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Explore the world of modeling and texturing 3D game props and assets in Autodesk Maya. Author Adam Crespi provides strong technical modeling techniques, from blocking basic forms and leveraging simple parts and reusable textures, to simulating real-world detail like dirt, wear, and grain with UV maps and ambient occlusion. The course includes workflow and integration considerations such as planning UV space for projection, and also steps into Mudbox and Unity for further refinement.
In this chapter I'll take the gas pump I've unwrapped and look at texture- painting techniques, starting with a clean texture and then adding in dirt and wear. I'll construct both the diffused and a normal texture from a bump painted as a grayscale. I'll also look at a PSD network, a really powerful way of texturing in Maya that links a PSD file and layer sets into various components in a material, so we can see all of the parts at once here in our view. To start, I'll pick my object which has already been unwrapped. We can delete the history if we need, if we feel it's getting a little bit bulky.
I can usually tell as I'm scrolling over here in the Attribute Editor. If I have to scroll a lot, it's time to delete history. If we delete history, UVs are still on the model. They're baked in. I'll press Shift+Alt+D and delete that, so now I'm down to the Transform node, a Shape node, and a material. I'm going to put a new material on this, right-clicking and choosing Assign New Material. And I'll put a blinn on, which I'm going to call Gas_pump. I've pressed F6 to go to the rendering module. And under Texturing, I'll choose Create PSD Network.
What this will let me do is make a PSD, size it, print out a template or a snapshot, and add in different attributes. That way I can have one file that links in multiple places in this material. My usual rule of thumb is to paint twice as big as my final texture. I can also let Unity do some optimization, so even though I may paint this big, I can let Unity reduce it in size. What I'm going to do is I'm going to paint this at 2048. I'll say at the most this comes down to 1024 in the final export, but I may reduce it to 512, depending on where it's going to be in my game.
But I'd rather have more detail and reduce than not enough and see pixels. What it will also do is browse this out, clicking on the file folder, and it's going to put it in my source images folder. I'll call this one 02_01_gas_pump_start. I can have it open Photoshop automatically if I want, and I'll check this so we can see it happen. Now I'll scroll down and look at the snapshot settings. Every object has map1 assigned. We can think of it as a folder to keep UVs in.
If we need, we can have multiple UV sets assigned to an object, and we'll see this a lot of times in the game engine side, where our light maps will be in a separate set of UVs. I'm going to leave it alone like this, leave the color value at white, and let my lines be aliased, not checking Anti- alias, because I'd like to have clear single-pixel lines on all my straight edges. Now I'm going to add in my attributes. I'm going to pick the color, bump, and maybe specular and add those in. I'll pick specularColor, and then I'll click on the right arrow, and it says these are the attributes we're going to add into that Gas_pump.psd.
I'll hit Create and watch it open up Photoshop. Maya did that automatically, and this is really a fantastic way to start. What it's given me, if we look over here in Layers palette, is my UVSnapShot layer. There is my white lines. It's also given me layer sets named for that PSD, Gas_pump.specularColor as an example. And in each one of them it's put a single layer with 50% gray. We should work in a layered workflow in Photoshop, keeping all of our different parts in different layers. My general rule is that if I think about it, it's another layer.
If I'm going to add something new, it's another layer. If I'm adding in layers of dirt and grime and rust and wear, those are new layers. Text is on the new layer. I need as many layers as possible, because more often than not, I'm going to come back and need to change a little something. Anything I do within each of these layer sets gets exported as that layer set in that linked PSD. Finally, it's got a background down here. Let's say as an example I put something in the color. I'm going to say I'll start out with a good rusty red here.
I'll go over to my gas pump reference and eyedropper that red. Back here in my PSD, I'm going to fill that layer 1 with my base color. I'm going to save this PSD and I'll see it update. I'll go back to Maya and here under Texturing, I'll choose Update PSD Networks. There is that color appearing on my gas pump. What this lets us do then is paint all kind of things, and when we turn on our High Quality display, we'll see the diffuse, the bump, and the specular showing up correctly.
Now with that PSD network in place, I'm going to start in on the bump and then get into the diffuse color and finally, the specular, getting them in the right place in my PSD and seeing it here in Maya. It's a very fast way to texture and get things viewable with all the different properties in the view very easily.
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