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Making brick texture

From: Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

Video: Making brick texture

In this chapter we'll look heavily at texture techniques for use in game environments. Quite often we need to paint textures from scratch versus using photographs, as we simply can't get a close enough or straight enough view in the photograph of the element we need. As an example in this building, we can see we need this pink brick or tan brick as it runs up the side. There is really not a good place to get a large enough photo of it straight on in any kind of neutral lighting. So we need to paint it by hand. That also gives us the advantage, painting textures by hand, of getting exactly the color and matching we want on our texture sheets, like we've seen in previous chapters.

Making brick texture

In this chapter we'll look heavily at texture techniques for use in game environments. Quite often we need to paint textures from scratch versus using photographs, as we simply can't get a close enough or straight enough view in the photograph of the element we need. As an example in this building, we can see we need this pink brick or tan brick as it runs up the side. There is really not a good place to get a large enough photo of it straight on in any kind of neutral lighting. So we need to paint it by hand. That also gives us the advantage, painting textures by hand, of getting exactly the color and matching we want on our texture sheets, like we've seen in previous chapters.

In this first movie then I'll show how to paint clean brick from scratch in Photoshop using the Offset filter and selections and clouds to make what looks like naturally varying brick. I'll begin with a new document. In my new document in Photoshop I'll make this first width and height a multiple of the size of a brick. A standard brick is 8 inches x 3 inches tall and 4 inches deep, including one mortar joint on the side and bottom. If I assign a working ratio, as an example, of 20 pixels to the edge that gives me a brick plus a mortar joint of 160 pixels wide by 60 pixels tall.

I'll start with that ratio, giving myself a two brick by two brick document. This gives me a Width of 320 and a Height of 120. Games always work at screen resolution. So we will leave it at 72 pixels per inch, RGB 8 bit is fine, and a Background of white. Great! In this document I'll hit M for my Marquee or choose it off the toolbar and under the Style choose a Fixed Size. We will make the Width slightly less than that, 160, just a brick width. I'll put it at 155 and a Height of 55, giving myself a 5 pixel mortar joint between the bricks.

I'll land a brick on there, snap it against the top on left, and fill it in really any color. I'll make sure to either do this on a new layer or cut and paste this onto a new layer so I can move it cleanly off the background. I'll press Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V to cut and paste. Now I'll take this brick, make sure it's snapped against the top left, then hold Alt and clone the brick over, letting it snap against the adjacent layer. Then I can move this, either with the Error keys or the Offset, five pixels over. I'll use my Arrow keys, tapping the Right Arrow five times.

Now I want to clone the layer. I'll do it in the Layer palette by holding Alt+Dragging and then in the Filter under Other I'll use the Offset filter to move this brick. In the Offset I'll offset it half a brick to the right, or 80 pixels, and I'll offset it full brick down, 60 pixels, giving me a half brick. I'll pick the first layer, clone it, and repeat the process. Finally, I'll clone the half brick to the other side, either using an Offset or an Alt+Clone.

Now I have my base pattern for the brick setup. I'll press Ctrl+Shift+E key to merge the visible layers. Then I'll Select All by pressing Ctrl+A and choosing Edit > Define Pattern. We can name this if we would like. I'll leave mine at Pattern 3 for now. Now I need to make a larger document of brick that's the multiple of this brick size. These bricks multiply out into 1920x1920 image size. I'll start a new document with a size of 1920x1920.

I'll fill this document, choosing Edit > Fill, and under Use instead of Foreground Color I'll choose Pattern and select the custom pattern I just made. Now I have an even square of brick. In fact, two even. What I need to do is add variety into this. I'll go to my Paint Bucket, pressing G or choosing it from the toolbar. In the Paint Bucket settings making sure that Anti-alias is off, but Contiguous is on. Now I'll choose easy to recognize colors, such as green, blue, red, or yellow, and I'll fill select bricks, one at a time, clicking through here.

I'll do this with at least three or four colors. What I have done here is to fill in large areas of brick with select other colors, again using easy to recognize colors so I can find them, select them, tell them apart. Trying to work in brick color and a slightly different color is very hard on the eyes. This is actually going to be a selection layer. I won't actually use this as the proper color. I'll rename the Background layer to selection. Now I want to find my brick color and the easiest way to do this is to eyedropper it from the reference.

I'll go to the reference photo, zoom in on a section of brick, and eyedropper one of the brick colors, looking at the foreground color to make sure I didn't get any odd shades. Then I'll press X to swap foreground and background and pick a slightly different brick color. In this case maybe a little deeper and a little redder. Back in my original drawing I'll use my Magic Wand, pressing W for Wand, noting that Anti-alias and Contiguous are not checked. I'll Magic Wand one of the brick colors, create a new layer, and fill this with clouds, choosing Filter > Render > Clouds.

Then I'll press Ctrl+D to deselect. I am going to repeat this process, probably changing foreground and background colors of brick ever so slightly each time. What I have done is to select each of the colors in my selection layer. On a new layer with that selection, fill them with clouds of the foreground and background colors, varying ever so slightly. It's difficult to tell at the moment, but I actually have bricks that are slightly warmer, slightly cooler, slightly more saturated, slightly less saturated. Brick is never the same color. There is a slight variance within the tonal range.

