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Procedural Texturing With Weightmaps

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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To create the Crumple procedural, you need two layers. One is the Crumple procedural, and the other is a gradient layer which is used in conjunction with the "Smooth" weightmap to alpha out the Crumple. To start, make the first layer in the bump channel a Crumple procedural texture with the following settings.

Layer Opacity 100%

Texture Value 45%

Frequencies 6

Small Power 0.75

The scale of the Crumple texture should be set to 15mm for all three directions (assuming you are either using the downloaded model, or are using a model of similar size).

Now add a new layer, change it's type to Gradient, and set the following keys:

Key 1 (Default Key):
Value 0%
Alpha 100%
Parameter -100%

Key 2:
Value 0%
Alpha 100%
Parameter 0%

Key 3:
Value 100%
Alpha 100%
Parameter 100%
The "Input Parameter" for the gradient should be set to "Weight Map", and the resulting "Weight Map" parameter set to "Smooth". Finally, set the layer mode to "Alpha", and invert the layer by using the "Invert Layer" check box at the top.

If you perform a quick render, you should see something similar to the first image on the previous page.

Now add a Hetero Terrain texture with the following settings:

Layer Opacity 100%

Texture Value -400%
Increment 0.67
Lacunarity 2.9
Octaves 6.0
Offset 0.47
Noise Type Perlin Noise

Scale X,Y,Z 180 mm

Copy the existing gradient layer. Paste it (using "Add To Layers"), make sure it is directly above the Hetero Terrain layer, and turn off the "Invert Layer" check box. Change the "Weight Map" parameter to "Dents".

Finally add a Veins procedural with the following parameters:

Layer Opacity 100%

Texture Value -15%
Coverage 0.3
Ledge Level 0.0
Ledge Width 0.02

Scale X,Y,Z 105 mm

That's the bump channel completed, and it should give you some idea about how to use gradients to modify procedural textures. A handy technique you might want to try, is by using more keyframes in a gradient, you can control how smoothly the texture fades in or out. This gives you a great deal of flexibility in controlling where your procedural appears.

Displacement Channel

The bump channel we just created is only a two dimensional effect, but it can be improved by combining its effect with the displacement channel.

IGo to the anvil object's properties, and select the "Deform" tab. Click on the "T" button to create a displacement texture. You will probably find that simply copying your bump channel layers into the displacement channel won't look very nice - I've found that you are generally better off starting from scratch.

For my anvil, I found that Crumple seemed to work best, and I used a gradient layer to only apply it where the "Dents" weight map existed. The settings I used for Crumple were:

Layer Opacity 100%

Displacement Axis Y
Texture Value -0.04
Frequencies 4

Small Power 0.75

The gradient layer used was almost identical to the second gradient layer from the bump channel.

The displacement channel helps to age the anvil and make it look a bit rougher

With displacement channel

The great thing about procedurals, is that it's all completely adjustable via the weight map. So if you decide you want add aging marks to a different part of the model, it's just a matter of painting it on using the airbrush tool in Modeller.

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