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beginner's tips/tricks

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Morning Folks, First of all let me explain that I''m not an artist and have very limited artistic abilities. I am in the process of developing a 3d game engine, I''ve got some of the work done and I''m currently trying out different objects (mostly static props, walls, floors etc) inside the engine and trying to make it all look good. Problem is that nothing looks quite as good as I want it to. OK some of this is the fault of my engine which so far isn''t particually sophisticated but I think the main problem is my own artistic shortcomings. So, my question is: Are there any simple (I don''t mind writing a little code to implement this) tips/tricks that I can do to make my models/scenes look better in the game engine? Currently I''m just using texture mapped polygons with/without specular lighting. It would be particually useful to learn of any tricks I can use with just this limited functionality but as I say, I don''t mind writing a bit of code if I''m going to get a nice effect. Thanks for your time. dunch

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A few links that may or may not be helpful:
  • Texturing--A tutorial by David King about creating texture maps for models that look good.

  • Smudge tool--Another one at the same location by the same guy about using the Smudge tool to good effect when texturing. This one, I found interesting.

  • Texturing a complex model--A tutorial by Enrico Valenza about applying texturing to a complex model in Blender

  • Mayang's Textures--A website full of high-resolution digital photographs of real world objects and textures. I've found real-world stuff to be irreplaceable in my own modelling, for adding realistic detail to textures.

  • Jeremy Engleman's Textures--More high-res photos by Jeremy Engleman.

  • With simple texture-mapped objects and no sophisticated lighting or rendering tricks, the key to making a model appear as realistic as possible is in the texturing you apply to it, so I recommend you take a look at some of the texturing tutorials that are out there.

    I personally possess very rusty artistic skills; they're getting better, but I still lean very heavily on my collection of digitial photographs when making textures. Need reptile skin? Go take a close-up picture of an iguana. A little editing in the Gimp, and I can incorporate the scales into a game texture for a realistic effect with minimal effort. Far better than the stuff I try to draw purely by hand, though with the two David King tutorials linked above, those attempts are starting to look better and better.

    Hope that helps you a little.

    World of Golem

    [edited by - VertexNormal on May 7, 2004 11:31:07 AM]

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