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ArmA 2 Fox'09 Texturing Tutorial

This was Fox'09 texturing tutorial chat at IRC back in 2012.

November 2012

00:21 <@fox[1]> hey
00:22 <@fox[1]> I was thinking about what i know about texturing, can I drop a few tips/ ideas here? I can write it down as well but i remember it at the moment
00:23 <@Snake_Man> absolutely.
00:23 <@Snake_Man> I'll copy paste everything, try to learn and eventually try to put some up in PMC Editing Wiki too.
00:24 <@fox[1]> Steps: 1. Lay down a base. Fill the UVs in immediately with a single color , distinguishable from the background. If it is complicated, color them seperately or prompty label them.
00:25 <@fox[1]> 2. Add in shapes - add 2d (or 3d) protrusions and areas where patterns do not repeat. (you'll see an example)
00:26 <@fox[1]> 3. add textures - add in fabric / metal texture overlays, and so forth. (more details later..)
00:27 <@fox[1]> 4. Add shadows and shading - inside glow and outer glow are key. It gives the impression of dimension and depth , which is incredibly important. This is the biggest part next to microscopic texture , ie fabric grains
00:28 <@fox[1]> that's pretty much it, executing depends on how people want to do it. I have the perfect idea for this.. let me get uploading
00:28 <@Snake_Man> ok, all copy pasted to safety :)
00:29 <@fox[1]> hmm did you download my PSD with my uniform models and vests?
00:29 <@fox[1]> or did i send it at all?
00:30 <@Snake_Man> which one? you've sent couple of things over time. any idea whats it called?
00:30 <@fox[1]>
00:30 <@fox[1]> BDU_and_vests_
00:31 <@Snake_Man> downloading now, hesus 830mb, luckily it comes 13mb/s ;)
00:32 <@Snake_Man> downloaded.
00:39 <@fox[1]> that was.. fast.
00:39 <@fox[1]> ok brb we'll go over it soon. there's a specific vest in there.. it take sa while for me to open it
00:44 <@fox[1]> ok open it and we'll begin
00:44 <@Snake_Man> oh ok sec.
00:46 <@fox[1]> although it isnt done, it's a really good example of what i'm talking about. Body armor → CVC. open the smart layer.
00:46 <@Snake_Man> open
00:47 <@Snake_Man> ok done
00:47 <@fox[1]> ok, uncheck the color folder. also, it may help to close all of the folders I forgot to close, so it looks cleaner.
00:47 <@fox[1]> but that's your call
00:49 <@Snake_Man> color hidden
00:50 <@fox[1]> To start, open the “Base” layer. Inside, you'll find 3 layers. uncheck them to see what they are individually. A base consisting of a soft fabric layout (usually normal map, but I used in this case a tiled image as a placeholder)
00:50 <@fox[1]> A fine detail layer consisting of a photographic or highly detailed pattern for closeup detail
00:50 <@Snake_Man> where is base layer?
00:52 <@fox[1]> it's usually flat, though I prefer to use a “fake” fabric as my base, but it doesnt matter. Flat gray will do fine
00:52 <@fox[1]> that stuff can always come later
00:54 <@fox[1]> if you look through any of the other groups, you will find a very similar structure. I may of merged the base layer , so there's probably only 2 in each. Most of my psds use 3 layers.
00:55 <@Snake_Man> umm
00:55 <@fox[1]> any questions on the basic structuring ? It's realy just painting the UV spaces in gray
00:55 <@Snake_Man> questions? my head hurts looking all those layers ;)
00:55 <@fox[1]> base ← fabric ← fine detail ..
00:56 <@fox[1]> just dont worry about it for now, the ideas are more important
00:57 <@fox[1]> can I move to the next part?
00:58 <@Snake_Man> no, the base layer, I dont know which one you mean?
00:59 <@fox[1]> ok, the first group (base by coincidence) , the first layer
00:59 <@fox[1]> the first layer of every group generally
00:59 <@fox[1]> first meaning order of appearence
01:02 <@fox[1]> found it?
01:02 <@Snake_Man> hmm yep, not a clue. I did the body armor → cvc tick, after that I dont know what base layer you mean.
01:02 <@fox[1]> ok
01:02 <@Snake_Man> layer 617?
01:02 <@fox[1]> no, the first layer, layer 728 in the “Base” group
01:02 <@fox[1]> in order of appearence.
01:03 <@fox[1]> the straps are on top of the vest, so the base is the first part.
01:03 <@Snake_Man> I have groups (dirs, folders whatever) AO, Body armor, drop leg and Uniforms.
01:03 <@fox[1]> no you need to open the cvc smart layer
01:04 <@Snake_Man> what is that? :)
01:04 <@fox[1]> uh one moment
01:04 <@fox[1]> right click on it → edit contents
01:06 <@Snake_Man> ok open. jesus christ even more layers ;)
01:14 <@Snake_Man> ok layer 728 in base group, this kind of fabric shadowing type.
01:16 <@fox[1]> yeah. that's the base layer, though there usually is a grey layer and that will be laid on top of it
01:16 <@fox[1]> brb
01:16 <@Snake_Man> ok
01:18 <@fox[1]> back
01:19 <@fox[1]> that's the base, pretty simple, just fill in the uv's with gray, and if you have it, add the normal map (B&W)
01:19 <@fox[1]> can I move to shaping or do you have any questions on this part
01:20 <@Snake_Man> well, heh, no questions (but I have no clue about the gazillion layers stuff over there, its quite overwhelming right off the bat). yep we can continue.
01:21 <@fox[1]> uncheck the closure group and open the velcro closure group
01:21 <@fox[1]> it also may help to close the “seams” subgroups so that it isnt so confusing
01:24 <@Snake_Man> closure hidden, velcro closure open.
