First, I'd like to say a huge thank you to 3DTotal.com's staff for giving me the opportunity to test their latest texture maps. All I can say is they are most awesome! All this was made in 3ds max 5.1 and rendered with VRay. I wanted to make an image with the minimum numbers of maps in the diffuse channel, so I only used a single brick map. The rest is nothing, but *dirt maps*!!! I've made a render in which I turned off all dirt maps and left the colors on in the diffuse channel.
Well, the picture looks like as if it was made by Lego! Nice and has a charming plastic look! Yikes and yikes again! If you take a closer look at the image, only the brick walls were made with a map, the rest of the objects were textured with colors and put a B&W dirt map in the diffuse channel. Then I adjusted them till I felt like they looked decent. Some of the materials are Blend, like the tram's yellow paint with the nasty rundown all around. I also like to use Blend materials, they can spice up just about anything.
From the attached shots you can see that just about every shape was modeled, even the signs of the tram.
If you think you haven't paid enough attention to dirt maps until now, think again and start playing with them. What's nice about them is that you don't have to mess in a 2d program afterwards to "mess up" the clean image, so it will save you some time. Also, you can re-render them at any time, just in case you need to make a larger print. Well, dirt looks great in just about any picture and it's hard to find a nicer collection of mess than in the collection of 3DTotal I was thinking about using some of the graffiti maps as well, but when this tram used to run in Budapest, Hungary), graffiti was unknown :-) "
Ferenc J. Haraszti