I'm just your typical polymath that will try to be efficient at anything that I touch. Though I am an Audio Engineer/ Musician, and Video Editor, naturally I am alos a 3D artist. As can be seen, from the music video I was producing- the three fields play very well together. In this tutorial, I will focus on my texturing technique for the "path" and another mechanical item in the video. As you can see, the renders, which only tooque about 12 to 15 minutes per frame on a Dell core duo 2.0 gHz, have a lot of techniques utilized from Blender which can be discussed at a later date.
First of all, it's important to note that speed was one of my primary concerns. So, I had to make sure that a seemingly complex and detailed scene could be rendered quickly. Therefore, it was very necessary, as with a real-world videographer, to plan my camera shots carefully. This way I could eliminate any models from a given shot that would lengthen my render time. Finally, I appreciate highly detailed and complex models and scenes, and the time and artistic ability that goes into them. I would like to say however, that depending on your shot, it can be a waste of time if your goal is not just to produce art, but have a production with a scheduled release date. I have seen very large production file scenes that have beautiful models but take forever to render. Thus enters texturing...
Fortunately, this will not be a lengthy, complex tutorial, (just the previous intros), because I love simplicity. I believe skill should use the simplest route to achieve the best results. So the technique is really simple, and one that you probably could easily guess- but it works when done correctly. A simple overview to the method is to make a UV map of the object you wish to texture, tweaque it in GIMP or Photoshop, make varied layer maps, and import them into Blender to use in various channels.
Step 1: Make a UV Map
Mapping a box or a flat plane, (As is the case with the video), is easy. However, as a brief side note, what if it has much more detail? Lets take one of our machines as an example.
If you unwrapped this using the standard unwrap algorithm, this is what would happen.
If this is not what you want, then you have to use your seams. Switch into edit mode. It is a good idea to make seams where the texturing is insignificant, (such as areas that will not be seen, or are a solid color). For example, making a seam in these places works well for this object.
After unwrapping your object and lining up your vértices, save the UV layout as a picture. I use the "Save UV Layout" script under UVs:Scripts:Save UV Layout.
Step 2: Paint the UV
For this part we will texture the flat plane called the "path". I wanted a realistically varied texture for the path, so I did not use a repeating pattern- in fact, I didn't even use a UV map! Contradictory? Why? Because I wanted the scale of the photos to dictate the scale of my object.
This method to my knowledge only works with a flat plane. Remember, this is art- not only technical skills- there's more than one method for doing anything.
For the path, I snapped several photos of concrete. I tried to line them up like a panorama (making sure the edges line up). Some cameras have a built in function for this.
I then imported the photos into Photoshop, (Or GIMP), into separate layers.
I kept changing the document size as I was assembling the photos from left to right. I merged the two selected layers and turned the rest off. I then blended the edges of the photos using the clone tool set to a really low opacity and software edges.
Once I finished assembling the entire path, I saved it as a JPEG, (Very important to do this if you are using YAFRAY).
Step 3: Rendering
Once you've placed the photo onto a plane inside of Blender, select the plane, hold down the <alt> key and type <V>.
This allows the plane to jump to the proper proportions of the photograph. You don't even have to guess if your plane proportions are correct! Yes, it was that simple. Very low polygonal count, excellent texture, fast rendering- welcome to the world of productivity!
Of course there is much more going on in the scene, so I invite you to analyze it. As an imperfect human, I can assure you, it's not perfect. Perhaps you can give me some suggestions. At least I hope it contributes to learning the techniques and creates more levels of skill in using Blender.
Till next time...
The video can be viewed at:
The password is: Bridges
By Avery Lanier email@example.com