View Full Version : Texturing Workshop Part 2 & Part 3

05 May 2002, 09:33 AM

Part 2
Standard Projection Techniques vs The Painstaking Art of UV Mapping

What on earth is UV Mapping?

"UVs" is a way of saying u,v texture coordinates (as opposed to the X, Y, and Z axis that you construct your meshes on), which are points which define 1-by-1 positions within an image. These obviously connect to points in your 3D model, to position an image texture onto it's surface. Kind of like virtual "thumb tacks", what they do is pin an exact spot on an image that you wish to use to texture your model to a specific point on an object's surface. Between these points, your software will stretch the image smoothly. This is what is referred to as UV mapping.
So why use UV coordinates instead of standard projections?
Well, once you have made your model, and are ready to texture it, the simplest way to apply your texture map is by using a standard planar, cylindrical, spherical or cubic projection. Here is a brief explanation of each of these, and how they are best used:

Planar is a method whereby an image is projected straight through the object along either the x, y, or z axis. This method is especially useful for items such as sheets of paper, posters, book covers, etc – in other words, flat objects. The problem with planar projections is that if the texture is projected along an uneven surface, or if the image reaches a side that curves away from the projection's plane, it results in unsightly lines such as in Figure A. When this happens, you then have to create lots of alpha-channel enabled images to cover up seams between adjacent planar projections and invariably ends up becoming a huge amount of annoying work. So never project a single image through an entire object if it has depth, like the box in the image, or if it has a very non-planar or irregular surface. Rather, as in the case of this box, create separate projections for the x and y axis as well, making sure that their edges will blend together properly. Alternatively, ensure the image to be used is tileable (seamless), and use a cubic projection (which I will discuss in a moment).
Most software has a bitmap fit/automatic sizing option that will stretch the image to fit the surface properly. Obviously, if your image is not the same shape as the surface onto which you are projecting it, this fit option will stretch it until it does. This usually doesn't look too fantastic, so ensure that you measure the size of your object before making your image map.

Cylindrical projection is pretty self-explanatory. Basically what happens is your image is wrapped in a cylindrical fashion around your model along one of it's axis. This is really useful for one kind of object only – cylindrical objects. Please don't try and use this for anything else. When making an image that will be used for cylindrical projection, ensure that it's sides will meet correctly – in other words, where the two sides of the image wrap around and come together, make sure that there is no visible seam, as in Figure B.

:lightbulb A useful way of ensuring that the sides of an image will meet and merge properly is by using the Offset filter in Photoshop (listed under Filters/Other/Offset), and offsetting the image by however many pixels you choose, and using the Wrap Around option.

Spherical projection is when the image is stretched from one pole to the other along the axis you choose, and then wrapped around the sides from the back meridian. Make sense? Basically what I mean, is that, say for instance, you do a spherical projection along the Y axis, then the image goes straight from the top point down to the bottom point, and wraps itself around so that the two sides of the image meet along a straight line down the side of the sphere - this line is known as a meridian. Once again, only ever use spherical projection for spheres. Use it on any other kind of shape, and, well, it's not going to look very nice… Also, be sure to use the Offset filter (described above) to check that your two end will meet properly along the meridian.

:lightbulb Another useful way of checking whether a spherical map will work nicely is to use the Polar Coordinates filter (listed under Filters/Distort/Polar Coordinates) and use the Rectangular to Polar option. (However – ONLY USE THIS FILTER TO CHECK YOUR IMAGE. No NOT save your image that you want to use with this filter applied – it is not going to work!). This can give you an idea or whether there will be any seams when the image is wrapped around the sphere. This method is of course extremely popular for newbies to map their images onto the planets they make for those sci-fi scenes that just about everyone makes when they are starting out in 3D. Come on, admit it, you have all made sci-fi scenes, haven't you? Use the methods I've described here to ensure that your planet doesn't have any unsightly seams tearing across it's surface.

Cubic projection just repeats a single image on each side of a box model it is applied to. Cubic mapping is basically a planar projection from 6 sides. Once again, ensure that the edges of the image will not form seams. Cubic projection is really only limited to perfectly square models, because if you try and use it on a rectangular shaped box, it will stretch the image on the long sides, and squash it on the shorter sides. Which looks pretty awful.

So, back to the original question – why use UV mapping instead of these options? Well, as you have seen, these projection methods are very limited. It's pretty obvious that they are not going to suffice for extremely complex models. But here is something bizarre – these projection techniques are actually, technically speaking, more accurate than UV mapping. This is because texture images will be more accurately mapped using standard projections, which have some exact, continuous values over the entire surface, whereas a UV map has accurate samples of the projection only at specific points (where the polygons join, basically), between which it then uses a linear interpolation on the surface between those points. For non-English speaking people, interpolation is, basically speaking, an estimation of values which go together to form a continuous series – this being a series of colour/tonal values being applied to your model, and the interpolation being the application of the parts of the image, which are not "tacked" down at those specific points, to the areas between them. The cool thing about this, however, is that once you have applied to UV coordinates to the model, pulling these points on your UV map around will pull the image with it. Pretty useful, hey?

05 May 2002, 09:35 AM
UV Unwrapping

Once your model is complete (and I cannot stress enough how important it is to only ever start texturing your model once it is completely finished. Never begin texturing until your modelling is 100% finished. This just makes the entire process run much smoother), you are ready to decide whether your model requires UV mapping or not. And seeing as this chapter is about UV mapping, I'm going to assume your model does need it.

First, you need to decide what method of unwrapping you are going to use (unwrapping being the term most commonly used for the actual process whereby the X, Y and Z information is translated into the flat UV template). Yes, I know it can be so tiresome that everything has to have so many options, but it would all be pretty boring and not much fun at all if we didn't have all these different methods, now would it?
Now, seeing as I personally am a Lightwave user, I am only really familiar with Lightwave's unwrapping techniques. I am sure, however, that these different methods are common to all the major 3D applications, but if there are any other ones that you may use in your software, be sure to post it here too.
So, here are the different UV unwrapping options:

Planar Once again, we have a planar option. Yes, it's basically the same as before. The resulting UV coordinates are basically a flattened out straight-on projection through the surface along the desired axis. One thing to note, however, is that UV templates are always perfectly square (remember what I said about 1-by-1 image proportions?), so what often happens is that your resulting UV map can look somewhat squashed. Don't worry about that, you can change it by polling your UV points with the UV map itself without actually altering the actual geometry of the object. But more about editing UV's later on. I personally use the Planar unwrapping more than any other method, as it generally produces the simplest maps with which to work.

Cylindrical Yes, it's the cylindrical option again. And yes it's also basically the same as before. One thing to watch out for, is that if your cylinder object has a top that you wish to include in the unwrap, be sure to unwrap along the X or Z axis only, as unwrapping along the Y axis will leave you with a completely flattened top.

Spherical Ok, you guessed it. It's also the same as before. You are probably wondering why you should bother using UV unwrapping if what they do is basically the same as the standard projection types, but as I said, the power behind Uvs is in the way that they "stick" to the points of your model and can be edited without affecting your models geometry.

Atlas This method of unwrapping may go by a different name in other applications, or may not be an option at all in some programs. Basically, Atlas unwrapping produces a UV template that translates the surface information into a UV map that represents the models polygons in a projection whereby once it is painted onto, will produce an image that will remain constantly perpendicular to the face normals of the surface polygons. Simply speaking, it is like taking a ball of paper that you have bunched up into an extremely irregular ball, and flattening it out again. The problem with Atlas unwrapping is that the resulting map is often a terrifying and confusing mess of disjointed polygons all over the show, as in Figure C. This kind of projection, although ideally useful, often ends up needing a lot of editing to get it into a state from which to work. I try and avoid it.

