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Chaser Zaks

[TUTORIAL] Texturing your meshes without having "black lines" or seams

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Posted (edited)

I've noticed quite a few meshes in-world often have black lines on their textures, either on the edge of the mesh's UV seams, during download, or when viewed from a lower LOD, like so:

image.png.8505399162812a89a902f6c477babd5c.png

Poor Suzanne is falling apart at the seams! But did you know these can be hidden/obscured?

It is actually a quite easy process and there are two ways to do so, however, both methods rely that you space your UVs islands out by at least a few pixels(8 is usually enough space between each island). This means not packing your UVs so tightly that they touch:

image.png.4b26381d05d53f5db16617c9fc3053af.png

 

The first method takes place inside the texture painter tools. When texture painting, you have a option called "Texture bleed". In blender, this is found in the Options tab when using the Texture Paint tool:

image.png.e6a2373dd0a41fdd28154d42867785bc.png

This will paint outside the UV just a little bit(In the specific image above, by 8 pixels. My preferred setting is about 4 with fine tuning of it later). As for the rest, just paint as you normally would!

 

The second option is to post process your texture. Preferably, paint on a transparent texture, this makes this process a whole lot easier.

This in specific is for GIMP, but there are similar tools for photoshop. I think photoshop might even have it built in? I could be wrong, I haven't used it in forever, but the plugin I use is this: http://polycount.com/discussion/114616/uvpadder-filter-for-gimp-2-6

Should your texture currently look like this:

image.png.79dc6090974fbb21418d8ebea2c79468.png

You will need to erase the black unused areas of your texture(You can also choose to delete by colour, but be careful with this, it may have undesired effects!). When done correctly, you should end up with this:

image.png.df6d2ad0586eee1b346b38eab57eab7a.png

So what about that plugin? We get to use it now! Select your entire canvas and go to "Filters > Texturing > UV Padder", this will make your image look like this:

image.png.2aaa315a3ab20559bcacf9d3eafd4af3.png

You may ask why this is good, it just filled the image with random colours! When it did this, it only replaced transparent, unused portions of the image. It didn't touch pixels that are fully visible.

Lets take a look at Suzanne now that we followed one of the two steps above:

image.png.a6810209d593eae6f36c804e19d86c70.png

 

Suzanne is once again in once piece!

I hope someone will find this guide useful.

Should someone wish to look at the files, I've uploaded them here: https://cdn.softhyena.com/felix/Suzanne_Texturing_Tutorial.7z

Although the files provided come in 1024x1024, for this demonstration, I scaled them down to 256x256 to illustrate the effects easier.

Edited by Chaser Zaks
Clarification about included files
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Thank you Chaser, great tutorial. For those of us who are photoshop users, one option is to use the solidify plugins from Flaming Pear. Robin (sojourner) Wood wrote an excellent tutorial on these many years ago now, in her case she was using it to eliminate borders from alpha channels but it does a brilliant job of padding UVs too.

http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/SL-Tuts/SLPages/WhiteHalo2.html

By implication, The gimp plugin that @Chaser Zaks used above, should be able to fix those pesky alphas for you gimpers.

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