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  04 April 2004
Yep it was just a quicky I put together based on analytical objects. Good luck with your lighting tests, once your happy I would suggest taking a look at the walls and the roof of the hut, perhaps making them appear much more thatched. I certainly think its worth working through on this image there is a lot more you can learn from it.
Frank "The Rookie" Dodd
  04 April 2004
Thumbs down thanks

Yeah I really need to work on the texture of the hut the hardest this is trying to find a good texture I really don't want to use paint effects or fur effects so does anyone no of a good shader or even a good texture ?? thats the biggest problem it looks too much like clay that has been moulded into the shape of thatched straw :(

15/male/ Sydney Australia

If found please return to the psychiatric ward at kingston.
  04 April 2004
sorry I will help you on this one ...(I think I am a rather poor texturer) but I will share some of my modest experience. That is to say, finding an average texture and modifying it so it fits your style is a good way to go if you have trouble doing your own texture/shader. But avoid using them with default setups, you should always add your touch (could be trying a parameter and going back to the default value by hand, not entering value, maya is full of sliders and tools to help you in that ( you can select a channel on the right hand list and modify the value by clicking on the viewport with interactive feedback)).

Then you should go by steps. Yeah I know you want to make a cool image quickly. But if you go through each logical steps you will see an improvement in your work. It is good to start with modeling and producing some images without any artifices, only the modeling and some lights to see something. Are you positively sure the model you have is the final one? It can be very tedious to work on materials if you have to transform the model during (or worst after) the texturing phase.
If it is then keep on texturing, but remember that your materials and textures depend on the modeling, modify the model and most of the time the materials and textures will have to be check or corrected, it can be a lot of time waste. try to plan ahead a bit.

Paint effect could be very nice, but doing it with textures will be more rewarding, paint effect brushes are so full of parameters, it is easy to use a lot of time and not succeed. Try first with textures.

You could try to make a bunch of transparent shapes, pile them up and acchive a some tricky thing. Okay, let think about it. How are the hut built, over there i think with some dead palms or somethink. You could model every bits. But you could also try some texture/modeling thing. I hope you can follow my idea for the roof (but I do not have access to maya now so ask for more precise informations):
-we will try the nurbs, as simple shapes are easier to texture than polygons
-leave the orginal roof there as a guide (make a new layer, move the model there and change the layer mode to reference (R))
-model a disk(2 circle nubrs lofted), -translate the splines together so they rest at the base of the orginal roof. -Translate and scale the splines to make the lofted surface mimick a small (~15%) part of the original roof. You could also build a nubrs cone with carefull creation parameters, but it is to be tried.
-Duplicate the surface 6 times so the surface overlap some (30-65%) and scale down going to the roof top.
- Find a simple palm texture or photo, look in visor
- Modify this image as much as you want but it as to be black and white showing only a palm leaf (the leaf general shape, white, the rest, black), we will use it as a mask
- create a new material (try phong).
- in the phong transparency add the palm mask by importing the b/w plm image file.
- in the phong color channel, add a 2d fractal, texture parameters are to numberous for me right now, but try to have a small pattern with colors matching dead palms (yellowish...)
- apply this texture to all the roof pieces
- modify the 2dtextureUV attributes so that you have a lot of repeats in the pattern and try some randomness
- bring back the orginal roof by unreferencies it's layer
- apply phong to orignial roof.
- move the camera to have a closer look at the roof (optional remove shadows from lights)
- IPR test it. Okay, hum, you should see some patterns repeated on each disk that are partial transparent now. Combining those patterns together could make a cool quick "dead palm stacked" like roof.
- you should tweak the fractal pattern and colors (. Add bump, reverse specularity, modify the various 2dtextureUV parameter one at a time to see how they influence the genral view of the object (the mesh of the pattern must be fine enough to let some air and light pass, but dense enough to provide protection...)
Well you now have a lot of possibilities to improve this. Add more disks, modify each disk so that it isn't flat and reacts to light in an intersting way. Use pieces of disks to simulate more layers of palms, a lot to tweak in the textures (layered textures, various masks, various UV coordinates through switches...), add some density to the models with displacement, tweak your rendering so that each palm produces it's own shadow(raytracing), etc...
You could try this on the whole hut for a more "hairy" look. And later, with some deformers on the disks you could animate the palms reacting to wind or something...
This opacity use of masks is very frequent in cg as it helps use few polygons to produce complex shapes, flat but complex. It is used a lot in games (trees?), when you have to use real pictures for integration or look (architectural cg often have one poly characters), maya sprite particle types, and a lot of hair renderings.

good luck and keep the updates
p.s. write me an e-mail if you want more precise help
i need sleep...
  01 January 2006
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