Texturing the X-Bmber

Chat about the Genesis project and storyline
Bradster
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 9:47 am

First, turn off the display bit for everything you're not working with. You don't need the wireframes for other objects you won't be using.Take a snapshot of the side of your object you're going to texture.Open that picture in Photohsop or any bitmap editor of your choice. Now, draw whatever you want to be displayed on your final model. In this case, I've taken several snapshots of the actual X-Bomber, cropped them, stretched them to fit my grid, and color-corrected them to match each other. Notice that I painted over the "bubble" with Shiro's and Barry's gunning turrets. I did this because the bubble is a separate object and I don't want to risk any of it showing on this one. The "ring" has been squashed for the same reason -- so the front and back aren't drawn on this object.Once you've saved the picture, create a new material for it. In the "color" section of the material editor, click "Image..." in the texture box, and select your newly edited file.Now, select the object the texture will belong to, and click the Polygons tool. Then click the Live Selection tool. Then choose "deselect all" from the Selection menu.Switch to the perspective view and start selecting the polygons you want this texture to be applied to.When finished, choose Set Selection from the Selection menu. A new icon will appear to the left of the selected object in the Object Manager list.Double-click that icon and give it a more significant name. I named mine "sides".Drag the new material you made to this object. When the Texture window pops up, change the Projection mode to Flat and in the "Restrict to Selection" box type the name you gave that selection. Leave everything else at the default values.Select the texture tag you just added to your object and click the Texture Axis tool.Now, you'll need to use the move, rotate, and scale tools to line up the texture with your object. You may need to render the view a few times as you adjust it to be sure everything lines up. Here's a picture of my finished axis for that texture.Keep adding textures, and it'll start to look more and more realistic. Here's as far as I got with my texturing:

AndyThomas
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Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby AndyThomas » Mon Aug 05, 2002 10:03 am

Wow.  I'd half wondered about being able to limit textures to polygons.  I'd have been laughing if I'd gotten that far.  Ooooh, I wish I could have a crack at this right now, being able to put the "armour" patches on that way will look so much better.  That's your model, isn't it, rather than mine?  Hmm, might be interesting to do this - yours on top, mine on bottom...Mmm.  S'interesting, your neck somehow looks better than mine because it's not as tall, and yet I'm working off the side schematic for the height.  Of course one of the problems with doing that is that my width may not be spot on - my profile will end up being pretty good, but I think I'll need to adjust some things later on.  It's tricky not having them at quite the same angle with the same textures of course.  I'll have to see what I can do tonight to bring mine more "up to speed".  It'll be good to lose the stick-out primitives though, they were really annoying to do.  Did make it look nearer the real thing, though (says he).  Anyway, thanks Brad, I should be able to follow on from this now... how would you do things like windows, incidentally, which probably ought to be slightly brighter?  So I suppose what I'm asking is, when should you not rely on textures?  Presumably you could combine basic image textures with bump maps to raise e.g. engineering area textures up out of the hull a bit...I suppose it seems a bit daft that both of us are now trying to model the same thing, but although mine'll probably come out looking less professional it'll be a useful learning exercise for me.  I still shudder to think how you'd even start on Makara's ship, although I suppose given good images a lot could be done fairly easily.Hopefully others are finding this vaguely interesting!  When you stop and think about it, you can see why CGI takes so long - having models to "borrow" textures from will speed things up for us no end, but for "pure" CGI you have to create the textures from the ground up...  Ooch...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:06 am

Actually, I think the perceived "fatness" on the neck of your model is probably due to some camera trickery. Have a look at your camera's focal point and zoom settings. Remember, those settings will determine how much distortion occurs, making distant objects smaller and close ones larger.Yes, that must be it, as our models are nearly identical from the profile. (Edited by Bradster at 12:07 pm on Aug. 5, 2002)

Bradster
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:13 am

Quote Quote: from AndyThomas on 11:03 am on Aug. 5, 2002Anyway, thanks Brad, I should be able to follow on from this now... how would you do things like windows, incidentally, which probably ought to be slightly brighter?  So I suppose what I'm asking is, when should you not rely on textures?  Presumably you could combine basic image textures with bump maps to raise e.g. engineering area textures up out of the hull a bit...Actually, textures would work wonderfully for windows. I'll do another little tutorial in a bit for masking areas, which are immensely helpful for things like windows... heehee :cheesy:Ah, but when should you rely less on textures? Hmm. Well, it's all a matter of preference. The more *actual* detail you put into the polygons for things like the engineering section, the better it will look especially in close-up shots. From a distance or in small shots like above, however, it would take a trained eye to see the difference between a section with a good bump map and a section detailed with lots of polygons.I'm actually trying to decide myself how to do that engineering section. I'll probably add lots of polygons by hand, just as an exercise for practice.(Edited by Bradster at 12:18 pm on Aug. 5, 2002)

