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tokaplan

Making textures more realistic

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I've just created a spaceship texture, but still, even with proper lighting and stuff, it looks pretty much as if it was painted. Though this really is the case, I wonder if there are any common ways of overcoming this problem. I understand that it's a piece of creative work, but maybe someone will give me a general advice or something? Thank you

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What size is it? There's a limit on what a 128 by 128 texture can do.
What engine are you using to display it? The effects can vary
How complex(how many polys) is the surface on which it's applied? A flat surface will give you only so much ability to display stuff.

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Forgive me for being the cynical guy, but if we knew a surefire way of making textures look realistic, I believe we would all be using it ;)

But seriously, it depends what _you_ think is realistic. Some people will also complaing that, despite having put a scan of a real texture, the texture still looks "too cold", "too perfect", etc. The classic feeling you get when you look at a picture and think "it's so perfect, it has to be made with a computer".

Have you tried something as simple as bump mapping? Some back lighting with a properly chosen coloured light? (say if you main light was a torch-like yellow, you would have a moon-like blueish back light to give a nice realistic lighting to your shadows)
Have you tried researching the texture you want to create by taking photos of actual, real life textures? For a space ship my first idea would be to look at ships and industrial plants, take pictures of all those pipes and chimneys and tanks and little lights, etc. I remember finding a great website once where the author went doing photographs on industrial plants: very atmospheric and inspirational stuff (very reminiscent of the ambience in STALKER).

Maybe if you give us a bit more details about what you are trying to achieve, and what you have, and what level you are? Also simply showing us your texture might help?

Cheers

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Thank you for your advice.

This is the screenshot taken without any effects:
ftp://82.148.20.209/ftp/screenshot1.jpg

This is the one taken with bump mapping effect application. The bump texture is not what I would like it to be, but I think this screenshot shows that bump is unable to solve the problem.
http://www.render.ru/gallery/img.php3?src=pictures%2FpfkR3EB.jpg&txt=Render.ru+%28c%29+Kertus+

This is the texture itself:
ftp://82.148.20.209/ftp/texture_body.jpg
ftp://82.148.20.209/ftp/texture_wing.jpg

I've made this unwrap myself, and maybe there's something wrong with it, isn't there? I don't like colors either, they are too monotonous, the texture looks drawn with a pencil. Then, maybe I should add some more details? And again, I think bump mapping cannot solve the problem completely, however good it is.

Thank you for your help.

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Well, that's a pretty cool model you've got there...
Now, in my opinion, what you need, to start having "more realism", is to maybe make your model itself, more realist in the first place: better curves for the cockpit, and the wings (if they are supposed to be curves, maybe you wanted your wings like that).
But even without doing that you could try a few tricks like having an environmental reflection map, to simulate "shiny reflections" on your surfaces.
That would be a good start, as I am sure this is probably the problem you see with your metallic surfaces. Same with the cockpit, either it is transparent, in which case you need transparency, or you could make it chromed in which case you need the reflections...

I looked at the texture, and indeed, although it's a good texture per se, it's not a realistic one. A metallic surface isn't just grey and darker grey. So like I said, you could use existing real world textures, and using Photoshop, use them as a base to create your own texture. Or use some "magic filter" to add a bit of shining and reflections.

Also stronger lighting might help?
At the moment it's not really defined strongly enough. Sometimes too much is good: check out any movie where they have all those strange coloured lights coming from strange places where they shouldn't be. Ever noticed how, no matter how dark the tunnels, there always seem to be some VERY strong light coming from far away, or from a side tunnel that is actually very dark when the heroes go in, etc?

I hope this all makes a little sense?
I am sure there are people around that can explain it better, but I thought I might as well give it a try :P

Good luck

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Thank you very much for your comments.

As for making a model itself more realistic, I forgot to mention that the model is for a game, so it can't be too complicated, I guess.

As for environment map, there is one already, though it's not on a screenshot.

I would like to improve the texture itself, so I'm very interested in "magic filters" you mentioned. Maybe you could be more specific?

And for the light, thank you, I'll surely consider this.

Thank you again

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ftp://82.148.20.209/ftp/screenshot1.jpg

This looks like it was ripped straight outta the Last Starfighter! Kudos. :D

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I agree with increasing the lighting.
I don't think the Yellow combined bump-mapping is working on the fuselage. It just looks mucky and a bit lame.
I found the main bumpmapping on the front section of the fuselage to be too deep and thick including the Panel door. You might want to take a look at some skins for flight sims. They get the detail and rivets down very well.
Check out IL2 and Lockon skins.
On the leading edge of the top wing, it looks like the bump-mapping has produced veins. Might be useful on another type of ship.

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I was looking for a website I know that had great Photoshop tutorials, but it's no more.
I suggest you look for textures website such as this one?

You could also, if you were lucky enough to have a library with it, check out that book on textures. Some of the stuff is not the most realistic, ever. But it has some very good explanation.
(the most realistic, is still very much to take photos of the real thing, then use techniques to use that for your own home made textures).

Philippe

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