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How to create tileable and seamless Textures (with gimp)

In this short tutorial i will explain how i create my own tile able textures with gimp.

Lets get started! First you need mediocre weather (ideally found in England or Germany 😉 ). No sunshine, no rain, an overcast sky is needed for great shade less textures. Take your camera with you and when seeing a nice texture.. erm.. wall, make sure you keep a distance to the surface of at least 10 meter to make sure, that you don’t get any barrel distortion with your camera.

Here are two examples how not to take source images for your textures:

Direct sunlight creates harsh shadows

Sun is shining on the rocks and is creating a strong shadow, when using such a texture the surface won’t match with the lights of the rendered scene.

Distorted image

Here i was to close to the surface and my camera produced a strong barrel distortion. We could remove it later with some manipulation but i prefer shooting undistorted images.

So here is my photo i took for this tutorial, you will notice, that the white balance is off, i just did not noticed that when I was shooting. No worries, this is easy to fix!

Wrong white balance

1. So in the first step we correct the wrong white balance with the colour balance tool in Gimp.

Corrected white balance

2. Cool, done that. Looks way better now. In our second step we will now create a 2048×2048 image with Gimp.

3. Copy the corrected large image in that smaller squared empty image.
Move the bigger layer around, til you found a nice looking spot and then apply the image size to the layer size, that both are 2048×2048 big.

4. Now we will offset this layer with the “offset layer” tool on both axis 1024 pixels, there is a button “(x/2),(y/2)” so you don’t have to type in the number 🙂
Now we can see the seams of the texture, if we would tile it now.

Offset added

5. To get rid of the tiling i will use now the clone tool and the heal tool. Just pick nice spots of the texture and paint over the Seams. In our example it is pretty hard to close the seams with the predefined brick pattern. Dont be afraid to move stones or to change their shape.
This was the first removal of the seams.

Removed obvious seams

6. Now we want to even the brightness on our texture, there are larger areas which are way to bright/dark and it will become obvious when tiling the textures. My standard procedure for that with gimp is following:

-duplicate the layer

-use Gaussian blur (size 100px)

-invert colours

this will produce this kind of look:

Inverted, blurred texture

7. Use the layermode “overlay” on this layer. The inverted image will now brighten up dark areas and will tone down bright ones. Perfect for tiling of textures.

Flat lighting now

8. Now we have to correct the contrast and saturation a bit, to match the original texture again. How strong you have to correct the texture depends on the texture. Compare the layers to see easily if the correction works.

Contras, saturation corrected

9. Now I create a .blend file and apply the texture to a surface to test the newly created texture.

Tiling test

10. Not bad, but we still see the seams pretty well, we have a big bright stone creating a pattern and there is some dark mortar creating a visible tiling. So we have now to correct the texture again. Repeat step 5. I used the clone tool to break up the big bright stone into 3 smaller ones, this will make the tiling less obvious.

11. To get rid of the smaller brightness differences create a new layer with the layer mode “overlay” and paint to bright areas with a dark grey colour and brighten up to dark areas with a bright grey on the new overlay layer. In this way i got rid of the dark mortar and the bright stone.

Corrected the brightness and seams

Here is the tiling test with the modified texture. Looks great! we are done here 🙂

Tiling test successful

The final texture can be downloaded here! (CC-zero license)


Here is my own tiled textures album, i share them via the CC-Zero license, feel free to use them for whatever you want!
http://imgur.com/a/2aqO6
I would love to see more CC-Zero textures, you would do me a favour with sharing your own free textures via the usual channels! You are great, thanks! 🙂


The ‘Gravity gun’ from the game “Half Life 2” recreated in Blender

click on the image above for the final render 😉

 

Something new from me!

I played a lot Half Life 2 the last weeks, so i decided to recreate the lovely physics gun i frequently used in this game.
Because of the lack of detail in the lowpoly version of this game model, i had to think about a lot of details, which were just plain textures in the game. So the whole model is a free interpretation of the actual game model.

So here is a rough overview over the workflow:

1. I researched for similiar projects, i wanted to see if someone else ever modeled this weapon and of course someone did! I found a nice WIP blog post about a handmade gravity gun, a real model.

I used this progress images as reference, but i fixed some flaws in the design and made it fit to the ingame model.

 

2. Modeling, the most fun, i did not used subsurf, just hard surface modeling tools. The cables were made with a curve converted to a mesh.

 

3. Texturing: I followed a nice texturing tutorial i found on the polycount forums, check it out to understand how the painting works. I changed the workflow a bit, because i just do own The Gimp, which was doing the job too. I skipped the creating a specular map part also, because i did not create these textures, because i wanted to save memory on my GPU.

