Illustrative Texturing

Mudbox: Textures

Info

This page goes over painting an illustrative look in Mudbox using flat colour. It’s also a decent tutorial for getting aquainted with Mudbox’s texturing tools.

 

Express Overview (4 mins)

Painting textures in Mudbox for the illustrative shaders in Maya. This Express Overview video shows the 54 min tutorial series in 4 mins.
We’ll be concentrating on painting for flat lighting in Mudbox. A simple method where we paint highlights and shadows into the texture.
Also be sure to check out this short film Meet Buck where a fairly strict flat lighting approach is taken for the 3d elements.

Video 1.1: Express Overview (4:20 mins)
 

Video Notes

This page’s about painting textures in Mudbox for the illustrative shaders in Maya.
The Express Overview video shows the whole 54 min tutorial in 4 mins.
We’ll be concentrating on painting for flat lighting in Mudbox. It’s a simple method where we paint on the highlights and shadows in the actual texture.
The videos on this page total 54 mins.
Also be sure to check out this short film Meet Buck where a fairly strict flat lighting approach is taken for the 3d elements.

 

Objects And UVs Overview (1 mins)

We see how the model was broken up for textures and shaders. Small texture maps are used on small objects. Large one piece objects may have multiple UV tiles. We also see how the UVs have been unwrapped.
For information about how this model was unwrapped see this UV unwrap tutorial

Video 2.1: Objects and UVs Overview (1:57 mins)
 

Video Notes

This video shows how the model was broken up into separate objects and UVs. Each object will carry it’s own shader and texture/s. The body carries two textures to maximise pixel space as a large object.
For information about how this model was unwrapped see this UV unwrap tutorial.
– Dragon Body (2x 4096 textures)
– Eye Ball (512 texture)
– Eye Iris (256 texture)
– Wing Skin (1024 texture)
– Spikes (2048 texture)
– Teeth (1024 texture)
You’ll see there’s no inside of the mouth, if there was we’d add a tongue as a new object. The inside of the sock of the mouth would be part of the body.
It’s important to think about how to break apart the model, as different parts might require different shaders. As we’ll find in the following videos.

 

Send To Mudbox And UV Smooth Settings (3 mins)

Next we send our model to Mudbox and check some UV settings before proceeding.
Mesh > Add New Subdivision Level Options
1. Check on Subdivide UVs
2. Check on Smooth UVs

Video 3.1: Send To Mudbox And UV Smooth Settings (3:23 mins)
 

Video Notes

To send the object to Mudbox, select the objects and
File > Send To Mudbox > Send As New Scene
Be sure to check the Smooth UV Settings in mudbox
Mesh > Add New Subdivision Level Options
Check on Subdivide UVs and Smooth UVs

To smooth the meshes, go “shift d”. Be sure to smooth on after setting the smooth options as is not undoable. “w” is for wireframe toggle.

 

Assign Shaders In Mudbox (3 mins)

We send our model to mudbox and assign shaders. This is very easy to do with a right click similar to Maya.
Rightclick on the object > Assign New Material > Mudbox Material
Shaders are found in the Object List with the objects.

Video 4.1: Assign Shaders In Mudbox (3:24 mins)
 

Video Notes

To smooth the meshes, go “shift d”. “w” is for wireframe toggle.
To make an object double sided rightclick in the grey area and go “Show Both Sides”
ASSIGNING SHADERS
1. Rightclick on the object > Select Object
2. Rightclick on the object > Assign New Material > Mudbox Material
2. Name and pick the diffuse colour
To deselect the yellow area after selecting hit “v” and click in the grey area.
Shaders are found in the object list, click on them to tweak the properties.

 

Create Paint Layers (6 mins)

1. The next step is to go into flat lighting mode (rightclick > Flat Lighting) this takes away all the light from the scene and leaves the textures 100% ambient.
2. Then we create paint layers. “Paint Layers” are found in the tab above the object list.
Be sure to be in the Paint Layers Tab, not Sculpt Layers. Click Add New Paint Layer.
3. The Paint Tools are found screen bottom under the “Paint Tools” tab. We can start to paint in colour.

