Next, after bringing in some references, I established the bark texture on successive layers using a combination of adjustment layers, masks, the Clone tool and photo references (Fig.14).
For its final polish, I brought in some color maps generated from projection painting in ZBrush to help with seaming issues. Last but not least, I applied a blending mode to a special map that I created inside ZBrush with the MatCap White Cavity to really help the textures to pop. Using this map has proven to be invaluable in many circumstances because of its quick ability to liven up textures. Therefore, I will be explaining in detail how to create it in the following steps (Fig.15):
- After finishing your high res sculpt with UV'd geometry, create a displacement map
- Clone your map and it should now appear in the alpha channel to your left
- Drop your geometry and clear the canvas
- Click on the same Alpha button and in the submenu, hit Crop and Fill
- Clear and zoom out your canvas until the square is clearly visible
- Create a plane 3D object, make it a polymesh and then set the material to MatCap White Cavity, leave the color on default white
- Press F to frame in on the geometry
- Go into the Subdivisions menu and turn off SMT, hit Subdivide either two or three times then reactivate SMT and dial up until you get into the millions (the reason why you want to initially turn off SMT is so that your plane can maintain edge integrity)
- Apply the displacement after tweaking the settings to your taste
- Click on the MRGBz Grabber, drop the image, and draw a marquee around your entire composition
- Your map has now been generated and is ready for export in your texture window.
At this point the bark color textures were mostly complete, but I still needed to devise a way to sufficiently bed them into their surroundings. This time, instead of painting in the grit of mossy undergrowth in Photoshop, I used some of Maya's nodes to quickly build up the textures.
Using the grass tiling texture, two ramps, a fractal and a luminance node, I set up a temporary shader network to work out the position of the moss on each tree, along with its orientation of bump strength. Once satisfied, I selected the model as well as it's shader in the hypershade and then hit Convert to File Texture (Maya software). As a result I received a color and a bump map, which I ported over into Photoshop for processing (Fig.16 – 17).