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Making Of 'Neturu'

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Date Added: 20th August 2012
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Going right into the texturing portion, I identified three essential categories in the scene primed for reception of texture maps. These included the main tree trunk characters, the landscape and any other supporting elements, all of which already had UVs laid out during the modeling stage.

Starting off with the landscape, I imported two tiling textures into Maya, one being a mossy grass and the other a sandy soil. I plugged one of the maps into a test lambert and then assigned the material to the land. Next, I dialed up the repeats in the 2D texture placement node to suit the palate. Afterwards, I selected the object and then the material inside the hypershade, and then hit Convert Maya Texture to Material from the drop down menu. I repeated the same process for the other texture as well (Fig.11).


Note: although the same procedure of creating larger tiling images may be done strictly inside Photoshop, I have found its patternmaking widget will distort your repeats if you forget to set the resolution of your project file fairly high. Keep this in mind.

Once these maps had been created, I imported them into Photoshop, placing the grass map above the earth. Next, adjustment layers were utilized, along with hand-painting and color correction, to get the look I was aiming for (Fig.12).

Fig. 12

Once the color map was finished, I went about creating its accompanying bump and specular maps. These were created by utilizing a grayscale adjustment layer and increasing or decreasing values accordingly. For the bump, I wanted a raised surface for the mossy grass so I increased the layer's luminance value while keeping the earth layer at a neutral fifty-percent gray, with the darker exceptions being attributed to irregularities of the terrain. For the specular, I followed the same basic process as the bump, however this time I leveled out their values on the darker end of the spectrum. I did this because, from a real-world standpoint, neither earth nor grass gives off much spec values in most cases.

Transitioning into the tree trunk characters, I had decided early on that I would be creating only one tree type in the effort to give the image some consistency and cohesion amidst other things going on. Coming to this realization greatly helped to streamline the texturing process as I based their shape loosely off the Acacia tree.

Whenever creating texture maps it's best to always create them at a higher resolution initially and then scale down if need be to meet the requirements of your scene or project.

With all of these factors taken into consideration, I next opened up one of the four UV maps for the trunks in PS, layered it, set its blending mode to Screen then locked it down. Underneath, I created another layer, filled it with a neutral brown and then began building up my base texture of variation for the wood (Fig.13).

Fig. 13

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Peter Ferreira on Tue, 13 November 2012 1:50am
I've been studying tutorials in the cg area for a couple of years now. In this years i never saw an tutorial so complete and so well made. Explaining your thought process since the very begining, hence " I like trees" :) Congratulations Amanda you're truly a very complete artist and an inspiration for all of your coworkers. Ps: Do you have a blog or site that show you're works? Congratz.
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