 

4. Shading: A lot of new stuff for me, i didnt created a good working metal material in Cycles before. Here is the node setup for you, they will show you how i extracted a specular/bumpmap out of the single col texture. For the glowing metal i used a glowmap.

5. Rendering: After setting up the materials (click -> here <- for a model only rendering)  i started setting up a environment. I experimented with adding a metal floor, but the experiments failed 😀 A simple stone floor was enough, because the angle ov view is very flat. I modeled a few small stones to get a bit structure and pasted them on the ground. A few pipes in the background an the environment was ready.

6. Lighning: The trick part. At first i wanted a night scene, with the glowing gun in the center, but the mood was a way to cold to fit in the mood of the HL2 games. I added simply a strong sunlight from the right and dimmed the bluish “moonlight” down, you can still spot the light on the upper parts of the gun.

Here is the german WIP thread: click

That was all, i will attach some images for you below 😉

 

 


[Blog]Having a good start in the year 2012

Some new news from my side. I am currently working at EGOSOFT as a 3D artist, it is “just” an 6 months (or a few months more) long internship, but im very, very glad that this actually happens!

I am working on the actual game “X-Rebirth”, its a huge space-simulator with a lot of features following the slogan: “think, trade, build, fight”.

At the moment, i am working on creating some content (Spacecrafts) with the open source 3D suite Blender, but the main software at Egosoft is 3DSMAx, which will be used to export the models to the realtime engine. Blender does not support a lot of stuff, that is important to have ingame so i just can model and texture my planes, i will probably take a look at Max there, to finish my models by myself.

The first week was absolutly amazing, its such a nice team which will always help you if you struggle while doing your work, also i learn a ton of new techniques, which are so mindblowing.*argh* i never thought of a lot of their workflows, so my models looks 10 times better than you can see on my deviantart page, just because i did not know about 3 techniques before 😀

I hope my next month will be as awesome as the first week, at friday i just sat there in front of my PC and didn’t want to stop modeling, because the conceptart was so fresh and great to fill with lovely details! I cant wait to see my spacecrafts in the finished game 🙂 Nevermind, i stopped working on the ship only to play soccer against my chef 😛

When i have some time for this page, i will show some parts of the workflow, that i learned there just to help you creating some nice ships 🙂

And now for those, who dont know this awesome game series named simply “X”: here is the trailer of the upcoming game!


[Tutorial]How to use a environment map with Cycles

Welcome back 🙂

I often see people having problems with setting up a proper lighting system for their scenes. So i show you how to set up a environment map for your background! We will reproduce the image seen below in this easy to follow 11 step tutorial. I also give a link for the download place for neat environment maps 😉

So lets get started!

[Hint] If you cant see what a image shows, because it is to small, just click on it to see the original blender screenshot size.

1. Open Blender and select the cube and the point light via <shift>+ <right mouse button (RMB)>

2. Delete them! Press <x>

3. Switch from the “Blender Render” to “Cycles Render” (red box)

4. Download the environment map “Dining room” from this page here:

http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Data/HighResProbes/

5. Go to the “world” buttons,  under “surface” click on the “use nodes” button to open a menu.

6. Click on the grey dot on the right side of the grey colour bar to open a new popup menu, select “Environment Texture”

7. Click on “Open” and search your downloaded environment map.

Now you have loaded your environment map into Blender, to see how it works, we will do the following:

8. Click on the white circle to switch from the “solid” view into the “rendered” view. After a short loading time, the background will appear as you can see above.

Because we don’t have a object in our scene, we will add now some stuff to see how the light affects our 3d world.

9. Add a plane and the monkey to our scene, press <sgift>+<a> –> add->mesh->plane/monkey and use the 3D Pivot to place them like i did. For this tutorial you do not have to add materials, objects without materials will be rendered in a matte white in Cycles.

As you can see, the image is very grainy, this is because of the low samples setting in the preview window. To get a better image, we have to increase the samples count.

10. Go to the render buttons and go to “Integrator” open that menu and increase the preview samples to 100.

[Hint] You can also increase the render samples to 1000 or above to get a nice and cleam image when pressing f12. Beware, a high samples count will dramaticaly increase the rendertime.

[Hint] You can also use the Gpu mode for Cycles, if you have a new graphics card (release date after ca. 6/2010) to dramaticaly reduce the rendertime 😉

Now the preview image looks much better!

As you can see, the rendered image is too dark, i dont know why Cycles does this, but it uses too less light from the environment map to light up everything, so in the end we have to increase the brightness of the environment map to get a proper brightness to our render.

