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When should one learn to texture? -- A humous look at learning

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How hard can it be, texturing as the real texture artists do? Of course you would need to understand what it is to texture a model, then try to understand just how they get those depths and shine levels, shapes and design. In fact some of the models which we scramble for madly come or spring forth and reach grand heights due to the textures.

Again how hard can it be, I ask? In the theory of things Poser, I suppose one should learn to texture before learning to model. If one does this than, you will gain all the lovelies like understanding the texture room, and being able to actually have some type of color on your model other than gray, or that wonders of wonders default color which is applied once you actually import and save your grand model into a folder of its own. Now I'm sure this is suppose to be random, but my copy must have a leprechaun living in it. The only color which can give me the shivers is pink, and guess what color it picks for my imported models? All of this is really suppose to be the fun part, learning to use the software, but I ask you... What fun is that?! Software which seems to be bent on sending me to the ceiling with pink? Yes, yes, I know I can change it, and do and really any solid color becomes very boring before you can finish the item proper. If you have actual color maps ready to put in when you are ready, then the change can be a refreshing as rain after a long drought. Modeling was going on quite well, and still I flounder along when it comes to actually creating something texture-wise which can be called excellent. Thankfully I do have a texture person handy.

....but I would like doing this myself!

With this in mind, I have over the course of time learned to handle Corel Photo Paint enough to do, layers, mock shadow, real shadows, lighting a bevel and even managed to piecemeal a wood photo into a map and come out with a decent board with all the wood vains seamless! Still there was more to learn, I had yet to try my hand at actually painting on a texture to the model.

Grabbing my copy of Blacksmith 3D and upgrading it so it could handle the computer's software. I was ready and hyped to get started. UVing done, and a base texture had been applied to the maps by Corel, all I need to do is remove the seams. Figured this would be easy to do for my first trip through the software. Launching and heading for the information area I was confronted with a first obstacle. The tutorials were all video driven, and my computer wasn't set up for sound. No problem, I could just watch what was being pointed at and more than likely figure out what they were saying, about when to use it.

::: Laughing ::: Yea, right! Bouncing around everywhere in the software, I found where to import the model. Found how to save a project, even noticed the 'quick save' for, I'm guessing saving the maps back out but not how to get maps applied when you have them to start with. Thankfully my Texture person stepped into the room and, after having me hunt in a number of menus, we found the spot. They hid it under a right click on the texture tab field box. Well, I do have to admit that was handy, but a bear of a deal if you are not aware it is there and more than likely was covered in the tutorials in the speech part. Had I actually been able to hear the video.

Loaded my pre-made textures, clicked on the models tab, materials to quickly set the texture maps to each part. The software itself is set up to give you all the help you should need to be able to use it. All your mouse movements will produce little helpful reminders of the tool you are either using, or mousing over. I clearly only had to remember just where I saw the helpful little tip before to get on my way. It also has one other little helpful (or in my case) tormenting little feature. It reminds you when you need to save your project, before continuing along and it does it in RED letters. So this greeted me while I searched for the correct items to start patching those seams, "Seriously, it has been 65minutes since you last saved your work." I wanted to yell back at it, "Seriously, how far do you think a new to your software, person who couldn't hear what the video tutorials said, can get in just one hour?" opted rather to just laugh at it, and hit 'crtl S' and moved on.

Found clone right off and played a bit with one of the maps in order to get a handle on it. I had never really worked much with a clone tool, Corel hasn't had one very long and getting to it or using it is often times more a hassle then a help. So playing with one which you could just click and use? - Wonderful! Took a couple of strokes to figure out cloning was something you didn't do as a stroke, but more of a dab. After a while went looking for the brush size. While doing so, I changed the resolution of the brush, or thought I did and ..... crash. Oops, perhaps asking for 600 was a bit high. Now if you know the software, you more than likely know this was a bit high, but remember, this was my first time with the software. I did save the project so if this works the way I thought it did, it should be okay, right? Launched it, loaded the project.... changed the resolution to 120 this time and ..... crash. Okay, so changing the resolution was a bad idea, launched the software, loaded the project and..... crash. Ewwwww, I must of corrupted the file!

'Tis okay, that was just a practice anyway.

