MRV Tutorial #1: Creating and texturing a model.

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MRV Tutorial #1: Creating and texturing a model.

Post  Spartanis on Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:08 am

Today we are going to create a simple object and then attach materials to achieve the above image result.

The purpose of this tutorial is two fold:

  • First, to teach you blender artist newbies how to create simple things.
  • Second, for me to come back too and read what I did, because half the time I forgot what I did! lolz

NOTE: if any queries or questions, please go to the other thread titled "MRV Tutorial #1: Questions and comments", and post them there. Where myself and others will do our best to answer and help you. DO NOT POST comments in here. Thank you.

This thread subjects to changes as time progresses. Additional information may be added after viewing questions posted by members in the"MRV TUTORIAL #1: Questions and comments" thread.

LESSON ONE: Creating an object.

As part of my big blender project "Ritcher's Anchor Stone Marble Run", I will teach you how to model an object by using one of the stones dimensions. The Stone is numbered 1511 (yeah.. there's about 1600 different size/shape stones in the entire set O.o)[/i]

Before we continue, it is important to understand Unit measurements withing Blender. For the sake of clarity, i will be using Metric.

In Blender Start-up file. We will be using the default cube. (or create one if you dont have the default cube anymore). Hit the "N" key to bring up the side panel. We will be using the Dimensions fields under the Transform Sub-panel.

The dimensions of the object is x = 62.5mm, y = 9.38mm and z = 62.5mm. So type in those numbers in the corresponding fields. Make sure you type "mm" after the numbers, or Blender will treat it as metres. (a rather large cube!!!!!)

Next step is to create the arch. There are a number of ways of doing this. The most easiest is by use of BOOLEEN modifier. But I prefer precise method myself. Simply because, you may come across a "Gothic" arch, where the tip of the arch is sharp, rather than a smooth circular arch. (At the later post, i will explain how you can create a Gothic Arch stone block, but for now, lets concentrate on this)

With the modified cube still selected in object mode. Hit "Cntrl + A" to apply the scale. This is important for when you are in edit mode, the measurement reading of the length is true to scale. Otherwise, despite the modified dimension of the cube, in edit mode, each side length still reads as "2"

In edit mode, select one corner vertices. We will be duplicating this and transform its position to 25mm (See blueprint above, find the number at the bottom of the plan) along the x axis to mark the outer end of the circle, of which later, the circle will be part of the arch.

To be more precise, just simply Duplicate (Cntrl + D), hit enter where it is, and in the TOOLS panel (hit "T" key to bring this up.) Type in 25mm in the x field.

Now we "marked" the Circle's radius.  Select the other end's vertices and place the 3D cursor there. ("Shift + S", "Cursor to selected"). In 3D window view, go to front view (hit "1" in numpad), Add a CIRCLE with 60 vertices. (Cntl + A, select Circle). Align it to view (see TOOLS side panel for that option). Using the SNAP to Vertices mode (Cntrl + Shift + tab, select Vertices), scale the circle to snap to the MARKER vertices (In 3d window view, hit S to scale). Then Box Deselect the vertices you want to keep (Hit "B", hold middle wheel mouse button down and drag), then hit "x" to delete the remaining vertices.

According to the plan, there is a stone arch blocks. For texturing purpose (see later lessons) we need to have the edges along those as well. Hover the mouse cursor near one of the remaining circle vertices, and hit L to select all of that. With the 3D cursor still in place, and the pivot is set to 3d Cursor, we can then extrude (E), and scale (S) this line of vertices to create faces of the arch.

Rotate the view around so you can see both front and the rear faces of the object (Hold down middle mouse wheel in 3d window view and move mouse around). Again, hover the mouse cursor near the extruded circle vertices, and hit L to select all. Extrude (E) this along the Y axis, snapping to the vertices of the rear face.

