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Noob modeling/texturing thread


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#1 Maximius

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:44 PM

Here's a longsword, a battle axe, and a warhammer. They are still pretty low poly so a lot of detailing could be added of course, roughening up the outlines of the hammer/axe handle for starters. Im not in love with the swords crosspiece either but its closer than before. I used the axe as a basis for the hammer, that made that job a split second.

http://aycu07.websho...56290868_rs.jpg

http://aycu25.websho...91026086_rs.jpg

http://aycu36.websho...92872706_rs.jpg

http://aycu05.websho...94248004_rs.jpg

http://aycu38.websho...45461322_rs.jpg

http://aycu29.websho...35019751_rs.jpg

I could definitely see adding much more detailing to a sword but the hammer and axe images I used as a template were pretty rough hewn affairs, basically a heavy head with a stout wooden handle jammed into it. I could add some rivet heads and such to the handle for a grip.

Edited by Maximius, 30 July 2007 - 08:48 PM.


#2 Baddcog

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:26 PM

OK, you got modeling down, now lets see some textureing :D

but seriously, I think the sword is OK, I'd suggest a slight tweak to the 'hand guard' though. the v between the two points on the outsided, I'd move the middle of the v just slightly inwards to balance out the points a bit. The inside point tip is thicker than the outside tip.

The Hammer head strikes me as a bit of an odd shape, no biggie though. Is the point supposed to be the front or back? if the back then I'd pull out and enlarge the square side a bit to make it stronger.
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#3 demagogue

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:40 AM

Here's the latest on my lute.
I've got grooves in the head-stock and strings going to the tuning keys, and I cut out a center hole, looking into the inner surface of the back (basically the back copy/pasted into a new layer and then the normals flipped).

http://i9.tinypic.com/6c6ukck.jpg

I want to put some detail work on the front and the head, which I guess is a combination of texturing and bump mapping.

Edited by demagogue, 31 July 2007 - 01:49 AM.

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#4 Nyarlathotep

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:47 AM

Very nice! I doubt I could do anywhere near as well on my first model!

#5 Maximius

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:38 AM

OK, you got modeling down, now lets see some textureing :D


This is where Im going to need some step by step help. I could put some of the stock textures on these in LW but if you dont mind, lets start discussing texturing for real. Is there any object in particular you would want to start with first? I would like to try the axe first, nice and simple. So I should now go hunt down images of metal and wood and start making maps in GIMP? Is that the first step? One thing I remember from my discussions with Gildoran was that the things he told me about textures were for D3, not for LW or modelers in general. (IIRC he said he had a pathological hatred of modeling or something :laugh:)

but seriously, I think the sword is OK, I'd suggest a slight tweak to the 'hand guard' though. the v between the two points on the outsided, I'd move the middle of the v just slightly inwards to balance out the points a bit. The inside point tip is thicker than the outside tip.


Im probably going to throw out that crossguard, I dislike it the more I look at it.

The Hammer head strikes me as a bit of an odd shape, no biggie though. Is the point supposed to be the front or back? if the back then I'd pull out and enlarge the square side a bit to make it stronger.


The spike is the front of the hammer, its from a hammer design more for puncturing armor like chain or even plate, than for a crushing hammer blow. Think mountain climbing hammer instead of mallet. I may add a ball of metal to the back side for counter balance, extend the spike, and reduce the block of metal in the middle to make it look more "refined", but thats pretty close to the picture of one that I found. It is a primitive looking weapon, my girlfriend was looking over my shoulder at Google and commented that of all the images of weapons it somehow stood out as being the most intimidating because it looked so brutally simple.

#6 Maximius

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:44 PM

Heres an orrery, its pretty basic but it looks neat and it could be dressed up with some good textures.


http://aycu23.websho...94555381_rs.jpg

http://aycu11.websho...59872218_rs.jpg

http://aycu21.websho...21284300_rs.jpg

#7 Baddcog

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 10:09 PM

I think the axe, hammer or knife are all good places to start with textureing.

All fairly basic, all use more than one material.
-----------------------------
Here's where you get into choices though.

With Thief 2 you might as well just make one texture, you can paint it however you want, wood and metal combined, doesn't matter. Dromed could only have one material type (sound, collision, ect...) per object.

But, Doom3 can have many material types. So if you throw an axe and it bounces it'll sound like wood when the handle hits, metal when the blade hit. Same if shot with arrow, but the arrow will bounce off blade, would stick into handle.
That is IF you use 2 material maps, one wood, one metal.

