Mar 14, 2013

Texturing

Texturing is important in games. I played so mush games with texture glitches that I just cannot allow myself to do crappy things with my models. Even now, when I play games, I take a look at textures in search of some defect in alignment or anything else strange. I often find some and It make me smile.

I want it perfect. No defect, correct alignment. Perfect. And to get perfect I had to practice. As you could see in previous posts. I made a lot of models getting more and more complex. Creating a 3D model is not as complicated as it seemed first. However, after creating the model, the next process is to cut all faces to make the UV-mapping.

And then, you have to say "Hello" to a bunch of conception problems. But that's not problems you can anticipate at first. You have to try, get stuck in glitchs, and understand the whole mechanics of unwraping. For example, I had to create the Shuttle UV texture 3 times! I created the UV mapping and started to apply textures. And then notices there was some faces overlapping. This is how I reacted (really) :


- So I hade to make the UV again an move all textures... And repeat! I got it a second time with a freaking small bunch of crap due to cutting misplacement. To be honest, I insulted Blender. I also insulted myself for not being rigorous enough. But I learnt a lot during this long day. Some simple things that you can only learn by failing :

- Take your time to create the model. Don't hurry or you will loose a lot of time afterwards fixing all mistakes. Start to think about how it will look like in the end. Think about the textures you want to apply. This will have an impact on how you'll add faces on your model to get a better final result.

- Start creating the UV mapping only when you're sure that you will no more modify the model. Otherwise you will have to recreate the entire mapping or do it by hand and adapt all other elements for your new faces to get inside the mapping. The second way is suicide. The automatic UV cutter is powerfull, so use it.

- When the first UV mapping is done, iterate unwrapping/marking seams until the base unwrap has no more overlap and seems easy to add textures on. Then you have to clean it. The cut is never perfectly aligned. The more your model will be complex, the more you will have to clean the UV. This part of the work is important to get the mapping as clean and orthogonal as possible. Simple fact : rotating a texture reduces it's quality. So having vertical or horizontal blocs is perfect for applying textures.

- When the UV is done, the last part is just fun. Add textures and test how it looks like.

This is the kind of experience you can only get by :
  1. Trying new things
  2. Failing 
  3. Thinking about why you failed
  4. Going to step 1 until you get the trick
This is a simple cycle but most people stop at the second one and give up. I didn't. Like I said in a previous post : I'm tenacious! So here is an example of UV mapping I'm now able to do, and I'm proud of it, event if I can get it better (I'm still working on it) :

Warehouse v3