Question about texturing massive environments.

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  06 June 2013
Question about texturing massive environments.

Hi everyone

In 2 weeks time I'm going to be starting some R-n-D at the studio I work at concerning texturing some MASSIVE canyony and rocky environments. The aim is to establish techniques and tools to aid in creating as photo-realistic sets as we can to sell how large the characters are (some are going to be 4 to 5 stories high).

What I would like is if some of the more experienced artist's here could suggest avenues of research that I could look into to achieve as close to photo-real as we can with as little hand painting as possible.

Some of the things that we have on the list to explore are:

  • Creating a triplanar setup similar to Mari within Maya
  • Sculpting and texturing tileable surfaces then extracting displacement maps to use in Maya
  • Texturing proceedurally

Of all of those three, texturing proceedurally scares me the most because I haven't done a lot of that in the past. Any help and suggestions with that would be greatly appreciated.

I would be incredibly grateful if anyone could suggest any tools or techniques that might help.


  06 June 2013
For decent results you will need to do matte paintings projected onto the low poly geometrey
: my website :
  06 June 2013
For decent results you will need to do matte paintings projected onto the low poly geometrey. And then real 3d objects when required.
: my website :
  06 June 2013
To second what Mason said. We usually model only enough to get good silhouette. Then we send screen grab over to our matte paint artist to do paint overs and use as projections.
  06 June 2013
Hi again.

Having worked on the project for two days now I've realised that I was asking the wrong question.

What we're trying to do is research techniques that we can use to help us texture/surface a massive environment which works when the camera is really far away and holds up when the camera moves really close as well. Here is a drawing I did to help demonstrate what I mean. (The tiny pixelated square on the left is a Pomeranian wearing a sailor's outfit).

We need to do this because of the scale of our characters. At the moment we're trying to do this as natively in Maya as we can without using post production tricks because this is going to be a TV production with tons of different camera angles on the same set.

If anyone could suggest any techniques I'd be super grateful.

So far I've tested out a depth node (in maya) that one of the guys here made. The way it works is it blends two textures based on the distance a surface is from the camera. Unfortunately from what I've tested so far, the gradient between each texture is quite noticeable during long camera moves (eg the camera move I've illustrated).

Again if anyone can suggest anything that can help us achieve this I'd be super grateful.

Last edited by jabco : 06 June 2013 at 02:54 AM.
  07 July 2013
Talking Hdri 360 pano may work!

Creating a high res 360 panoramic, real environment or created in 3d app , would give you a lot of camera angles, A virtual tour thru Different panos would create an abundant amount of camera angles ! Just a thought . DJ
Computer Graphics, where the learning curve is 360 degees in X,Y,Z axis!
  07 July 2013
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