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Thread: Theory Discussion: "Painting Textures"

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    Theory Discussion: "Painting Textures"

    Welcome to the second Round Table™. In this edition/thread we will be covering Painting Textures.

    I think it would be best to keep away from to much stylization talk and stick more with photorealistic painting, then.. say illustration.

    To start the thread off.. since most users on this forum are using digital paint programs for their mediums; I suggest talking a bit about painting digital textures, the hows, whys, whats and the what went wrongs. From papers(painter7_), to custom brushes and filters(photoshop).

    Would a brave soul like to start off this discussion, maybe even ask a few questions of your own you'd like to be dicussed?


    ADD - I know that some people will want to chime in to express their gratitude, but in the interest of keeping these discussion threads as concise and efficient and on-topic as possible please express your thanks by clicking the thank button of whoever you want to show gratitude towards. If you have questions or comments that would help further the discussion then please, post them up! - Sepulverture -
    Last edited by Sepulverture; November 25th, 2009 at 02:06 AM. Reason: Cleaup and reorganization
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    are you talking about painting texture maps? or painting textured surfaces in your images?

    texture is broken down into the below properties...every 3d person is aware of this stuff so sorry if its redundant.

    bump...bump is how the surface would feel if you ran your fingers over it. what would the charcole rubbing of that surface look like....suggesting bump can immediately improve your images...whether it be the bump of the paint surface or the bump of the actual surface in the image that is being painted. digital art has no surface...but you can suggest it.


    specularity....how much the light is absorbed by the surface or is reflected off it....metal..shiny metal has very high specularity...while rough plastic has very little...gold has more specularity than granite usually....that kind of thing. suggesting different surface specularities can improve the quality of your image making skills.

    color...surfaces have a range of local colors...it is important to keep this in mind when doing full color work...often times suggesting a little more color than is actually there can help increase the feeling of light on the textured surface.


    there are other things...im sure...but here are a few to think about.



    j
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    I think one important thing is to not let the 'noise' of the texture be stronger than the values of the shape the texture is on. It looks odd if you have dark spots on a surface that is brightly lit, or bright spots on a surface that is shadowed.
    I know it tempting to render texture and small details with a full value range but it's more effective to just tease the viewer with hints of texture/detailing. A texture isn't effective if it gets in your face with extreme values.

    I have trouble rendering texture with Photoshop 5.5 even though I made a few custom brushes by scanning ink blobs.

    One thing I've noticed when painting with acrylics is that it is easier to do gradiations if I have a base texture to paint on. I usually use a toothbrush (I flick it with my nail) and some black paint to make a splatter texture on top of a brown wash. Then I use highlight colors thinned out with water to build up the gradiations from there. The noise of the texture helps to hide the edges of my strokes. Sometimes when I get too eager with highlighting my reds with pink I 'toothbrush splat' some dark red color onto the surface to flatten it.

    I do a similar thing when I paint in Photoshop, except I use a scanned 'toothbrush splat'.

    As for drawing textures as in pebbles, hair etc it's only a matter of being patient and/or finding a good brush that mimics the texture.
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.
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    this round table didn't do as good as the other one but maybe it will improve when the public gets to it!
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    Textures, like most things in art, come down to observation, and being able to discern the key elements that got into a given subject. A man looks at an old tree and sees bark, moss, leaves. An artist looks at the bark and seperates it into values, shapes, and having taking those away sees what patterns emerge. Because that's what texture is-a pattern characteristic of a certain object. Really looking at objects, and thinking about them, what components have combined to give that object that look-including light sources. Once you understand it for that instance, you can recreate that. Craig Mullins told me in a critique that you should look at simple objects and figure out exactly why they look like they do, and build a visual memory bank that you can draw on later in life. Its one reason people can leave art for years and come back better than ever-they probably sat back and OBSERVED more often in the time off.
    -Anthony
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    I'm no authority on the subject but can contribute what is, I beleive, some interesting info.

    I think Photoshop 7s' brush engine is a tremendous tool for artists that have to produce textures -either for a 3D model of a painting. I had to mimic some frost curves and formations and wondered how to do that. The problem was solved by creating a brush from scratch and tweaking the settings in Ps7 and it worked like a charm ! Really if you take time to understand the brush engine and make your own brushes your work will enter a new dimention.
    Of course it doesn't take ultra complicated and CPU hogging brushes to make interesting texture (look at Mullin's work he's an appostole of Ps5 or something), but it is quite interesting to play with those if you don't have time to paint for hours.

    A book I'm reading at the moment and that's interesting (despite a hefty load of vulgarisation) is Digital Texturing & Painting .