11. Go back to the wold buttons and increase the “strength” to 5.

Now the image is ready to render, i placed my camera at a neat angle and set the render samples up to 10000 and added a subsurf modifier to smooth the monkey a bit . I also used my Gpu do accelerate the rendering, the result was ready in about 5 minutes and can be seen at the top of the article. I hope i could help you with that easy to follow tutorial!


A Casio Calculator [Cycles]

So here is the small making of of my latest project, a simple calculator just for testing the new offical introduced renderer in Blender, named Cycles.

At first i took a photo of the calculator, i used the Canon Eos 550D with a tele objective to get as close as possible without having a perspective in the image, like the ortographic view in blender.

The texture has a resolution of 2600x4500px so its huge, great for the details 😉 On the left handside you can see the whole image, on the right you can see a detail in fullsize.

Then i started the simple modeling of this object, nothing spectacular. I used the texture as background image to get the proportions right. I used subsurf to get the edges smooth, but the modeling was not that clean, because a lot of the object are flat, so triangles would not show up, it was just eaysier to work with them.

A wireframe shot can be seen here:

After finishing the modeling in about 1-2 hours I uv mapped the texture on the model via “project from view”. the buttons had to be relocated on the uv map, because they would have looked bad with this projection technique. I scaled them a bit down, to not get the borders from the picture on the buttons, I also scaled the last loop of their uv map down to get rid of the projection streaks on each sides of the buttons.

After uvmapping I started the Cycles render engine in Blender and loaded a environment map into the scene, the exr. can be found on this site, it is called “dining room”

Uffizi Probes

Then i started getting used to the materials, i used a glossy material at first, cause the calculator reflects a bit light in the reality and a matte material would have been to flat.

I used my colourmap for all other effects on the material (spec-/displacementmap[bumpmap?]), i just changed the settings of the texture via nodes to get a higher contrast or a lesser value, so the “hue saturation” nodes are there to control the influence of the texture on the material. And i was happy to see, that cycles could work with that trick quite good. I got a nice displace(bump?) effect on the material, so the whole material got a nice depth. The material node setup can be seen below.

Then the image was nearly done, at last i added via the camera settings a depth of field effect, it just looks very well when you use it for small objects like my calculator 🙂

I rendered the image on my gtx 470 in about 15 minutes (10 000 samples), so cycles is pretty fast. I added in gim a light vigniette and the light chromatic abberation was done via the normal scene nodes in blender. Then it was done, short project for testing cycles and getting used to the workflow. I relly like the speed of Cycles, you can see the material changes nearly in realtime, when you have a very small preview image in Blender.

This was the small making of, i hope you learned something, at least you have a new source for hdri maps!


Canadair C-415

Nice to see you on my new blog here. I will start to upload recent works of mine and of course i will show you how everything was made. Maybe i will post tutorials as well.

To introduce my first blog entry, i will tell you sth. about me at first. I’m 20 years old and live in Germany. I’m working with 3D software for more than 3 years now and I try to push my skills even further than “good”.

Let’s get started! My first here shown work is the Canadair c-415, an airplane which is used to extinguish big fires in forests. It is used in America and also in Europe.

I modeled the plane in about 10 hours, if you are interested in the way i started this project, please check the timelapse video of the modeling progress. 10 hours are shown in 8 minutes 😉

I had a lot reference images, cause i was on vacation and hat the chance to see the plane on gound in a distance of less then 20 meters so i took a lot of crappy images, not beautiful images, but useful ones for a 3D artist 😉

An example here:

A example of my taken pictures

For the plane dimensions i used Wikipedia, i used the article about this plane to get the real size dimensions right. I also used a 200x300px censored preview image of an buyable blueprint, to get to know where the wings meets the body of the plane.

Wikipedia_article

After the modeling was done I started the unwrapping of the model, i mostly used the normal unwrap tool and the projection tool.

After having two Uv.layouts for the body and one for the wings i created two 4k textures and started painting. At first i made the basic colours and went further in detail, like adding the welds and decals. Finally i created the nomalmaps and then the texturing was done, easy huh? 😛

To see the full wip thread, check this site, sadly its written in german, but you can take a look at a lot of pictures 🙂

Wip thread on Blendpolis.de

The rendering was done with the “old” Blender internal renderengine, for the clouds and the smoke i used the generate clouds plugin, which can be found in the addons section of Blender.

I hope you liked this model and also my first post here, feel free to critique me!


Check 1-2 check, check!

This is a little bit of nothing!