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CINEMA 4D Essentials 4: Materials, Texturing, and Lights
Illustration by Richard Downs

Hiding seams with projection painting


From:

CINEMA 4D Essentials 4: Materials, Texturing, and Lights

with Rob Garrott

Video: Hiding seams with projection painting

With the color accents on our superhero blocked in, you can see that we've got some uneven spots where the UV Map didn't quite line up with the selections that we made. We're going to fix that with something called Projection Painting. Normally, when you paint on the surface of a 3D object, BodyPaint is creating a one- to-one relationship between the brush and the texture view. Now, this works fine until you get to the point on the model where there's a seam in the UV mesh. What Projection Painting does is allow you to paint from a particular point of view onto your model, and CINEMA 4D automatically adjusts for the camera of angle in the UV mesh.

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CINEMA 4D Essentials 4: Materials, Texturing, and Lights
2h 24m Beginner Sep 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

CINEMA 4D Essentials with Rob Garrott is a graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours. This course shows how to lend 3D objects color, transparency, and life with materials, textures, and lights. Author Rob Garrott explains how to create a variety of surface textures, from smooth and reflective to bumpy and flat, and how to add dramatic depth and shadows to your scenes with the different light types in CINEMA 4D. The final chapter discusses texturing in 3D with the BodyPaint module, which can also help hide UV seams.

Topics include:
  • Understanding material channels
  • Applying materials via projection
  • Limiting materials with selection tags
  • Texturing type
  • Using Falloff to limit the effects of lights
  • Working with visible or volumetric light
  • Painting on objects and textures with brushes in BodyPaint
  • Hiding seams with projection painting
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Textures Materials Visual Effects
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Hiding seams with projection painting

With the color accents on our superhero blocked in, you can see that we've got some uneven spots where the UV Map didn't quite line up with the selections that we made. We're going to fix that with something called Projection Painting. Normally, when you paint on the surface of a 3D object, BodyPaint is creating a one- to-one relationship between the brush and the texture view. Now, this works fine until you get to the point on the model where there's a seam in the UV mesh. What Projection Painting does is allow you to paint from a particular point of view onto your model, and CINEMA 4D automatically adjusts for the camera of angle in the UV mesh.

Let's see an example of that. I'm going to switch to my Brush tool. Then I'm going to go to my Layers. I can't see any layers here. That means I don't have a material selected. So let's go to the Material Manager, click on our material, and then go back to the layers. And you can see that we're going to be painting in the Eye bar layer, and that's not where we want to paint. Let's click on the Accents layer and we're going to paint in the Accents layer. Now, we can go out into our viewport and do some painting. So, let's dolly in a particular area of our model. Let's go in on his left arm here and zoom in on that area.

Now you can see that there is a gap in the brush as I arrow over. That's where a seam appears. You can see how the Brush gets cut off, and then it magically jumps to the other side. That's what the problem with painting directly on the model entails. Unless you get a truly good layout of your UVs, you're always going to get this problem where there's seams. And so Projection Painting corrects for those seams by allowing you to paint directly on the model from a particular angle, and then it automatically adjusts inside the texture. So, the way you activate Projection Painting is by clicking on this icon right here.

Let's enable that. Now, when we did that, notice what happened to our layers. You see that it turned all of our layers into this one master layer called PP layer; that sounds for Projection Painting layer. When I uncheck Projection Painting, it goes back to our layers. Whatever Projection Painting that you've done will get mushed back onto the layer that you had selected before you started painting. So it's crucial that you select the correct layer before you start your Projection Painting. So, I'm in the Accents layer, so I'm good to go there. Let's switch over to Projection Painting and let's try a paintbrush.

Notice how my paintbrush is no longer jumping across the scene. Now, when I click and drag across my object, you see it's going to make a brushstroke on there. And look what happened. It made a perfectly smooth brushstroke. Now, let's see what happened inside the texture. Let's go to the Texture window, and in your Materials, if you click on the material, it's going to bring that up here. Now, in case your UV mesh isn't showing, you can go to the Show UV Mesh command right there. And it painted on our object, and there's the mark that it made right down there. Let's go and take a look at that.

And you can see, it actually made the mark here and it made the mark here. But notice on this one, it's not quite the same round brushstroke that it is down here. That's because the projection smeared it across this edge. Let's take a look at what that means in a more extreme example. I'm still in Projection Painting mode. I'm going to paint right across the top here. Now, watch what happens. When I paint a brushstroke across the top edge, everything looks fine until we orbit around to right here. Look what happened. It stopped that brushstroke on the top edge where the projection passed beyond the view of the viewport.

