Texturing is the next stage of creating a realistic 3D model, the process of creating and applying textures to a three-dimensional model.
So, what is a texture? Texture - is an array of color pixels that form the image. Textures come in different formats; this can be RGB texture, texture with alpha channel (RGBA), monochrome texture and many others.
Our experienced 3D artists proficiently use Photoshop, Mudbox or ZBrush as well as other 3D software for texturing.
Many 3D artists face a problem, when 3D objects remain smooth and plastic-looking even when the texturing is done, e.g. a tree looks as smooth as glass. We avoid situations when simulated objects look plastic and unrealistic by applying proper texturing techniques.
General Texturing Workflow
- We start do develop a singular texturing workflow with the techniques we want to apply even before the modeling part is done. We try to make as many decisions ahead of time as possible about the final look of the model to spend less time on the actual texturing, because often it requires mechanical skill rather than creative talent.
- When the modeling part is done, we start texturing a model. In fact, the term "texturing” consists of two parts: UVW- mapping and texture painting.
- We start with UVW Mapping. In 3D, texture works like regular texture, but it is truly 3D and it has UVW coordinates. To make our flat texture perfectly cover the three-dimensional object, we properly assign UVW-coordinates of the model vertices. We think over the entire stage of mapping and how we will paint the textures ahead of time. For example, we consider the following issues: When all the decisions are made, we “unwrap” a 3D model and flatten it on a 2D plane.
- what type of texture we are going to create: symmetric or not;
- how many mapping pieces we should create to maximally get rid of joints when stitching these pieces together;
- how to better separate the pieces, depending on the specifics of a model and its texture.
- When the mapping is done, we start to create textures in Photoshop, Mudbox and ZBrush. We consider this stage of a 3D model creation to be even more crucial to the outcome of the whole project than the model topology itself. Professionally chosen and applied techniques can radically alter and improve quality and overall feel of a model. We create diffuse, specular, normal or displacement maps/textures in Photoshop, depending on the model features and expected result. We study the latest technologies in the field of texturing, for example we use the following texturing methods like multitexturing, texture compression, translucency, transparency, etc.
- Finally, we apply the created textures and tune the material of the 3D objects for the selected hi-end render engine or for real-time purposes directly in real-time 3D engine.
These are only the fundamental steps we follow when texturing a 3D model. The texturing process can vary greatly depending on the specifics of a concrete 3D model.
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