Now we are going to delete unwanted faces. Change the Shade display to solid (hit Z until get desired result), select A to deselect any selected vertices. Change the Select Mode to Faces (Cntrl + Tab, FACE). And select all the faces we dont need. And delete them (X, Faces)

In the plan above, there are three horizontal lines. So we need to create three edges in that area. Now by my best judgement, the spacing between these lines appears to make it 5 layers of stones where as the fourth line is not showing. By using LOOP cut tool, we will create 4 loop cuts, and then delete the fourth unwanted loop. (Cntrl + R, RMB, change 1 to 4 in TOOLs side panel)

Select the last edge (second edge from bottom edge) and delete (X) it via Edge Loops.

Change the Mesh Select Mode to Vertices (Cntrl + Tab, VERTEX), extrude (E) each of the new vertex in the edge loop to wards the circular arch. You may need to adjust its Z position to match the vertex. (G,Z, mouse mouse up/down) You should have the result just like the image below.

Hit A to select all vertices (you may need to hit A twice), and then W, Remove doubles. Then create faces as required (select vertex, SHIFT + select more vertices, F)

Do this to all faces on both sides. The finish result should be like this:

and that, concludes Lesson One. Congrats, you just created a finished object. Now we can do the Next step: Preparing for UV mapping.

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Lesson Two

Post  Spartanis on Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:25 am

Lesson Two: Preparing for UV mapping

Before we begin this lesson, we need to figure out how big the image file required for the UV mapping. To understand, you may later create more objects of various different shapes and sizes. Some will be bigger, some will be smaller. With little knowledge of UV unwrapping, all i know is that if you unwrap each of these objects, it all stretched to fit in the same x/y dimension (ie: 1024x1024). If you were to create an image file with a say, red circle in the middle. and you unwrap each model to that image at a time, you will find the circle will be bigger or smaller, in every object. Therefore, gives you the impression that UV Wrapping will not be to "scale" with all the objects.

Having said that, you will need to figure out how big the image file dimensions needed for each individual objects. And that depends entirely, on how we unwrap the object.

Change the Screen Layout to UV EDITING.

And then Go into EDIT mode in The 3D VIEW window. Select everything, and hit U key to unwrap, and then select CUBE PROJECTION. In the UV WINDOW (that is, your mouse cursor hovers in that window), hit Cntrl + P to "pack island".  Your UV window now should have something like this.

Now here comes you years of childhood maths education comes into practice. Determine how many mm's it is along the X and Y axis of the UV window that each Quads takes up. You may have to select faces in the 3D view to figure out which UV Quad belongs to which face, and thus determine how many mm's it is. In this case, it is exactly 125mm x 125mm.

We convert this number into pixels (if you have a decimal place, round it up to the nearest whole number). I like to have a large image file for more smoother/detailed image texture, so i will make it as 1250 pixels by 1250 pixels.

Next we create a NEW image in the UV window. And put in 1250 in each of the fields. Choosing UV GRID as background is an option. But its necessary when you have a more complex shape object. It's purpose is to help you spot any mapping error in the 3D view. Tho you wont see it now, that's cos we haven't applied IMAGE texture to the object yet. Which we wont do until later.

Next we will export the UV MAP into an image file. To do this, go to UV, Export UV Layout. Make sure the "Fill opacity" is set to 0. We don't want anything inside the quads to be filled with colour.

We do this so we can open it into GIMP (or Photoshop) and there we can begin on the third lesson, creating a texture map.

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Lesson Three

Post  Spartanis on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:03 pm

Lesson Three: Creating a texture map

In this lesson, I will be using GIMP as my preferred choice of Image manipulating software. Of you are fluent in Photoshop, you can use that. I am not sure how much different it is between GIMP and Photoshop, but im hoping they are very similar in many ways.

As my object is a toy, I wanted to create a texture image that gives the feel of a "toy", rather than a "detailed realistic" bump mapping kinda image. Therefore, there wouldn't be much of work to be done to create the image. A few layers of this and that, a few filters applied.. etc etc. But its still a lot of work to be done, as much as a lot of work to be done in Blender. There is now "click create everything two steps" button. Everything takes a thousand steps to achieve the desired results. And this takes time. Alot of time.

