Introduction and Overview
Hi, this tutorial shows how I created the textures for the Brave New World
image. I will go over the shader breakdown as well. I kept the process very procedural since it helped me to quickly texture a huge amount of geometry, as well as generate variations. I also did a lot of matte painting on top to get the final look.
All of the textures used in this tutorial can be downloaded from here
The image was based on a screenplay of the "vortex” concept. The theme was to show a futuristic city that has developed over time due to man's success and advancing technologies, yet is still ruled by social and economic classes which tends to pull down the growth and results in hints of dystopia lurking in the dark. The city needed to look uniform and well-planned at the same time, implying a greater machine/industrial understructure.
The geometry was divided into two primary sets – "distribution" and "specific":
• The distribution set consisted of many small buildings, each consisting of different structural details. The geo from this set was used to fill up most of the city distribution. Since the shot was from a long distance, I kept the geometry very simple.
• The specific set consisted of buildings that were hand-placed into the scene and whose occurrence was limited.
For the purpose of the tutorial, I will be taking a small subset from the distribution set and going over the process. The same logic was used and applied for the rest of the geometry in the scene. Here is the geo and the wireframe overlay (Fig.01 – 02).
I will be going over the logical process for making the textures. I have tested these techniques in Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max. The same or slightly modified logic should work for other 3D packages as well.
It is important that the geometry has its UVs laid out. You can go about doing this automatically as well by hand. For this particular example I just went with automatic mapping.
Shaders and Networks
I created five shading networks with different looks and materials to create the variation. The base logic for all of them was the same. For each, there was a clean material called "relative_clean” and a wear and tear material called "dirty”. These two were mixed using the "dirt_mask”:
: This shader is the main look of the image.
: This shader only shows up in places where there is dirt or wear and tear.
: This contains the procedural dirt_mask.
The mask controls where the dirty material shows up. The above three were placed into a top level shader (Fig.03).
• V-Ray blend material
Place the relative_clean shader as the base material.
Link the dirty shader into a higher slot.
Plug in the procedural dirt_mask into the mask/alpha slot of the dirty shader.
• Mix map (3ds Max)
Color 1 : Place the relative_clean node here
Color 2 : Place the dirty node here
Mask : Link the dirt_mask here
Plug the mix map into the diffuse slot of the V-Ray material.
Using the mix map you can create the entire network using one shader. Ideally, I prefer that the wear and tear dirty material has a few different properties/changes when compared to the relative_clean one.
You can use the V-Ray blend material in 3ds Max as well.
For the Brave New World
image, I used the V-Ray blend material.
For Autodesk Maya:
Use the "layered texture” node plugged into the diffuse slot of a V-Ray material. If you are using a different render engine, use the material(s) associated with it instead of the V-Ray material. I have shown a basic overview of the layered texture node in Fig.04.
For Autodesk 3ds Max:
Use a composite material plugged into the color slot of a Mix map or the diffuse of a V-Ray shader (Fig.05).