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texturing

texturing

Texturing Today

Texturing has come a long way over the past two decades. At first almost an afterthought, texturing now regularly holds its own position in the pipeline of VFX and animation and is considered a critical part of the process – as it should be.

In the days of the SGI, I started on Amazon 3D to paint textures along with Photoshop (yes, Photoshop was supported for the SGIs for a bit, for those of us old enough to remember) and it painted 16 bit Tiff’s but was sludgy and difficult. Studio Paint on the SGI was a huge improvement, but it was slow with larger textures. We gave up bit-depth for speed with Deep Paint, as we moved to PCs with Linux. Between projecting pictures from photos, shaders with subsurface maps, and the elevation of expectations of computer graphics, the world of CG was looking mighty pretty.

blendWireframe

Now we are at a unique point in history for Texturing Software. Several different software programs are vying for prominence as the 3D Paint Program from Body Paint by Maxon to Mari. Body Paint was quick to take up the throne on Deep Paint’s exit, as it was already developing with the aid of Sony Imageworks during Deep Paint’s reign. Foundry’s Mari has been gaining acceptance as the texture program of choice with its ability to work with multiple large textures and its Photoshop friendliness. Its not a done deal, however, as sculpting programs have entered the arena with their own texturing capabilities. Mudbox and ZPaint have jumped into the foray, and Photoshop has included 3D capabilities in its last versions. Never before have we had so many options.

full body 3d scan of Elvis

So which do I think will reign supreme? Well I would have to say, that depends. Texturing needs depend on the medium of which it is going to be seen. Will it be for film? TV? Game cinematics? Real-time engines? Mobile? Are you dealing with sets? Digital doubles? Animals? Props? You can see that the variety of detail and needs are far different between each. Ergo, I believe there is now room for more than just one monarch of 3D Paint. There is one thing I CAN say — you WILL need a 3D paint package. Trying to get by with just Photoshop may have flown in the 80’s and 90’s, but the sophistication required for today’s textures demand a 3D paint package. So let’s sit back and watch the show, this should be interesting.

 

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tng vfx locations

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From Statue to Real Life – Texturing for 3D Models

Do your artists possess the talent required to get the most out of reference photos and software like Mari and Photoshop?

To begin building your textures, it’s best to start with the highest resolution photos. We capture raw images in our photography and process them to ensure that the white balance, exposure, and any other needed adjustments are made prior to texturing. We output the images as non-compressed tiffs so that the final delivered texture has no unnecessary compression which degrades the colors and details. When shooting photography, we opt for cross polarization filters to eliminate highlights if necessary, or use a macro lens if we’re dealing with small objects. The reason to use cross polarization is to end up with a flat texture that can be lit later to match the lighting conditions of the film, television or game project.

specular_cross-polarizedtexturing

To apply the texture on the 3D model, UV’s must be set down. Based on your project, you may want to use a variety of maps to get the effect you desire. Our most commonly asked for texture maps are diffuse (color), normal maps, and displacement maps. Ambient occlusion maps, specular maps, and cavity maps are available upon request.

full body 3d scan

Likewise, the size of the texture can be suited to your needs. Regardless of your desired output, we’ll texture at a high resolution and downsize it to your needs or keep it as high as necessary. The most asked for resolution on texture maps is 4k (4096×4096).

Textures give your model life. Whether your artists drink Xango juice or not, your 3D scanning company should offer customization and specifications to meet your needs. Top notch texture maps will make you think, “Yea, that’s my model!” Go ahead, you can say it…Winning!

 

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

We welcome your feedback! Comment on our blog or visit our Facebook page.