still need to make those changes to the barrel as Eric has suggested!

    Thanks =]

    swordandshield01.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
    Cool!

    I agree the sword/shield are a different style. I think it's mostly because the paint has been "over-worked", that is, you can't see any large/rough brush strokes.

    Floor looks like it's had a Photoshop filter applied, an instant turn off (for me). It has turned the brush strokes into mush, and added dark halos around the highlights. I know it's tough painting by hand, but the best hand-painted textures in WoW really show off the artist's raw brushwork, giving it that great wet/sculpted look.
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks Eric. I can turn the stone back it to my original brushwork, it was just a bit too blurry for me but I'll see what i can do.

    Any suggestions on the sword and shield as it stands? I might just model a different variation altogether thats has some quirks about it. Is kind of a shame as I spent quite a bit of time on both!

    Thanks again!
  • Eric Chadwick
    Bigger brush strokes!

    OK, you might try this approach... start with really big brushes, try to get as much of the "feel" of it without changing the width of the brush. Make sure to work completely at full strength, no partially-transparent strokes.

    Lay down some dots of colors off to the side, this will be your palette to pick colors from while you paint, maybe three different hues, each with four or so colors from bright to dark. A nice range.

    Then just grabbing from that palette, paint the rough layout of your texture. Go as far as you can. Then switch to a slightly smaller brush, and refine the layout. Resist the temptation to go to smaller brushes, or to use transparent strokes. Keep going down in size, step by step, pushing each step as far as it will go.

    Each step should require less strokes than the last. Until the final 1-pixel wide brush, which should just pull out a few highlights/cracks here and there.

    Anyhow, it's an idea. Remember, you have to divorce your self from each "finished" piece, allow yourself to move on without getting attached. It's all about the process. Get all Zen on it!
  • Elyaradine
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    Elyaradine polycounter lvl 11
    Hey snow! Your progress is inspiring, and you're not the only one learning from your thread! ;) Keep it up! :)
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 8
    I'm with Elyaradine on this one, I've enjoyed seeing your progress so far snow. Can't wait to see what you settle on :)
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Elyaradine and imyj thanks for your nice words! You make it sound like I know what I'm doing :). But it's been the people contributing that have been the most help!

    Here's a different sword and shield. The sword was WoW inspired, it's meant to look like it's just hand made out of wood and fabric.

    I tried to use your method on these Eric, I can post my layer step by step if anyones interested!

    barrelwip8.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
    Nice job on the sword and shield! The styles all fit together now. I like what you've done with the barrel, the tops of the metal bands "fit" better.

    The sword blade doesn't look like wood however, if that's what you intended. I guess you meant the handle is wood?

    The shield looks like it just came out of the shop. Maybe add some battle scars? Like the blade has a couple notches. The edges and middle of the shield especially, since those stick out the most.

    The crate however needs some more shading to fit in with the rest. I think the border planks on the sides should cast some ambient occlusion-like soft shadows on the inner boards, give it a little bit of depth.

    I would also zoom in so there isn't so much dead white space. My fingers are itching to zoom in to see your work better!

    Keep going, this is awesome. Would love to see the step-by-step too, here's one I made awhile back.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    I did a little paint over

    PEeOZ.gif

    The white BG makes everything look dark, and is harsher one the eyes, it can work, but not ideal for a dark message board. I chose a cooler color because everything is the scene was warm.

    and I added a bit of shading/AO like Eric mentioned, I really think it helps make the textures look less flat (on the bag under the ropes, on the sword handle, and on the box)
  • whats_true
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    whats_true polycounter lvl 12
    Rule of thumb for background renders. Nothing pure black, or pure white. Its just bad for your renders.

    Box does look flat. Darken the middle part and it will pop those slots out.
  • Noors
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    Noors polycounter lvl 11
    nice improvement :)
  • Eric Chadwick
    White can work, but the shadows from your lighting setup are just too dark.

    I would make the painted lighting/shading less directional. Turn any one of these props on its side, see how it looks. The barrel's metal bands would look odd, lighting is too strongly directional from the "top".
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    How much lighting you put in a prop also depends on if its going to be static or dynamic, or duplicated in a bunch of different positions.

    If its a house that's going to be rotated a few times, and its always going to be in a day time environment, its okay to paint in more lighting, but if its a barrel that's going to be laying on its side and vertical, you don't want to paint too strong of highlights on top. That barrel probably should have a very faint highlight on the top of the rings, but also faint random highlights on the sides of the rings
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Ok ok... sorry for blinding you all! And wow that purple looks really nice - thanks!

    I will add the shadows to the box. Is it okay to leave the barrel lighting as is - just for displaying purposes? What would someone looking to hire me prefer basically :P.

    I'm not really sure what else to add to this - I'd like to add it to my first ever portfolio - does anyone have any recommendations? I don't want to do too much more, for the sake of time, as I need to start practicing some hard surface stuff :/.

    And it is late here, but I will show some of my processes tomorrow/soon, so stay looking :P.
  • Eric Chadwick
    It's up to you to decide when to stop working on a portfolio asset. The lighting changes would be significant, in my eyes, but I'm not in a hiring position right now either. ;)
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    For a portfolio I would mostly worry about making sure everything looks as nice as possible, the barrel should be fine how it is but if you were ever to decided to do a whole environment, the barrel might look odd laying on its side.

    No one looking at your portfolio is going to say "They painted too much lighting in, we can't hire someone like that"
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Haha that's right ZacD.

    However, do you believe that something around this size is enough to demonstrate to employers that I can handle these styles of assets? Sure I'd like to do a whole scene, but as I said, I'm keen to learn loads of other stuff.

    I may keep adding to this but I'll see.

    Thanks Zac and Eric for your input, I'll have to start paying tuition soon :P.
  • Saiainoshi
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    Saiainoshi polycounter lvl 9
    Oh boxes and crates.. story of my life while working on WoW. Your crate and barrel are looking great so far! They still need that last polish pass of highlights and shadows to keep it from appearing flat. I also noticed that you paint a bit unsaturated just like me! So here's my little secret to getting more vibrance and contrast into your textures ;)

    Select All>Copy Merged>Paste>Change layer to soft light

    You might have some hot spots and some dark spots, but this will introduce more color into your texture :)

    So for here, I added the highlights and shadows, then used the soft light trick to get some more color and contrast. With painted textures, the polish pass is like dotting your i's and crossing your t's. It makes it "pop"


    Hope this helps! :)

    paintover.gif
  • chadabees
    Wow thats a great paintover Sai. I'm trying to bump up my handpainting skills and that tip will be useful. @Snow sword and shield look great!
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Wow thanks a tonne Saiainoshi, you're so lucky to have worked on WoW!

    I can't wait to make those changes. Again it's really annoying how I keep going into auto pilot of making everything very low contrast, it's like it's a safe option in my brain.

    Thanks again!
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 8
    Okay this is a far as I'll go in terms of working on this ultra-super-mini-scene. I used that nice purple you suggested ZacD. :)

    I tried to incorporate Saianoshi's tips as best I could! Welcoming any last words of advice as always.

    Still willing to put together my process (as newbie as I am) just for those interested.


    themerchantsgoodsrender.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
    It would help to show the flats at full size. Lighting makes it easier on the eyes, but harder to judge textures like the shield.

    Edit... also you should brand every image you post, with your name and email or website.
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