As I said before, I generally tend to use planar unwrapping the most. The problem occurring from this is that obviously when texturing, say for example, a character's body, multiple planar unwraps are going to be required (for instance, just the upper part of my Anubis character has 11 different planar UV maps applied to it), and because I make these all in separate files, what often happens is I end up with visible seams where the polygons which are using the different UV maps join. One way of covering them up is to make seam images which blend the different UV mapped surfaces into each other. There is another, easier method of avoiding this: When doing multiple unwraps for a single surface (as is the norm), choose a base colour that will be used as the base for all the different UV map images. Then, when painting onto the individual maps, just ensure that the detail you add lies a couple of pixels within the seam, that way, where all the UV maps meet, there is only that base colour between them so the seams will not be visible. The same goes for bump, spec, etc maps – make sure that no detail "breaks" the borders of the polygons within the UV map, that would then become noticeable when they do not continue on the polygons using different UV maps surrounding them.

So what do you do now that you have the unwrapped UV map?

Firstly, if any editing of the UV map is required, then do so. Your 3D program will have a bunch of tools that you can use to edit the map, and as I said before, remember that altering this map is not going to affect your geometry in any way. Most UV unwraps will need some editing as fragmentation often occurs, resulting in polys that actually lie adjacent to each other being displayed on opposite ends of the template. Edit your map until you are satisfied that you can work well with it, and then you are ready to apply an image to it.
You two options now:
The first option you use if you have already created an image map that you now wish to apply to the UV map. Change one of your viewports to display the UV map. Now, just stick the image you have made into the background behind the UV map, and pull the points of the map until they sit in the correct positions in correlation to the image. This is a rather bizarre way of doing it though, I must say that I personally have never used this method.
The second method is to export this template to Photoshop (or whatever painting program you use). There are two ways to do this – some Unwrap plugins will create an image for you, which you can then open up in Photoshop, or you can just get a screengrab (using the PrintScrn button next to your Scroll Lock key), go to Photoshop, go to New Image (the image size will already be there, defaulted to the resolution your OS is running in), and Paste. Then just trim the square UV template (make sure you do this!! Lots of people have come to me asking why their UV maps aren't working, and it often ends up that they didn't trim the image down to the square size) and you are ready to begin painting.

As I discussed in Part 1, image size is important when making texture maps. To refresh your memory:
In order to determine what size you should make it, you need to know what the final rendered frame size of the animation is going to be.
Once you know what the final size is, then you can work out the size of your texture map as follows:

:lightbulb Take the maximum width that the texture map can appear on the screen (in pixels) and multiply it by two. Use this pixel size as the size of your image map, if you want to ensure that your textures do not become blurry or pixellated when viewed up close.
For example, the most common frame size when rendering for television is 720 pixels X 576 pixels (PAL D1), so if you were to make a texture image for an object that will be viewed right up close in the frame, then the width of your texture map should not be less than 1440 pixels. I usually work with square images, as I almost always work with UV Unwrapping, so my images are generally at least 1440 x 1440 pixels. It's usually safe to leave the image at 72 Dpi, as this is the resolution that monitors and televisions display at. Of course, the drawback to this is that these kinds of file sizes for image maps do slow down the rendering process quite a bit, but on the other hand, you know they will hold close-up. So if you have a job that is going to end up on IMAX, you had better make sure your computer can handle 4000 x 4000 pixel images….

05 May 2002, 09:41 AM

Part 3
How To Make Great Colour Maps


Now that you (hopefully) understand what texture projections and UV unwrapping options you have available, and you know how to use them correctly, you are ready to begin making the actual image maps to be used to make up the textures for your model.
Now, just as careful planning is always required before you being modelling, so it is also required for the texturing process.

Being primarily a texture artist myself, when we are just beginning a project at work, I usually immediately begin researching possible ideas for the textures which are going to be used on the final models. It is very important to plan the look you want your models to have in the end, and gathering as many possible references as you can is a good start.

The internet is obviously extremely useful for scrounging for pictures of bark, metal, trees, water, Velcro, skin… whatever different surfaces you are going to need to make for your models. The problem, however, with looking on the net is that most pictures you come across are very low resolution or just plain bad quality. However, it can still be a good place to start. Once you have spotted a certain metal or bizarre animal skin that you like the look of, go down to your local library and see if you can't find some good large images of the substances you are wanting to recreate. Also, if you have access to a decent camera, go running around and look to see if you can't find some good references in the world around you. But don't do this to the detriment of your health – many times I have wished that I could climb up to the rusty old watertanks perched on the seventh storey roof of the building where I work to get some close up shots of all that lovely rust… but alas, I fear a fall from that height is likely to leave me with my brains leaking onto the parking lot below and my limbs all mangled. Which is really going to hinder my texturing abilities…

Now, as you all know, I love painting my own textures. And because that is what these workshops are really about, I'm going to be focusing on that.
Yes, photographs are essential texturing references, but I very rarely use any portions of photos in my actual image maps. This is because most photos require a lot of editing to remove lighting from them, and secondly because painting your own textures from scratch is much more fun, and more rewarding.

Right, so we have established that before you start, you must have a really good idea of what you want your textures to look like. Have all your reference images close at hand, or, even better, on your computer so that you can refer to them as needed.
Now I guess the most obvious place to start is to make your colour images. This is because your colour images set the tone of your model and give a very clear indication to you (and your clients) of what direction you are going in, and what sort of "feel" your model is going to have.

How To Make Really Great Colour Maps

Firstly, a good reason to have all your reference images on your computer is so that you can take them into Photoshop and use that handy little eyedropper tool to sample colours out of them. That way you can ensure that your airbrushed images contain all the correct tones for the surface you are making. However, before going into too much depth about the actual painting process, just a quick word on photographs:
If you want to use a photo, or a portion of a photo, in your image map, it is extremely important to ensure that you first remove all trace of light from them. For instance, look at Figure B. Now that image will not work very well as a colour map because there is lighting in it. When looking at the actual colour of that surface, the areas where there are highlights are not actually white, and the areas where there are shadows are not actually dark like that. With a bit of editing, you can remove that light information so that it becomes more like Figure A. There are a number of ways that you can do this, depending on the image, and how the lighting needs to be removed. Sometimes just some simple Hue / Saturation adjustments, of Levels adjustments will do the trick, other times you will have to actually go in and manually paint it out. The same photo technique applies no matter what channel the image is going to be used in. Lots of people would just use this image as a colour map, as well as a bump map, even though, if you look at that image, you will see that it will actually not work as a bump map at all.

:lightbulb Another EXTREMELY important note: Never ever ever ever use any of Photoshop's texture filters on your image maps. Just don't even think about it. This causes exactly the same problem as photos that contain lighting information. I know that the little texturizer filter can seem tempting, but DON'T use it.

05 May 2002, 09:45 AM
Okay now you are ready to start. I am going to use the colour map that I am using on my Anubis's chest and torso front as an example here. Firstly, I load up my UV Map that I made for the front part of his upper body, see Figure C. Generally I find the initial colours of the screengrab a bit disconcerting because the grey in it tends to make you lose your cursor while painting on it, so I usually darken it a bit with Levels.
Then I decide on a basic colour and paint over the entire thing with that colour. Once I am happy with that base colour, I begin adding detail bit by bit.
The Airbrush tool and the Paintbrush tool can generally do the job here, but I personally also use the Dodge and Burn tools just to create different values of the base colour and well as variations of the tones that I am adding. It is important to start on a new layer whenever you add a major detail – such as the cuts that he has on his body in Figure D. That way, if you don't like the way it turns out, you can remove it without a long cover-up operation on the original layer.
An extremely strong attention to detail is, of course, always required for texturing. Even if you don't think anyone will ever notice the detail you are adding, don't let that stop you from putting it there. The chances are that if you don't add it, the final texture will seem to be lacking something…
Have a look at the areas surrounding the cuts. I've added rough bruising around the wounds, and because he is supposed to look gross and dead, I've used a rather revolting selection of browns and greens and yellows.
An important thing to keep in mind is the condition of the surface, and how to ensure that your colour map is going to work correctly with your bump and specular maps (as these two maps are often used to define the textures physical condition). Say for instance that you have to texture a piece of metal that has been painted, but is old and scratched. The areas where is has been scratched which you will be making in your bump map, must have the paint scratched off. I know this is pretty obvious, but I'm just pointing it out for beginners. So, throughout the process of making all the different image maps, always keep in mind the relationships between the different surface channel.