01:24 <@fox[1]> a similar structure can be seen here, layer 745 is a simple gray shape. It was derived from the model, as it was modeled on, but if it wasnt you can simply draw a rectangle. It makes no difference. What you do is draw out the shapes of the model, the parts. velcro, seams, reinforcement, etc. This way you can easily distinguish those features and edit them seperately. doing curved shapes takes time, I generally just use the lasso tool and circle tool.
01:24 <@fox[1]> it also helps if you can find similar images and trace it
01:25 <@fox[1]> online references
01:26 <@Snake_Man> ok
01:26 <@fox[1]> any questions? the real thing is the last part, shading etc..adding fine detail is really self explanetory, you add a pattern layer on top of the base, usually overlay so you can retain cloth details etc.
01:26 <@Snake_Man> no questions :)
01:26 <@fox[1]> included in this psd and others in this giant one you can find plenty of patterns that can be used.
01:27 <@fox[1]> Ok.. the hard part to get right.. shading. I may have to leave soon to run some errands but i'll continue then. for now, i'll get started.
01:27 <@Snake_Man> ok
01:28 <@fox[1]> open the strap layer. Inside you'll find 5 layers. uncheck 776 and 738
01:29 <@fox[1]> also uncheck stiching group
01:29 <@Snake_Man> you mean 766?
01:29 <@fox[1]> yes sorry 766
01:29 <@Snake_Man> ok done
01:30 <@fox[1]> this way you can see the basic shapes. now uncheck the inner and outer glow effects, as well as inner shadow
01:30 <@Snake_Man> from all layers?
01:31 <@fox[1]> yes, but do it one by one, we'll add them individually while i explain my reasoning
01:31 <@fox[1]> ok i've got to go, ill be back in 30-40 mins
01:31 <@fox[1]> probably less
01:31 <@Snake_Man> ok
02:40 <@fox[1]> back
02:40 <@fox[1]> i was out for quite a bit . back now though
02:41 <@fox[1]> did you save that config , have it still open? if not open it and i can continue where we I left off
02:44 <@Snake_Man> ok moment…
02:48 <@Snake_Man> ok done. go ahead.
02:52 <@fox[1]> ok
02:52 <@fox[1]> so you have the straps w/o the textures? just the base ?
02:53 <@Snake_Man> uh I dont know.. its the brown vest…
02:56 <@Snake_Man> yeah the shoulder straps without texture, just plain tan.
02:56 <@Snake_Man> had to zoom in to see difference, its so damn big texture ;)
02:57 <@fox[1]> heh
02:57 <@fox[1]> one moment.. let me write some things
03:07 <@fox[1]> am i still here?
03:07 <@fox[1]> my net cut off
03:07 <@Snake_Man> yes
03:08 <@fox[1]> The inner glow is used to give the impression of edge depth - it adds 'sides' to the shape in question. Check the inner glow effects to see what I mean
03:09 <@fox[1]> The outer glow is used to give the impression of shadows - all protrusions cast shadows, even if they are small. It all adds up. check these to see how they affect the image
03:09 <@fox[1]> I'll go over how to use them , are you ready for that?
03:10 <@Snake_Man> very nice
03:10 <@Snake_Man> yes
03:12 <@fox[1]> For inner glow, the effect is most effective up to short ranges in a gradient. I mean it creates a kind of border, usually 5-10 pixels max
03:13 <@fox[1]> have you ever taken a drawing class?
03:14 <@Snake_Man> nope
03:14 <@fox[1]>
03:15 <@fox[1]> think of it like drawing a cube, except it's only a rectangular shape
03:16 <@fox[1]> by adding inner layer you're giving the impression that it has sides. often times its worth making it subtle and adding it into the normal map strongly.
03:19 <@fox[1]> Outer glow can be pretty tricky sometimes. The main thing is you have to consider how far your object protrudes from the base layer, and what you are contrasting. For example, the outer glow on the straps gives a weak, small shadow to give the impression that it is thin. The seams lining the vest (the dark ones) have quite a bit of contrast and signal a somewhat sharp and distinct edge. I'll upload an in game photo to demonstrate this
03:20 <@Snake_Man> ok
03:22 <@fox[1]> it's not the best photo, but the seams being on the edge should be distinct from the rest of the vest. this doesnt have normals so it's hard to tell, or at least very weak ones
03:22 <@fox[1]> let me see if i can find another
03:25 <@fox[1]> on the body armor seams (green) there is a sharp shadow, same for the breast pocket adjacent to it. You add contrast when you want the shading to stand out, seams are incredibly important as well as pockets. those are examples of where you use it
03:30 <@Snake_Man> ok
03:30 <@fox[1]> Can we continue on the weekend? I have to go pretty soon. We'll do some examples together so you can get some hands on idea of what i'm trying to say.
03:30 <@fox[1]> like texture something, maybe the m1 helmet?
03:30 <@Snake_Man> sure thing. I copy paste this discussion to safety and try to sum it up too.
03:31 <@fox[1]> I wonder, if we do the m1 helmet could we make the wiki tutorial using it? like step by step how we made it etc.
03:31 <@Snake_Man> sure, but if its all the same, how about one of the uglies BDU textures which was mis-matched clone brushed?
03:31 <@Snake_Man> wiki, absolutely.
03:32 <@fox[1]> i'm afraid you cant, you're better off getting the arma 1 normal maps and making your own textures, but that's for another day. we can do that as well if you want a replacement until i can work on some brand new units. I mean, they'll look great and much newer so it may be worth doing it
03:32 <@Snake_Man> ok

arma2/texturing/fox-09-texturing-tutorial.txt · Last modified: 2017-01-22 13:36 by snakeman