Now I'll put a new layer underneath my brick layers, which would be the mortor, pressing Ctrl+Shift+N for a new layer. I'll fill this mortar color in a variant of the foreground, using the hue but desaturating almost down to 0. Then maybe just a little bit brighter. So it's a pretty good match. Raw concrete is sort of a yellow gray, but sometimes it helps to bias it in the right direction, to match the brick so it doesn't stand out. Now I have a raw section of brick ready to apply across a wall, span of the texture, or use further in a texture map, and it has the natural variation we expect to see in brick.

By extension we can use this technique in things like stone block, paving, other sides of brick, and even cinder block.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

78 video lessons · 6452 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Understanding the design process
      47s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      14s
    4. Software requirements
      47s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 4s
  2. 14m 36s
    1. Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art
      1m 59s
    2. Analyzing concept art for texture
      2m 28s
    3. Choosing between modeling and texturing
      1m 43s
    4. Understanding the limitations of normal maps
      2m 26s
    5. Analyzing concept art for key shadow details
      3m 10s
    6. Identifying shadow details as generated or painted
      2m 50s
  3. 44m 57s
    1. Planning the visible overlaid history in a city
      3m 6s
    2. Planning a "wedding cake" building: Base, middle, and top
      2m 50s
    3. Planning a modern building: Base and shaft
      3m 1s
    4. Designing the zoning: Planning the visible uses of buildings
      6m 43s
    5. Laying out city blocks
      2m 36s
    6. Planning modular textures and geometry: Streets and sidewalks
      4m 1s
    7. Texturing intersections
      3m 13s
    8. Modeling modular curbs, gutters, and ramps
      5m 7s
    9. Modeling modular street elements
      3m 14s
    10. Modeling corners with ramps
      5m 56s
    11. Unwrapping sidewalk elements
      5m 10s
  4. 38m 9s
    1. Laying out rectangles and planning how to clone geometry and texture
      4m 59s
    2. Using layers to organize construction elements and actual models
      3m 51s
    3. Extruding edges to form major shadow lines
      5m 17s
    4. Testing the module for correct floor-to-floor heights
      1m 41s
    5. Trimming down the module and cloning
      4m 10s
    6. Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry
      7m 10s
    7. Unwrapping the elements for correct proportion
      7m 48s
    8. Laying out a texture sheet for a façade
      3m 13s
  5. 39m 50s
    1. Making brick texture
      6m 23s
    2. Adding detail to the diffuse texture: Sills and arches
      4m 24s
    3. Adding stone accents
      7m 47s
    4. Layering color in window frames and doorways
      8m 39s
    5. Copying diffuse layers for normal map foundations
      2m 7s
    6. Desaturating the diffuse map copies and prepping for normal maps
      3m 42s
    7. Converting bump maps to normal maps using nDO
      6m 48s
  6. 1h 2m
    1. Analyzing the necessary silhouette and geometry
      5m 24s
    2. Examining existing buildings in different lighting conditions
      3m 8s
    3. Planning cornice elements
      3m 32s
    4. Extruding cornice elements from polygon edges
      9m 12s
    5. Assigning smoothing groups for optimal shading
      4m 31s
    6. Unwrapping cornices for lighting
      8m 43s
    7. Modeling sloped roofs
      7m 16s
    8. Adding fascias and soffits
      5m 21s
    9. Adding fascias and soffits for gable ends
      7m 31s
    10. Texture sheets for roofs
      8m 1s
  7. 13m 55s
    1. Arranging, aligning, and cloning modular elements
      3m 26s
    2. Setting pivot points for buildings
      5m 48s
    3. Reusing elements: Exploring possibilities in modular building design
      4m 41s
  8. 40m 3s
    1. Creating a texture library
      36s
    2. Creating rusty corrugated metal texture
      7m 53s
    3. Creating stone texture
      4m 42s
    4. Creating wood texture
      9m 50s
    5. Creating rough brick texture
      7m 44s
    6. Creating roads
      9m 18s
  9. 38m 44s
    1. Using the Walkthrough Assistant to assess texture needs
      4m 46s
    2. Drawing detail at the right size
      3m 30s
    3. Understanding tiling and non-tiling textures
      2m 57s
    4. Deciding when to use tiling and non-tiling textures
      3m 2s
    5. Using multiple mapping coordinates
      4m 3s
    6. Using multiple unwrap modifiers
      6m 47s
    7. Unwrapping objects a second time: Planning an unwrap for a light map
      7m 46s
    8. Unwrapping a building façade using overlapping texture elements
      5m 53s
  10. 30m 25s
    1. Understanding ambient occlusion
      1m 50s
    2. Assessing the quality of occlusion as a cinematic mood
      2m 48s
    3. Overview of the Ambient Occlusion shader
      5m 9s
    4. Baking maps using the Render To Texture dialog
      3m 15s
    5. Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      5m 28s
    6. Using occlusion from detailed models for texture
      5m 54s
    7. Baking lighting
      6m 1s
  11. 25m 18s
    1. Preparing for Unity as a world builder
      2m 26s
    2. Importing into Unity and recognizing limitations
      4m 12s
    3. Importing elements with detailed materials
      5m 59s
    4. Setting optimal texture sizes and resizing in Unity
      3m 12s
    5. Setting up a naming convention and scene management
      7m 40s
    6. Renaming tools in 3ds Max
      1m 49s
  12. 1m 21s
    1. What's next
      1m 21s

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