Now, do you want to just apply a wood material to handle? cylindrical mapping would be the best choice (you can cap it and use a ring texture for the ends).

(1)For the blade, you could just apply a basic metal texture. planar map is good choice.
(2)Or you could add a planar metal map WITH and bump or normal map to add details to blade.

(1)is easy enough

(2)I recommend using the bump or normal (almost same thing, each with its own benefits- can also be combined, but that's complicated)
in your 3d program for alignment. the metal will be plain and have no details really, the normal will show you where details are so you can work with them.

If (2) then you'll need to read up a bit on the Wiki for materials. mtr files, ect...
an example (an easy one I understand):


bc_carrot
{
wood
noshadows
noSelfShadow

diffusemap models\darkmod\props\textures\bc_carrot.tga
bumpmap models\darkmod\props\textures\bc_carrot_local.tga

}


bc_carrot = name of material (this is added to object in the ase file for 3ds max, lightwave I'm not sure)

wood = material type, of course I need to fix 'cause carrots aren't wood (or are they?)

noshadows means this material won't cast shadows (I have my reasons)
noSelfShadow = won't cast shadows on itself (there are TONS of options you can put here)

obviously paths to diffuse, bump and specualr come next. This is where you tell game which metal tex to use and which normal map for details.

I gotta run, hope that points you in a direction for now.
Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

#8 Maximius

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:06 PM

Ok, here is the axe with a real simple texturing job with LW's stock tex. The head looks ok but the handle needs work. I've tried to adjust the grain of the wood but its a pain in the ass. I also did the orrery for the heck of it, but that needs a real texturing job more than the axe to look ok.

http://aycu31.websho...28374085_rs.jpg

http://aycu11.websho...15514297_rs.jpg

I have to figure out how to get this normal mapping plugin installed into LW. Im going to hunt on some other modeling websites and repost the question here as well. In the meantime, as a lesson, Im going to get some wood textures and practice making maps with them for the axe handle. Results to follow in a day or so. Max out.

#9 demagogue

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:16 PM

Yeah, the LW tex for wood sucks.

I still haven't figured out how to import textures on a planar map in layout yet, still reading, but I can't imagine it not being able to. We need to figure it out, not only because we need better textures, but it's no good using propriety texs for an external use.

Anyway, it's D3's ability to get the tex on that counts.
I just want to be sure it does it so it looks good.

Edited by demagogue, 01 August 2007 - 01:28 PM.

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#10 Maximius

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:37 PM

Yeah, the LW tex for wood sucks.

I still haven't figured out how to import textures on a planar map in layout yet, still reading, but I can't imagine it not being able to. We need to figure it out, not only because we need better textures, but it's no good using propriety texs for an external use.


I'm clueless here. What are you reading? I have the LW8 manual by Dan Ablan but he really needs some lessons in organizing his information better. I cannot find a consolidated, detailed list of all of LWs functions. All the literature I have for making maps and such is D3 related, which I cannot use at the moment.

Here is a website with a plug in that allows LW to make normal maps in the renderer. But the site recommends using another file in place of the one that comes with this plugin, as you will see when you read it. But when I go to replace the file in the plugin, there are two files with similar names, I don't know which one to drop, or both, or what. But anyway, if we can get this installed we will be doing really well I think.

http://amber.rc.ariz...normalmaps.html

Also, I have a file for you, but we have to figure out how to install that as well. Ill PM you on that.

Edited by Maximius, 01 August 2007 - 01:37 PM.


#11 demagogue

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:16 PM

I found a way to get better looking, tiling wood textures, the color that I want: http://www.freedownl...d_Workshop.html


Edit: I better wait until I have something to show, or at least work some more, before I ask a question. Because the question I just asked and edited out I don't think even makes sense. I'm working on a custom texture for the front surface of my lute, like a border and some other detail work, and figuring things out as I go. I know you guys want it at 1024x1024, so I'm working at that scale.

I figured out the basic way to add custom textures in LW. So basic, but took me a little while to get it. Max may already know this, but I'll explain it for my own sake to make sure I really get it, and to encourage both of us to get away from LW's stock stuff.

In Layout, the first thing you do is open Image Editor (F6). Click "load", and you can load anything you've made or found off the web. I've been making my own texture in Paint Shop building off of public-domain stuff I found online, saving it as a TGA. Then using that.
Then open the surface editor (F5), select the surface you want to work with, and then next to each category (Color, Luminosity, diffuse, specularity, etc), there is a box "T" that you click on. So for "color", which is the basic surface, you'd click "T", then "Layer: image map", Projection: however you want the texture to project on to your object ("planar" is a direct projection on to the surface by the plane, good for simple geometry. You just paint/paste stuff against a transparent wireframe in Photoshop and it's already properly scaled and ready to go), and under "image" you just select the image you already loaded in. Then you have to scale it, position it, and rotate it, to get it on properly. Then you can do the same thing for a diffuse, bump, and specular map, using the "T".

