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Our shark model looks pretty darn good, but to put it over the top and make it really realistic, we need to create a convincing skin. C4D's BodyPaint tools will make this job a snap. So our shark model has a set of geometry associated with it and that's this cube object. When you're going to create texture maps for an organic shape like this, you need to consider something called the UVs. The UVs relate to how a texture is wrapped around a model, and this information is covered in the Essential Training. So it's really important to go back and watch those if you don't understand what I'm talking about here.
But C4D has a module that's built into the application called BodyPaint. BodyPaint is used for manipulating the UVs and then painting in real-time on the surface of a 3D model. To access those tools, I'm going to switch my layout to BP UV Edit. When I do that, it rearranges the interface. Still the same application, but it has changed some of the menus and icons and so you can see that across the top I now have a different set of menus that I had before and a different set of tools in the toolbar. And also, my windows are laid out differently.
If I ever want to get back, I can always go back to the Standard layout and reset the interface to what it was when I first started. Now, on the right-hand side, I have my Texture window. On the left-hand side, I see my model. Because I have my model selected, it's showing me the UV layout in the Editor window. If I un-highlight Show UV Mesh, it'll be blank. If I re-highlight Show UV Mesh, it'll show me the UV Mesh. Now, the UVs relate to how a texture is wrapped around an object. If I back out here just a little bit, you can see that the UVs that are there in the window are really not very recognizable as a shark.
What we're going to be doing next is using the Paint wizard to rearrange these UVs, so that it will look a little bit more recognizably as a shark and also allow us to paint on this without having sections overlap with one another. So I'm going to click on the UV Paint Setup wizard and when I do that, I get this BodyPaint 3D Setup Wizard window that opens up. In there, it list objects and so I can twirl open the HyperNURBS and this represents all of the actual elements that are in your Object Manager. I'm going to deselect all and then select Cube.
I don't want to create materials for anything except for the cube right now, which is the actual shark body. When I hit Next, I get the UV Setup window and I'm going to leave all of the options as default and hit Next again and then I'm going to make sure that I turn on Color, Diffusion, and Bump. And these three channels are what we're going to be using to actually texture our shark and we want to add those. Change the Maximum size to 2048, which is 2048 pixels.
That's going to give us plenty of resolution so that our shark material have a pretty good image quality when it gets close to the camera. Then I hit Finish and you'll see that as I close up the Paint Setup Wizard window, we now have over in the UV window, a much more recognizable layout of our shark parts. Now, this layout is really not very good from a true texturing standpoint, but it'll be good enough for a model today. If this were really a hero shark that I was creating for a high-end special effects project, I would do a much more accurate UV unwrapping for the shark.
There's also some issues with the UV unwrap that you'll see in the window here, and there are some overlaps. When BodyPaint unwraps the model, it doesn't really know where the important areas of the shark are, and so it just rips it apart and rearranges the polygons the best way it can figure. Sometimes that works great and sometimes there's some issues. If I make a paint mark down here in the Editor window, like that, and I orbit around my shark, let's zoom-in just a little bit and orbit around, you can see that paint mark represents a surface on the shark. But there's areas where it cuts off.
You can see that there's a spot right there where it cuts off on the bottom of shark. Let me undo that. Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on the PC. Also, if I orbit around to the side of the shark, there's a spot right here where polygons overlap, and you can really see it well. Let me zoom-in right on this fin, and I have the Paintbrush tool selected. When I move my mouse over, you can see that it's trying to stretch that brush over two different areas. And I can tell that is an overlap in the UV polygons and I can see that overlap right here in the editor.
So if I zoom in on that area, it's really easy to fix in this case. And what I'm going to do is switch from the Paintbrush to the UV Manipulation tool and then I'll get the Selection tool out and that's going to allow me to click on UV polygons. If I grab with these polygons right here along with this polygon right here, so I'm going to select more polygons than I actually need and hold down the Ctrl key to deselect these others, and then I can switch to the Move tool, E on the keyboard and just drag these out.
All I've done is moved these polygons to a different place in the Editor window. You can see they are still connected here in the Perspective view. But now when I use the Paintbrush tool, if I switch back to Painting mode, you can see that I no longer have that overlap and that's a really important thing that we'd be able to fix. Now, there are some cut spots here where polygons don't match up and that's that ugliness that I was talking about where the UV model is not unwrapped as well as it should be, but for our purposes today it's going to be great.
Now that we have an acceptable arrangement for our UV polygons, the next step in the process is to save our file. BodyPaint does not save materials until you actually save the files. So it's very important to save your work and then save it often. The first time you save it, it's going to name the materials, the texture that it's created, based on your material names. So if you go to the Material palette, and you can see that there's a material here and it's just called the Mat right now. Let's rename this material, and call it shark_skin.
Then we're going to go to the main File menu and do a Save As and I'll call this one 07_01_sharkUV. That way I know the UVs have been addressed in this file. Then hit Save and it's going to ask me, Do you want to save changes to the textures of project 07_01_sharkUV.c4d? I'll hit Yes and my file is now saved. Now, let's check in the Finder and show you what it did. In the Finder is a tex folder and I had already crated that tex folder and it saves the bump color and diffusion images as TIF files.
Now, you see that it's named Mat_Bump, Mat_Color, Matt_Diffusion, and that Mat is based on the original generic name of my file, and I really want to change this. I'm going to call this Shark_Bump, Shark_Color, and Shark_Diffusion. So let's just change these file names real quick. Once you've changed the file names you're going to re-link those files back inside of BodyPaint. So if I go back to BodyPaint, it's still open in the background here. Here in my shark_skin, I'm going to go, and raise the interface up a little bit. So I can see what's going on here. I have my material selected and I'm looking at the Material attributes.
In the Color channel, you can see that the texture is still pointing at that old Mat_Color. So let's click on the Load Image button. Navigate to our tex folder. So we're going to go to Exercise Files > Chapter 07 > tex and then this is the Color channel, so we want to link this to Shark_Color. Nothing is going to change except that name here. Now it's correctly linked. I'll repeat that process for the Diffusion channels and then repeat that process again for the Bump channel.
I accidentally clicked inside the Shader properties, so in the Shader properties, I can easily click on the Load Image button there as well and this is the Bump. Now that I've re-linked the materials, it's really important to save your work, and it's crucial to save often where you're using BodyPaint, not because it's unstable, but you want to make sure that your materials are updated with the latest information. So I'm going to go to the File menu, and just do a save because I've already saved my file one time. So I hit Save. Every time you save now, it will save changes that you've made to the materials along with the file.
That way, next time you open the file from the Finder, everything will be all linked up correctly. Our shark is now ready for 3D painting. BodyPaint 3D has made the UV setup really easy.
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