There its a trick to reduce "time factor" as much as possible. By following these steps, you will begin to understand how it can be done, and save you many hours to start over again, for another image to be made.

Here is a snippet of the GIMP file i have made for one of my objects. Hopefully, you will get the same results.

Open the image file into GIMP software.

First thing we need to do, is to create a new layer. Call it "Solid Noise" layer. This layer is to create a "gritty" like stone feature. To give the appearance of a stone surface.

Select and hold the SOLID NOISE layer and drag it underneath the Image file. Then go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds -> Solid Noise. A new dialog box appears. Here we fiddle around to get the desired result. In my case it would be as it is in the image below

Again we apply another filter to the same layer, this time make it more "gritty" Go to Filter -> Noise -> RGB Noise. Change its settings to the image below.

In that Layers box, up the top, change the NORMAL to VALUE. I don't understand this, but it gives the desired result later on.

Now we are going to create series of colours layers. Each layer of colour will be filled with different colour. Such as Red layer, Blue layer, Green Layer, White layer, random colour layer. etc etc. And all these coloured layers have a SOFT LIGHT as its MODE. This allows the SOLID noise to be seen from below these layers. It also allow you to switch a combination of these colours to visibility, to produce different colours as well. Having more control of which layer is visible, in which order, you create a variety of different colour.

The colour layers must be place ABOVE the SOLID NOISE layer.  SOLID NOISE layer must always be the bottom of the layers list.

Create a new layer. Call it COLOUR Red, or blue or whatever. Using the FILL tool, fill the layer with the colour of your choice. Change its mode to SOFT LIGHT.

Now we are going to create the BEVEL EDGE impression. That is, those UV map comes in handy, and those EDGE LINES as well.

I am sure there are a better and faster way of doing this, but at the time of this post, i have not found one. How i have done this bevel edge impression, is using a series of GUIDE LINES to mark the POINTS of eact edge lines that intersect. and using the snap to guide line, i use the PAINT tool, with 25% soft edge thingy. and Draw alone the edge lines in a NEW LAYER (using SHift to create straight lines) in BLACK colour. This layer will also be SOFT LIGHT mode.

Of course, this takes an hour or less to set up all the guidelines before commencing the drawing on a new layer. Patience, is really is, a virtue.

Next thing to do, is to "blur" this edge lines you drawn. To create a soft 3d edge look. with the EDGE LINES layer selected. Go to FILTER ->BLUR -> Gaussian Blur. Change its settings to the image below.

Now we are going to create the HARD thing black line. We already have the UV MAP image so all we need to do is delete the few lines that is not needed. And voila. You can redraw over it to make it "thicker" if you prefer.

Special Extra lesson: You come across a arc line. So how does one "draw" a perfect arc? with a nifty trick call "select tool". I have found this awesome tip on the net after googling, and it does work!

note: one small minor change, instead of "STROKE PATH" choose instead "STROKE SELECTION"

You final image should be like this:


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Lesson Four

Post  Spartanis on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:23 pm

Lesson Four: Attachting Texture to Object.

ANd finally, the last step.

Back in Blender, we change the SCREEN LAYOUT back to default. In OBJECT MODE. duplicate the model, Hit TAB to enter EDIT mode of the dupicated object. Select LIMITED DISSOLVE in the CLEAN UP menu. This will reduce alot of vertices and faces and edges that are not needed.

Go to MATERIALS TAB, and if no materials created, create one. Then choose IMAGE withing the DIFFUSE dot button. Then select the Image file you created in GIMP (assuming you have exported as an image file by now).

Back to UV screen layout, choose the image you have just loaded into the materials tab.

Back to the default screen layout view. Change the SHADING to TEXTURE to see the result.

And there you have it. Your low poly model with a nice texture.

I hope you learn alot and enjoyed creating this model as I have done previously. If you have any questions, please do not hestitate to ask in the other thread.

Have a wonderful day, and don't forget to be awesome. Smile

Matthew Harvey
A.k.a. Spartanis

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