Trex and Greybeard… thanks for those tips, great stuff!
Yeah, I realized early on that I was going to have to use about a fajillion layers for my little monkey face.
As I’ve been researching this afternoon, it has occured to me that Illustrator might be a better tool for map painting, at least initially… One could basically trace the UV layout, separating differnt color-areas into pathed-shapes, filling with colour… then if colours don’t align correctly when you map your texture, you can go back into illustrator to tweak your shapes. Once everything is aligned the way you like, you could export your illustrator file to Photoshop, for detail work.
… what would be really handy is if there were a Python script to export your UV layout as paths… maybe there is such a thing, I’ll do some looking. This would alleviate one of the biggest problems, which is that when you open a UV layout in photoshop and zoom in to do detailed painting, the red edge-lines become pretty inaccurate for selecting faces… (if the edge-lines were paths, they would stay precise at any zoom level).
a particular area I’m having problems with is in creating blends between coloured faces. For example, in the Monkey map I’ve been playing with, I want to create darker areas around the Monkey’s eyes… but I don’t want ‘hard’ colour separation between the lighter facial skin tone and these dark areas… I played around with various blending and blurring techniques in Photoshop, and none were very successful, because as noted before the blended region (overlapping different-coloured faces) gets far too stretched / distorted when I map the texture back onto the monkey model.
The idea of further subdividing the faces would be effective, I guess, but it seems like that might make my model un-necessarily complicated. Also, it would only further complicate the problem of accurately selecting various faces within Photoshop, not to mention making the thing that much harder to unwrap.
Seems to me that a better work-around would be to just create more seams on the model, and export a bunch of maps… for example, I could export just my monkey’s eye-areas as one large UV layout, which might make working with it more accurate in Photoshop. But I assume this would make my Blender renders (hmm… “brenders” ?) that much slower, since I’d be increasing the number of textures being mapped to my model?
Anyways, I’ll play around with this some more… maybe once I find a better working solution, I’ll expand upon the tutorial I’ve been working from.