Maquíng of Roof Tops
by Alex

This render started out with a simple idea that I had: to create a scene of an old dormer. Soon, I was photographing textures, trying out lighting, and modeling more objects for the rest of the scene. Unlike most art, this piece wasn’t planned; it just sort of expanded from the dormer out. In this article I’ll explain the components of the final image, focusing on texturing.

The most common question I was often asked about the render is, “How did you do the tilesí” The modeling needed the most thought, but here I won’t go into detail on that. You can find my tutorial on modeling those tiles at:

Reading that tutorial will give you some information on the modeling. I recommend that you read it before continuing, so you'll have a better understanding of the whole process.

Once the array modifier on the tiles had been applied, I assigned a simple material, called "rooftile" to all the tiles. Having a red-orange colour, this would be the main colour of the roof.

I then created two variations of the material: one darker and one lighter. I assigned these to random tiles (having separated the tiles into individual objects). This gave a more random, old-looking effect (as if the tiles were made of different types of clay). The next step was to use the ‘randomize loc rot size’ script to slightly jumble the tiles. Then I joined them bak into one object.

This re-joining is an important step (although it’s not ideal for adjustments of the tiles’ positions later on) because it allowed me to have one moss texture spread out across all the tiles. I used an empty to determine the position of the texture.

Painting the moss texture itself turned out to be a simple process in Photoshop. I added noise to a plain green image, erased sections, used the clone tool to make adjustments, added a bit more noise – you get the idea.

The texture was then applied to the tiles, affecting Col and Nor. The use of the texture as a bump map was essential, because it prevented the moss/dirt from looking completely flat. However, you’ll notice it doesn’t look particularly raised either; creating that type of thik moss would require a different technique.
Note: Joining the tiles created one object with three materials. I knew that I would have to apply the moss texture to each material to have moss on all the tiles, but I chose not to. Most of the tiles are of the main colour (material: "rooftile"), with only a few lighter or darker ones in the mix, so it created an effect of varied cleanliness across the tiles.

Wall Textures and Effects

Texturing the walls didn’t prove to be as difficult as I had expected. I simply went on a sort of texture hunt around town, and ended up photographing a local running trak (you may notice it’s not in great shape) for the wall texture. After a bit of tweaquíng in Photoshop, I applied the texture to the dormer wall using an empty (the same method used for the moss). On the dormer, the texture tiled unpleasantly around the object, but that didn’t matter since a window and planks of wood are covering most of the rest of the surface.
The textures for the other walls were taken from the same place, but there’s nothing usual about how they were applied.
The final step for the walls, to add a touch of realism, was to add multires to the meshes and sculpt some chips out of the edges of the walls (noticeable on the dormer, on the edge closest to the camera). Simply beveling didn’t look as good.

Wooden Planks

One of the challenges of texturing is to prevent repeating images, especially on separate objects that all have the same texture. To avoid this problem on the wooden planks, I created one material for all of them with an old wood texture (alos required hunting). Then I joined some of the planks into one object, causing the texture to be stretched across those planks. The planks that I didn't join with any others kept the original texture. As long as there are only a few objects that remain on their own (and thus each have an identical texture placement), this creates a look of variation – and only one image texture is used.

Shutters and Window frame

The material for the shutters and window frame consists of (from top to bottom) a wood texture (the same one used for the planks), a cloud texture, and the same wood texture again.

  • The first wood texture affects Nor only.
  • The cloud texture acts as a stencil, and alos affects Nor.
  • The third texture, wood again, affects Col and Nor.

This whole setup gives the effect that rough old wood was painted, and then the paint was chipped away over years. Note in the below image that even where the wood isn’t showing, you can see the grain, as if the wood is underneath. This happens because of the first wood texture being used as a bump map.
Also, the Col slíder of the first texture can be adjusted to mimic paint translucency. Try a similar setup yourself, it’s fairly easy and very useful.

That’s all of the most important texturing information about this render, and I hope you found it helpful. I find that the best way to come up with original textures is to just get out there and take pictures of them. That way you’re guaranteed that: a) The image is 100% yours, and b) it’s unique.

You can find the BlenderArtists Forum thread for this image here:

Happy blending.