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Making of Paragalis – part 2

"Making of Paragalis - part 2 " by Marcus Dublin recommendation:

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Step Twelve: Creating the Textures
Before I start I want to highlight the fact that creating textures is my favorite part of the art pipeline, with sculpting coming in a close second! There’s something about applying a surface to an object that I find really appealing, whether it’s an organic creature, weapon, person, you name it. The technique that I’m going to show for this particular model is pretty popular and is commonly used in not only the game industry ("Resident Evil, Assassins Creed, Gears of War, Half Life, just to name of few") but in the film world as well, albeit at much higher resolutions. That being said the art direction I want to go in with Paragalis is going to lean towards a photo real look, think “Walking with Dinosaurs”!Creating the Diffuse Map
Before I start working on the skin I need to set up my texture sheet and model for better viewing. This is an important step since this will be the foundation for the texture process! First I opened my previously created AO/light map in Photoshop and created a few groups representing each phase of the texture process. The next thing I did was duplicate the background layer and moved it to the top of the layer stack. Once that was done I set the top layer to “multiply” and reduced the opacity to 80%. This setup creates a nice overlay effect giving me all of my shading and highlights. Now that my texture set up is completed it’s time for me to adjust the material in 3dsmax.

The first thing I did was apply the diffuse texture to the “diffuse color” slot, and then I raised the “Self-Illumination” to 100%. The reason I did this, so that I can see what the actual texture is going to look like every time I save iterations in Photoshop. The only thing that I’m focusing on at this point is the surface texture and color, that’s why I left the normal map and specular slots empty. Having my normal map applied would be futile and almost certainly hamper the diffuse map creation process. This is the case since I would constantly be fighting the normal map due to the way it receives light and shadow! That said I normally don’t apply my normal map until the diffuse and specular maps are completed.

So the next thing I did was fill the texture with the appropriate colors indicating the various surface properties. This is essentially a quick way for me to get a good feel for the creatures color scheme, not only that but the separated colors also serve as a nice mask. I tend to apply all of my base colors into one layer set, which falls under the “base colors” grouping.

With the color mask applied, I fill the body area with a base skin. The base skin serves as a rough foundation, which allows me to pre visualize what the overall surface texture looks like on the model. For this particular model I used a combination of tree bark, elephant skin, and old paper set at different layer opacities within the Photoshop file. You can see the final base skin composite below.

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