Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating rough brick texture, part of Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max.
As part of our texture library, we need brick. We use brick all over the world, in every city. And what we see a lot of times is actually the side and back brick, which is what we've got here in this reference photo, in a common bond or something similar where it's not the prettiest brick, but it was cheap to put up. We also will see a lot of it. It's very possible to see in any view hundreds of square feet of brick on a wall in varying degrees of dirt and color variation and such. So when I make my map, I need to make a large chunk of this that tiles nicely.
I also need to add in this roughness. It's well placed but the bricks themselves are maybe not as nice-looking as face brick we see on the front of a building. I'll start out my new document at 320x120. A brick is 8 inch wide x 3 inches tall, made to fit in the human hand. This first document will help me define my pattern to make this wall. What I'm doing here is I'm assigning myself a working ratio of 20 pixels to the inch, so a brick at 160 pixels will include a mortar joint on the side and bottom.
This will give me my half overlap or my running bond. To begin, I'll start with a fixed size marquee and I'll make the Width on this marquee 150x50. That gives me a nice wide half-inch mortar joint on the bottom and side of the brick. Common brick tends to be a little rougher and the mortar is a little bigger. I'll make a new layer by hitting Ctrl+Shift +N and landing this marquee on that layer. Then I'll fill this with really any color. I'll deselect, hold Alt, and the Move tool and I'll clone this layer, snapping onto the previous and either using the offset or nudge to move it over.
I'll nudge over with the right arrow. Now in the Layers palette, I'll clone this layer by dragging while holding Alt. Then I'll use the Offset filter found under Filter > Other > Offset to move this brick over. I'll move this clone over by 80 and down by 60. There's the half brick! Now I'll take the first brick, clone it, and press Ctrl+F to repeat the offset. I need one more half brick on that side. I'll just hold Alt and clone this layer over, snap it on the existing one, and nudge it into place.
There's my nice white mortar joints around my brick. Now I'm ready to make a pattern and add variety. I'll take this layer and merge it down. Press Ctrl+A to select all and choose Edit > Define Pattern. I'll make a new document, 1920x1920. That measurement comes from a multiple of 320 and 120. They both divide evenly into it and it's a square. Now I'll choose Edit > Fill, and under Contents, Use, a Pattern.
In my patterns, I'll choose my brick. There is an even pattern of brick in the wall. What I want to do now is use my Paint Bucket and varying colors to make selections of the brick, so I can add variety to it. Before I do that, I need to add in a header course. The headers will tie the wall together. The easy way to do this is actually to make the mortar joint. I'll zoom in, set my marquee to a Height of 50 and a Width of 10.
I'll center it on a brick or roughly so and press Delete, filling in with white. Alternately, I could make one white mortar joint and clone it over. I'll repeat this process, taking bricks and dividing them in half with the mortar joint. In the interest of time, I'll do this and jump forward showing the end result. I've added in middle mortar joints across the bricks, roughly every sixth course or horizontal layer of brick. Down at the bottom, I have an extra course, and it's really okay.
It's fine for the texture to be a little uneven. That way we get variety on the wall. What we want to see is the general field of brick and pattern. Now I'm going to take these sections of half brick or headers and I'm going to move them slightly using the Offset tool. I'll put my marquee back to normal and select across them. I'll choose Filter > Other > Offset and offset this by some random number. How about 27 pixels to the right, making sure that my Offset wraps around? Now I'll choose the next one and offset by a different number.
I'll repeat this process all way down the wall making sure that the Offset varies a little bit each time wrapping the brick around to get a less uniform look. I've offset the rows of header bricks ever so slightly so that they're broken up; their joints don't align. Now I'll go through as I've done in the previous chapter and color random bricks with varying colors. So I can use them to drive a selection, filling bricks with slightly different color to give me the variance in wall I need. In interest of time, I'll do this and show the result.
I've gone through and colored this brick with different colors, looking to break up any large contiguous areas. Now what I'll do is select those colors and refine the selection a little bit, and then fill it with a brick color. I'll use my Magic Wand with Contiguous and Anti-alias off. First, I'll magic wand my yellow bricks. And under Refine Edge, I'll add in a Radius and some shifting edge and feathering. This will give me a variation in the brick. I'll hit OK.
My brick is rounded. we can see when I zoom in. This is going to give me when I fill it a slightly different feel to these particular bricks. I'll also add in more color variation. So we look at a wall, especially one that's like this, it's old and it's grungy. We've got orange, deep red, nearly black. I'll make sure to add that in. I'll set my Foreground Color to a deep red. I'll set my Background Color to a variant of it but going fairly dark.
Now with the selection, I'll make a new layer and choose Filter > Render > Clouds. I'll deselect and repeat this process all the way through. Along the way as part of it, I may also nudge the selection a pixel or two in each direction so that the rows are slightly offset from each other vertically as well. I've gone through my brick wall, selecting each color on the background layer, and refining the edge, and then filling that selection with clouds, phasing between various brick colors from actually fairly dark to fairly light.
So I have some good variation on the wall. I've also used my arrow keys to nudge the bricks up and down. That way I get a little bit of odd spacing. They weren't put in as nicely. They still work just fine, but they slip a little bit. Lastly, I'll put in a mortar layer underneath all my other layers, filling this mortar in probably just a decent concrete gray, fairly warm. My Hue will swing actually into the red oranges and a very low Saturation. When I fill that in, I've got my wall.
I'm ready to take this and add dirt overlays or darken it and resize as needed. This will tile really nicely and I can repeat it across square feet of wall as I need, several hundred as the case may be on the side or back of the building.
- Understanding the design process and software requirements
- Analyzing concept art for texture and key shadow detail
- Planning differently styled buildings
- Laying out city blocks
- Organizing construction elements and models using layers
- Cloning geometry and texture
- Testing the module for correct floor-to-floor heights
- Arranging, aligning and cloning modular elements
- Building a texture library
- Creating stone, wood, and brick textures
- Constructing texture sheets
- Drawing detail
- Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
- Preparing for Unity as a world builder