Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating custom textures for 3D from photographs, part of After Effects Guru: Advanced Photoshop Techniques.
- Now we all know that Photoshop has some pretty amazing tools when it comes to manipulating still images. In this video, we're going to use those tools to create a seamless graphic that we can then use in our different 3D applications and map that graphic around the 3D object. Now, we're going to start this in Photoshop and then once we've created our texture and saved it, then we'll go ahead and apply it to a CINEMA 4D Lite layer that's in an After Effects project. Let's start here in Photoshop.
I took this photograph of this moss because I thought it would make kind of a cool texture. Typically, when you're creating textures to use in a 3D application, you want to create the texture as a square, seamless texture, meaning, you want the left edge and the right edge to repeat and attach seamlessly if you were able to wrap them around a cylinder. Or the top and bottom if you wrapped it around vertically. What I'll first do is grab my crop tool and with my crop tool I'll just create a texture that's 2048 by 2048.
That'll give me a nice square and I can just click and drag down to crop in. What I want to do is just choose an area that's relatively similar. Okay, that's giving me a pretty good crop so I'll go ahead and commit that crop by clicking the check-box here. We can zoom up to 100%. That texture is looking pretty good but now we need to make it seamless. To do this, I want to go up under the Filter menu and go to Other and choose Offset.
Let's start by offsetting it horizontally. Notice the second I start to offset it horizontally, I'm getting the seam down the middle. That's exactly what I want. Notice your Undefined Areas you want to set to Wrap Around. Let's go ahead and click OK. And I'm going to grab my rectangular marquee and I'll do this the super lazy way and draw a selection around that seam. Go up under Edit and choose Fill and you guessed it, Content Aware fill with Color Adaptation.
When I click OK, it's going to fill it and I'll press cmd + d or ctrl + d on Windows to deselect. Now the only thing that I didn't do to make this a little better was maybe feather the edge of my selection. But, I think this looks pretty good and now I have a seamless left and right edge. Let's repeat that same thing for the top and bottom. I'll go up under Filter, Other, Offset. We'll change the Horizontal back to 0 but change the Vertical to a different setting here.
Let's do 358, I'll click OK and this time I'll grab my rectangular marquee, draw it over that little seam there and this time we'll go to Select, Modify, Feather, let's feather it by 5 pixels. Click OK, Edit, Fill, Content Aware with Color Adaptation. Boom. We can deselect and it's done a pretty good job. I have sort of a soft edge moving through that middle section here and if that bothers you, you can use your Patch Tool or Content Aware move tool.
Here I'll use the Patch Tool with Content Aware and I'll just draw it over this slightly blurry section here and I'll drag up and choose something like that. Okay, that's done a pretty good job of dealing with the blur here. There's a little bit more blur here. Let's bring that over. Okay, great. Notice my Structure was set to 5 and my Color was set to 4. That way it's getting me a pretty good copy as it moves one copy over to the other. You can continue tweaking this.
I'm sure I could continue to find issues so I'll just stop myself. Now, once you have it set up the way you like it, then all you have to do is save this as seamless. So I'm going to go up under File, choose Save As, and instead of compressing this, I'm going to save it in the Footage folder under Stills and let's save this as a TIFF file and we'll save it as Moss_Seamless. Click Save. I don't want any Compression.
You could choose IBM or Mac. I'm just going to choose IBM even though I'm on a Mac. Now that's saved. That's a pretty large texture that we can apply. Let's go ahead and apply it. I'm going to go into After Effects here and you can see I've already got my Cinema 4D layer. I can select that layer and press cmd + e. That'll open it up in CINEMA 4D Lite. Since I already had it open it was asking if I want to have a duplicate open and I don't. So here's my custom textures area.
Let's go create a new material. I'm going to choose Create, New Material. And then in our Materials section here, under the Color area, I'm going to go to Texture. I'll click on this little fly-out button... and choose Load Image. Navigate to your Stills folder and make sure to choose Moss_Seamless.tif. When I go ahead and click Open, it's going to ask me if I want a copy of it near my CINEMA 4D file. I don't, so I'll just click No. Now, to apply this material to my capsule, I can click and drag and drop.
When I go ahead and Render, you can see it's created that material. Now it's not looking very realistic but we'll deal with that when we deal with Bump Maps and Normal Maps. For right now, it's applied. If we need to change how it's actually wrapped around the texture, and notice how it's sort of pulling here at the top. You can increase the number of Tiles vertically or horizontally. So here, if I increase the number of tiles vertically, notice that's doing a good job of dealing with that little pull that happened there and it's kind of rounding things out.
Now, it's looking much more even as we orbit around and check out our capsule. I can do the same thing here and repeat the numbers horizontally, but notice when I do this, I'm getting that seam. If you want to increase this number, increase it by an even amount. That way, you know that seamless edge will line up and you won't be able to see the seam even though it's wrapped around.
- Retouching video with the Healing Brush
- Color correcting video
- Saving time with preset lookup tables (LUTs)
- Creating custom LUTs
- Preparing still images for 3D camera moves
- Creating 3D animation
- Building environment maps to match graphics in footage
- Creating custom bump maps and textures for 3D models