This tutorial was made in 3DStudio max 5 but covers theories and principles only which are relevant to all 3D software packages.
To start, we will set up a very simple scene, the intention is to let the textures and the lighting to the work so all we have for the geometry is 2 planes and 1 sphere, indicated below with 1,2 & 3. The only other objects we have are a skylight, omni light and a camera (4, 5 & 6). If your software doesn't support a feature that creates radiosity and soft shadows such as this 'skylight' you can fake it with an array of many dull standard point (omni) lights placed in a dome formation. Both lights I have here are casting shadows and the omni '5' is the main light source
The image is rendered from the camera and below is the initial result.
Texture colour maps and their matching bumps have been assigned to the 3 objects but that's as far as it's gone, no work as to setting UVW co-ordinates or editing the textures in any way has been performed, the colour map is set to 100% and the bump map to 30%. What you can see below is the usual case of your software stretching the texture to fit these basic geometry shapes as best it can using its default UWV co-ordinates that come with primitive objects.
Again an example of no texture editing with just the colour map applied at 100% and the bump map at 30%:
So now the tutorial will really begin by looking at ways of improving our render by adjusting these textures. The next image show that all of the textures have now been 'tiled' meaning repeated across the objects surfaces. As all the textures on this cd are seamless they should tile very well, but problems can still arise when the repeating parts of the textures become too obvious and for this reason some textures 'tile' better than others.
By tiling the colour maps and their bump maps you increase the detail across the geometry as you can see below.
Next we have the 'repetition texture problem' indicated, but as it is not too severe we will continue with these choices of textures. Also the next stages will break the textures up a little more.
Our second example showing the increase in detail by tiling the texture maps (second sphere):
The next tip could be the most important one here in getting those quality results from your renders. You have to make the textures fit and work with your geometry as much as possible.
The next two renders show the before and after of poorly 'fitted' textures and how we have simply improved them.
Below we have improved these issues by rotating the texture on the floor and then aligning both textures so there is appropriate detail (especially in the 'bump' detail) where the wall meets the floor.
Look especially at this joint, those odd marks that were in the centre of the wall now work very well at the base.
...proceed to page two to learn more...