The Art of Looking at the Object for Texturing

20 Oct

1. Exersice your artistic eye

  • take an art class
  • look around and take note of your surroundings
  • photograph
  • create a texture library
  • study existing materials

Example: The project requires a glass texture to sit in a dimly lit factory

  • take a photo of a suitable glass window as an reference and study it to understand the basic ingredients of it
  • reproduce the glass surface yourself digitally in your favorite paint package as a color layer, a scratched-up layer, a stained layer, a transparency layer, and a reflectivity layer.
  • add the texture map of the factory environment to fuse the surface with the scene perfectly.

Benefits:

  • You have the flexibility to modify any of the layers, if changes are needed
  • The texture is reusable
  • You exercise your artistic eye while becoming more adept at creating texture and building your confidence.
  • No need for photographic reference each time you need a texture
  • Keeps with the budget

2. Define Materials and Textures

IDENTIFY THE OBJECT: WHAT ARE YOU?

  • Sometimes just identifying the object itself will give you enough information to make a convincing surface of your scene.

IDENTIFY THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE: WHAT IS YOUR ESSENCE?

  • As soon as you identify an object, it takes on a flavor, a quality. You may often look at the object and notice it’s color first, and think it is the most important feature it has, but the more you look, the more different things will jump at you and stand out. Whether it be the rustiness of an object or a new shiny paint surface reflecting the sun.

IDENTIFY THE MATERIAL: WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF?

  • Before you can peel away the different skins of the surface, you need to identify the material you are peeling them of. If you know the base material, the adjectives that describe it come more easily.

WHAT DO YOU SOUND LIKE?

WHAT DO YOU SMELL LIKE?

IDENTIFY THE LIGHT SOURCE: HOW CAN I SEE YOU?

  • The only reason why you see any surface at all is because of the light that is hitting it and reflecting back into your eyes.
  • What kind of light source is? Natural light or indoor light. Warm yellowish light or cool bluish light. Light pulb, sunlight, time of day, type of day.

IDENTIFY THE LOCATION: WHERE ARE YOU?

  • Is the item inside or outside?

IDENTIFY THE APPEARANCE: WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE?

  • What is the color texture? (There is colour in everything!)

IS THE OBJECT TRANSPARENT?

  • Materials, such as glass, are transparent because light passes through them, without scattering.
  • Anything that blocks the lights passage inhibits transparency. (Scratches, paint, dirt, and grease)
  • Not all transparent surfaces are 100% see through.
  • Some transparent materials have refractive qualities.

IS THE OBJECT LUMINOUS?

  • There are four sources of luminosity associated with surfaces, which are emitting light: with heat, without heat, from an outside source, from the object itself.
  • An object can have one or two of these characteristics, and can be identified as beeing translucent, iridescent, opalescent, luminescent, fluorescent, incandescent.

IDENTIFY TACTILE QUALITY: WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE?

  • temperature
  • bumpiness
  • roughness
  • smoothness

IDENTIFY THE HISTORY: WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

  • Hardly any surface is at its virgin state. The history of the object ads to the mood and atmosphere of the material.
  • Everyday influences (dust, tarnish, scraches, nics and ticks, dents, wax, varnish, solvents, moisture, oils…)
  • Human intervention (How many times has the object been painted? Written on? Have the stairs been worn out from continual use? Has the paint been worn off? Cicarette burns on wooden floors. Chewing gum on the street.)
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