Texturing Heads

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Old 11 November 2003   #1
Texturing Heads

I've made a discussion about modeling heads, now it's time to hear from the pro's you are.

If anyone knows where a good tut is on EVERY single detail, on which brush they switched to. I'd be more than grateful.

I'm doing an assignment in school to texture something. I want to blow my teacher away and my fellow students on my texturing skills. Since texturing is my favourite part.

What I'm looking at texturing is an African Male.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
- Andrew
Old 11 November 2003   #2
Leigh, anyone...help?
- Andrew
Old 11 November 2003   #3
This is the method I use to UV map. I've found it to be the easiest, most effective way:

1. Rotate your model 90 degrees so it's facing down the x-axis.
2. Unweld your model and apply a cylindrical projection on the y-axis.
3. Delete half of your model, since you don't want to do twice as much work. This is assuming your model is symmetrical.
4. Apply a grid texture to your half model. This will allow you to see the stretching.
5. Manually tweak the uvs in order to reduce stretching.
6. Mirror the half you deleted previously, select it, and flip it's uvs along the U only.
7. Sew the seam together and merge the model back together.

Last edited by CIM : 11 November 2003 at 03:34 AM.
Old 11 November 2003   #4
stop the presses ! cim doesnt bash newtek in one of his posts!!!!

all joking aside thats a really good explanation from cim, i am uv mappin my lizard warrior atm and wasnt doing it that way, i just tried that way and its much better! so thx cim u giant mean head face

also, how about people link or post their best UV map tester patterns here

Last edited by Gkaine : 11 November 2003 at 04:11 AM.
Old 11 November 2003   #5
How one creates the actual texture map in your paint program isnt that important. Which brush I use and when I use it is completely arbitrary unless I need some kind of texture to the strokes. I rarely create any texture from scratch. That would be a nice artistic exercise but very inefficient in a production enviroment.
Lets say Im going to create a character that has a reptilian or scaley appearance. Ill open up a few windows that have various types of scales that I scanned off pictures of reptiles.
Ill use the clone tool to paint those textures onto parts of the UV map that CIM described. Ill use that UV map as a template that I can paint, push or pull the texture around on so that when I apply the texture it will fit the UV map on the model of the head.
Old 11 November 2003   #6
CIM, could you explain step 6 a little better. im not sure how you go about doing that.
Old 11 November 2003   #7
Just curious but why flip the UV's?
FX Animatornaut

Old 11 November 2003   #8
Quote: Originally posted by SplineGod
I rarely create any texture from scratch. That would be a nice artistic exercise but very inefficient in a production enviroment.

In the pro studios, on human models, what's used more - texture paintings or scanned textures? From samples I've seen, I had assumed that painted textures were dominant. Was I wrong or does that change when deadlines are a factor?
Old 11 November 2003   #9
Lets say you have an image map for a head thats 1024x768.
If you use that same texture space for only half the head that means you can mirror the UVs and the image map as well. It means you end up with a virutal 2048x1500 image space.
Old 11 November 2003   #10
Quote: Originally posted by Mwai Kasamale
Just curious but why flip the UV's?

You are left with half of a symmetrical model. After tweaking the UV map you can then mirror that half of the model. However, this only copies the UV map for the new half of the model - it does not mirror it, unlike the actual geometry. This is accomplished by using "flip UV point map", under map tools, while selecting the newly mirrored geometry. All you then have to do is line up the points of the middle UV seam.
In addition to the great advice from CIM , I would use a nifty plugin called texture guide 2. It's basically an improvement on the feature present in LW. I find it useful as it gives you a visual representation of your projection over the geometry and perhaps best, it allows you to see and change where the texture seam will be on your model. This is good if you have awkwardly oriented mapping groups and step 1 of CIM's advice may be difficult.
Old 11 November 2003   #11
Hmm, OK but why not just use the pretty good Map generated form a X-Axis Cylindrical map. Flipping the UV's would still result in a perfectly symmetrical Map would it not. I am assuming that you Normalize the map- though if not then I think I know what your talking about_I'll play around,
FX Animatornaut


Last edited by Mwai Kasamale : 11 November 2003 at 09:08 AM.
Old 11 November 2003   #12
Quote: Lets say you have an image map for a head thats 1024x768.
If you use that same texture space for only half the head that means you can mirror the UVs and the image map as well. It means you end up with a virutal 2048x1500 image space.

Yeah but then you have a symmetrical texture, and that always looks crap. I don't know about your previous directors, but at all the studios I've worked for, the creative director would have told me to redo the texture if I tried to pass of a symmetrical texture on a model! Hehe.

Just work on higher res maps. If the company you are working for has computers that cannot handle higher res texture maps, then perhaps that company isn't really suited for doing highend work

And as for using photos, well that's really your choice. I don't agree with the statement that painting textures is inefficient, as it only takes me about 2-3 hours to paint a detailed head texture from scratch. But if you prefer using photos, go ahead. In my exprerience I've actually found that removing the lighting information from photos often takes far longer than painting from scratch.

I do agree however, that brushes and strokes and whatnot are completely irrelevant. The entire texturing process is about using your brain. All you need is references (and lots of them), and your paintbrushes, and it's simply a matter of recreating what you see. In all blatant honesty, I actually have always had trouble trying to understand why people find texturing difficult, when it's basically a process of simple observation and recreation. There is no trick, no hidden technique, no secrets - just paint what you see.
Old 11 November 2003   #13
Actually when I was at Foundation and we switched over to 6.0+ the amount of things we could do with textures meant we had more textures and less drive space. We ended up saving everything in PNG format and going with 8 bit textures on some things. Lightwave internally also used a lot more memory for stashing textures and on a big show it adds up fast.
On some 2ndary characters things like that were sometimes done. Also when it comes to texture mapping arms, hands, legs etc we did do quite a bit of mirroring textures. We would also do this on other things like clothing. props, and other models.
It also wasnt too hard to jitter the UVs a little to randomize it a bit.

In our situation letting people paint maps was determined to be inefficient and it was quick to find people who resembled a character and we would take digital photos and quickly rework the images. This was also a good way to get hair for texture maps as well. In the end management felt that the characters looked better with image maps created this way (at least the color parts). We would still have to create bump, spec and diffuse maps the usual way. Many times that was easy enough by using some natural media tools to rough it up a bit or again, using bits of scanned images that resembled bumps on skin etc.

As with anything personal preference, abilities, time frame etc ally play a part and mileage will vary.
Old 11 November 2003   #14
Yeah, that's all very well Larry, but the stuff you worked on at Foundation (Dan Dare, etc) was stylised, as opposed to VFX oriented, or photorealistic, which is (I think) what Andrew here is after
For something to be really realistic, you simply can't have repeated textures and such. Yes. it's fine for stuff that is way in the background, but we are not dealing with that here

All the top VFX houses have teams of people whose job it is to create textures. Even companies who produce hyper-real content (like Square) go to great lengths to prevent symmetry in models and textures.
Old 11 November 2003   #15
I will post my bump map I've created later in the day. Thanks for the info Larry and Leigh!
- Andrew
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