Video 5.1: Create Paint Layers (6:47 mins)
 

Video Notes

To enter Flat Lighting Mode
– rightclick > Flat Lighting
Wireframe hotkey = “w”
Deselect yellow = “v”
PAINT LAYERS
“Paint Layers” are found in the tab above the object list.
Be sure to be in the Paint Layers Tab
Click Add New Paint Layer
Name the Layer
Choose Diffuse (colour)
Tif is a good file format.
4k Texture Maps or 4096×4096 pixels will allow for maximum detail but slow down memory.
2k Texture Maps or 2048×2048 pixels will be faster but we might be able to see some pixels in details or up close to the object.
PAINT TOOLS
The Paint Tools are found screen bottom under the “Paint Tools” tab.
Use the Paint Brush to paint onto the character.
The options are found under the Paint Layers.
Choose a colour and paint.
To Flood the object scroll down in the options to “Flood Paint Layer”

 

Main Colors And Paint Tools (8 mins)

Now we apply the broad variation of colour. This can be done by flooding and adding multiple paint layers. Different tools can help us tint, saturate, blur and adjust our colours. We can also flatten the UVs to help us “flood” paint layers when no “flood all” options are available.

Video 6.1: Main Colors And Paint Tools (8:26 mins)
 

Video Notes

Use the eye drop (3) to pick colours and Paint Brush (1) to paint.
Mirror in any paint tools options Mirror X.
Flood with the Paint Brush in the tools options (scroll down) “Flood Paint Layer” Button.
We can create multiple paint layers just like in Photoshop. And use them to layer up our textures.
To lock other objects
rightlclick on the object > Lock Object
Colours are stored in the swatch so we can reuse colours easily.
“w” gives us the wireframe view to see the forms as we’re painting.
We can fade the opacity of each layer to blend colours together using the slider in the layers tab.
PAINT TOOLS
Paint Erase: Erases
Blur: Blurs
Dodge: lightens
Burn: darkens
Contrast: contrasts
Sponge: Desaturates (value of -1 to saturate)
Hue: Shifts hue towards a given color
Hue Shift: Shifts the hue
FLOOD BY FLATTENED UVS
To flood using these tools as there’s unfortunately no “flood all”. To “flood all” we can
1. UV and Maps > Flatten to UV Space
2. Flood from the camera on the flattened object
3. UV and Maps > Unflatten from UV Space

 

Use Multiple Paint Layers (5 mins)

Here’s the base layer textures starting to work, we build up the textures as though we are painting the light, so we imagine a light source and paint accordingly. We keep each of the broad colours on their own layer to tweak individually, but once happy we flatten to improve texture memory.
We can also use extra layers for the spot/scales we’ll want to keep these as separate layers as we’ll use these for the bump and the specular maps later.

Video 7.1: Use Multiple Paint Layers (5:18 mins)
 

Video Notes

Here’s the base layer textures more refined. We keep each of the broad colours on their own layer so we can tweak individually, but once happy we can flatten to improve texture memory, it’s also a bit easier to paint this way using the eye drop (3) paint brush (1) combo as mudbox’s paint tools are a little clunky.
To flatten layers, rightclick on the layer > merge visible (be sure to hide layers we don’t want to merge).
We can also use extra layers for the spot/scales we’ll want to keep these as separate layers as we’ll later use these for the bump and the specular maps.

 

Final The Color Textures (4 mins)

Here’s the model progressed through two more stages of colour texturing to the final version. We want to keep adding variation over the colours so the appendages don’t blur together as we spin around the model. We’ll add variation and detail to the secondary objects, use some of the other paint tools to help us out here.

Video 8.1: Final The Color Textures (4:19 mins)
 

Video Notes

Here’s the model progressed through two more stages of colour texturing to the final version. We want to keep adding variation over the colours so the appendages don’t blur together as we spin around the model. We’ll add variation and detail to the secondary objects, use some of the other paint tools to help us out here.

 

Create The Specular Map (3 mins)

Time to build the specular map. In Mudbox we’ll need to toggle off flat lighting to be able to see the specular.
We create a new map by adding a new texture and choosing “Specular” from the drop down list.
Next we want to use the spots layers as the specular maps. We can duplicate those from the diffuse section and drag them into the specular area.

Video 9.1: Create The Specular Map (3:15 mins)
 

Video Notes

Time to build the specular map. In Mudbox we’ll need to toggle off flat lighting to be able to see the specular.
We create a new map by adding a new texture and choosing “Specular” from the drop down list. We can make this texture 100% black so there’s no specular on the object.
Next we want to use the spots layers as the specular maps. We can duplicate those from the diffuse section and drag them into the specular area.

 

Create The Bump Map (3 mins)

The bump can be created in almost an identical way to the specular. Like specular we’ll need to toggle off flat lighting to be able to see the bump.
We create a new map by adding a new texture and choosing “Bump” from the drop down list.
Next we want to use the spots layers as the specular maps. We can duplicate those from the diffuse section and drag them into the bump area.

