reflections on unwrapped textures

I’m wondering, how would you go about giving different parts of a texture map different texture attributes. For example, a can is made of reflective tin, then sometimes thers’s writing painted on. How would u map out a texture map giving that painted attribute to the writing and reflective look on the tin.

Probably the single biggest “eye-popping epiphany” :eek: I ever had is this: layers. (Or nowadays, nodes of various kinds.)

There does not have to be, and in fact there shouldn’t be, “one texture to rule them all.” Instead, you build up layers of textures (now: “texture nodes”) which combine the effect of several different sources. This is the familiar notion of “rendering in passes,” even though in this case you’re doing it all at the same time.

Therefore, grab a can and look at the light. Forget “what” you are looking at, and instead observe the light very closely. Now, arrange your texturing approach accordingly. For example:

  • “Tin” has a basic color-quality. (Or maybe you are starting with an image-based texture.)
  • This reflective tin appears that way because of the way that specular and/or mirror highlights are playing across its surface. Add a layer of information (another texture, or nodes) that represents only that characteristic.
  • You say there’s writing on it? Great: make a map of just the writing, with Alpha information to define where the writing is (Alpha > 0.0) and where it is not (Alpha = 0). Add this, separately, to the mix. (Put it in front of the reflectivity if you want the writing to appear to reflect light; or after, if you want the writing to attenuate the reflective effect.
  • Repeat.

So your approach has now become:

  • The base material (nodes) and the texture(s) (nodes) each contribute one aspect of “how it looks.” Each contribution is, as much as possible, in isolation from all the others. No single one of them carries all the weight.
  • Each of these contributions is now individually mixed, adjusted and tweaked… just like the mix-down of an audio recording at a studio or in the back of a concert hall.
  • If you want, you can do this ahead-of-time, precalculating the result to produce just a single applied image. (That’s what they call baking.) The result is the same; it’s just a matter of when the time is spent and whether-or-not you can get away with it in what you’re doing.

And that’s how it’s done! :cool: “Photographs are made in the darkroom, not in the camera.”

thanks a lot.

I forgot to ask how would i get reflections to work on an unwrapped texture which might be used for games and what does the reflectios button, in the material panel, exactly do, what difference des it make. By that button i mean the one near the nor,spec,amb,col settings and so on, on the very right. Sorry i don’t remember what that area’s called im sending from a computer that doesn’t have blender but hope u can help.