Now I just need to be sure that everything set up properly in LW will still be set up for D3. Probably doesn't matter for generic textures, but with this custom border work, it has to be positioned and scaled just right to fit exactly in place on the surface.

Edited by demagogue, 02 August 2007 - 12:53 AM.

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#12 Baddcog

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:33 AM

I don't know if there's a specific size wanted.

I've been using 512x512 or smaller where possible. So far my only 1024 tex is the lantern bot.
I think for something the size of a lute 512 is good.
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#13 Maximius

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:09 AM

I figured out the basic way to add custom textures in LW. So basic, but took me a little while to get it. Max may already know this, but I'll explain it for my own sake to make sure I really get it, and to encourage both of us to get away from LW's stock stuff.


No I did not know that, thanks. Anything to stop using the damned leather textures as wood....

In Layout, the first thing you do is open Image Editor (F6). Click "load", and you can load anything you've made or found off the web. I've been making my own texture in Paint Shop building off of public-domain stuff I found online, saving it as a TGA. Then using that.


Is a TGA a kind of image file, like jpeg or gif? I know GIMP has its own, its called XSL or something like that.

You just paint/paste stuff against a transparent wireframe in Photoshop and it's already properly scaled and ready to go), and under "image" you just select the image you already loaded in. Then you have to scale it, position it, and rotate it, to get it on properly. Then you can do the same thing for a diffuse, bump, and specular map, using the "T".


Ok Im a little lost here, why the step of pasting to a wireframe, cant you just open it in LW and do all of the scaling etc?

Im going to give this a shot and Ill post results/problems as I go. I will be up loading that file as well.

#14 demagogue

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:37 PM

@Baddcog - I got 1024 from the DMwiki, but I guess that's just for architecture textures that will be tiled all over the place, not objects. It'll be good if I can use 512 for most of it, although I'm thinking for the front surface I still want it pretty high-quality because I want to use some intricate arabesque designs on it, and it will get more scrutiny, although like you say it's still pretty small. I'll try both and see if it makes a difference.

@ Max - TGA is a Targa file, an image file without the compression of a jpeg, so it's higher quality. Again, I got this from the DMwiki for what image files to use for textures. Since it's not compressed, it doesn't have compression distortion like a jpeg can have, although it's a bigger size. If your source file is already a jpeg, just use that ... no sense in changing it. But if you are taking a photo or making something from scratch in Photoshop, then originally save it as a TGA and use that so it's a higher quality image. But maybe, like the point that Badcog just made with the size, for smaller objects it probably doesn't matter as much and a jpeg will be fine.

Re: "why the step of pasting to a wireframe", I'm talking about Photoshop here. I should have said it depends on the kind of texture you're using. If it's just a stock material that just covers the whole thing, then you just scale it in LW, as you say, no problem. You don't need to bring a wireframe into Photoshop for that.

But if it's a custom design, like the border-work on my lute, then you have to actually draw the thing in Photoshop (or in my case, a mix of drawing and pasting), and for that you import the wireframe into Photoshop and use it as a stencil on which you draw the texture. That's what I meant by pasting onto the wireframe, sorry to be confusing.

Edited by demagogue, 02 August 2007 - 09:17 PM.

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#15 Baddcog

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:42 PM

just a note:

TGA's also have an alpha channel for transparencies, a plus over jpg.

I'm not sure what the final plan is, I know alot of textures were converted to DDS (an NVidia file) that has mip maps (regular version + 4{?} smaller compressed versions) so when the player is further away a more compressed image is used to save rendering power. Also has alpha info.
I think all of the terrain textures were converted. I think object textures might also be converted at some point.
I noticed a conversion tool was posted in a thread but haven't checked it out yet. NVidia does have a photoshop plugin for DDS also.
They are ALOT smaller in size than a TGA.

@demagogue,
one option for your lute detail is to add a square right on top of your lute front face. So your whole lute would use a plain wood texture (no details at all)
Then the square (2 polys) on top of your lute would have an alpha image of the details. That way you could use stock wood tex like I used on my Double Bass, but still have an intricate design on it.
Also, would give a choice of a plain lute, or someone else adding their own details instead.
I used this for the doors when I resized them. I put planes where the hinges and lockplate go on the doors. So the doors can have a variety of hinge styles, lockplate styles, or no hinges, all independent of the actual wood texture used for the door. a 'NoDraw' tex can be used to make hinges invisible.

