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Eidolon Aeon

Texturing a sculpty: texture repeats and blurriness

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I am attempting to texture a sculpty.  I cannot export the sculpty from SL to paint in a 3D program as it is alpha protected.

 

The raw texture, without painted highlights/shading, looks best with repeats set at 2.5.  

 

When I take the texture from SL and into PS, squish it the appropriate percentage, then add highlights/shading where they should be, it looks like pure crap.  I can't even tell what the material is supposed to be anymore, it's so blurry.

 

(Already checked: I'm squishing on the appropriate dimension to 40%.)

 

Is there any way around this?  I don't have this problem when not attempting to compensate for needed repeats.

 

Should this be in answers?

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I think your problem is related to the pixels proportions and resolution of the texture, I have had it when trying to texturize my own sculpties as well. In my gues, and I guess it's your case as well, you have a texture that's for instance 1024x1024, but then you want to place some detail or even the same texture in a fold of the sculpt that uses only 1/8 of the texture, then if you make the math, you'll have something like 128x128 pixels section to work with, and perhaps that texture was made with canvas that had that very same size. The result, the area becomes blurried, as much as you try to fix it and enlarge the textures to make it looks better, the worse the result.

Solution: change the texture you are working for one with less details, you could also try to work with the same texture but take in a larger texture than you'll finally want, for instance 4096x4096, and see if it looks better at the end, but I never succeeded at that either.

I'm not sure I was clear, I never tried explaining texturing in english hehe, but I hope it gives you a clue

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Care to post one of your textures, so we can see what's going on with it?

Ican think of two possible reasons for the problem you described, plus an aside reason, not directly related to texturing. I'll take them one at a time:

The first possibility would be if the texture were already maxed out on pixels (1024x1024), and you absolutely need every single one of those pixels in order to communicate the message of the imagery. This is VERY rarely the case, though. It's not often you need to go bigger than 512x512 for anything, sculpties included. 256x256 is usually plenty.

The answer in this case, obviously, would be just to use a less detailed texture, which would be better suited to survive the downsizing process. In most cases, this won't be a problem at all. The circumstances in which a texture unequivocally needs so much detail that it actually requires a 1024x1024 are so rare, I could probably count all the times I've ever encountered that situation on one hand.

Remember, success in creating good content for real-time 3D applications, especially for SL, is NOT about packing as much detail as possible into your textures. What it IS about is striking the right balance between visual quality and performance requirements, always.

Think about this. In RL, does one need to be able to see every grain of sand on a beach to know that it is in fact a beach? Must one examine every last stitch on a piece of fabric to realize that fabric is indeed what it is? No, obviously not. Well, it's really no different in the simulated world.  So, don't make the mistake of getting so caught up in trying to preserve every single detail that you never get to see the forest through the trees. Focus instead on getting the message across in the most practical way you can.

The second possibility would be if your texture were already a good small size, but then by reducing it to 40%, you end up making it so small that it's no longer well recognizable. 40% of 256, for example, is only 102 pixels, which is not a lot.

In this case, instead of donwsizing the existing texture, the answer is to upsize the canvas, and repeat the full-size texture across it. If you're starting with a 256x256, then upping the canvas size to 512x512 will give you four repeats at full magnification. If you want 2.5 repeats in each direction, then you only have to scale the source image down by 20% instead of 40%, which will likely look much better. And of course, if you were to take the canvas all the way up to 1024x1024, then you would have up to 16 repeats at full magnification to play with (but again, it's unlikely you'd need to do that).

The third possibility, which as I said, does not directly relate to texturing itself, is that your sculpty may be inefficiently designed. If that's the case, then you may be wasting a significant portion of your texture canvas.  A well modeled sculpty, created with texture efficiency in mind, will have as much polygonal area as possible exposed, with very few, if any, polygons locked away into crevices, corners, or hidden areas.

Remember, you've got 32x32 quads to work with on every (non-oblong) sculpty. Make them count.  You want as many of those as are exposed as possible, always.  Granted, that's not always easy when you consider the tricks we have to pull in order to "LOD-proof" a sculpty.  But still, considerable attention should always be given toward making every sculpty as geometrically efficient, and as a direct result, as texture-effiecint, as possible.

