3D Textures

Well written, Bazza! Texture creation isn’t my strong point. This will really help me out. Thanks!

Just some texture hints and tips that may be of help…let me know if there is anything I haven’t explained to well.

The textures you apply to your models will make or break the scene. I reckon they account for a good 80% of the final visual effect, so you need to spend some time trying to get them to look right. Not only do they need to look good but they need to blend with each other, within the scene to create the effect you want….
It’s no good having one texture with some really deep/strong shading and highlights and another texture in the scene with very soft shading and highlights…it would stand out like a sore thumb.
The same goes for the strength of the colours…Try using the Hue/Saturation/Lightness operation in PSP to adjust textures within the same scene…try taking out quite a lot of the colour by taking the Saturation slider down…this helps to remove the ‘newness’ from a texture.

Here’s a shot from my medieval scene….these hints and tips show how I created the wall paneling but the same techniques where used to create the other textures within the scene. They are applied to a very basic model…an extruded, flipped cube but they give the apearence that walls and doors of the model are not flat (which they are).
There isn’t any detail built into the walls and doors…the door on the left is a basic flattened, scaled cube…it’s the texture that creates the 3D effect

I’ve written this using PaintShopPro, if your a Photoshop user you can do a better job than this, if you don’t use either of these programs you should be able to convert this to any decent paint program.

Take a look at the attached pic (Example.jpg)…if you follow it through you should end up with something like this, a wall paneling texture, although the techniques can be used for any texture set you wish to create.

The whole thing is created in layers, the wood panel is the base layer, all the strapping and rivets are created on subsequent layers…the file is saved out as a .pspimage file…when you load it back into PSP all the layers will be retained. To save out the final image for use in 3DC you just use Save As…and save as a .bmp file.

Working with layers is a great help…in the attached image, the pic on the right is just a variation but I didn’t have to start from scratch, I only had to turn the opacity for the central strapping layer to zero,….create another layer for the new centre piece and make the variation…took about 10 mins to do this.

To get the 3D effect into the texture you need to imagine a light source shinning across the texture…I usually go for an imaginary light in the top left hand corner. You can then add the highlights and shading.
Any raised parts of the texture…in this case the strapping.would cast a shadow along each right hand edge and have a highlight along each left hand edge. By adjusting the depth of this highlight and shadow you can create some very cool 3D textures. Try messing with the settings in PSP to get different effects.

It took me about 90 mins to complete the texture…if your new to PSP or haven’t used the layers before it could take you quite a bit longer.

You can use digital images if you wish but if you like to create all your own work where possible you need to create some texture base images that can be used over and over again. After a while you end up with quite a collection of these. They are usually quite simple textures, nothing fancy or highly detailed.
You keep these in a special folder and don’t overwrite them….you load each as required into PSP make a copy and close the original. You can make adjustments to the copy as you wish but keep the original in tact.

For this you need two base textures….some wood for the panel and some metal for the strapping..take a look at Blanks1.jpg….

Top Left
Create a new file in PSP 256×256 pixels
Fill it with a single colour…Red=115 Green=100 Blue=77

Top Right
In the Effects menu choose…Texture Effectsandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Textureandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Woodgrain
Set the depth to 2 and size to 100%…Click OK
This gives a horizontal grain so in the Image menu Rotate the image counter clockwise 90 degrees
In the Adjust menu choose Add/Remove Noiseandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Add Noise and add 10% of Monochrome noise

Bottom Left
Use the clone brush…select some of the tighter grain and copy it over the areas of the image that have a wide grain till you end up with something like this.
Save this image out as WoodGrain1.bmp…..your first wood base texture

Bottom Right (This bit is much quicker to do than to write)
Now we need to get some cross grain/tool/scuff marks…
Copy and paste your new WoodGrain1 texture as a new image. Close the WoodGrain1 texture file so it’s safe
Save the copy as WoodGrain2.bmp
Copy the WoodGrain2 image
Rotate the copy clockwise by 90 degrees.
Copy and past it back to the WoodGrain2 image as a New Layer
You should now have two layers the bottom one is the background the top one will be Raster1
Click on the Raster1 layer and move the opacity slider down to around 34%
This gives the cross grain effect. But it looks looks a bit to fresh so….