Posted Image
(the 2 doors on left still have a modeled lock plate, the one on right had a hinge as a place holder for the lock)
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#16 demagogue

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 11:06 PM

I think I see what you're saying.

Right now I'm using five surfaces/textures, light_wood front, dark_wood back, smooth_black fretboard (also for the tuning keys, pins), silver frets, and blonde strings. So this is just talking about the front surface.

Is the "alpha" square sitting on the same plane as the rest of that surface, or like hovering just above it?

Since this is border work that encircles the entire front surface, such a square would seem to have to cover the whole surface, well, it would have to be bigger than one square then. (Really, it looks naked without a border for the whole outside edge and hole).

It sounds like I would just make a copy of the entire current front surface so it doubles up (or hovers?), and then just put two different surfaces on them (the way LW handles textures), one with the plain wood texture, the other with the border design texture on an alpha channel surrounded by a transparent field, right? And the design will "overwrite" the wood, but leave the rest of it the wood surrounding the design that's in the transparent field. Is that the idea?

Also, by "2 polys", you mean the square is made of two triangle polys. Should all the polys be triangles (another question I had)? ... because right now a lot are 4+, although it's kept me at 400 polys.

Edited by demagogue, 02 August 2007 - 11:23 PM.

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#17 Maximius

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 11:21 PM

Also, by "2 polys", you mean the square is made of two triangle polys. Should all the polys be triangles (another question I had)? ... because right now a lot are 4+, although it's kept me at 400 polys.


IIRC I was told by a reliable source that its bad to have polys over 4, why I cannot remember. You may be able to subdivide those polys but of course this will drive up the total.

#18 Baddcog

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 11:53 PM

Well, a polygon in any game is ONLY 3 sides, a triangle.

In many 3d programs a poly can have more sides. In Max a 'polygon' can be 3+

I can export an object from Max with 4 sided poly and have no probs, however I believe from Lightwave you need to 'triangulate them' so they light properly in Doom3. Just a difference in how Max and LW calculate them I guess.

Either way, the game counts each triangle as a polygon no matter how they are exported.
-----------

As for the lute details. You got the idea. I was thinking only 2 polys(a square) just to save polys. As you won't be able to see the corners sticking out it doesn't matter if the model has a big square in front of it.
I do mean to 'float' it in front of the lute a tiny bit, that way you don't get weird render issues with poly fighting (if it was same plane as lute front). But the space can be so small it won't be visible.

You can also use a very low poly shape for the collision model, then no trouble with those polys at all. (I'd make that material noshadow, noselfshadows BTW)
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#19 demagogue

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 01:26 AM

Gotcha.

The front surface of my lute is actually one very big 37-sided polygon! (Or was until I added that hole.) I already read about triangulating the 4+ ones, so it's no problem. And as the back is all squares, turning all that into triangles will at least give it a smoother contour. It should add about 100 polys, but hopefully I'm still under 600.

Well, I finally got the outside border drawn in. Need to clean it up a bit, then I can just cut it out with the lasso for that alpha channel trick. For some reason, it took me for freaking ever to get that border lined up properly -- it does not look nearly as impressive as the effort I put into it! But it looks nice, I think; anyway, it looks bad without it. Tomorrow I'll clean it up, add a bump map for it, and then do the hole, and it will also take a while, but at least it's smaller. Then I have a surprise I want to try out. B)

Edited by demagogue, 03 August 2007 - 01:36 AM.

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#20 Baddcog

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:28 AM

Actually, all those squares on the back are just 2 triangles already.

For modelling programs the only difference is that you can see the wireframe around triangles instead of squares once you 'triangulate'. It won't make things any smoother though.

It will however let you see the triangles and you'll probably notice that one side of your lute is smoother than the other (because of the way the line runs thru the middle of the square). Actually it will be more like:

top/left is smoother
top right is jaggy
bottom left is jaggy
bottom right is smooth

'turning the edges' will make those lines line up better with the sphereical shape. Either turn all the middle edges on the jaggy parts. Or just turn the jaggy edges on the left side, delete the entire right side. The copy/paste mirror the left so when it become right side it's fixed already.

Maximus knows the difference between mesh smooth and smoothing now. I gotta go to work otherwise I'd explain...

