Adding weathering and grime to a scene
This scene incorporates some of the geometry I modelled for a nautical theme set on a ship which was designed to be used in a series of lighting tutorials. I used one of the key components in the form of the steps and a simple support column and placed them on an exterior deck with a metal, panelled wall as a backdrop (Fig.01).
There is a small amount of wear on the panels and the steps but it is quite minimal and the overall scene looks quite clean at the moment.
The areas marked in blue are the key places where dirt would gather and also where water would settle and cause corrosion and rust.
I usually start with the largest area first, in this case the back panels. In Fig.02 you can see the wireframe outline of the geometry and the layer structure so far in the PSD file. I use a base metal texture to represent the painted panels (labelled Paint) and a general rust coloured metal underneath this one (labelled Base Metal). I then apply a mask and by selecting the white areas can erase the paint layer to expose the texture underneath. The red arrow indicates the pattern evident in the mask above.
Other areas that would be subjected to general wear and tear are highlightd in red in Fig.01. These are parts of the scene that may show worn and peeling paint due to human contact. The steps and handrails for obvious reasons but also the base of the steps and panelling where luggage and idle feet may have had an impact. In Fig.03 you can see two sections of the texture used for the column and steps. The red arrows indicate areas where masks have been used from V5 – Dirt and Graffiti
This mask had the black areas deleted and then was set to Overlay with some contrast reduction. The arrows show the various areas that have received similar treatment :
When both these textures are applied you can see how now the scene suggests a vessel that has been at sea for some time and exposed to the elements and passengers alike (Fig.04).
This is what I term as mid range weathering – it neither looks old nor new but rather somewhere in between. You will also notice that I have placed some staining around the baseplates that hold the column and steps in position as well as along the decking where it meets the panels. I am now going to add further wear to the scene and make everything look neglected.
The way to do this is first of all exaggerate what is already there ie. create more areas of worn paint and then add further enhancements which in this case will be grime and corrosion. In Fig.05 you can see that there are three textures on the left which have been used to create the final map. The dirt map has been used to add rust and grime around the base of the column and bolts. The map was inverted (Ctrl+I) and then set to Multiply with the Colour Balance adjusted towards yellow and red.