:lightbulb I find the best way to do this is to do all the different images for a single UV map in the same Photoshop file, each on their own set of layers. That way I can copy, for instance, the wounds on his body (which I did on their own layer, seeing as they were a major detail) to the bump layer to ensure that the bump map has the cut positioned correctly. Unfortunately this method does result in rather large Photoshop files which can really bog down your system as well as use up a lot of hard drive space. It's really up to your own personal preference, but this really does make things a lot smoother and easier to manage.

05 May 2002, 09:52 AM
Well there really isn't much more that I can say on colour maps as they are actually the most straightforward of all the image maps that you will be making for your model.
I'd just like to say once again, that you must always ensure that you have all the correct and realistic details that your texture needs. For instance, if you are texturing pipes which are inside sewers, they are going to be really dirty and disgusting. If you are texturing a chair which goes inside a dentist's surgery, make it pretty clean. If you are texturing canal walls, add drips and water damage and streaks down the sides where the walls have been weathered over the years. Think about where your object is and how the world affects it from day to day. Even the most cleanliest of environments gather grime - if you look around a sterile biochemical laboratory, you are bound to find dust caked in the corners, and faint marks from people's shoes on the floor. And obviously it is the colour map that tells people how clean or dirty your objects are. Outside environments are rife with damage and dirt and streaks from rain. Make sure you incorporate these into your image maps, or your renders will end up looking fake and unbelievable. All too often people texture their models to look far too clean, resulting in a giveaway cg look - a classic example being the visual effects in Star Trek. Everything in Star Trek looks far too perfect and new, and you can't help but ask yourself just how do they manage to get that huge spaceship through a intergalactic car wash everyday? A gigantic hulking spaceship is most definitely going to pick up a lot of damage from flying around asteroid fields and going through rips in the fabric of time. Just look around you, notice how nothing really has a perfect solid continous colour across it's surface. Notice how and where dust and grime gathers on things. Now put these details into your colour maps! Have a look at this render I did a couple of years ago in Max - see how I added weathering damage to the walls. Without those streaks and splotches that would obviously come mostly from rain and damp, this building would not be believable as a 13-century monestary forge. Unfortunately, I do not a have a huge selection of good colour maps handy to put here to show you, but I will be looking for some over the next day or two to add to this thread. Have a look at this month's challenge entries - people like Rob Pauza and OZ have made very cool colour maps which they posted into their threads.

Once again, everybody please feel free to add all your own tips and suggestions to this thread. Post images of your own colour maps, and share your own ideas. If you have any questions, go ahead and ask. Lets hope that this chapter arouses as much participation in everyone as the last one did :)

05 May 2002, 11:43 AM
Hey Leigh!:wavey:

Do u ever sleap??!!!:p

hehe, this is good info, great job, thx for ur effort!!:buttrock::airguitar:bounce:


05 May 2002, 01:00 PM
Thanks, great stuff like the first one! Could you please link to your Word files like you did for the first one? Thanks a bunch and I hope this won't spawn as much controversy as part 1! :rolleyes:

p.s.: woohoo 100 posts! :D

05 May 2002, 01:16 PM
Again thank's Leigh for eveything.
You are doing a great job:applause:

05 May 2002, 01:33 PM
Here are PDF versions of the tutorials.

Part 2 (

Part 3 (

05 May 2002, 02:02 PM
And here is a plain text version...

05 May 2002, 03:02 PM
do you have to .doc file for part 1?

05 May 2002, 03:10 PM
Nope, only the Rich Text document in the zip file above, and the plain text one.

05 May 2002, 03:25 PM
Do you have it in .lazy format? I don't want to do the work of copying and pasting it to a another screen :p

Hey Leigh your awesome, thanks for this tut. and all of the work it involved.

05 May 2002, 03:38 PM
hehehehe just download the zip file a couple of posts up :) It has the entire text document and all the pictures.

And writing this stuff is my pleasure ;) Glad you enjoyed it.

05 May 2002, 03:44 PM
Hey Leight Great stuff, I have a question for you on UV mapping. How loong on average does it take you to edit your mapping. I notice that yours was quite clean and even really well done. Also, what projection do you typically use?

05 May 2002, 03:45 PM
Hey Leigh could you do us a favour, just one really minor thing - could you change your animated gif icon? Please? the thing really does serve to undermine you authority - it's just not very professional looking at all... I've seen other people comment on it too so it's not just me... sorry if I sound like a git, it's just those eyes of your keep looking at me funny...

05 May 2002, 03:54 PM

Don't change it. For professionality she is simply showing herself so I don't see whats wrong with it. I don't know what studios you have worked at but All the studios I have toured and all the recent Recruiters that have shown studio tapes all have people doing weird things and a lot of tongue stivking out (why is that are all animators and CG foulk proud of their tongue hygine?)
It wouldn't be the same without that AVATAR. The point of the Avatar's is to show something that reflects you. Digital scorpions new one tells me he is a fan of Three stooges and a very funny guy. Mine has the same witless expression I always do and shows that I like to do cartoony type models and have fun.

05 May 2002, 03:57 PM
Ahh Leigh...

05 May 2002, 03:59 PM
Kaiskai - you must be pretty tired :surprised I said somewhere there that I generally tend to use multiple planar unwraps :) As for how long they take me, well, I usually plan and execute my unwraps in such a a fashion as to reduce the amount of editing to a minimum. I don't really spend longer than an hour editing, if there is any to do... I'm always itching to get it into Photoshop and start painting :bounce:

Ruairi - heheheheh sorry, but I'm not planning on changing it anytime soon. I don't care if it undermines my authority, as I never intended to be an authoritive figure. And I don't need to try and *look* professional, because I am a professional and that's how I look ;)
Yeah, many people have commented on it, but your is the first negative one :hmm: my eyes are gonna watch you forever... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! :twisted:

Jesta48 - heheheh glad you like it :beer:

05 May 2002, 04:06 PM
well there was the time it lined up with my music, once again realy tired that day. School sure is rought. planar sounds way faster thanx. I was taught to use cylinder or spherical first. I have always had issues with this method but always resorted to safe rather than try other methods, and I'm still not used to mapping anything but heads where usualy cylindrical or spherical work. However matin's has been challenging so I will try this tonight and get this head done.

05 May 2002, 04:11 PM
Actually, spherical is excellent for heads. A spherical unwrap on the Y axis generally does the trick ;)

05 May 2002, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Leigh
Yeah, many people have commented on it, but your is the first negative one :hmm: my eyes are gonna watch you forever... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! :twisted:

Yes, but that specular map on your piercing is not very convincing... :p

Thanks for doing this workshop

05 May 2002, 04:30 PM
>>>>>>>>>>>>Ruairi - heheheheh sorry, but I'm not planning on changing it anytime soon. I don't care if it undermines my authority, as I never intended to be an authoritive figure. And I don't need to try and *look* professional, because I am a professional and that's how I look
Yeah, many people have commented on it, but your is the first negative one my eyes are gonna watch you forever... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! >>>>>>>>>>>>

actually I'm NOT the first to make negative comments - have a look back through your previous texturing thread...

if you never intended looking like an authority figure, what are you doing calling yourself a "texturing goddess" and giving texturing tutorials...?

and as for watching me forever, well I gotta go take a crap now - knock yerself out.

05 May 2002, 04:37 PM
Ok I must admit I am alittle lost. I am working in Maya 4 and I can not find any thing for unwrap uv's is it a tool or an option or do I need a third party application like deep uv. can some one please help.

05 May 2002, 04:38 PM
Ruairi - Ummm what I meant is you are the first one to ask me to change it. Although people have commented on it being freaky or weird (which aren't really negative at all IMHO)
And as for the authoritive thing, well that title is just for fun, I mean I'm not really a goddess am I? So it's a joke :p That name came about when I was modeliing my god for the Gods challenge and it was a bit of fun at the time...
I also do not consider myself all high and mighty. I'm just another artist here who just happens to share everything I know with everyone else :)
*bonk* I just knocked myself out...

