Hi guys, this is a question I’m racking my brain on since a lot.
When I discovered Blender last november I was a “procedural-only guy”. I mean, I came from the Nurbs world of the 3D modeling and as often as not I finished my models I was used to serve those up on a platter to POV-Ray.
I like POV-Ray so much and used it a lot, and when I began learning it I even started to love its excellent procedural materials I thought could realize everything in my mind.
I think I developed some “only-and-exclusively-procedural” approach in order to “materialize” my models and stay away from every photo, painted texture etc… and I tried to squeeze out of that process all I needed.
That happened some years ago.
Then… well, I discovered Blender and first thing I did (obviously…) has been to try and transfer that way of thinking to my “new toy” and look at the result. The first attempt was the image in my sign.
But after that experience, I’ve begun learning Blender a lot more in depth and discovered a lot of new tools and especially UV unwrapping among those, and the world around it… Now I think I’m about to entirely recasting my mind about the way of making textures and materials and trying to integrate procedural textures with hand-painted textures, and next step even with pictures.
By using a combination of modeling, sculpting and pictures used as normal map then diffuse map I’ve grown in the reliability of my materials and now I think I reached an interesting level of photorealism in my images that was simply unreacheable with only the procedural textures approach.
Where is the problem then?
As a former procedural-only material user, the use of pictures as textures even in the light of the great results obtained, sound to me like a trick, something like a cheat out of the 3d pure world. I know 3d world is actually a bunch of tricks in its essence and in its every form, but the “cheat” feeling is always there and it seems to me like it’s taking away… mmm… I think value from my works.
I think I’ll definitely make use of pictures to increase the level of realism of my images and this thread could seem a bit paranoic, but I would really like to know what do you think about that, whether you too have thought about this “problem” sooner or later. Is an artists less “artistic” by the using of pictures in its textures? What is your opinion about, and what your way to make materials for your models?
Thanks for reading!