Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
LifeArtist

picture to texture workflow (especially to height map) ?

This topic is 851 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Good evening

 

Everytime I was on a trip or on holiday I have created some pictures, which I than used for texture creation.

 

But I still have to create a ao, height, and maybe some other maps. The normal map would I create with a program. But how can I create a good height map ? I though about somehow to model them. Any Ideas ?

 

Or did anyone did this before ? 

 

 

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

There is another post here talking about exactly that.  The artist is taking the picture, and actually modelling the details.  He then creates the height, normal, AO, by baking that model.  There is some more post-processing as well, making the height and normal maps more noisy/detailed.

 

There are programs that can do the job automatically.  It appears that you are already using one for the normals.  You could easily convert that normal map into heights I'm sure, though it wouldn't be as good as modelling the stuff.  I think Crazy Bump does it, and I'm sure Bitmap2Material from Allegorithmic could do it as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kburkhart84  has a good point, this post http://www.gamedev.net/topic/665118-my-3d-textures/ show one of the widely used methods of making textures.

This is modeling and baking textures.

 

However there is also other ways of doing it.

 

You can turn a photo into a black and white image, then using mask and level tools in photoshop or gimp to make the height map.

 

You can also lay down the photo as a base, then using photoshop or gimp you can add a layer on top and draw on it. Your first layer will be full white, here you will draw all the highest details. Next layer will be darker with lower details.

 

There are many ways to make height maps, all you need to know is that white is the highest point and black the lowest and you can make them yourself.

There is also a lot of software that will convert for you, however the results are average at best.

 

If you need me to show some of the steps just ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also some tools that can create the maps automagically.

 

One of them is CrazyBump. Its not free, but also not too expensive. If you use it a lot, the price is quite fair.

 

Then there is the Substance Suite, expecially the bitmap2material tool. AFAIK does the same as CrazyBump, more options, less intuitive to use (which is why I only ever used it to generate AO).

 

 

Now, before you get your hopes up: None of these tools will do 100% of the work if you hope for top notch result. If you input any photo into CrazyBump without optimizing the pic while snapping it for easy readability by the algorithm (read: enough contrast, making sure that the details on the picture are well visible and actually good for conversion to a normal map), and then adjust the pic later in photoshop to make sure the lighting is consistent and yadda yadda, your result will not be too good. Shadows for example should be avoided, so no photo snapped in bright sunlight (but you will struggle modelling over a photo with lots of shadows in it yourself too, so that is hardly the algorithms fault).

 

Of course, the algorithm works best with a heightmap-like image. My personal use of CrazyBump is mostly for conversion of height to normal maps. I like to create material normal maps as heightmaps in PS, this is easier to understand for me than drawing normal maps directly, and for some things way quicker than modelling.

CrazyBump never disappoints if you input a heightmap, and generate a normal map from it. So if you manage to make your photosnaps act a little bit like a heightmap (parts closer to the camera brighter than parts further from it, you will most probably get very good results. Of course that will not be easy without wuite elaborate lighting and some PS wizardry. But it is something to keep in mind.

 

 

 

As for less expensive tools... I haven't tried any of these, but listed here for completness:

 

"In GIMP you can do filter>map>normalmap" - taken from a blenderartist discussion on the subject.

InsaneBump - Gimp Script that should do some of the things CrazyBump can do

ShaderMap

 

 

 

There are most probably a ton of other tools. You could try xNormals, it does almost all the weird conversions you could think of. Not the easiest tool to use, but free to use.

There is nDo, a Quixel tool that allows you to paint normals directly in PS. As it needs PS (its a PS plugin), and comes in a not-so-cheap bundle with DDO, its not the most cost effective option though. If you do not need DDO and have a PS license already, I would look elsewhere.

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh o.o" ... Very time consuming and boring. After I have found some freetime, I have started moddeling on my texture ... So far:

texture.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Should mention, at least on that specific texture it might be quicker with a program.  The insides of the cement brick things appears to be generally the same color, which is darker than all of the grays of the bricks.  Generally that is a "best deal" when doing textures with an algorithm or with photoshop height map creation.

 

 Also, if you continue making it with this approach, you will end up needing more detail before it is over with, either in the modelling stage or somehow adding things on.  I'm sure the bricks aren't all the exact same height too.  This approach is the most time taking and difficult one I'm sure, but it can get the best possible results generally(though maybe not the most bang for buck, depending on the texture).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like your using a diffuse texture of your own make.

Wouldn't it have been faster to paste the stones on a layer in gimp or photoshop, the in between detail on a lower layer, then turned the one layer to white the other to black and finally blurred the white layer?

 

A modeling tip:

divide a cube in four and copy/ paste it on every stone. Shape the cube by extruding and moving parts. This is faster than drawing the stones.

Sub-D modeling is perfect for this kind of work and 3D sculpting will allow you to do the details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh o.o" ... Very time consuming and boring. After I have found some freetime, I have started moddeling on my texture ... So far:

 

 

Have a look at some of the tools I listed. Given you don't need the highest quality, you might get a similar (or at least not that much different) result literally in minutes (maybe seconds) by converting the image (which looks easy to convert, black filler between stones and all) in a tool like crazy bump.

 

With such a simple image, you probably could do it yourself in Photoshop or gimp.... desaturate, increase contrast, and so on.

That would give you a heightmap, but then most engines I have seen give you the option of converting a height- to a normalmap even in the engine editor.

 

 

If you really want to achieve the highest quality, you will have to do it manually. But you could also do it with Photoshop/Gimp, and paint the heightmap instead of having to model every stone manually.

That is less easy than it sounds (getting the shades of grey right by eye in a heightmap is quite hard), but at least you could convert your image there to grayscale and use it as a starting point. Sounds more time efficient to me than modelling the whole thing.

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your advices. Now I have used a program for creating all of my maps, and refining the height map inside of photoshop.

wall01_edit.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!