05 May 2002, 04:41 PM
ppl, stop talking about Leigh's icon. this is really off topic here.

Ruairi, who carez about what icon Leigh uses? also, why don't you put up your icon and let us have a critique? but really, this is a stupid disccusions. no one here wants to talk about icon. so cut that out.

05 May 2002, 04:47 PM
erikrambo - here is a plugin for Maya that unwraps UVs.

05 May 2002, 04:49 PM
Leigh , are you currently working?

05 May 2002, 04:51 PM
Yes :)

05 May 2002, 04:56 PM
cool, thx for the time posting tutorials. I guess you are the age of mine. however, sigh~~~, you are a texture goddess.

Oh, by the way, i am still quite dont' understand the difinision of UV. (I understand standard projection tho) In XSI, when i first apply a texture. it forces me to apply a standard projection. however, when i further adjust the mapping coordinate. XSI will change the standard projection to UVW automatically. I don't know why they did that.

05 May 2002, 05:00 PM
heheheh I'm supposed to be working on an advert, but I'm cruising around here instead ;) It's 7pm though, I guess I'd better head home soon to work on my challenge character a bit...
Thanks for your comments :):wavey:

05 May 2002, 05:40 PM
It the textractor plug in for the Maya on the PC I tried to load it in to my plugins and it would not recognize it as a plug in. I am using maya 4 on sgi's

05 May 2002, 05:44 PM
Hey! I'm actually starting to understand this stuff! Great work, Leigh; but I've got a question--what advantages does an image editing program, like Photoshop, have over an image creation program, like Painter, for this kinda work?

I know, I know, that sounds high and mighty ("Oh, look at me, I know the difference between two kinds of applications!"), but I'm serious: The latest version of Painter is, if only a little bit, cheaper than the new Photoshop. Would one be better off getting that?

OR, perhaps it'd be best for someone like myself--a relative newbie to the field--to pick up one o' them Wacom tablets that comes with a full version of Painter Classic?

So many choices....I know they always say "the tools don't make the artist", but poor selection of tools COULD potentially ruin good work......right? :p

In any event, I look forward to more lessons. Rock on.


05 May 2002, 06:11 PM
I just want to say it's been great following your threads so far. I think you covered the uv maping section great. That for me was the hardest part to understand, no matter how many tutorials I read it was only until I did many of them did I actually understand it. Especially using Lightwave, once I understood it I realized how much could be done with Lightwave's UVs and how easy it is to edit them. (a long time ago I used to export my model over to max to uv)

Just one minor comment (so i'm not a total kiss ass) about making color maps. I personaly don't like to use dodge and burn in photoshop I feel it ruines the color you are using. I prefer to actually choose the darker or lighter color that I want to use.


05 May 2002, 06:14 PM
I would like to note that in 3DS MAX there is also a type of UV projection called shrinkwrap. It uses spherical type mapping but takes all the edges on your map and collapses them into a single point at the bottom. So you wont get any seams, but you get stretching. Like so:

05 May 2002, 06:24 PM
Ah, so this is why you haven't replied to my mail! I'll try to forgive you, but it's hard... (an email would go a long way ;))

Keep it up! :thumbsup:

05 May 2002, 07:10 PM
Thank you :) :) :) :)
I have a few questions:
Generally how tough are UV's (I mean how much can you do to the mesh/image without errors/ misplaced textures)

When you said trimming the image to square, to you mean distorting it ? I'm not sure on this inall apps, but won't cutting peices off the image distort it's application to the model?

Also I've seen a bunch of tutorials in which the mesh is "cut" down a seam, and then manipulated flat.
And finally morphed back inot it's original shape. How exactly is this done - I mean when is the UV texure applied - after separting the points ? But won't the original mesh's UV's now not match up with the same points?

Looking forward to more . .


05 May 2002, 08:08 PM
Oooh, nice work as usual Leigh :). Though I knew quite much about making UV's already, so there wasn't anything too new for me, but part 3 was more usefull again.

And to erikrambo: To make UV's for poly objects, first you must make sure you have the modeling menuset enabled, rather than animaton/dynamics/rendering (I'm sure you knew this already). Then you select some faces you want to lay out, then go to the menu "Edit Polygons" -> "Texture" and for an example pick the "Planar mapping". Now you open the "UV Texture Editor" found in the "Window" menu and you should now see the UV's laid on to the grid, now you can move them as much as you want, add another faces to the same plane by selecting more faces and "Planar/Spherical/Cylindrical/... Mapping", then move 'em around the "UV Texture Editor" window and finally make a snapshot of it to have the UV's saved to a file.. Et voila!

I hope my minitutorial was helpfull :), just ask if you still need better explanation to get going.

05 May 2002, 08:29 PM

Your work is absolutely awesome. I was wondering if you have a website? Somewhere people could see your artwork read files without searching through huge forums full of people obsessed with procs. Anyways Thanks alot for the tutorials. You are truly the Goddess of Texturing. And by the way, love the tongue pierce


05 May 2002, 10:30 PM
I must agree to what is said before about Color Dodge and Color Burn, sometimes they oversaturate the colors (making the texture look unrealistic). Using 'normal' as the blending mode doesn't.

Also, when using color dodge or any other blending mode, it's more difficult to merge certain layers (you cannot merge a 'color dodge' layer and a 'screen' layer into a new layer and still have the same result. That is possible using normal as blending mode).

These are only some drawbacks I'd wanted to point out, I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't use them at all (maybe I should add a really long disclaimer to prevent misunderstandings like in the previous workshop :) )

Also, I'm not sure that the UV projection is more accurate than UV mapping when using 3D studio Max, I think it comes down to the same (the projection is automatically recalculated to a uvw mapping). I'm not entirely sure, so I'll try it out some time.


Marcel Vijfwinkel

05 May 2002, 12:29 AM
Leigh! Wow, nice tutorial, explained interesting things, keep em coming.

And Leigh, dont worry about Ruari commenting on your avatar, he just became one of those hollywood presentable types after his short came out, :) haha:bounce:

05 May 2002, 12:56 AM
I think Ruairi is a little paranoid... those eyes....eyes everywhere...oh no !!! :-) hehe

Leigh I wouldnt be the animator I am today if not for people like you. Any time I needed help with a project theres was someone there ready to hand down there knowledge. Forums Chats and Conventions, always someone there. I am very passionate about this, Its just too cool to see people like you.

05 May 2002, 01:40 AM
yeah, cool stuff on UV. Hope my students are following this thread.... anyway, don't bother with Ruari's comments on your avatar, i think it's cool. Thanks again :thumbsup:

05 May 2002, 02:15 AM
good stuff and true stuff here. textures rule...


05 May 2002, 03:07 AM
Hi everyone,

I hope you don't mind Leigh, but seeing as though your articles are so great, I decided to compile all three parts into one web page for people to download.

I also made a pdf document of them but the layout keeps going crazy in some parts so I haven't posted it. If anyone wants the pdf file aswell/instead then just say so, I'll post it too then.

I haven't changed anything in the articles, just realigned some things etc.

Keep up the great work Leigh because most books don't cover things as well as you do!

If you want me to remove my the recompiled version just say so.

*Ahhh I've just tried to upload the zip file but it's too big (490k) Where can I host it???*

05 May 2002, 04:35 AM
Originally posted by Marcel
I must agree to what is said before about Color Dodge and Color Burn, sometimes they oversaturate the colors (making the texture look unrealistic). Using 'normal' as the blending mode doesn't.

Also, when using color dodge or any other blending mode, it's more difficult to merge certain layers (you cannot merge a 'color dodge' layer and a 'screen' layer into a new layer and still have the same result. That is possible using normal as blending mode).

These are only some drawbacks I'd wanted to point out, I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't use them at all (maybe I should add a really long disclaimer to prevent misunderstandings like in the previous workshop :) )


Marcel Vijfwinkel

I am just trying to clarify what your are saying as I don't get it. You talk about not using other blending modes because of the functiond the serve so try using normal? But normal doesn't do anything. Hence normal. The point of using those blending modes is for exactly what they do, blend. As for merging well yeah your right, but why would you merge them into one layer unless you merge tham all? I mean why merge a screen layer and a burn layer. I often have fourty some odd layers. Sure it may slow down and be a little hard on ram but that is what the ram is for. The point of using Colour burn is that if you want rust, you make a new layer on top of you metal layer. select som orange,brown, red colour and paintaway INSTANT rust, and if it is too saturated then lower thesaturation of the layer and/or the transperancy.

