View Full Version : Photorealistic texturing for architecture

11 November 2005, 10:50 AM
Hello there

I have finished modelling the outside of a train station, with other props in the scene. Now I need to texture it but am a bit unclear as to where I should start.

Should I do a UV snapshot and texture it like I would a character, or split my model up into bits and texture each section? (At the moment the scene consists of a few small objects and a few large sections, for example the wall of the station and then the saddle of a bike are seperate.)

Im not really sure on what the generic standard way of texturing is either, so it would be nice to hear how you would do it!

Also if anyone has any enviroment texturing tutorials in thier bookmarks it'd be great if you could share them...

As a side note - This enviroment is 'kinda' for a game (or atleast it should be, the emphasis was more on keeping it low poly), so does anyone know what the industry way of texturing for game is?

Thanks alot for your help


11 November 2005, 11:04 AM
you would wnat to UV the model completely and take snapshots of the larger areas of your model that need some hand painting. generally leave smaller objects to tiling textures maybe and and use the larger textures for big areas that need to look unique. if you have lots of smaller objects with wood/metal/plastic textures then you can create a small tiling texture that will be ample.

also i tend to make my texture pages correspond to what shading they will have, ie objects that need lots of specular and objects that are flat shaded ie lambert types. this helps for setting spec values accross your texture easily and saves haveing to changing certain spaces on your page for different materials.

you can also add a ambient occlusion texture to the whole scene which requires all your objects to have there own texture space. this will also help your small tiling textures making them look less 'flat' and generic.

with environment art is always a big challenge to cover large areas with textures that dont look tiled. this can be achieved in many ways. omsetimes procedurally if your engine supports it or by using alpha blending of different tiling textures.

good luck and have fun!

11 November 2005, 09:30 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Attached is a textured corner ( far), looks dull! The Mattress is done using a UV snapshot and the wall behind it is just one big flat image with a bump map...

Im using high qaulity Targas for my texture files (is this a good idea?) but they still seem a bit 'smooth'.

I might break up the big main section to the left (the station archways), the qaulity would end up being really bad if it was mapped with just one Targa file (is that true?). Unless there is some other way I should be doing it?

Any comments are greatly appriciated!


11 November 2005, 01:35 AM
Creating the proper look to the surfaces is way harder than modelling itself I've found. Actually painting textures and preparing photos to work properly as textures is way harder than setting up the shading networks themselves. With that said, I could type out alot on texturing and explain a few things, but really the clearest and best way for you to understand it is too just look and study the renders that people have already done. Decomplile the models from games if you have them and study the way they did the texture maps if your doing this scene for a game. One thing though, if your going for 'architectual' as in previsualization, then the textures are usually very basic, tiling concrete texture goes onto concrete, tiling marble onto marble surfaces etc, then you rely on your shaders and lighting to make it look good. If your doing this for a game however, then texturing gets alot more intricate because you can't rely on the shaders and lighting so much to make it look good. Usually with textures for games I start out baking on the ambient occlusion layer or the lighting from GI and FG to have a base texture of the object or surface that is accurately lit. Then on top of that I paint details and making the texture dirtier is an easy way to make things look realistic, but be carefull as people will be able to tell the difference between proper amounts of dirtiness to achieve realism and too much dirtiness to cover up the fact your new to texturing.

As for your textures being too "smooth", that has to do with the resolution and the shader more than anything. Put some bump to the shader and it will look less smooth, or make a proper specular map. Or take the texture into photoshop, up the contrast and sharpen it, that will make it look more gritty too. And for games, targas are ideal seeing as Unreal, Source engine and I believe doom3 all rely on targas to generate the textures.

11 November 2005, 02:26 PM
Hello again and thanks for the reply

I've attached an image of further development ('sofar.jpg'), most of it is done with UV textures (untiled) apart from the floor, which looks a tad rubbish.

Unfortunately I dont think i can 'bake' the lights because my lighter is doing his own thing at the moment and i'll probably get all the lights pointing in the wrong direction... (im still a little fuzzy as to exactly in human terms what 'baking' is...)

What sort of texture shader would I use to place some litter over the top of my tiled floor? I know there is some way of getting another layer on the top which uses an alpha channel but I dont know what its called!

Also any suggestions on how i might make the tiles at the top ever so slightly reflectant but where dust and dirt would be non-reflectant?

Im rather new to texturing so thanks alot for the help!

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11 November 2005, 02:26 PM
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