Launched the software, loaded my object file and only the bump file into the "color" fields. Found the brush resize (didn't touch the resolution) saved as a new project and began working on the seams for the bump map. Finished it out, saved the project and the map, then loaded the mouth and tongue maps. Found where I can hide some parts of selected areas, when life stepped in. Saved the project and intended on coming back to it later.

Six hours later, and pretty much exhausted from the outing, I sat down in front of the computer and fell asleep in the chair only to wake bright and early in the morning. Awh man! I really thought I was done with those chair naps! Loaded the textures into Poser to check them out, and found major areas where more work was needed, back to Blacksmith for more work. Began touching up the bump map again loaded as a color map...and decided I just had to find smudge. Bingo, there it was. While the icon looked like it should have been a smudge, to get a smudge you had to change the properties drop down. Very, very cool I thought, then went on my way fixing the bump map. Saved out the project, and the maps, went back to poser for a fast test on the skin texture. Went to load the bump file and noticed the file size of the map. Zero! Some how, or some way while I was saving the bump map it corrupted and became unreadable.

Major sigh this time. It was dinner hour, and of course a small break to shake this off would do me a world of good, and it did. I no longer wished I could curse in some obscure language so it had the least amount of impact on anyone who might have been in earshot. Back at the computer after dinner armed with my new found smudge, brush size adjustments, and.... new drivers for the pen tablet I launched, named a new project, imported the obj, a fresh copy of the base bump map and had at it. All of the work I had done earlier was much easier with the pen tablet rather than the mouse. Success was gained 6 hours later including all the little fancy things which gets added to the maps I produce.

The next morning I woke refreshed and ready to take on the world. Funny how a small success can really help how you feel. Now today I really should have been working on the poses and face morphs, but instead I played catch up on things here and in the real world but I sure can't wait to have at another texture and maybe one where it is completely painted within this software.

So the answer to my questions are:

1. You can learn at any point and it doesn't matter how long it takes you -- if proper backups are in place.
2. It will be harder if you can not hear the video tutorials.
3. Always work from a copy of your files, never the originals, and remember no matter how often you save, something can still go wrong.
4. Pen Tablets are the best way to go.

And because there is always something I find silly or comical and given the wording of the 'save file message'

Seriously!, don't you think reminding me to save every 5 minutes is a bit of an over kill?
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Musings , Artistic Endeavors

Comments

  1. Redspark -
    Redspark's Avatar
    I love Blacksmith but I suck at texturing. I have such a hard time with it. But I do love Blacksmith's layering feature. Very useful but it sucks up a lot of disk space. I have a tablet kicking around here somewheres. I should really learn to use it.
  2. Admin-Aine -
    Admin-Aine's Avatar
    Didn't get to use layering this time around, but will do so when something presents itself and is in need of a texture. Once this was textured, I could jump back into my comfort zone of face morphs. I had tons of fun with the adventure into the texture world and into this software. (hope everyone reading this understands I like to take lighthearted looks at things)

    The use of a tablet makes this work faster. Of course we know, faster isn't always better, and you can make a mess of it faster as well. lol Use of the tablet allows you to control pressure as an added feature of painting. (with the right drivers)

    Still have to look through the different menus and see if I can figure out how to create my own brushes, or if the brushes I have in PhotoPaint can be imported into this as well.

    Of all the 3D painting apps out there, this one keeps it simple enough so a person can jump in without being overwhelmed with dials, sliders, adjustments and features. It also seems to work well without all those bells and whistles found in other highend 3D painting apps in order to allow for a fair amount of growth in ability.
  3. lizziep -
    lizziep's Avatar
    All this time I've been texturing in Photoshop then loading in Poser or Deep Paint 3D to check for seams then back to Photoshop. Something tells me I need to look into this Blacksmith program... sounds VERY interesting.
  4. Admin-Aine -
    Admin-Aine's Avatar
    Another way to view your textures (at least a page/map at a time) is UVmapper. I have been using it to view seams and adjust back in Corel Photo Paint. All need be done there is load the model UVM, then open Corel, load the map, select all (all layers), copy, then swap to UVmapper.

    Isn't Deep Paint the upper end of what one can use in working these? I had always thought it was.
  5. lizziep -
    lizziep's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by admin-aine
    Isn't Deep Paint the upper end of what one can use in working these? I had always thought it was.
    Not sure, I have an older version of it and still haven't figured out how to use it properly.
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