05 May 2002, 08:10 AM
I've always felt texturing was my weak side until now...Well, it's still my weakest side, but this will do the trick I hope ;-)


05 May 2002, 08:30 AM
bah humbug.... sorry guys I'm just a bit tetchy right now cuz my damn teeth are killing me.... Leigh - no offence intended, I was never being entirely serious anyways...

aim for my head,

05 May 2002, 09:43 AM
Thanks for sharing this UV stuff Leigh :)

Very interesting...

:applause: :applause: :applause:

05 May 2002, 09:53 AM
Whew! I come into work and I find a whole lot of stuff to reply to ....

Fnkymnky - hmmmm. Good question. Well I've always used Photoshop - in my humble opinion, it is by far and wide the best piece of software ever written. Even though it is mainly for editing, I've actually always used it for image creation as well, of course this is made easier by using a stylus. Umm, the newer versions (6 and 7) actually do have painting engines, so I guess Adobe are trying to get into that niche now too. It really is up to you to work with the software you are most comfortable with. I've been using Photoshop for nearly 10 years, and so for me it is like an extension of my mind. I know how to do anything with it, so I use it for all my digital painting. I've never actually used Painter myself though, so I'm at a loss for giving a decent comparison. Why not try Photoshop out for a while? Or use both?

Delucubus - Lightwave 7 in particular makes editing UVs a dream. I found in older versions editing was a bit tricky. As for dodge and burn, yeah they can sometimes look a bit strange, but I use a wacom, and those tools with that pressure sensitivity is really cool.

Gilgamesh - yea, I thought about including shrink wrapping but decided against it, as I think Max is the only app with it. I also never really found a use for it when I still used to use Max because of that stretching that occurs. Do you ever use it?

urgaffel - förlåta mig I have been rather busy. Jag ska skriva tillbaka idag, okej? ;) (uuurrgghh herre gud min svenska är så skit!!)

l_farley13_l - UVs are tough. They stick to to your mesh like little devils. And they are easy to edit without messing them up. Just a little caution is required, as well as an understanding of how they work...
When I said trimming it to a square, I was referring to the square template that UV's are laid out on. When using the printscreen method, you obviously get an entire windows screen, and you need to cut the template out of it. That way, your image will be the right size.
As for cutting it down a seam, is this what you mean?
Menithings: The Freak (

-wT- - thanks for that explanation, hehehe I have *very* little experience in Maya

LoLo - :blush: thanks. Unfortunately, no I don't have a website. I'm just far too busy at the moment to make one. One day, when I have a short holiday, I'll put one together, ok? If you want to see stuff that I have worked on, you can have a look at the webstite of the company I work for Atomic Visual Effects ( - I worked on the shuttle piece and the astronaut :)

Marcel - I was actually talking about the dodge and burn tools not the blending mode. Yeah the blending modes can sometimes be cause way too much saturation...
And you actually can merge layers with different blending modes without changing the result - all you do is hide all the other layers, and use Merge Visible...

Icarus - heheheh thanks for the support :p

lingesh and tylerhunter - thank you for your comments :)

Jozvex - HOW DARE YOU!!?? heheheh just kidding :) Actually that is very kind of you, go ahead :thumbsup: Ummm.... can anyone help him out with hosting???

Kaiskai - even though, as I mentioned in this post somewhere, I was talking about the actual tools, you have some good points there. I always use the blending modes for that kind of stuff too :p It just makes more sense to do it that way.

torbjorn - I'm glad you liked it, and hope it will help your texturing to improve :bounce:

Ruairi - heheh ;) aaaah I didn't take it personally Hope your teeth stop killing you. Have you tried having them arrested? For attempted murder?

05 May 2002, 12:18 PM
Shrinkwrap: No, I have never really used it myself. I like the concept, but I don't think it is very practical. I think it would be a good way to unwrap a procedural, but other than that the stretching seems too extreme. Does anyone use this method for any specific mapping? I would love to learn about practial applications.

05 May 2002, 12:34 PM
Yeah, it isn't very practical. I wonder if *anyone* has ever used it??? Anybody care to fess up??

05 May 2002, 01:04 PM
Leigh, you mention the issue of uneven lighting when using photographs for texture maps. DV Garage has a tutorial on correcting lighting by using Photoshop's Lab Color mode to extract the luminance channel from an image, even out the lightness value, and insert it back into the image.

It's the "Attention 2 Detail" Tutorial number 9.

05 May 2002, 01:16 PM

05 May 2002, 03:39 PM
About Shinkwrap, C4D has had it as well since v5 I think, I have used it but only on things intended for still images, that way you can optimize it so no stratching is visible fromthe current angle, I would never use it in an animation.... well thats not true either if it was a bottom layer texture and there were other textures ontop of the side that would stretch then maybe.

The cool thing about it is the minor stretching you do get on the main hamisphere can produce nice effects, I used a photo of pebbles as a bump map and applied it to a face and rotyated it a bit and boom I had a lizard like scaly face.

SO I confess in using it but its always in a way to hide the stretching.

05 May 2002, 07:17 PM
I am just trying to clarify what your are saying as I don't get it. You talk about not using other blending modes because of the functiond the serve so try using normal? But normal doesn't do anything. Hence normal.

Saying that the 'normal' blending mode doesn't do anything is a very bold statement!
If I am painting a texture and I want a little dirt at some edges, then I can paint using the airbrush with the color black and set the layer to 8% opacity.

Or I take a stone texture, and use an image mask to paint in that texture selectively where I want it.

The point of using those blending modes is for exactly what they do, blend. As for merging well yeah your right, but why would you merge them into one layer unless you merge tham all? I mean why merge a screen layer and a burn layer. I often have fourty some odd layers. Sure it may slow down and be a little hard on ram but that is what the ram is for.

You sound like a man who enjoys hearing his computer swapping its main memory away :)

I like to work in many layers so I can tweak small effects, but when I am satisfied I merge all effects of the same kind (scratches or small dirt for example) into one layer.

And I can tell of experience that it is sometimes needed to merge layers to save memory. Even though I have 900 Mb of RAM I can assure you it's filled to the top when I have MAX running and Photoshop open with two large PSD's (having 20 layers each).

Not wasting resources like memory is always a good thing. I hate it when I have to wait for my computer!

The point of using Colour burn is that if you want rust, you make a new layer on top of you metal layer. select som orange,brown, red colour and paintaway INSTANT rust, and if it is too saturated then lower thesaturation of the layer and/or the transperancy.

Let me be a bit more specific about it, I was talking a bit too much in general in the last post.

To illustrate what I mean about the 'too saturated colors':

One black colored band was made by a layer set to normal, the other to color burn. As you can see, the color burn produces much more saturated colors.

I don't think (please correct me if I'm wrong) that there are a lot of enviromental influences that increase the saturation of a material. For example, a red car will not be brighter red when it's dirty, rusted and scratched, it'll only get more dull.

What I meant was that I personally think it leads to unrealistic results sometimes, I didn't mean you should never use it. According to my personal taste using too much color burn layers leads to a certain look in a texture that I don't like.

About the merging of layers with different blending modes: you don't end up with the same result. I don't think it's even possible, because the two layers have different blending modes, and thus have different effects on the layers beneath them. First of all, the layer order is important, secondly it's not possible to combine the two blendinding modes into one new layer with only one blending mode.

(btw, it's also possible linking layers and use 'merge linked' to combine multiple layers. You probably all know that, but can't do any harm saying it again.)

Leigh, you mention the issue of uneven lighting when using photographs for texture maps. DV Garage has a tutorial on correcting lighting by using Photoshop's Lab Color mode to extract the luminance channel from an image, even out the lightness value, and insert it back into the image.