Select the Raster1 layer.
In the Layers menu choose New Adjustment Layerandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Brightness and Contrast….Take the contrast down to -9
Click Ok…this new adjustment layer will appeare above the Raster1 layer…double click it at any time to make further adjustments
Select the Raster1 layer again.
In the Layers menu again, choose New Adjustment Layerandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Hue/Saturation/Lightness
Take the Saturation down to -25
You should have something that looks a bit like my bottom right image….nearly…hehehe
Select the background layer and in the Adjust menu choose Sharpnessandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Sharpen
Thats it….Now save this file out twice…use Save As and save it first as Woodgrain2.pspimage
Next choose Save As again and save it as Woodgrain2.bmp….click Yes to overwrite the file
The .pspimage file retains all the layers…you can load this back into PSP any time to create a similar texture. simply by adjusting the Hue/Brightness layers.
You now have your second base texture Woodgrain2.bmp

This is a bit like writing a book…hehe

The metal texture is a bit simpler….See the MetalBlank.jpg image
Create a new file in PSP 256×256 pixels
Fill it with Red=122 Green=122 Red=101
In the Adjust menu add 10% of Monochrome noise
Create a new layer
Selct the paint brush, colour R=105 G=102 B=75….brush size around 125.
Density=6 Opacity=100
Do a quick squiggly pass over the image like my Raster1 layer
Create another layer, set the brush colour to R=86 G=82 B=45….brush size about 300, Density6, Opacity 100
Make sure the whole of the brush covers the image and click once.
Create another layer, set the brush colour to R=97 G=98 B=90…brush size about 75, Density6, Opacity 100
Do another sqiggle a bit like my Raster3 layer.
Last add a new Brightness/Contrast Adjustement layer ..set Brightness to 9 and contrast to 17
Save out this image as MetalBase1.pspimage and MetalBase1.bmp
MetalBase1.bmp..your third base texture

Now we can create the wall panel texture….see WoodPanel2.jpg
Load your Woodgrain2.bmp and your MetalBase1.bmp file into PSP
Copy each one and past it as a new image…close the originals

Left Hand Pic
Create a new file in PSP, 256×512 pixels…save it as WallPanel1.pspimage
Copy and past the woodgrain image back to the Wallpanel1 file twice as a new selction
Position them so they fill the Wallpanel1 image completly

Center Pic (Optinal)
The grain needs to be calmed down a bit…made a bit smoother
First select the Push brush
In Tool Presets select Line Horizontal…size about 280 Opacity 17%
Drag the brush down the image…try to keep it in a striaght line
Repeat till it looks something like the center image

Right Hand Pic.
To get the 3D paneling effect…..
Select the Wallpanel1 image…Right click the image window bar and select Grid
Change the Current Image settings for Horizontal and vertical to 36 make sure the units are set to Pixels
and it’s colour is about 160,160,160…Click OK
This just about divides the image into 7 equal vertical panels
Select the Rectangle Selection tool and select an area 6 pixels wide by 512 pixels deep along one of the vertical grid lines…try to start the selection 3 pixels to the left of the grid line and end up 3 pixels to the right of it.
Choose the Lighten/Darken brush…brush size about 10…Opacity 30
Position the brush at the top of the selected area….hold down the Right mouse button and drag the brush down the selected area…gives you a nice darkened rebate.
Now copy and past this selection to each of the vertical grid lines….also to the edges of the image…you need a 3 pixel wide dark strip down each edge so the texture will tile ok
Turn off the grid. Save the file

Now imagine a light source shining across the image from the top left hand corner…each of the panels would have a highlight along it’s left hand edge…so to add to the 3D effect…still using the Lighten/Darken tool…set the opacity to 36 and the brush size to 2…start at the top of each panel left hand edge draw a 2 pixel wide highlight down to the bottom….zoom in for this job.
This imaginary light would also make these ‘raised’ panels cast a deeper shadow down the left hand edge of each dark rebate so set the opacity for the Lighten/Darken brush to 25 brush size 2 and create a darker line down the left hand edge of each rebate.
If you download this image and zoom in on it you’ll see what I mean.
This will do for the wood panel for now…still need to make adjustments to contrast when the strapping is done.
Save the file

