After all of the modeling was done and I had a final mesh, I started baking the parts. I could have just drawn the bolts and holes in Photoshop, but after a few tests I decided that it didn't look as good as if it had been baked from the high poly model.
Of course the baking didn't go by without a few mistakes, but they were all fixed either in the baking stage or in Photoshop (Fig.06).
After the baking was done the next step was for me to create all the textures. This included creating diffuse, glossy and specular maps as well as a few opacity maps. I used the normal maps that I had already created and also exported UVW templates into 3ds Max.
I wanted to test my textures in real-time not only with the diffuse but with the normals as well, so I decided to use DirectX shaders just for the time being. You can only use those shaders if you run DirectX as your default driver in 3ds Max (Fig.07).
I used a Wacom Bamboo tablet for the drawing of the textures. I don't think that good results can be achieved when drawing with a mouse. Even a small tablet like the bamboo works miracles for your end result. I wanted to add some dirt, scratches and also a little bit of rust around the helicopter. Military helicopters go through maintenance before every flight so they only have small scratches and rust spots on them. Anything to0 drastic would not look realistic (Fig.08).
I wanted to render the final images with mental ray, so I had to create mental ray materials. I used Arch/Design materials and basically used some pretty standard settings: Reflectivity – 0.3, Glossiness – 0.5 and Highlights + FG checked (Fig.09).