It's much easier to use the Highpass Filter (Filters-->Other-->High Pass) and use CTRL-SHIFT-F afterwards to fade it to Luminosity.
(It only removes the big differences in lighting, not the small ones) has a tutorial on how to use it.

About the shrink wrap mapping, I think it can be used to correctly map the NASA image maps of moons and planets to a sphere. I think I've read somewhere that spherical mapping didn't give the right scientifical results (like we care :) ) and shrink mapping did.



05 May 2002, 07:57 PM
Ahh well now I see what your are talking about with saturation, the image could have been a little bigger, for some of us highress folks its so tiny :)

anyways, see the thing is when I us colour burn I dont have a solid layer that I am burning, I only burn teh effect I want, so basically I will paint the colour I want onto the specific areas in the way I want and then blend it so I am not affecting the rest of the area. cause where it is rusty it won't be the same saturation or colour right. the other areas aren't affected as there is nothing there. So basically take the solid black band, and then remove or erase the ereas that won't be rudty in that band. and make the band a redish tone. now its rusted.

As for normal, well yes your right it can change in opacity and basical be less opaque on another material, but it isn't doing anything special. Basically if it was photgraphy, all you would be doing is placing it on top of the other image at whatever trasparency where as the other blending modes, (which are all common photgraphy blending methods) affect each other. Burn is how the do tones in classical effects animations, and screens often for hghlights.

Of course your right it doesn't matter whether you use them or not as long as you get the job done.

05 May 2002, 08:32 PM
Ahh well now I see what your are talking about with saturation, the image could have been a little bigger, for some of us highress folks its so tiny

Just for you, the whole texture at the original size (badly compressed though!):

It's a roof texture for a Blackhawk helicopter model. It's a bit over the top with the dirt and all, I think I am going to fix that. I'm not finished with completing the model yet, so I won't show you any renders yet :p

As for normal, well yes your right it can change in opacity and basical be less opaque on another material, but it isn't doing anything special.

There is no thing as a blending mode doing 'something special'. The different modes just react different, that doesn't make a 'color burn' any better than a 'normal' blending mode.

Burn is how the do tones in classical effects animations, and screens often for hghlights.

Could you explain a bit more what you mean about the color burn and it's relation with classical effects animations, I don't understand? (I do think that I know what you mean by the screen&highlights part).

Of course your right it doesn't matter whether you use them or not as long as you get the job done.

:beer: Right on! My view exactly! :beer:



05 May 2002, 09:09 PM
Elabrate, okay. For example when doing a calssically animate character with tones (shading, you simple draw the shape of the tone on another page and when in DIP or Camera, the will burn the seperate layer into the image of the animated character in the camera process. (as photographers how the burning process works in actual film) As for highlights, when classically animating water or a bubbe or the gold in Prince of Egypt, they use often use screening or other effects to get the higlights into the image, they aren't painted like that all in the same layer. So basiclly when you do rust or dirt, you are doing it from the painters perspective and when I do it, it is more from a photographer or Classical animtors perspective. This is the thing about photshop and 3D even. You can do both subtractive and additive colour, and so your techniques can waiver into both types as well.

05 May 2002, 09:09 PM
marcel .. i dont get the point. if you blend a finished texture with another layer and a not so fitting blending mode, why are you doing that anyway ?
is overlay over-contrasting your images all the time ? certainly not. im really glad we got different blending modes so creating and adjusting textures is a snap. if you want to keep modifying your images with hue / saturation (or whatever you use) all the time, stick with it. i wouldnt make the selection for that. blending modes are incredibly powerful tools and huge timesavers, theres almost no texture i was painting without blending modes (other than normal) and they certainly dont look over-anything just because of them.

05 May 2002, 09:12 PM
I use the hue/saturatino, brightness contrast, highpass and all the other tools as well. when a blending mode isn't quite right, I will use these tools to adjust the layer and make it right.

05 May 2002, 09:28 PM
is overlay over-contrasting your images all the time ? certainly not.

Indeed, did I suggest that?

im really glad we got different blending modes so creating and adjusting textures is a snap. if you want to keep modifying your images with hue / saturation (or whatever you use) all the time, stick with it. i wouldnt make the selection for that. blending modes are incredibly powerful tools and huge timesavers, theres almost no texture i was painting without blending modes (other than normal) and they certainly dont look over-anything just because of them.

I was only speaking about the phenomenon of color burn tending to oversaturate textures and how I personally don't like that look.
I never said that I wanted to start a worldwide protest against the use of blending modes! Ofcourse not! Blending modes are great, I wish I had gazillions more of them!


05 May 2002, 10:00 PM
GET PS 7, they have some more, and ADD is finalyy ther, (Linear Dodge)

05 May 2002, 10:54 PM
Yup exactly like that tut. In fact I think that's the one I have been having the most trouble with. When unwelding, the UV's stay even though more points are added? [Also I finally found out how to use disconnect (c4d), I always thought it made anew object, but that's split, why not just call it unweld :)]

So any tips on keeping the porportions of the shape? Is the morphing even needed anyway, can't the texture be applied to the old object with the same uv's, seems to work!

see you,


05 May 2002, 02:27 AM
just thought to add a nother good tutorial, a little different approach from meni, in french, - checkout the first texturing section
very painstaking!!
And the whole site ( is really an unbeleivable resource, translation just about unneeded :)

see you,


05 May 2002, 12:00 PM
Leigh: Love the workshop, can't wait till you get to the part where you explain how to make a good spec/bmp/gloss map, cos those r the ones im having trouble with.. anyhow rock on!

l_farley13_l: the power of google!

05 May 2002, 01:21 PM
seems like i got you wrong on that one, marcel ! sorry. :wavey:

05 May 2002, 01:45 PM

Your going to have to use the Hypershade in Maya to its full potential(one of its best features).
To make the cuts look fresh and to give the effect of sweat you'll need to look into using specularity maps and diffuse ones.

Dark Alchemist
05 May 2002, 06:45 PM
I have a stretched cube that apparently needs just this sort of treatment. I can't for the life of me figure out how to do any of this in Maya. Is there anything done as well as this on this for Maya? Here is a link to show you what I have to contend with in Maya and its not pretty or user friendly.

Disregard the poly count as this was only a test and 90% of that are the corners I never need to touch.Maya UV Interface ( Texture Editor.jpg)

05 May 2002, 04:16 PM
I'm guessing that most of you greats already know about this, but... Texporter ( is a great free plugin for Max that enables you to export your uvw unwraps as images at any size through the utility panel eliminating the use of PrintScreen and alowing high res map shots. It is also very helpful because it color the exported image so that each face has a solid color and the color depends on it height relationship to the model. EX: faces further back on the model have a blue tone and face toward the front have a yellow tone and faces that have other faces sharing the same loction on the map are bright red to show overlapping. I hope this helpful. The plugin is great and free. There is tutorials on their site and if you have any more questions feel free to ask me.
:applause: :applause: :drool: :applause: :applause:

05 May 2002, 04:22 AM
Hello everyone,

Leigh asked me to post my color map here and explain briefly the process I took to create it. This is my raptor model from this months 3D challenge. Since the bump & color maps relate to each other so heavily, I've also included the bump mapping process as well. Okay, here it goes....


STEP 1 (Bump Map):
For my raptor, the basis of the texturing is the bump maps. For that reason, I created this basic bump map first before adding any color:
After creating the UV maps I used a few reference photos and a little imagination and simply painted in this first bump layer from which everything else was built upon.

STEP 2 (Color Map):
Using the newly created bump map as a template, I created a new layer in Photoshop directly underneath the bump layer. (That way the "guidelines" didn't get lost when painting the color OVER it) Next, I basically just filled in the various "scales" to create my color scheme as shown below. The eye color map (also below) was painted using my own eye as reference... and No eyes aren't actually this color :)

STEP 3 (Adding Detail with Layers):
Most, if not all 3D Apps support multiple texture layers. Use them. It's so much easier to add/modify details if they're on separate layers. Added render time is usually not much of an issue if you're carefull.

