Creativity.exe missing: [Intro]
Finally we are pursuing the key to realism, textures and materials.
But first Story-time! ; )
In the beginning I wanted to use an external program like “Quixel something” or Substance something" to create all the texture-maps, because I simply thought I could never do this “by hand”.
So I started trying demos, figuring out the programs, using lazy presets and “smart-materials” (strangely acting quite dumb most of the time).
Everything looked nice and textured so I just had to export and it was done. Yes and no. Yes, you’re done with the texture, because now you are stuck with it or you start a new one. No, now you have to tweak all the maps forever until it looks “close enough” in cycles, basically because these programs are not designed with blender in mind. My personal conclusion was that I myself couldn’t find a justification to buy these rather expensive tools as a blender user. They are really good at what they do for sure, but I had to say no. Troublesome export, felt like cheating and not “my work”, difficult to change once exported, very annoying to get to look right in cycles, the learning curve aaand the list goes on…
I tried to see if I did something wrong, so I went to the Tubes and watched an introduction-video on substance painter for cycles only to see that the guy simply didn’t care about these things.
Only one option left for me then ; D, because texturing is probably the most important part of creating believable cg-sorcery.
Once I was back in Blender, I realized that the node editor actually does very much of the same thing as the external texturing programs, with the difference being that there are no presets and there are nodes instead of layers (which is very nice).
Long story short… I went to use a magic tool only to come back and see that there is no magic (who would have thought…). ; )
Translating the things to the node editor resulted in a huge node-tree. OK it’s ridiculously huge. ; D
I think this surpassed 150 nodes (Not planning to verify that XD), but I seems to work kind of… OK. You can judge the results yourself. The massive amount of nodes is simply because of the procedural texturing. It seems to render best, if I mix shader-properties, instead of mixing the shaders directly. Fewer shader-nodes seem to be more efficient and I learned that there is a limit for zooming out in the node editor. ; ) I have a decent AMD/ATI card but of course still have to use my CPU (not the worst in the world…), which gives me at least a usable viewport-render. I present you this, using 50 delicious samples. ; )
The procedurals are controlled by masks, curvature, height-map and AO. Now i have no limited texture resolution and all the freedom to change the material in every layer individually (even all the wear and tear) easily whenever I please (note varying colors of the frame). : ) Should I need more speed later on, I can bake the Texture-cake… ; ) I found two issues to fix before moving on. Since the model just screamed: “Steampunk!” at my face lately, I decided to go for this direction. (Honestly, it was already the feeling I went for while drawing…) Because modeling affects texturing quite a bit and the baking takes very long, I will now detail the mesh to a further extend before reviving the rest of the model.
Do you think my result is viable and what’s your take on texturing out- or inside Blender?
Share your thoughts and have a nice day. : )