The strapping….
You need your Metalbase1.bmp file as well for this bit.
See the attached WoodPanel3.jpg pic

Top left
Select the Background layer on your WallPanel1 file….create a new layer
On the new layer
Make a rectangular selection about 18 to 20 pixels deep across the top of the image
Change to an Octogon selection…hold down the shift key and selct the drop down part,
Just clip the rectangular selection with this…the octogon will be added to the rectangle selection.

Bottom Left
Change to the Clone tool…select a start point on your Metalbase1 texture (Click the right mouse button)
and clone it into the selected area on the new Wallpanel layer.

Right hand pic
With the Rectangle selection tool…select the octogon drop down bit…copy and paste it along the top strap
Make sure all the top strapping is merged down to the Raster1 layer
You now need to select the top strap…
…the easiest way is to use the Magic wand selection tool…make sure the Raster one layer is selected click anywhere in the center of the layer with the magic wand…this central area should become selected but we want the top strapping area, so…
In the Selection menu choose Invert..the strapping should now be selected.

Copy and past the selected top strap back to the Raster1 layer…rotate it through 180 degrees and move it to the bottom of the image…Merge down so both straps are on Raster layer1…..Save the file

You now need to select the top and bottom strapping to create the 3D bevel…use the magic wand again and invert the selection…top and bottom straps should now be selected.

To create the bevel….in the Effects menu choose 3D Effectsandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;Inner bevel…width=2 depth=3…click ok.
You should have something like my right hand pic….Save the file
PSP creates some very harsh shaded bevels…will correct this later…..Photoshop does a much better job…

The last part….see the attached Wallpanel4.jpg

Left hand pic
I used the clone tool to remove the top part of the bevel along the top and edges of the top strap…didin’t need this
and again to remove the bottom bevel and edge bevels on the bottom strap
Creating the rivets…use a circular selection..make sure the Raster1 Layer is selected…select an area for the first rivet….Choose..Effectsandgt;andgt;andgt;andgt;3D Effectsandgt;andgt;andgt;Inner bevel….width=2 depth=2….click ok
With the rivet still selected copy and paste it as many times as you wish…when your done make sure they are all merged down to the raster one layer….save the file
Thats nearly it…BUT..the contrast between the strapping and the wood panel is all wrong…the strapping looks as though it has a very strong light shinning on it whilst the wood looks very dull…we need to tone down the strapping a bit and enhance the wood panel so everything blends together.

Right hand pic
To calm down the dark shading on the bevles I used the colour replacer tool…replacing the black with a dark shade of grey…this is the quickest way..you could use the lighten/darken brush but it would be a long job.
I then used the soften brush along the edges of the bevels to tone down the jaggies. And on the rivet heads with a very low opacity.
Next I added a new brightness contrast adjustment layer above the background layer..Brightness =23…..
This enhanced the wood layer so it blended better with the strapping…BUT…it looks to clean and new…not what I wanted…so if you take another look at the pic on the first post… Example.jpg…
I added a top Hue/Saturation layer above all the other layers…this was set to Saturation..-24.. lightnes+2
In between the Background layer and the contrast layer I added a dirt layer with it’s blend mode set to overlay.
The dirt layer was created from the Metalbase1 file with it’s opacity turned down to 50% and I used the eraser brush to remove some of this layer.
I used the darken tool again to darken the wood bevels slightly and sharpened the whole wood layer again.

Thats about it…If anyone would like to see the .pspimage file with all the layers send me a PM.with an email address…It will only load into PSP V10…sorry.

If anyone has found this helpful and follows it through I would like to see what you come up with.

Thanks for the tut Bazza, as always.. very helpful and it will undoubtably get some creative ideas flowing. Nice work!

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