Any help on making these panels look better?

I’ve stumped on how simple and crude they look. I’m still not very good at texturing or making anything appear realistic in Blender so far so I was asking how to make this one section of hull look more authentic and impressive.

It’s supposed to look tough, and a little worn.

I tried using the clone stamp tool in GIMP to copy over a light paneling texture than put some rust here and there to make it look good but it just ends up looking terrible…


Any tips would be great, or tutorial links onto how I might do this.

i think the main problem with the material is that you can’t relate it to any realworld material, is it supposed to be metal? or concrete? for me it looks like a mix of some sort of metal-ish panels mixed with rocks? use google image search to get some inspiration in material and try to recreate it, also not only the color of it, but the “feeling” of the entire material. how does it react to light? is the surface rough or flat? is it shiney, how shiney? etc.

I would highly recommend going to the Quixel website and getting dDo if you have access to Photoshop CS3 or above. Makes texturing a breeze, and the beta is available for free until the end of the month.

a normal map is just there to fake non-flat parts, if you don’t need the rivets and stuff like in that video, i’d stay with a simple textured object, maybe go on and look for metal and rust textures, you can then edit them in gimp/photoshor or other image editing program. what you want is one texture that is used for the color, one that is used for the reflectivity (for example the rusty parts are not as reflective as the bare metal), and maybe others depending on your needs. you can easily create different maps in image editing programs with desaturating/color curves/playing with contrast and brightness…

I made a normal map but I don’t know how to use it. Tutorials only seem to indicate how to put a normal map and nothing else, how do I use both the normal map and texture map?

EDIT: I remade the hull section and now I get this sort of result, is there anyway you think it could be improved from here?

I could make a Normal map for this one but I don’t know how to use one.

you just make a new texture channel of type ‘image’ ( or use a procedural if you prefer ) load the image you are using as a normals map, then, in the influence panel, un-check ‘color’ and check ‘normal’ ( color and normal ).

Thanks! Unfortunately did not better, as I thought it would, but an improvement in terms of knowledge nonetheless.

There are lots of things to keep in mind when doing high quality textures, especially for metal. You need to think about edge wear, rust accumulation (where would water pool?), dust accumulation, the environment where it spends most of its time, etc. Without a special automated software like dDO, you’re going to be doing a LOT of hand painting to get what you’re looking for. Specific things that come to mind are rust accumulating around rivets in the direction of gravity, damage and scratches along sharp edges, and overall wear and tear from pH differences in the environment with regards to intended material (i.e. a ferrous material is going to corrode and rust fairly easily while something zinc plated will get white oxidation buildup and gold will probably just get surface gunk buildup and scratches). It helps to have lots of reference images of the type of material you’re going for. Another thing I would do is have “USG Ishimura” either as separate geometry or paint, commit to one or the other, and use a different font in either case. Don’t just have it affect the normal map as it will look fake from glancing angles. You may want to completely remove it from the texture and instead have it be its own decal mapped to an empty so that you can move it around in a non-destructive manner. You should also give it some wear and tear as if the paint has been worn away. It’s pretty easy to accomplish with a couple of filters in PS or GIMP. Anyway, there are always a lot of things that can be done to improve texture quality. It’s just a matter of how much time you want to put into it and how close you’re going to be to the given details.

I’m not sure how to do that to the words. I don’t know really what I can do to make it look authentic. I know I need it on the side of the hull, except it can’t look like the hull, because there would be no point to it then. Somehow has to look real yet not the same as the rest of the hull…

if you create an image texture that is just the words with alpha transparency you can change its mapping to “object” and then set it to map to the coordinates of an Empty. Then as you move the empty around it will change the location of the words. This way you can use it as a decal and alter the way it looks without having to change the entire hull texture.

note also there is a slider where you can adjust the nor value next to the little check boxes, and there is also the option of using an RBG normals map, which looks better than a grayscale one. RGB normals maps can be made in blender using UV mapping and render baking, and also by using a special material, and simply rendering it normally. it is available for download somewhere, but i don’t think anyone uses it since the advent of render baking. such normals maps can also be made with other programs such as crazy bump. I also have a program that makes them based on grayscale values, called texturemaker.