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Texturing A 3D Model


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There actually are several approaches to this. As you mentioned, flattening the UV map is one way. But as of Photoshop CS4 you can also import your 3d model into photoshop and paint directly on it. Other software such as Zbrush and 3dCoat allow you to model and paint all within the program itself. Even Blender has a rudimentary in app painting system. Personally, most times I will apply a base texture or shader then bake it out for further editing in Photoshop. Some applications like Modo and Cinema4d have texture layering similar to Photoshop and is more intuitive to pick up.

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My own texturing methods vary, depending on the project I am working on. I often jump between 2D texturing in Photoshop and 3D texturing ONTO the model in a 3D program (3DCoat or Blacksmith-3D).

At other times if I am working on repeated textures/tiling for simplistic mesh module pieces (usually for architecture components with easy-to-visualise flattened geometry pieces), I will create the 2D textures FIRST, and THEN UV-map to fit the textures - making efficient usage of tightly packed textures designed for efficiency and multiple repeats etc.

If you decide to paint directly onto a 3D model, I strongly recommend you create hand-crafted UV-maps first, instead of relying on auto-generated UVs. Most likely your handmade UVs will be much more efficient in regards to data cost than the automated UVs, although keep in mind that IF your UVs have texture stretching, this will be automatically shown when you paint your mesh in a 3D painter (the smeared-stretched-distorted texture syndrome!). 3D painting is definitely a godsend for painting ACROSS UV-seams and camouflaging them, so definitely handy, even if you prefer to do the majority of your painting in 2D.

:matte-motes-smile:

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