AndyThomas
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Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby AndyThomas » Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:38 am

Ahhh, yes. The camera does often seem to "go off on one" when I try and rotate it and such like. Just another little thing I haven't quite worked out yet! Those profiles do look reassuringly similar! :biggrin: There are some interesting quirks to the design which I hadn't noticed until I started looking very closely. For example, the lower wings aren't the uniform wing shape we've both gone for. Apologies for the size, but if you look very closely at this pic, you can make out the cut-away towards the back of the wing, roughly in line with the engine strut. Sneaky! Also, this image shows that the rear engineering section is actually triangular towards the bottom. Heh. You know, it's funny, looking at that image on this smaller monitor in a lower resolution than at home I'm actually noticing more detail than I do at home! I'm going to have to re-do my engine intakes AGAIN! D'oh!
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 12:02 pm

Ah! :o You have a good eye for detail, as I had completely missed those two bits! Why, that explains why I had to keep moving my wing to make room for the engine... it has a sizable chuck cut out of it! Those sneaky devils. Tsk.I'm saving that image for reference. Thanks! ;)Oh and the next tutorial is coming in three... two...(Edited by Bradster at 1:04 pm on Aug. 5, 2002)

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 12:07 pm

Okay, so how would you apply a texture if you wanted to limit to to something more specific than a polygon? Something, perhaps, like the '12' and checkerboard stripe on this ship.It's actually amazingly simple. Just use Photoshop (or your editor of choice) to create a mask like this:This is what's called an "alpha mask". Some images like TIFFs, PNGs, and PICTs can have a alpha layer embedded with the actual RGB picture, but using that is a bit trickier than this. Plus, some programs don't handle those alphas very well. So, I'll stick to using actual alpha mask files.Now, there's a reason I used those colors. The white represents what will be shown and the black represents what will be cut out. Anything that is a shade of grey will determine a level of transparency. A 50% grey, for example, would mean a 50% level of transparency in that area.Once you've saved your mask and returned to Cinema 4D, create a new material. Check the Alpha box and select this image as the texture for the alpha. Uncheck the "image alpha" box because that only works with the special files I mentioned above. You'll notice that your alpha is immediately applied to the sample image.Now, use the normal texturing technique to apply this to an object. Here is where my texture axis is located for the transport ship.The same technique can be applied for making windows. The only difference would be to use a lighter color to the material (not the mask), maybe even add a slight glow to show the light coming from inside the window.(Edited by Bradster at 1:09 pm on Aug. 5, 2002)

AndyThomas
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Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby AndyThomas » Mon Aug 05, 2002 1:50 pm

Oooh-kay. So to do a window, you'd do a map with white window areas and black elsewhere, but alter the resulting material's underlying colour to yellow, give it a bit of glow and then you'd end up with the non-transparent areas that colour - or a yellowy 12 in your example. Which is actually even more what I was after - it's just like applying decals to a normal model. That's another headache solved!
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AndyThomas
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Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby AndyThomas » Mon Aug 05, 2002 7:20 pm

Right, it's not quite as well finished as yours because the source material was a bit more dubious but for a few minutes of work I think I've got the basic idea. Hm. Thing is, it's going to be extremely tricky to get enough material to be able to wallpaper the whole thing well, isn't it? I suppose if you do it by hand there's the advantage that you can match it exactly to the mesh... BTW, one other minor thing - what would be the best way to make my corners less obvious? Is there a Nurbs I could use to do that?
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Texturing the X-Bmber

Postby Bradster » Mon Aug 05, 2002 8:15 pm

Quote Quote: from AndyThomas on 8:20 pm on Aug. 5, 2002Thing is, it's going to be extremely tricky to get enough material to be able to wallpaper the whole thing well, isn't it?EXACTLY. If you'd like some reference shots, I've captured some good passes of the X-Bomber into a single file. It requires QuickTime 6, though, to view it because it's encoded in MPEG-4. It's also rather large, weighing in at 13 MB, but is pretty good quality. Here's the link if you're interested:http://brad.project-think.com/starfleet ... s.movQuote one other minor thing - what would be the best way to make my corners less obvious?  Is there a Nurbs I could use to do that?Hmmmmm. Well, I'm not really sure if there is anything you can do about your corners, depending on how you made the objects. Once they're polygons, you'll have to manipulate them manually, adding points one-by-one and bridging connections one at a time.However, once all your textures are applied and you use real light sources (I'm assuming you haven't added any yet), they should have a much more natural look to them.(Edited by Bradster at 9:16 pm on Aug. 5, 2002)


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