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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Texturing Tutorial using Mental Ray

'Texturing Image Breakdown: Squatters'

by Richard Tilbury

Software Used:

3ds Max, Photoshop and Mental Ray


The scene behind this tutorial is based around an industrial facility of some description, possibly a water treatment plant or pumping station. The design was inspired by numerous images of sewers, dams, storm drains and other manmade environments. I imagined that the facility was no longer in operation and had since been inhabited by squatters. The new tenants have built some temporary shelters which nestle along the sides of the plant and are now connected by a series of suspended walkways. The objective was to age a relatively clean scene by adding Dirt maps and generally make everything look a little older and more dilapidated using 3DTotal’s Total Texture collection. The three main components that compose the bulk of the environment and which will form the focus of the tutorial are the wall, pipe work and foreground cabin.
Fig.01 shows the un-textured scene with the main light source located in the upper right by way of an Area Spot, which incorporates some Attenuation. I wanted to convey a sunken chamber that eventually descends to a depth that is almost beyond the filtration of natural daylight. The cabin is housed at a point at which the sunlight is quite dim and requires some artificial light in the form of two bulbs. These correspond with two Omni lights, which have been used to illuminate the walkways and foreground scenery.


Texturing the Wall:

Being the largest section of geometry and a significant part of the image, the wall was an obvious starting point. I decided to incorporate mental ray’s ProMaterials and, more specifically, the Concrete material. You can see in Fig.01 how this affects the surface of the geometry before the Diffuse map is even applied. The actual Color map was built up from predominantly three textures taken from Total Textures: V2:R2 – Aged & Stressed (Fig.02).


The upper-left image formed the basis of the wall with the remaining two being overlaid using either the Soft Light or Overlay blending modes to add variation. Before applying the texture I added some further subtle stains below the ledge that runs across the wall. Fig.03 shows the texture and where it is applied within the ProMaterial alongside the corresponding stains situated underneath the ledge (1). These have been extracted from two Color maps that are part of the V2 collection. The ones marked “1” were color corrected and then set to Multiply at 80% opacity, whereas the lower example was set to Hard Light at 100%.


In order to create the more worn version I incorporated a Composite map into the ProMaterial. This retains the material but allows the inclusion of various layers controlled by masks in order to add dirt and grime without adding to the original texture. The maps can be overlaid in a number of ways using blending modes as well as being color corrected. Mask channels allow control over the location of the dirt and by altering the Coordinate properties each can be placed specifically in the scene. Fig.04 shows the four Composite layers, their blending modes and opacity alongside the masks that govern their visibility. The four scenes on the right show the individual masks and reveal where the corresponding maps are visible. You can see how each one occupies a different position, which is implemented through the Tiling, Offset and Angle.

The Cabin:

As one of the main focal points in the scene the cabin was unwrapped, especially considering the low poly count and fact that Bump and Specular maps would contribute a lot of the detail. Fig.05 shows the cleaner version of the texture alongside a scene render (inset). You can see that there is some evidence of rust and dirt, but it is quite subtle compared to the more weathered one that we shall look at shortly.


The general rust layer is set to Soft Light at around 50% opacity and the dirt along the base of the cabin running below the door is set to Multiply also at 50% opacity. In order to create a more weathered version I set the rust layer to Overlay and ramped up the Curves slightly as well as turning the dirt layer up to 100% opacity (Fig.06). The band of dirt has been sampled from an image of old metal taken from Total Textures: V13:R2 – Textures from around the World 2 by color-selecting the orange areas. In view of these changes I also made sure to color correct the line of rivets that run vertically up the front of the cabin and below the window, as well as the two panels housed on the front (1-2).


To add a little more interest I included some examples of graffiti from Total Textures: V5:R2 – Dirt & Graffiti by way of a Composite map once again. Fig.07 shows where these two layers are situated on the cabin (1-2) and the settings used. You can see in the window on the far right that the base texture makes up Layer 1 and both graffiti samples utilize a mask.



This final part will orientate around the series of pipes that form the central part of the image. Because the crux of this tutorial has been to age the scene using numerous Dirt maps and textures I decided to create different stages of wear and tear. For the newer version I used an Arch & Design material in conjunction with a Color map that was applied to the central and horizontal pipe (Fig.08). The horizontal pipe corresponds with the non-metallic section of the texture, which represents a coating of paint. The vertical one uses a similar texture but is part of another template incorporating the two lower cabins.


The texture that comprises the two lowest pipes as well as the horizontal one has been aged using a number of images from the Total Textures collection. Fig.09 shows a few examples and how these have been incorporated into the template.


The older and more worn version uses a different texture, which can be seen in Fig.10. It shares the same template, but with the paint layer switched off. Now the paintwork has been completely removed to expose the underlying metal and as a result has become rusted over time. By using Select > Color Range I sampled some rust from a couple of textures from Total Textures: V2:R2 – Aged & Stressed and Total Textures: V17 – Urban Extras Textures, including a line of rivets which were then color corrected to match.


I decided to create a variation that was somewhat midway between the two using the Arch & Design material combined with a Composite map (Fig.11). The pipes use the same texture evident in Fig.08, but you can see more paintwork has been removed from the left pipe. The horizontal one has also started to rust significantly in the lower section.


In order to create this version I applied a Composite map in the Diffuse map channel of the Arch & Design material and then created a new layer. Fig.12a - b shows the two Composite maps for each pipe and the corresponding maps. The horizontal pipe uses a mask to help create a random pattern of rust whilst the central one uses a single map set to Multiply.


Final Version


1 comment:

  1. fanttastic article thanks in informahie keep up the great.

    :Composite Pipes