---
I'd also recommend using only 2 trinagle square for the design part. If you copy the top and duplicate it you'll have probably 100 more polys than needed. Gotta love Alpha. If only we'd known earlier that TGA worked in T2....
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#21 Maximius

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:57 AM

As for the lute details. You got the idea. I was thinking only 2 polys(a square) just to save polys. As you won't be able to see the corners sticking out it doesn't matter if the model has a big square in front of it.
I do mean to 'float' it in front of the lute a tiny bit, that way you don't get weird render issues with poly fighting (if it was same plane as lute front). But the space can be so small it won't be visible.

You can also use a very low poly shape for the collision model, then no trouble with those polys at all. (I'd make that material noshadow, noselfshadows BTW)



cog if I could back you up here a second for a quick review, so you are saying (using the lute example) that he can go ahead and texture the facepiece with a standard wood texture, then float a set of polys a tiny bit in front of it with some scrollwork or detailing, close enough that the gap cannot be seen but far enough to avoid poly fighting, on which he has drawn the detailing via an alpha map (?). So then for my sword I could import some nice new metal textures from the web, normal and spec them, then in addition, I could place a few poly pairs on top of each section of the crossguard and apply maps to those polys to add detailing etc.

#22 Maximius

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 09:06 AM

Maximus knows the difference between mesh smooth and smoothing now. I gotta go to work otherwise I'd explain...


I read the Ablan book to be certain, mesh smoothing is when you hit "Tab" and it add a lot of polys to smooth out the object, smoothing is a function to change the way light interacts with an object to make it appear rounder and is accessed in the Surface editor. Something I have not been doing in fact, Im glad this came up.

#23 Springheel

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 09:16 AM

Also, by "2 polys", you mean the square is made of two triangle polys. Should all the polys be triangles (another question I had)? ... because right now a lot are 4+, although it's kept me at 400 polys.


Yes, with LW you need to triple the model (T) before exporting. It will work in D3 without tripling but will throw up lots of errors into the console.

cog if I could back you up here a second for a quick review, so you are saying (using the lute example) that he can go ahead and texture the facepiece with a standard wood texture, then float a set of polys a tiny bit in front of it with some scrollwork or detailing, close enough that the gap cannot be seen but far enough to avoid poly fighting, on which he has drawn the detailing via an alpha map (?).


That would work, though it might be overkill for something like a lute (and I think it's definitely overkill for the sword)--is it important to be able to swap lots of types of wood textures for it? If they're just carved into the wood, a normalmap would be the easiest way to go.

One place you could save some polys on that lute is to not model each individual string. Just use two, long polys to cover the same space, and then use a transparent texture for the strings. They won't cast shadows, but that's not very important, IMO. If shadows are really important to you, then you could use two single-sided polys for each string rather than making them 3d (they look like they're square atm, so you'd cut your polys to 25%).
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#24 demagogue

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 09:39 AM

Actually triangles, but double-sided polys sounds even better.

I'm liking the alpha trick the more I think about it, too.

Actually, all those squares on the back are just 2 triangles already.

For modelling programs the only difference is that you can see the wireframe around triangles instead of squares once you 'triangulate'. It won't make things any smoother though.

'turning the edges' will make those lines line up better with the sphereical shape. Either turn all the middle edges on the jaggy parts. Or just turn the jaggy edges on the left side, delete the entire right side. The copy/paste mirror the left so when it become right side it's fixed already.

Maximus knows the difference between mesh smooth and smoothing now. I gotta go to work otherwise I'd explain...


I got it. Actually, you said what I meant. I didn't mean to say that merely turning the squares into triangles will make it smoother, since the squares are already planar. I just meant it will give me the opportunity to turn the triangles to follow the curve better, since triangulating them will give me twice the polys to work with in matching the curve.

Actually, that raises a question I had. Does the engine care just about how many polys you have per se, or how much is planar? Because I could turn that front surface into a bunch of triangles, or the squares on the back, but it's still all on the same plane. Does it even matter that it's planar though?

One reason I ask is, e.g., if I'm going to have to add a bunch of triangles anyway, should I take advantage of that and make the back smoother by tilting them, or is it still better to keep the present configuration with the bigger planar surfaces and leave the triangles as they would be after I trianglate all those squares?

Edited by demagogue, 03 August 2007 - 06:29 PM.

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#25 Maximius

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 12:02 PM

Im making normal and spec maps of metallic textures to do the head of my axe, I found an nice crusty looking cast iron one with lots of pitting and detail. So should I make the maps in GIMP, then:

combine them into one document in GIMP and then load them to LW? (If so, what is the name of the process so I can look it up directly in tutorials plz)

or

load them separately into LW through the image editor?



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