For example, say you're making a couch cushion. The inefficient way to do that would be to make it from a sphere or a cylinder, in which case it's likley that half the polygons, or more, would end up facing the interior of the couch, instead of facing outward where they can be seen. In that case, you'd be wasting at least half your texture resolution, right along with those hidden polygons.

The efficient way to make the cushion would be to use a plane, so that no part of the sculpty needs to be hidden. Remember, unlike in RL, the cushion in SL doesn't need an underside, or a back side. It just needs a top side, a front side, and maybe a left and/or right side. That's it. By not including the hidden parts in the sculpty geometry, you effectively double the texture resolution on the parts that are visible, with the same size texture. Make sense?

And and even more effiecient way to go might be to make three adjacent cushions from a single oblong plane, instead of one individual cushion from a single non-oblong.  Keep your mind focused on optimization as you work, and these possiblities will constantly reveal themselves.

 

All of this is speaking very generally, of course. We can't really tell what's going on with the specific textures you're working with, unless we can see them. Post some images, and we can talk a little more intelligently. :)

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Heh, thanks Void, for the beating. :)

I did in fact use paragraphs, as always.  But for some reason, the forum didn't preserve them the first time I posted.  So, I had to go through and re-break the paragraphs on edit, and then it worked.  Gotta love new software, huh?  Hopefully whatever happened was just a one-time glitch.  If it keeps happening, that's gonna get really annoying really fast.

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Thanks Chosen!
I don't know if this fixes Eidolon problem, but certainly will make me think twice when I make sculpties and texturize them!

 I noticed that I tend to make 1024x1024 textures for them, from sometimes even bigger textures just to keep with the details, and only recently, after spending a long wondering why, I realized it had alot to do with the poligons I was loosing in hidden areas.

I was wondering if I was the only person having to deal with this issues until now or if it was helpless.

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The texture I am using is a crushed velvet 512 x 512.  I definitely get your point, Chosen, about not always needing to see perfect detail, but in this case, I was losing even the suggestion of what it was.

I woke up this morning realizing I'd need to stretch the highlighting/shading over a vertically doubled texture (looks almost as good at 2/1 as at 2.5/1) rather than squishing the texture down, exactly as you mentioned.  It worked beautifully.  I rarely go above 512 with any of my texturing (except to combine smaller textures into one conglomerate), but in this case, 512 x 1024 was the thing that worked.

Many thanks for the extra tips and suggestions.

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The verts on the sculpt always have to be somewhere, so if you use PS or something like that to push the color data around on an enlarged version of the sculpt image, you can actually tend to retain the shape while concentraing more verts in the contour regions that need more shape resolution. This works better if you start with a sculpt that is 128, though, as it has more resolution that what will rez, and you can take some advantage of that when you squish the image.

For example, if you want more resolution on the upper half of a sphere that is resolved to 128, you can stretch the upper half of the sculpt map and either shrink the lower part or just leave it as-is. Because the color data corresponding to the upper half of the sphere takes up more of the map, it will also take up more verts (resolution domains). You still get a sphere, but the resolution equator has moved north. Another effect of this, though, is that the surface image also bunches northward. You can compensate for that by applying the reverse stretch formula to the surface image if you like.

Stretchiness is not a totally soluble problem, though. It's a major reason why I sculpt textures instead of texturing sculpts, and a major reason why I make textures specifically to be sculpted out.

With something like velvet, specifically, I can very strongly suggest first getting the surface image correct for the total object (at 1024 as the case may be) and sculpting the object out from there by using the RGB data. If you need help figuring out how to do that, ask me. I have no secrets, and I'm pretty good at this, I think.

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Thanks again for the info.  In the case of this sculpty, it was created by somebody else and is protected by an alpha, so I can't edit it directly.  However, I'll be working with my own sculpties soon enough, and this is all going to be really helpful.

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Eidolon Aeon wrote:

The texture I am using is a crushed velvet 512 x 512.  I definitely get your point, Chosen, about not always needing to see perfect detail, but in this case, I was losing even the suggestion of what it was.