    Another thing is what DVgarage's observations. The narrator really focuses on picking up important details that clues you in.

    Voilà.. In the hope I wasn't too off topic..
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    Well, I dont have any Painter tips yet but when I start a painting traditionally I use sand mixed in with gesso or even the textured sand paint you can buy from the shops and use that as a base to which I then add acrylics. The texturing it provides allows me to easily add detail to areas by dry brushing highlights over it. It also means I cant achieve very tight fine details but that makes it all the more challenging. So I have an unusual method or style but it makes painting generalised textured surfaces a breeze cos I guess thats what your really doing...a cheat I guess...
    Live like you are going to die tomorrow. Learn like you are going to live forever. GANDHI
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    Envir maps, tech approach.

    well.. i'm mostly used with the texture maps and espec for the ones used in 3d envir.
    Basically a lot of technical factors come into consideration when doing this kind of things - since it has to tile and you shouldn't spot the repetition of it (so you have to make a great deal of details but nothing to make it stand out from the crowd) and if you're working with dynamic lights then you can not too bumpy details in the drawing (as long as you don't know where the light is going to be) and so on and so forth. (bump textures aren't always the way )
    There are a lot of techniques and current techonlogy allows quite a lot of things to happen.
    Among the most popular:

    1 - (Quake series, Doom3 etc) - Small color textures that are streched to the whole area and a B&W detail texture for close up.
    Bobo and the Alice gang can help more about this - they did a superb job. Well guys? Any examples?
    - pros - small size textures will allow you to use a big deal of them = variety.
    - cons - you can't get too realistic with it, not so much detail.
    - how - the color texture arent much different from a normal painting - just generall details. The "detail textures" - are a bit tricky - there are some tutorials around - yet - a lot of experimentation helps.


    2 - (UT2003, probably HL2, etc) you can use huge textures (1024)
    Jason - you know the HL2 tech better so you might say somthing about it.

    - pros - it covers a big area and has a lot of details. There is probably no need for another "detail texture" on top of it to blend when you get close to it.
    - cons - well.. it's big and you cand use too many of those since it will decrease performance.
    - How - i think these are best for realistic surfaces - and you should most probably start from a photo since there is no way you can paint such deal of details better then nature did. If you have to go for a "out of the earth" surface - i think using more smaller painted textures is a better approach - (a texture for color and one "detail texture" at least for each surface - if you are allowed you may also use a bump texture, a specular texture, displacement and if you are over wild "sparth" effects you can start using all kind of textures into a shader).

    Uh.. i hope i wasn't too off-topic. Generally - one of the things to keep in mind is that you should paint the textures like they are all lighten since the shadows/lightmaps will come over them. A good trick is to load them all in photoshop in the end and tune them until they all seem fom the same movie
    Bla bla bla - you already knew it.

    Oblio
    Last edited by Oblio; May 22nd, 2003 at 06:23 AM.
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    RE: Textures for CGI work

    one crit I got from Loki, if we are talking about photoreal textures, is to use alot of photo elements.

    I think matte painters do this as well for maximum photoreal.

    This can also apply to paintings textures, or at least bring in some photo elements to paint on and get started with your texture.
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    egerie

    your avatar dances like a white dude.
    for good pen and ink textures look at art adams.
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    Im just a noob here, but wanted to say some things I snapped up. Many engines best likes textures that fill the memory completly - example 64x64px or 128x64px and so on.

    Also as already mentioned, the texture should be "average keyed", without highlights or shadows, as thats supposed to be made in-game.

    A digital camera is really great for capturing textures. I suppose theres not even a need for it to be expensive, as were probably not talking no more than 1024px wide images here anyway.
    A good tip here is to photograph the stuff straight on, so U dont need to do a lot of stretching and straightening later.

    Also, tiling (repeating) textures is interessting, but a painful job.

    Question -is it always best to work the texture in the final size, or is it some way to work larger (if one wants to use it for print too)?

    I cant wait till I hear some tips of UW mapping the textures (I have no clue about that)
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    Seems like there's a bunch of 3D guys who go into "game mode" or something when they hear the word "textures". Well, I'm also a 3D guy but I have something to say about textures as related to traditional art.

    I agree with Anthony and what he said Craig Mullins told him. While it is important to pay attention to detail, one must also be able to generalize and understand the subject. Creating good texture in a painting is NOT painting each granule of sand or each strand of hair, but rather in the areas of value and shape of the subject. Brush type also plays a part in creating a realistic surface. For some great examples in Painter, check out Don Seegmiller's work at his website

    Anyways, that's my 2 cents for struggling artists out there. (which includes me!)
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