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AV98-Ingram
11-07-2005, 09:15 AM
Hey everyone, I'm new, this is my first post and after spending all day yesterday reading forum after forum, I think it would be easier to ask here.

I use 3DS Max 7 and I know how to setup UV's and wrap textures etc. But one question nobody seems to answer or ask is how texture maps are set out.

I thought that a building in an environment would have it's own texture, same as a character has it's own texture. But now I'm finding out that a whole environment will share, say, 3 or 4 texture maps for colour and 1 or 2 normal/bumps are used to make surfaces indvidual.

My question is how are these textures put together? Is it a case of each structure having it's own texture, then when finished they're baked into one or is there some other way to do it? Do you have to finish the entire environment first, then paint what textures you need to a couple of maps and assign them after?

This may seem a simple question, but having spent all day yesterday reading I just can't seem to clock it. I want to setup my workflow correctly so when I get a job I don't have to change it too drastically.:sad:

Plus it would be nice to use my portfolio pieces in a game engine, maybe brownie points in a portfolio. :D

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

kaylon
11-07-2005, 11:56 AM
Buildings as a norm do not have "UV sheets" ... they use sets of themed textures that are tiled seamlessly with each other and then planar mapped on to surfaces according to the surface Material ID..a single huge wall might only use 1 tiled texture with maybe trim using another texture specific for that trim. Very rarely will you actually produce UV texture sheets that compare to characters. It's all done with sub object materials and face material ID's. A building may have a texture set comprising of maybe a dozen or more 256's or 512 or whaterver, each is mapped on the building according to it's material ID in the material sub object. Faces of the building that are ID 1..use material slot 1, faces that are ID 10 uses Material slot 10 etc.

Hope that sorta vauge explonation sheds some light on it.

Wayne Adams
11-07-2005, 01:06 PM
Yeah that about says it. Just concept your structure on paper, then look at it and begin to pull out how many textures it will require. Then paint them, and model them onto the faces of your structure.

AV98-Ingram
11-08-2005, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply, didn't expect it so quick.

It all seems to make sense to me now, I ask as I'm beginning to put together a portfolio so I can become an environment artist. Problem is, on my degree I accidentally didn't take games texturing module so the subject has always been a little hazy. Something that needs correction.

I didn't realise game environment textures required so much planning.

Is it better to have a separate map with dirt and cracks on to overlay, or should those kind of details be painted directly on the texture map.

The idea is to model an environment inspired by a section of Hong Kong from my holiday, but they have a lot of skyscrapers that have some very large plain concrete areas that could easily become repetitive. And it already begins to worry me.

Thank you again for your reply, much appreciated.

requiem2d
11-09-2005, 03:33 PM
Are you referring to the use of an Atlas by any chance, that's a technique I've seen used sometimes. You'll need some tools though:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/texture_atlas_tools.html

AV98-Ingram
11-09-2005, 08:17 PM
I googled Texture Atlas, but it seemed mostly scientific explanations. To me it looks like a tool that compiles textures into a sheet. This is more want I wanted to know, is there a tool that does this or is there a rule or method. In the past I've just created a texture that is the size I need and mapped it, i.e. I painted some concrete for a wall as a 256 x 128 texture, then mapped it.
As I understand game artists would put several textures on one image and then map them to their meshes.

The only way I can think to do this is to create individual textures (concrete, windows, doors), map them, then copy and paste to a new image (say 1024 x 1024) and remap them to the mesh. But this seems a bit long winded. Or is this something you learn with experience and it'll come to me in due time?

ChimpanG
11-09-2005, 09:09 PM
Buildings as a norm do not have "UV sheets" ... they use sets of themed textures that are tiled seamlessly with each other and then planar mapped on to surfaces according to the surface Material ID..a single huge wall might only use 1 tiled texture with maybe trim using another texture specific for that trim. Very rarely will you actually produce UV texture sheets that compare to characters. It's all done with sub object materials and face material ID's. A building may have a texture set comprising of maybe a dozen or more 256's or 512 or whaterver, each is mapped on the building according to it's material ID in the material sub object. Faces of the building that are ID 1..use material slot 1, faces that are ID 10 uses Material slot 10 etc.

Hope that sorta vauge explonation sheds some light on it.

yep thats pretty much how its done. i prefer to make sheets for my major buildings though, i control the indeviduality of it, rather than a tiled tex i can have un-symetrical stuff etc.

AV98-Ingram
11-10-2005, 08:27 AM
I think Kaylon was right first time, I've played around a little with both methods now and it's better that way. I don't know why I found it so confusing at first anyway.:shrug:
Ah well all's well for now.

Cheers all :thumbsup:

jilted_mt
11-10-2005, 06:31 PM
I am currently working on a modification for BF2, the texture structure for BF2 is quite a bit different than a lot of games I have textured for.

It uses 4 different textures (color, detail, dirt, crack. both the color and crack have normal maps as well).

These layers are compiled in an additive method using different channels and a direct X shader.

Color is applied using a very small map, detail is overlayed in a per pixel arrangement (1 pixel = 1 cm), the dirt layer is overlayed generally using a per pixel arrangement and the crack layer is overlayed in a per pixel arrangement as well.

This method is intended to allow for a large number of textures from a very small archive. (a color sheet with ~16 textures x a detail sheet with 4-5 per sheet x a dirt sheet with 4-5 per sheet x a crack sheet with 4-5 per sheet = LOTS of different combinations)

JuddWack
11-11-2005, 05:08 AM
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this so I want to create a situation to be sure.

Picture a very simple box shaped building.
The building contains a door, windows, and balconies.

Now the texture information for this would probably not all be in the same image file? Maybe even up to 4 different files just for the color channel?

SammyB
11-11-2005, 12:42 PM
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this so I want to create a situation to be sure.

Picture a very simple box shaped building.
The building contains a door, windows, and balconies.

Now the texture information for this would probably not all be in the same image file? Maybe even up to 4 different files just for the color channel?Well it all depends on the engine/platform/genre but generally yes this would be correct.

JuddWack
11-11-2005, 05:25 PM
Thats very good to know. Thanks.

JuddWack
11-12-2005, 06:48 AM
I probably should have edited my post, oh well.

Anyways can we take this one step further? How might you add in dirt? Do the shadows get baked to the texture some how?

Thanks

SammyB
11-12-2005, 04:32 PM
I probably should have edited my post, oh well.

Anyways can we take this one step further? How might you add in dirt? Do the shadows get baked to the texture some how?

ThanksDirt can be added to the colour map, or depending on engine some have a detail map/bump map, but that is generally so it doesn't look blury up close. As for shadows, also depends on engine, although these days the lighting is often added seperately in an editor creating shadows at that stage. Shadow baked textures are no longer very verstile as they will generally only look right in one place, thus you can't reuse them...

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