Okay, till now I have seen many incredible shaders and filters achieved by using python scripts (that can make computers go low on fps), super high resolution textures probably from a several-megapixel-camera (witch the graphic card will downsample anyways), super high density character meshes (that most probably won’t work on any game), but somehow it feel that a demo using the basic stuff that blender does out of the box is kind of missing. So I’ll try to fill in the gap.
You should see 2 images, a set of 3 pictures and a set of 6, I’ll be explaining using this last one, the first one showing all special effects and the main textures separated and then together.
Checking Blender site reference:
I’ll be focusing in this first post on the following (Check out the pictures):
-Col map (diffuse)
-and clever and cheap reflection trick
-I’m not covering -yet- other uses because this file is already a bit… overcrowded with maps xD
The following character shader is achieved using only 1 material, and at the same time will be properly setted up so both renderer and real time engine shows the same (this doesn’t mean it’s perfect, just… versatile).
Important note: the way I’m using all of this in this demo is a bit of an overkill, and my normal map is a bit not-so-well-made, beware.
Important note 2: there a link to a file, there is this character and the textures packed.
Important note 3: this character and her diffuse texture are from the open source game Open Arena, not me. The implementation on Blender and normal map and other textures were made be my but use them as you wish.
1: From the beggining.
When you give an object a material, this mean you will give to this object surface a several properties, the 2 most obvious is diffuse and specular values. The diffuse (or col) is the colors of the surface (check out the first image of the 6 picture set), as simple as that, and the specular shade is the amount of shininess of the surface.
This shininess is controlled in fact by another factor, witch is the HARD value, this tell how glossy is the surface, while the specularity is the amount of light is reflected, you control the hard value using black and white textures being white for ultra glossy surfaces and black for the contrary, when using this map make sure you have the hard value in a low number, this will be the starting value for black being white the maximum (check out the 4th image of the 6 picture set for a single surface with 2 values of hard). IMPORTANT: you got to set it as NO RGB.
The following map to discuss is the famous normal map, in some software a black and white texture that shows the height of the bumps is enough, but not in blender, you will need the multicolored one.
Blender can bake a high resolution character on a low resolution one easily (use search option in the forums, not gonna explain it here), or you can draw a white and black height texture then use the Gimp to transform it (not gonna explain it here either, plenty of tutorials on google).
A normal map can simulate bumps on a flat surface, shading it so it affects both shadow on diffuse and specular light, but also reflection and hard maps. (check out the 5th image of the 6 picture set). When you load this texture is really important to tell blender that it is a normal map, if not it won’t work (also sometimes it won’t show the effect right away, saving and reloading, or modifying a light may solve this).
3: Faked reflection can be cool too, plus stencil!!
Now I’m gonna focus on the 2nd and 3rd picture of the 6 images, on the third one I gave a reflection texture to the character on the material, to achieve this 2 steps are needed, first when you give it the reflection texture, in Map input instead of “UV” you got to set it to “Normal”, this will make the texture to “follow” the camera. Next you got to set it to Col (as a normal diffuse texture) but instead of MIX set it to ADD.
Great now all your character is reflective… to solve this we use the stencil map. Also a black and white image, you have to uncheck it the col button, and check the Stencil button and NO RGB button.
This maps works occluding the map that is below it in the maps stack (the texture over it isn’t actually occluded but since another map is going to be put over it, then it gets occluded, got it?), done correctly the reflective character should turn into the same as the 2nd image, instead the 3rd one.
Stencils are normally used to make sand and grass to mix easily on the scene ground and things like that.
It was that hard wasn’t it, and the result is… a bit of too much but I gess it was instructive I hope ^^.
Another thread about texturing: