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Weapon model showcase! Need textures...

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  • #16
    I think you might try to contact Kaboodles, I have also the same problem as SPAM for the textures, I can't do them, or if I do they will be lame, just contact Kaboodles and give him a .ase file if he accepts.
    Also don't trust the auto UV in blender, it gives a good start, but you need to resize the islands and optimize the placement.
    I hope someone will help you though

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Blade_hunter View Post
      I think you might try to contact Kaboodles, I have also the same problem as SPAM for the textures, I can't do them, or if I do they will be lame, just contact Kaboodles and give him a .ase file if he accepts.
      Also don't trust the auto UV in blender, it gives a good start, but you need to resize the islands and optimize the placement.
      I hope someone will help you though
      Hm, not quite sure, I don't really see him online that much, but maybe.

      Anyway, Im doing some polishing of the weapons, but were still missing the all important textures...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by meowcat View Post
        Quoted for truth!! Texturing/skinning (at least minimally acceptable) is downright easy for mechanical objects once the UVs are done, but ugh... creating the UV maps (especially for those of us without 3DS-Max or Maya) is no fun at all!
        I'd disagree there! The guy who makes models with me can pump out a UV map in about a night, while making the textures for those same maps usually takes me a week or two on a good set.

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        • #19
          @Sergeatn Kelly: That's why I qualified the statement with "minimally acceptable" , and easy does not necessarily equate to fast! What software does your weapon modeller use to do the UV mapping? I use the freeware program LithUnwrap.
          Not that my weapon textures are all that great as examples, but my personal texture/skin workflow for weapon models goes something like this (using JASC Paintshop Pro):
          1. create a "color" layer and place the base color over the various texture islands of the UV map (retaining the UV map as the independent base layer).
          2. create an "shadowing" 128 gray overlay layer (set to the "overlay" effect in JASC) and begin painting on the shadows. This is the most time consuming task. The 'buttonize', 'Drop Shadow' and other 3-D effects come in handy here to make mechanical details. I use a combination of wider slightly brighter lines with thinner dark black lines to creates the seams between metal components etc. I use the 'burn' and 'dodge' tools to create the softer highlights and shadows on curved surfaces.
          3. Save copy of the skin and try it out on the model noting where the painted shadows don't look quite right.
          4. Iteratively repeat steps 2 and 3 until the shadowing looks good.
          5. Add any specific high contrast color details to a new layer. This would include any lettering, red color for safety catches, screws and bolt heads etc.
          6. Create any self-illumination features on a new layer (this will become the alpha layer for the night sights for instance).
          7. Add subtle "noise" or other minor color variations to the base color layer to prevent the DXT compression from creating too noticeable 4x4 pixel color blocks.
          8. Export to .dds and import into UEd.

          Depending on the weapon model (and my motivation level) this will usually take me anywhere from 1-6 hours including tweaking. UV mapping will usually go faster, but it is still one of my least favorite tasks!

          Now given the amount of color in the Ballistic Weapon pack models I can definitely see how it would take a lot longer to make a "theme consistent" skin. What is your workflow like?

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          • #20
            Hey, I'm that guy that makes those models!

            Our workflow probably isn't the best around; I eventually get a couple guns animated before the month is up, and I will do the UV map's initial draft in a night and then start animating. I then get with Sergeant Kelly and revise the UV map to make sure its good, all while I am working on the animations (blender isn't picky about what order you do things).

            UV mapping used to be my least favorite task but lately Animating is starting to have that title. I'm still learning how to use constraints in my animation and I'm tackling all the bugs that come with that (me an IKs are definitely in a Love-Hate relationship); its starting to feel more technical than anything else lately. I suppose it doesn't help that all of the models I had to animate lately aren't mine, so I haven't been able to break it up with modeling much.

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            • #21
              He uses Blender to pump out the models and UV's, though I'm not entirely sure how the two programs compare. He doesn't seem to have much issue with cooking them up though, and that's even with me demanding minute changes on every little detail.

              I really wish my texturing could be done in 1-6 hours! I can at max do two guns a month and then I'm seriously drained of motivation afterwards.

              My textures aren't too great either (I'm using the monkey smashing at a keyboard approach), but it looks like your workflow is similar to mine.
              I used to use GIMP and Paintshop Pro for them, but for the BW mod I switched to Photoshop. It was worth every penny of it's thankfully student-discounted price!

              Personal approach:
              1. Select two colors over a short range where the median is the desired texture. Render Clouds and Add Noise.
              2. Add random filters in the hope that one result will be vaguely pretty. (Brushed edges usually works well if no going for a rough metal approach.)
              3. Begin the long process that is applying the correct light to a surface. Like you, I use Dodge and Burn brushes of varying sizes to do curved surfaces, though I also add light shading and highlighting to all surfaces with a large, low-opacity brush.
              4. Save, repeat 3 and test in UeD until the shading looks acceptable.
              5. Go over the main surface with a large variety of low-opacity grunge brushes to give each island more life. Each brush a slightly different color to increase variety. Blues and oranges used to make surfaces 'cool' or 'hot' thematically.
              6. Fine tune the lighting with a very small dodge/burn brush or regular brush at low opacity.
              7. Add various decals to the surface. Labels, stickers, fake screws and indents.
              8. See if Google has anything it can add to the picture. :P
              9. Apply Ambient Occlusion if available.
              10. Add scratches to edges and high contact surfaces. Stuff like handles, tops and bottoms of rails, barrels, and mags get touched up a lot here.
              11. Use large grunge brushes to brush edges and discolor surfaces.
              12. Save, repeat 10 and 11 and test in UeD until the grunge looks acceptable.
              13. Play again with layer effects and filters to find one that may improve the overall texture. (Hexagons for sci-fi stuff, bumpy stuff for rubber.)
              14. Save work.

              After a couple of hours of that, (most time being spent on 6, 10, and 11) I'll usually have a receiver or part of the frame completed. Since the guns usually have a wide variety of surfaces with different colors, parts 1-13 have to be repeated manually for each distinct island. For example, on this AK-style gun it went receiver, stock, grip, frame, grip, magazine, misc bits, bayonet, rear sights, front sights, barrel. Each gets the same 1-4 hour treatment. At the end I'm usually saying good god let it be done and just coloring the remaining bits black with white scribbles.

              The fun only starts when I get to experiment with the various camouflage patterns on the final product. Pretty pink polka dots, anyone?

              What size are your textures though? 512x512's can be made pretty quickly, but man those 2048x2048's....

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