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Adding perceived detail through texture

From: Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop

Video: Adding perceived detail through texture

In games we use texture to add a lot of detail to a model. This differs radically from a film pipeline where everything might be geometry. In a game then, what we're going to see is that a lot of the realism is implied through a texture. The dividing line between geometry and texture is silhouette. If we can see it in silhouette, it needs to be geometry. If we can see it in a flat plane, it can be a texture. As an example--and I'll zoom in on the canopy to show it-- this scratching indenting up here is a texture.

Adding perceived detail through texture

In games we use texture to add a lot of detail to a model. This differs radically from a film pipeline where everything might be geometry. In a game then, what we're going to see is that a lot of the realism is implied through a texture. The dividing line between geometry and texture is silhouette. If we can see it in silhouette, it needs to be geometry. If we can see it in a flat plane, it can be a texture. As an example--and I'll zoom in on the canopy to show it-- this scratching indenting up here is a texture.

There is nothing in this, although it looks really nice, that is popping out in silhouette. It doesn't show up in a side view. Whatever we see this scratching indenting and bubbled paint, it's only against that same face. However, this curve shows up in silhouette. Likewise, the framing under here is actually done in texture. We can't really get anywhere and see under that enough to see that framing, and it's all so dark. We can tell by the lighting here that it's generally all in shadow.

So as long as there is stuff going on in the canopy here, that's done in a texture. The same goes for the doors. Although these doors appear to have a lot of detail, really it's all flat. Between the combination of the diffuse texture, a normal map, and a baked ambient occlusion, we can make this detail really pop out a flat polygon. This door is example of geometry if we were to include it, for two reasons: one, it might need to swing open--the player may need to access the space-- two, even if the player can't swing it open, it will stick out and show in silhouette here.

And so this needs to be geometry. I'm also going to say that this foundation element is geometry. It's going to share text or probably with the pieces above it, but it sticks out a little bit, and this will make the building look not quite perfect when it touches the ground, again disturbing that silhouette ever so slightly, as we can see here in the building adjacent to the ground, just enough variation in here that makes it convincingly real. If this came straight down to the ground, we'd save a couple polygons, but it would look too perfect, and that wouldn't match with a dirty, crunched texture we are going to put on.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop
Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop

45 video lessons · 6271 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
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  1. 8m 26s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      22s
    4. Setting up the workflow
      5m 45s
  2. 18m 51s
    1. Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art
      3m 25s
    2. Analyzing concept art for texture possibilities
      4m 19s
    3. Adding perceived detail through texture
      2m 20s
    4. The limitations of normal maps
      2m 57s
    5. Analyzing concept art for key shadow details
      2m 43s
    6. Identifying shadow details as generated or painted
      3m 7s
  3. 34m 35s
    1. What is a module?
      3m 15s
    2. Overview of the snap tools and precision modeling techniques
      6m 30s
    3. Blocking out the basic form of a building
      7m 5s
    4. Designing modular elements
      6m 29s
    5. The iterative process: Assembly and teardown
      3m 35s
    6. Planning for occlusion and texture stacking
      7m 41s
  4. 47m 10s
    1. Adding foundation elements
      8m 28s
    2. Modeling a high-poly roll-up garage door
      8m 35s
    3. Improving building details
      5m 35s
    4. Building an island and a canopy
      12m 53s
    5. Constructing high-detail doors
      11m 39s
  5. 21m 58s
    1. Adding door elements
      7m 43s
    2. Building a roof
      4m 11s
    3. Modeling light-tight walls
      5m 14s
    4. Adding miscellaneous elements such as air conditioners, signs, and steps
      4m 50s
  6. 35m 38s
    1. Mapping UV projection types
      7m 33s
    2. Moving and sewing UVs
      7m 34s
    3. Planning a texture sheet
      10m 49s
    4. Stacking UVs
      9m 42s
  7. 42m 53s
    1. Overview of ambient occlusion
      6m 46s
    2. Overview of the Transfer Map dialog and baking
      6m 4s
    3. Baking occlusion using the Batch Bake dialog
      7m 20s
    4. Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      12m 3s
    5. Baking a normal map using the Transfer Map dialog
      10m 40s
  8. 56m 23s
    1. Assessing the size of elements on a texture sheet
      9m 41s
    2. Drawing detail at the right size
      13m 22s
    3. Using tiling and non-tiling textures
      11m 29s
    4. Painting layers of dirt and wear
      9m 25s
    5. Painting specular and transparent textures
      12m 26s
  9. 44m 38s
    1. Cleaning up, exporting, and importing the model
      15m 19s
    2. Importing textures and marking them for use
      6m 52s
    3. Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
      7m 6s
    4. Refining materials
      14m 22s
    5. Viewing the final project
      59s
  10. 17s
    1. Next steps
      17s

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