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Author Topic: Velen Zaiga's guide to texturing with Photoshop.  (Read 716 times)
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    « on: June 29, 2010, 12:42:59 PM »


    Though I think calling it a guide would be assuming. More of a guide full of tips rather than actually how to do it (as I have no screenshots and no access to Photobucket for them thanks to AT&T, and I doubt i would fair much better with imageshack in the long run) So here we go!

    EDIT: Sorry, accidentally pressed post instead of preview, finishing the post up now! (>^__^;)>

    Contents

    • Prologue
    • Tip#1 - Layers
    • Tip#1.5 - Layer Styles
    • Tip#2 - Details
    • Tip#3 - Detail Size
    • Tip#4 - Simplicity or Complexity?
    • Tip#5 - Indexing
    • Tip#6 - Saving
    • Epilogue

    Prologue

    With Photoshop, a large variety of effects and visuals can be created on textured, the amounts of which are limited only by the model's file size limit, and the limitations of your imagination. You will find that Photoshop is a perfect tool for detail-based textures, such as ones that use denim, leather, cloth, and various other kinds of textures. The textures can come out looking good or bad to your eye depending on what you are aiming for. If it does not fit your standards, rework the texture till you have it the way you want.

    However, before you start changing textures and such, you need to know a critically important thing in Photoshop...

    Layers

    Layers are a inextricable part of using Photoshop. Layers, as their name implies, allows you to layer parts of a texture you're editing on top of each other. For example. Say you have one layer where you have a large red dot, on the layer above it, if you paint a smaller dot of any color other than red, it will show up on top, blocking out the color below it. It is in this way that Photoshop is such a great tool. Layers allow you keep parts of a texture you want to be separate to stay that way...at least until you merge them all together. This way the details and effects you use won't interfere with each other as you work (Not counting Layer Styles, which I will discuss next).

    Layer Styles

    Layer Styles are special effects you can add to a layer to create many different effects on a single layer. By combining these, you can create amazing details that would be cumbersome to do otherwise. I won't go into details on the options, as it is best you learn it for yourself, but i will give an example as for what you can use it for. The Layer Style effects are:

    Drop Shadow - Makes a shadow underneath whatever is on the layer, make a good 3-D effects for layering clothes.

    Outer Glow - Makes a ring of color around the edge of whatever is on the layer. Won't be used too often, can be used for beautiful jewels.

    Inner Shadow - Makes a shadow inside of whatever is on the layer. Similar to Drop Shadow, good for making jewels and possibly ice effects.

    Inner Glow - Like Inner Shadow, makes a ring of color inside whatever is on the layer. Also good for jewels, ice effects, and many other useful 3-D tricks.

    Bevel and Emboss: makes a 3-D shading effects on whatever is on the layer, can be used to make pieces stick out or making metallic effects.

    Satin: Creates reflects in an imaginary environment, primarily used for metallic layer styles.

    Color Overlay: Puts a color over whatever is on the layer. Can be used to add twinges of color to metallic textures and other objects.

    Gradient Overlay: As the name implies: Puts a gradient of white to black over whatever is on the layer. Can be used for making various shading type effects.

    Pattern Overlay: Puts patterns from the Patterns Palette over whatever is on the layer. This is useful for when you have a lot of custom patterns to use, and can create various material effects.

    Stroke: Draws a line around whatever is on the layer. I have no idea what this could be used for.

    By using the above, great effects can be created for various things like metal, leather, felt, denim, cloth, linen, and more. The sky is the limit with this. Now for the most important part of textures.

    Details

    Details make the texture what it is. They can be complex or simple depending on what you're aiming for. Details define the texture. So how you go about making and using these details is up to you entirely. However, you should always add basic details to things such as metal, cloth, wood, etc. As it doesn't look really good if they don't have some kind of defining details going for them. For example: metals should be shiny, while rubber and plastics should be duller and darker. The basic details should ways be present if you can help it.

     A texture without details can end up being uninteresting and boring, but so can a texture with too many details on it. Find the balance between the two.

    Now, sometimes the model will not allow for large texture edits, which is when you have to consider this...

    Detail Sizes

    Texture stretching happens when a small texture piece is taken and put on a larger surface. This causes the texture to stretch, and the quality to degrade enormously. So to combat this, you should make the details just as small as you can. Lloyd Irving's boot textures (which is on his body texture), are very small pieces, and are wrapped around a larger piece, as such, the quality tends to degrade a lot. To combat this to a degree, limit the size of your details to being as small as you can manage. Sometimes however the way the texture is stretched makes editing on some parts of the model impossible, such as Ichigo Kurosaki's model.

    When I edited the textures to make Ichigo look like he belonged in Brawl anesthetically, there were some areas I found that I could not edit, so those parts specifically were left untouched for that reason. Sometimes that is just how things work out, and it is nothing to fuss over. Next up however comes a harder question.

    Simplicity or Complexity?

    This is a big question when doing textures: do you want to make it really complex and challenge yourself, or make it simple and stick with what you know?

    There is no definitive answer to this, as only you can decide that for yourself. Sometimes trying new things in Photoshop can end up with complex effects and details that will awe people, but too many of these is bland and boring, because it gets dull after a while. Sometimes a simple texture can be a breath of proverbial fresh air for some people. It is all in the eyes of you and the beholder what you think is best: Simplicity, Complexity, or maybe trying both at once. The more artful you are with this, the more amazing your textures can become.

    Next is a possibly crucial step, but that is for you to decide yourself.

    Indexing

    What indexing means is that you are taking the colors and reducing the amount to an absolute value (or number) of colors. This does not always mean your texture will come out looking hideous by default, but doing this will help reduce the size of the textures, making them easier to work with in BrawlBox.

    The default number of colors to use is 256 colors. This will allow you to keep the optimum amount of detail possible with that amount of colors, but there will still be some minor degradation depending on what you have done with your texture. So use indexing wisely, and only if you think it is necessary.

    Coming down the 7th inning stretch now, the most important thing in using Photoshop for texturing of all the above...

    Saving

    Do this often. As it will keep you from losing your work by anything short of a total hard drive failure or viral corruption.

    Also, save two separate files if you're going to test your initial edits in Photoshop. One .psd with all layers intact and un-merged, and one .png to test in BrawlBox. This way you can see how your initial work looks on the model before you test it int he game, like a preview. The separate .psd allows you to continue editing the texture without having to mess anything up really bad.

    And now....

    Epilogue

    Happy hacking to you all 
    « Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 01:35:10 PM by Velen Zaiga » Logged


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