Let's do it one more time. I'm going to projection-paint right here, and you're going to see a little bit of smearing as well. Let's orbit around here. You can see that as I orbit around, I've got a little bit of smearing on that edge too, and so that's another gotcha with projection painting. If you've got a really large brush and you're painting a rounded object, you're going to get smearing on the edges, so you want to be very careful about where you paint. Let's undo. Command or Ctrl+Z a few times. We get back to before we made any brushstrokes. So now we're ready to actually do our painting, and the brush that we're going to use is not this regular brush, we're going to use a nice chalk brush to kind of give a really cool gritted edge to these.

So, let's go to the Brushes palette. And inside the Body Paint Presets folder, in the Brushes, under the Standard tools, is this Chalk Brush right here. We're going to grab that Chalk Brush, and when we go to the Brushes option, you can see, that's the image that we're going to be painting on our object, and it's going to give us a really nice gritty texture. You can see that Projection Painting has given me a really, not a bad brush size I think for that. If I wanted to, I could adjust the size a little bit, but I think that's going to work out nicely.

So what I want to do now is work my way around this seam and just brush in a nice uneven chalk line to create a transition from the glove to the character's arm. Let's go back in and just start to paint a little bit on here. And it doesn't really matter. That's one of the nice things about here. The one thing I want to do is cover up that straight line, but keeping everything else in line really doesn't matter. And in fact, the less even it is, the more interesting it's going to look. I'm doing an orbit around.

Now, if you want to check your work, a great thing to do is to do this button right here, which is the Raybrush Render View. When I click that, it's still in Projection Painting mode, but it's rendered the view so that I can paint on a rendered image, as opposed to the viewport. Now, watch how I actually get to see what I'm painting here. That's really great! One of the downsides of this is that when I get to a point where I need to turn, as I orbit around, it doesn't automatically Raybrush again, so I've got to click that button. And now, I'm painting in the Ray Render View.

Let's orbit around again. Let's do a little click and then paint some more. I want to be careful about painting with too large a brush, so I think I'll stick to this brush size. I think I've done a good job on that arm. Let's back out a little bit. And now we can move over to the other side. Let's work on this arm here, and we'll go and do a Raybrush Render View. Let's do a little orbit around and then Ray Render.

I think that looks pretty good on his arm. Now, we can transition down to his torso and start fixing that seam down there. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer here. The only thing you want to do is make sure that I cover up that hard edge. You notice that I'm clicking and dragging in one direction, as opposed to wiggling my paintbrush. That way, I end up with nice straight brushstrokes, as opposed to any curvature in them.

That's going to give, I think, a better look. Let me undo those two last two brushstrokes for a second. Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on the keyboard. You can see, this is a great example of that smearing that I was talking about. One of the brushstrokes that I made on the other side was at a curvature point, and it smeared all the way across. So I've got to fix this for sure. I'll fix that by just painting in, and I'll create a nice little transition there. I can erase that, but I don't think it's necessary because once again, I'm not trying to create a nice even line. I'm trying to create some unevenness.

I'm going to get rid of that line there and then do some straightness in there. There we go! I think that's pretty good. Let's back out a bit and take a look at our handy work. Not bad. Now, we can focus on his legs. We're going to do the same process down here. Let's just keep on projection painting. Let's move on to his other leg. Now, I think we're ready to move on to his feet.

Let's start with his left foot. I think now we can move on to the last leg. Be very careful about smearing on these legs; they're very round objects, and this is a place where you can get a lot of smearing if you're not careful. I will paint right there. You can see I did get a bit of smearing on that spot, so I'll just cover that up. If you see any spots that you missed in the model, you can always touch those up at this point too. There we go! I think we've just about got all the seams covered up.

And you can see, we've got some really nice uneven transitions from the yellow of the accent part of its costume into the rest of his body. Now, we can fill the layer that's going to be the rest of the base color for his costume. So, we go to the Layers menu, and you can see it's still in Projection Painting mode, so let's go ahead and commit the Projection Painting by unclicking this object right here. When we click that, now all of our Projection Painting got committed and burned into this Accents layer. Now we can go to the Color base layer and fill it with the red color that's going to be the underlying color of his costume.

Let's go to the color palette, and let's pick a nice red color. I want a good deep red. Let's bring it down into more of the vermillion range. I think that's pretty good right there. Now, we can go back into the Texture view and go to the Edit menu and do a Fill Layer. That's going to fill our layer with that deep red color, and then when we go back, you can see there we've got those great yellow accents on top of that red texture. Body Paint is a complete application inside of CINEMA 4D, and it's really the best way to get total control over your textures.

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