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TechnoHydra

2D artist questions on 3D...

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I''m used to just doing 2D sprites and graphics but lately I''ve been playing around with Strata 3D. I made a city block and want to texture the scene. But my problem is...I don''t know how to create a texture. I know this is newbish but, is a texture just a 2D image graphted onto the 3D model? So when I try to make a texture for a building do I make a 2d image in, say, paint and just import that as texture? And do I have to create a texture for every side of the building or can I make a larger image amd wrap it around the model? ANY help is appreciated. I''ll probably post other questions about 3D in this topic as they come up.

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First off, make the switch to 3D Studio Max. It''s the second best 3D software on the market right under Maya. 3D Studio is also the industry standard for making 3D graphics for games.

Now, when you get 3D Studio, making textures is actually very easy, but hard to explain without screenshots. I''ll do my best.

To make a texture, open up any old paint program (Adobe Photoshop HIGHLY recommended) and make a tileable texture. Next, in 3D Studio, go into material editor. Click on a blank material and open up the drop down bar for ''Maps.'' Put a check in the ''Diffuse'' box, which will tell MAX that this image will be the main color or look of the texture. Now, click the button next to ''Diffuse'' that says "(Map #x)" and that will bring up a new window. In this window, click on the green parallelogram next to the word "Bitmap". This will bring up another window similar to what a program spits out at you when you want to open a new file. Find your image and double-click.

Ta-DA! Now you have a nice texture to play with.

Hope this helped.

-Just because it''s brown, dosen''t necessarily mean it''s chocolate...
-Al Gonzalez III

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Thx for the suggestion, but how much is 3D Studio Max? The reason I''m using Strata 3D is that I''m using the freeware version.

So I gather from your post that textures really are just 2D images that are graphted onto a 3D model.

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Yes, textures are just 2d images projected onto 3d objects and you can wrap one texture around an object. Also, stick with Strata 3d because even the educational versions of 3d studio max and Maya will set you back a whole lot of cash.

--
http://www.3dcgi.com/

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I always seem to get flamed for saying this, but Blender is great for cheap 3D artwork. It''s reputedley as good as 3DS max, but it''s also free.

It''s only downside is it is completely different in interface to any other program, meaning that you will have to take time out to learn it. It''s sheer complexity doesn''t lend itself to improvisation, so make sure you know what you want to make before you start trying to make it, otherwise you''ll waste a whole lot of time.

Texture wise, there are four main ways to map an image onto an object: Flat, meaning it''s projected onto the object from one side only; Tubular, meaning it''s wrapped around the object by projection from a line through the object; spherical, meaning it''s projected as if from a single point within the object to all surfaces; and cubic, meaning it''s projected from all six sides of the object. Cubic mapping, unlike all other types, has the disadvantage that it''s well nigh impossible to make the mapping seamless all over the object, but it does tend to minimise distortion of the texture.

There is one other way, which Blender calls UV mapping. This is where each polygon(or group of polygons) is assigned a section of an image texture, projected perpendicularly onto those planes. It''s advantage is that it allows extremely high accuracy, so it''s good for details like faces, but it''s unbelieavably time consumuing for high poly models.

I hope I''ve been helpful.

I gather the latest version of Blender also incorporates an advanced system for the creation of games, but I''ve never used it.

To make tileable textures, I don''t like using commercial packages. Instead, I got a friend to make me a simple program that takes all images within a directory and batch converts them to tileable textures in another directory, by mirroring along the edges of each image.

It''s just a shame he only had the jpg decoder and not the encoder, because I then have to batch convert the directory of tiled images back into jpgs from bitmaps anyway!

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Thx for the info Captain, I had version 2.12 but hadn''t taken the time to get to know its capabilities. I''m dowloading the newer version as I type this. I''ll give it a go, only problem is self motivation, I get bored if I don''t make tangible progress. And thx for the explanations of the texture manipulation.

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I have to say thx again for encouraging me to try Blender. I went through the castle tut they had for the castle and it doesnt seem as daunting anymore. I just needed to understand what I had at my disposal to get any use out of them.

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Okay I have another question. I''ve been using Blender lately(have yet to regret it), And was wondering... The model and stuff I make in Blender, will I be able to export them to other 3D model programs and use them in 3D engines? Also I want to eventually make a short animation or two using the models I create in Blender, is there going to be a problem doing that? I guess the main thing I''m worried about whether or not the stuff I make Blender will be usable in anything else. Hope someone doesnt mind helping me understand some of this.

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Not sure but I think blender can export 3DS files..Can it? and most engines can use this and theres lots of free 3d format convertors around if you need another format. I personally use Milkshape 3d £15 I think I paid for it. It imports/exports most formats and its great for low/medium poly modelling/texturing, check out my Ferrari F40 update post...Sorry dont mean to spam or anything

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