For my raptor, in addition to the main bump map in Step 1, I've created another copy of the same image and used a Photoshop Gaussian Blur to prevent overly hard edges from showing up in the bump map:
I also added two procedural textures. The first was used for breaking up the uniform "puffyness" that was occurring due to the uniform bump maps. The next procedural layer was used to add even greater detail for those up-close-and-personal shots.

STEP 4 (Final Render):
Through much experimenting and tweaking with all my various texture layers I arrived with this render:
I use Lightwave 7.5 and Photoshop 5.5, but everything should apply in other apps as well.

In the word's of a great philosopher... "THAT'S ALL FOLKS..."


Texturing, in my opinion, is one of the trickiest and most overlooked aspects of 3D creation. Hopefully, some of the above info will add to this wonderful thread and ultimately give some of you a subtle boost in your texturing skills. "Kudos" to Leigh for creating this much needed source of information for 3D artists everywhere.

Happy texturing,
-Rob Pauza

(This is my first "attempt" at posting multiple images to one post, so sorry in advance if I screw it up royally :) )

05 May 2002, 04:36 AM
Nice post, Rob. I was wondering if your specular map looks the same as you bump map or not.

05 May 2002, 05:03 AM

Thanks. Yes, you're right. The spec map is basically the same as the second bump map but with a few other details (ie -the eye area) darkened. I used it primarily to emphasize the bump without having to raise the bump amplitude.

Also, if anyone's interested, the full-res 2048x1500 render is here:
310kb Raptor Image (


05 May 2002, 05:34 AM
cool rob, :buttrock: your dinosaur is awesome, very nice render. I wonder why do all lightwave renders looks so much better than my maya renders...

05 May 2002, 08:38 AM
Hey thanks so much Rob :thumbsup: Such a brilliant example of how a colour map should be done :bounce:

05 May 2002, 08:58 AM
greats stuff and learned a trick or two thanks. I love learnin.
As for the whole question on why LW rneders are better than the Maya ones, wel it does rest one the artist mainly, (no offense intended) But your are comparing one of the biggest jokes in 3D rendering with what is one of the most highly regarded Renderers on the market up there with XL, Arnold, MentalRay, and I guess brazil. (I didn't include BMRT/Exluna because of the whole Reyes thing, it is slightly different and better to compare with Renderman than local 3D apps) I consider Maya's built in renderer to be oneof the funniest things in the idustry. One of the best aps out there and its rendering is horendous (sp?).

A little Edit here before I get flamed:

This doesn't mean that you can't do great stuff with Maya's renderer, it really lies in th artist, just like Mirai's poor renderer can produce some amazing stuff too. Lots of great illustrative style renders coming out of mirai.

05 May 2002, 09:49 AM
heheheh actually, Kaisaki I would tend to agree. Maya's renderer isn't great :p
Once of the reasons we use LW at work is because LW doesn't require a third party renderer....
That is not to say that Maya can never produce good renders, it's just that you really have to push it.

05 May 2002, 10:11 AM
Same reason we I and the school I studied and taught at use XL. Awesome rendering built into the app. I think LW and XL are head to head top built in renderers. LW has the advantage of better DOF and Motion bLUR built in and as plugins though. (I want XDOF for XL)

05 May 2002, 10:13 AM
I need to type slwoer and learn to spell:shame:

05 May 2002, 10:11 PM
Damn Leigh, this is one great article, Well done :applause:

I personally find that reading a well written article such as this, holds much more educational value than a "paint by numbers" type tutorial (although they still have their uses).

Thanks again



05 May 2002, 12:12 PM
OOh, Leigh, I think i love you ;)

05 May 2002, 11:13 AM
what a massive thread... ;)

05 May 2002, 01:15 AM
:drumrock: Thankx Leigh great tut, I haven't read it yet but just picking up on the ambiance :drumrock:

05 May 2002, 03:06 PM
Hey everyone, I remember someone on this tread ask for uv map'n in maya.

I wrote these two tutorials awile ago.

first ones on highend3d and the second one will be on there sometime when they update..

first part, uv setup tutorial

second part, advanced techiniques for uvs



06 June 2002, 10:37 PM
in any genre, no matter what you compare it with!
photoshop is the best!

06 June 2002, 08:59 PM
I like that anigif that Liegh fact I 'like' the way it looks at me funny......................:bounce:

*Bows to the 'Texture Goddess'*:bowdown:

06 June 2002, 08:27 PM
Hey Leigh,

your articles on texturing are totally chipper.:thumbsup:
Is there an easy way I can get updated of any more of your posts?

here's quick tip for cool animated water on paintwork.

1.get a black plastic sheet
2.point a video cam it
3.pour white paint down the sheet
4.Get the sequence onto your p.c.
5. Use it as an animated bump/deformation and specular/reflection mask mask

(its nice to get your hands dirty in the real world!!)

and here's some gibberish

squimple wibblee click click

06 June 2002, 10:58 AM
hey leigh !

just a thought.i dunno if this is part of your workshops, but here anyway

with all these "excercises" going all over the cg scene in the internet -- bayraitt's edge loop excercises, cg-char has animation excecises, eatpoo has some on paint --- your forum here especially the workshop threads is the most useful i can find on the web. how about hosting a texturing excercise here on the forum?

it could be something like the challenges, a specific topic each month/ week or whatever pace is convenient for you (you seem to be all over the forums and the top poster of all time anyway).
you give a specific material to work on, say "rusty metal" or "caucasian skin".
the users contribute their shot at the material and everybody, discuss and give their C&Cs.

in time the threads will become some sort of reference for workarounds and techniques for achieving a desired material.

this texturing category is my favourite part of the forums, cuz i learn a lot here.

if this is already part of your workshop then -- i can't wait.

keep up the good work-- you're helping alot of 3d souls:)

06 June 2002, 11:03 AM
You know, Levin, that is a really cool idea!! A texturing excercise!! Now THAT would be EXTREMELY useful as a hands-on tutorial!

Because then everybody could explain exactly how they made theirs... Especially since I can only really cover how to make stuff in Lightwave, it would be great for other people to try the same settings and stuff in other software and compare the results... How fabulous!!

Let me chat to the other mods about it, and see what comes up :) I'm all for this, I think it's a brilliant notion :thumbsup:

06 June 2002, 02:17 AM
Isn't that 'texturizer' you've used on that building ? :p

06 June 2002, 08:24 AM
Where is that image from? :surprised Who did it?

06 June 2002, 01:50 PM
Hey Leigh

This is great stuff. I'm having trouble downloading the zip file though. It says this URL was not found on this server. Any suggestions...

06 June 2002, 01:59 PM
Hmmmm... I don't know why :surprised
Ummm I did make Flash versions of these with all the pictures and everything which are on my own site...
What I can do is make Flash versions that you can download - would that help? That way you'd have all the images and everything all together in one file.

06 June 2002, 12:49 AM
That would be really cool, but it's available online and I don't want to make any more work for you. But that is a pretty cool idea, though.

I can just visit the site whenever I want to read through it all again. I'm assuming it's not going away anytime soon. :)

Great work. The tutorials are very informative.

06 June 2002, 09:19 AM
Hey, I'll be uploading PDF versions of all of them as soon as CGCommunity comes back up (they seem to be having difficulties this morning). I'll post the links here and on my site :)

06 June 2002, 02:04 PM
That rocks!!! You rock!!!!:thumbsup:

06 June 2002, 03:11 PM
Love you long time.

06 June 2002, 07:52 PM
Better late than never. Great stuff!! Thanks for your hard work.


--Randy R

07 July 2002, 06:36 AM
Great workshop. Really helpful to people new to texturing like myself.

A small question. I always assumed that texturing is done after the modelling part is finished, just like you wrote. Now, I've come across this interview with Ulf Lundgren and he sais that it's best to model and texture at the same time. I wouldn't even know how to do it. Since he got famous by modelling photoreal humans it may make sense. What do you think of it?