I woke up this morning realizing I'd need to stretch the highlighting/shading over a vertically doubled texture (looks almost as good at 2/1 as at 2.5/1) rather than squishing the texture down, exactly as you mentioned.  It worked beautifully.  I rarely go above 512 with any of my texturing (except to combine smaller textures into one conglomerate), but in this case, 512 x 1024 was the thing that worked.

Many thanks for the extra tips and suggestions.

I'm glad you got it to work out, Eidolon. 

 

Since you mentioned crushed velvet, here's an easy way to simulate it in Photoshop, in about 10 seconds:

1.  Create a new image, RGB any size you want (preferably a power of two).

2.  Set your foreground and background colors to two different shades of the same basic color (light red and dark red, or light blue and dark blue, or light gray and dark gray, etc.).

3.  Filter -> Render -> Clouds

4.  Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise.  If your image is fairly large (512x512 or so), then set the amount to a low number, like  5% or so.  If it's a smaller image, increase the amount a bit.  In any case, set the distribution to uniform, and check the box for monochromatic

5.  Fiter -> Artistic -> Sponge.  Set the brush size to zero, the definition to 1, and the smoothness to 1.

6.  Duplicate the layer, and click Filter -> Stylize -> Glowing Edges.  Set the edge width to a low number, like 2, the edge brightness to a high number, like 18, and the smoothness to a mid-low number, like 4.

7.  Make sure the layer you just applied to glowing edges to is above the other one in the layer stack.  Then set the upper layer's blending mode to Overlay.  This will serve to greatly increase the contrast of the layer below, providing the kinds of highlights that crushed velvet so often has.  If you feel the effect is too strong, lower the opacity of the overlay layer.

 

There you go, a passable crushed velvet base texture in mere seconds.  It won't be super realistic just yet of course.  That's where your shading comes in.  This is just a base for the diffuse coloring.

If the base doesn't look quite how you want it, try again, but play around with settings on the filters.  You may also want to adjust the levels, to increase or decrease the contrast, and/or adjust the hue/saturation to alter the coloring.

Alternatively, you can always just photograph or scan a real piece of crushed velvet, of course.

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Make a texture, 1000 square (for ease of calculations) and divide this into 100 small squares, 10 by 10 like a checkerboard. You can then subdivide these squares into even smaller ones.Number the squares and give them different background colours per row.

Apply the texture to the sculpty - one on one, i.e. without repeats. Make snapshots from every angle so you know where the texture stretches or wobbles. Now go back to your image editor and create what you need to see on the sculpty, on a layer on top of the squares texture. That gives you the best control.

Here's one example picture in my Flickr stream. You can tell that I need to make my airplane windows around squares 65 and 66. (My squares texture is not as good as it could be, mind you)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/56864191@N05/5312275050/

 

HTH,

Tish C.

 

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I somehow find that in 99% of cases, projected painting is best approach for texturing sculpts. Well at least for me. So in short my workflow would be somehting like:

1. Make sculpt (either in Sculpt sudio inworld, or with Sculpt composer in Max) and export it as OBJ file. UW map is already applied and preserved so no worries about that (after all its just cylinder anyway) Depending on your sculpt, texture size should match ratio. E.g. if sculpt map is 32x32 then native texture is 1:1 ratio, if its 16x64 then its 1:2 and so on. Nothing actually stops you to save texture for oblong sculpt as 1:1, except it might look squished due to ratio of sculpt.

2. Import OBJ file in either Mudbox or Bodypaint. I end up using them alot, but there are quite few alternatives such as 3d Coat, Blacksmith 3d and so on. Bodypaint and similar software have option to freeze 3d view and then export that portion as PSD layers, modify them in Photoshop and apply them back on model. Even Photoshop Exptended have option to paint directly on OBJ files, but in my experience its worst than any other solution.

3. When sattisfied with result save as flattened TGA (no alpha) and apply on sculpt as 1 on 1, no repeats.

Of course, Gimp, Blender and other free and paid software are more than welcomed, but since I have access to above mentioned I used to them... Hope any of this helps you :)

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Wow, Chosen.  Once again, thank you.

Thanks also to the other responders (though I will say that I'm not interested in circumventing protections/perms the sculptor has in place).

Wakizashi, I'll definitely check out the software you mentioned.

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