Video 10.1: Create The Bump Map (3:26 mins)
 

Video Notes

The bump can be created in almost an identical way to the specular. Like specular we’ll need to toggle off flat lighting to be able to see the bump.
We create a new map by adding a new texture and choosing “Bump” from the drop down list.
Next we want to use the spots layers as the specular maps. We can duplicate those from the diffuse section and drag them into the bump area.
We’ll need to tone down the bump amount as by default it’s quite strong. Later when exporting maps we may want to return this value to 1 and use Maya’s bump amount to tone back the bump amount.

 

Send To Maya (9 mins)

Time to send the object back to Maya. This could be a difficult process but the “Send to Maya” feature can help us a lot. There’s still a lot of small things we need to be aware of so this video is important.
Be sure to set a Maya Project directory. We’ll also need to manually move the file textures from Maya’s images directory to the source images director and relink the texture nodes.
We can view the textures with bump and specular maps in Viewport 2.0.

Video 11.1: Send To Maya (9:39 mins)
 

Video Notes

Time to send the object back to Maya. This could be a difficult process but the “Send to Maya” feature can help us a lot.
SET MAYA PROJECT DIRECTORY
We can help out the process by opening Maya and setting up a new project directory, Maya will need to put the file textures somewhere and if we’ve set a project directory it will put them in the images folder. Later we’ll need to move them to the sourceimages folder.
SEND TO MAYA
Maya and Mudbox transfer file textures through Autodesks FBX file format, so if you have troubles with the send we can always export to .fbx file format too and import the .fbx file in Maya. essentially this is what the send feature is doing automatically.
Deselect all objects and go
File > Send Selected Objects to Maya.
Click Ok to send the whole scene
Click “Send base Meshes Instead”
Be sure to send the base meshes and not the smooth versions of the objects.
In Maya we should be able to click on the textures icon (2 Andrew Prefs or 5 default Maya prefs) and see the colour textures.
PUTTING THE IMAGES IN THE CORRECT FOLDER
The send feature seems to put the textures in the “images” directory of our maya project when they should go in the “source images”.
In the file browser for your OS, move the textures from the images directory into the sourceimages directory in a folder named of the character. The images directory is for renders not textures, textures belong in the sourceimages folder.
Save the maya scene and reload and we’ll see our textures are missing. We need to relink the nodes.
1. Open the hyper shade
Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade
2. Go to the Textures Tab
3. Click on the first texture and navigate to the new directory under sourceimages to find it.
4. Now we can see the path to that texture, copy the path and paste it one by one onto the other file textures.
The textures have now been relinked to the correct directory.
VIEWPORT 2.0
We can view the model in Viewport 2.0 to view the specular and bump map. Go
(viewport windo menu) Renderer > Viewport 2.0
Keep in mind that the Viewport 2.0 may try to show the textures at full resolution and that might kill texture ram. If this happens we can limit our texture size to 1k by going…
(viewport windo menu) Renderer > Viewport 2.0 (options)
Performance > Maximum Texture Resolution Clamping > Clamp Texture Resolution
Max texture Resolution 1024 > hit Re-Load All Textures.
Page 2 of this tutorial series will show how to set up the Illustrative Shader in Viewport 2.0.

 

Fix Bump Map (6 mins)

Because we exported the bump map at 10% from Mudbox, we’ve lost most of our height map information. This causes some ugly banding.
We need to fix this by exporting the bump map from Mudbox at 100%. In Maya we can then reduce the bump value of the bump map to a height value of .1.

Video 12.1: Fix Bump Map (6:47 mins)
 

Video Notes

Because we exported the bump map at 10%, we’ve lost most of our height map information. We need to fix this by exporting the bump map from Mudbox at 100%. In Maya we can then reduce it to a height value of .1
1. Go back to Mudbox and set the bump to 100% (we can do this since there is only one layer)
2. Save the Mudbox file
3. Once a Mudbox file has been saved we can find it’s textures in a folder named identically to the Mudbox file. Find the bump map, it will be called the same as the layer, and not necessarily as “bump”.
4. Replace this texture/s with the bump map textures inside the Maya Project directory “sourceimages/happyDragon” be sure to rename them appropriately.
5. Save and reload the Maya scene, the bump will be too strong.
6. Find the bump2d node of the shader/s and reduce the bump value to .1

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