07 July 2002, 07:40 AM
dvornik - hmmmm interesting article :)

I think that texturing while the object is still in progress just doesn't really make sense...
Especially with UV maps - they can only really be successfully unwrapped once they are finished... There are few things more annoying than when I've unwrapped an object and started texturing it, and then one of the modellers here at work goes and changes it and I have to do the unwrapping and editing all over again :annoyed:

I think what Ulf means is that he just uses basic z-axis projections of rough colour maps and such so that while he is modelling, he knows which direction to take the model in. This kind of method is definitely the kind of thing which becomes a habit, and that's why he prefers to work like that :)

I guess in the end, it's really up to you how you want to work!
I've always been of the attitude that one should finish a task completely before moving onto the next ;)

07 July 2002, 03:10 AM
Yes, it does look like he's just using the simple projections rather than detailed UV maps. Interesting modelling technique.

Dipesh (India)
10 October 2002, 08:45 AM
very informative topic, keep it up!

11 November 2002, 03:58 AM
barely grasped the concepts of modelling and made some charactters id like to texture these tutorials are great..very thourough explanations and all ..great work leigh :applause:

11 November 2002, 01:26 AM
Hey Leigh,

Great work. Many many thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I noticed that your link to the rich text format file of this workshop was broken. Any chance of reposting it or have you got it somewhere else?

05 May 2003, 01:09 AM
Hey Leigh,
thx again for sharing your experience and knowledge. I am heading to part 4 now. I really really hope i can realize all this in the next days.

Cu & regards


p.S the tuts on your hp are ways better then most stuff in the net.

07 July 2003, 11:06 AM
I modified some stuffs, and most of all : focus of the camera that was wrong on the last image.

For the eyebrown tips : take a picture of your own, and then modify it and paste it on your color map, then put it in the bump one. It's only painted, but we can also put some sasquatch on it after done.

10 October 2003, 12:15 PM
Hey Leigh,

I was just passing by and happened upon your tutorial along the wayside. It was like a refreshing drink of coconut water on a really hot day, and now, as I sit feeling refreshed, a model has turned up just as it was in the script. great stuff keep it up:beer:

12 December 2003, 09:08 AM
Ok, I am just not getting it. You unwrap, cool; (used UVMapper) paint it, cool; (used Painter on a tiff file) But this is what I just don't get and can't seem to find anyone who mentions it. How do you get that image onto your model? It is not obvious to me. This may be stupid but than again, so am I. Could you Leigh or anyone please explain this for me. I have some models I would very much like to texture.

Thanks for any help!

12 December 2003, 07:55 PM
Pillbox - well that depends on what program you are using... Are you using LW? (I know LW has a plugin called UVMapper) - if so, just use the UV map as your projection in the Texture Editor.

If you're using Max, use the UVW co-ordinates in the Material Editor to place the image.

12 December 2003, 08:43 PM
Hey Leigh, a little off topic, but how's the books coming along?

12 December 2003, 08:51 PM
Hey there Steyn :)

The books are coming along well, thanks! They will both be finished by the end of January or beginning of February.

Of course, things here are totally chaotic! Especially since I'm also working at the Refinery now, so I'm working on stuff around the clock :argh:

Good luck with your job search... you going to be looking around locally for work?

12 December 2003, 09:02 PM
Yeah, just gonna stay local for experience.
Know any groveling tips?

12 December 2003, 09:47 PM
Hehe don't grovel, it makes you look pathetic :p

Just show your reel and be friendly. That's what people are after. Oh, and the best tip I can give is remember, DON'T FOR FOR FREE, FOR ANYONE. Ever.

Be sure to apply at Wicked Pixels, I think they are a little short-staffed right now ;)

12 December 2003, 10:28 PM
when nuno showed the reels to the industry, I think it was either atomic or wicked pixels that said I should do more mature work, at least both liked the exploding head :)

12 December 2003, 11:46 PM
Hehehe, what a strange comment to make :)

Check your email, I've sent you one...

12 December 2003, 01:00 AM
Hi Leigh, thanks for the speedy reply. No, I am not using LW, but I am using c4d. I appreciate the help. At least I know the technique is application specific and it has help although not enough for me to understand yet. I was under the impression that I had to use the mapping program to convert it. Thanks for your help.

12 December 2003, 01:10 AM
Oh ok :) I'm sure someone in the C4D forum can help you out there - I haven't used UV maps in Cinema before so I'm not sure how to apply them...

Just taking a quick look through the C4D manual here, I see it says something about simply allocating a texture to the models UVW co-ordinates - look on Page 629 onwards :)

07 July 2004, 08:11 PM
Re: Leigh.

I've got a question for you! :bounce:

After spending the last day or two figuring out how to do UV-mapping, I've come across something rather odd...

Whilst trying out a TrueSpace Demo for it's texture abilities, I found that I could use it's UV-mapping & unwrapping features on polygonal objects, but not SubDivision Surface objects... your many years of texturing experiance, have you ever come across other packages that share a similar flaw? Just curious as I maybe missing a vital concept along the way... :shrug:

07 July 2004, 09:46 PM
Hi Leigh, as we say here in Oz Yerafugginlegendmayte!

loosely translated this means thank you very much, I hold you in the highest regard.

Cheers for taking the time out to share

07 July 2004, 11:21 PM
Yes, Boone. Maya doesn't have unwrapping options for subdivision surfaces either (perhaps Maya 6 does, I haven't used the latest release yet). The common trick is simply to convert to poly, unwrap, and then convert back to sub-d.

sumdumguy, thanks! :D

07 July 2004, 05:39 PM
Re: Leigh.

Ah, now that might work! Cheers, mate. :beer:

12 December 2004, 04:54 PM
good job!


01 January 2005, 08:02 AM
yummi thats helpful :)


02 February 2005, 07:38 PM
Very nice job Leigh, this really helped me. =)

And I love your hair color, it just looks so energetic! =P

02 February 2005, 03:47 AM
Just another thanks to Leigh for all she does - and only God knows where she gets the energy!! Don't know if CGTalk pays her, but they should!! She must check a lot of threads - I see her step in when someone gets obnoxious - Never understand people like that!

To show you what a magnificent person Leigh is:

I was thinking of buying Leigh's LightWave texturing book and was using Cinema 4D at the time I contacted her about it. I got a VERY quick e-mail saying something to the effect - "NO, no, no, no! It's too LW specific if you're using C4D. Get a more generalized book." So I bought [digital] Painting and Texturing. Now HOW many authors would tell you NOT to buy their book???:rolleyes:

Well, I JUST got LightWave 8.2 so I WILL be buying her LW texturing book as soon as I can wrap my head around LW a bit.

Sorry to be so long-winded and gushy - but accolaids to her are WELL deserved! (Besides, I'm a 58 yo retired teacher - we just never shut up - so forgive me.)

Now if I can just find the Part 1 thread!!

Thanks Leigh


02 February 2005, 04:10 AM
Wow thanks for the kind words :blush:

Good luck with your texturing!!! :thumbsup:

02 February 2005, 05:19 PM
Great achievment on this forum, Leigh...
I am getting into texture part in Maya, as being a beginner in Maya itself... :) One thing, is it too rush to learn texture over other parts? (such as modeling, animation, rendering etc... ) Since I have great passion for painting (which was traditional, and now I am getting into CG painting...), I am interested in the texture part over others... I just want maximize my time to learn a skill for job in the future... Any thoughts?

02 February 2005, 07:04 PM
About the book, is it worth buying if i use photoshop?

Thanks, Tom

02 February 2005, 07:06 AM
Wow this thread is still going!!

JJ54 - thanks for the kind words :blush:

Great achievment on this forum, Leigh...
I am getting into texture part in Maya, as being a beginner in Maya itself... :) One thing, is it too rush to learn texture over other parts? (such as modeling, animation, rendering etc... ) Since I have great passion for painting (which was traditional, and now I am getting into CG painting...), I am interested in the texture part over others... I just want maximize my time to learn a skill for job in the future... Any thoughts?

Personally I would find it very strange being a texture artist and not understanding modelling. I learned modelling before learning texturing... and I would recommend doing so as well. There is nothing stopping someone from becoming a texture painter without being good at modelling, but it's also better to have a more extensive skillset these days anyway.

Just my 2c :)

corruptedtom - as mentioned before, if you're not a LW user, the book is going to of very little use to you. There are numerous other books for Photoshop available :)

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