Best way to texture?

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  04 April 2005
Best way to texture?

I'm working on a semi-complex bird..thing. UV maps don't look like they'll work very well, and i'm wondering what is the best way to texture it? Thanks.
  04 April 2005
Hi Claws....

What sort of bird is this? Is it a real-life bird? Or a statue? Or.....?
What kind of look are you going for? Photo-realism? Cartoon? Something else?

If you dont like UVs, you probably wont want image maps (which are basically simplified UV maps - in essence). This leaves you with procedurals.

If you did want to UV map it, your life would probably be made a lot easier by breaking the model down into more manageable pieces (beak, wings, body, etc), and create an individual UV maps for each.

If you could post some more information/pics, I could perhaps be a little more specific.....

  04 April 2005

I think that you might want to reconsider UV mapping, i know its a pain in the Buttocks but sometimes the problem is just cleaning up getting all of the poly's arranged in order for your UV map before u photoshop it. I know its a long and painstaking process but with a bit of hard work you will get it right and be happy with it.. then you can just paint away. and dont be afraid to use multiple UV maps if using one large one for the whole object is intimidating.
  04 April 2005
This is a picture of what i'm working on. i just used those colors so i could tell them apart during naming surfaces. I'm trying for a more realistic look, even if it isn't real^_^
  04 April 2005
Originally Posted by claws_33: This is a picture of what i'm working on. i just used those colors so i could tell them apart during naming surfaces. I'm trying for a more realistic look, even if it isn't real^_^

Good technique to use.
For the body, you could use planar mapping on the sides. Unfortunately, the image would have a lot of wasted space eating up RAM, even if you straightened out the bird. You could reduce the waste by making separate maps for the neck (could be UVed), body and tail. Remember, you can layer images and blend them within LightWave. Gradients and alphas are your friends.
Wings I would probably UV map due to their curvature. They could be planer mapped on the Y axis, but a UV would allow you to better utilize the image - particularly in wrapping it around the front edge of the wing. Feet are tricky and it really depends on how close you plan on getting. The legs could be planar mapped from the side and the toes mapped vertically, but I would probably UV the toes, just for a bit more control and to avoid a lot of wasted image again. You could do them procedurally if you're comfortable with procedurals. Weightmaps and gradients would really shine here. The head can be planar mapped.

As usual, the best results would be obtained through UVs since these give you the most control, but also take the most tweaking. Just break the bird down into smaller sections and treat them all separately and you'll find the surfacing goes a lot smoother.

He Who Has Had Up To 57 Texture Layers On A Single Surface.
What do you mean I'm weird? I'm not the one that's overstating the obvious!
  04 April 2005

is there any way to select an already named group of polygons? otherwise it's hard to get the wing without getting the body, etc. And thanks so far for the great advice. :-D

edit: and also, what happens if the UV map goes out of its square graph thing? Do i have to treat it differently? This is actually my first time trying this so I know very little and have lots of questions. i guess one more is, is there a better way to put the UV in photoshop than screenshot, copy, past, crop?

Last edited by claws_33 : 04 April 2005 at 05:00 AM.
  04 April 2005
Well, you already have the different sections color coded, so I assume you already have separate surface names set up. In the Polygon Statistics Panel, you can select polygons by surface name, as well as part name. Also, if you haven't used this already, then I should tell you about expanding and contracting selections. Shift-[ and Shift-] will make a selection grow or shrink by one row of polygons/points at a time. It's a real time saver and makes it a lot easier to get stuff selected that's hard to reach, without grabbing everything else in the process.

As for UV maps outside of the grid area, that's an exceelent question. The grid area represents where the image will appear in the UV. But the image also obeys the tiling options in the Texture Editor. If you have it set to Repeat, then the image will tile to infinity around the grid. Mirror will also tile the image, but it will flip-flop from side to side/up&down, out to infinity. Edge and Reset work the same as they do for normal planer mapping as well. Just think of the UV map as a kind of big flat surface that's being planar mapped. I use this tiling option quite a lot in my UVs. My UV maps are frequently many times larger than the grid so I can have a small image tile across the surface. It's wonderful for stuff like cloth, stitches, cables... anything that can be tiled over a large surface.

He Who Still Remembers Being Afraid Of UV Maps A Few Years Ago.
What do you mean I'm weird? I'm not the one that's overstating the obvious!
  04 April 2005
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