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How to create textures with Blender3D

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Hi, I'm going to share my workflow for texture creation within blender. I developed this technique while working in WFG and the need to make custom textures by myself in a reasonable timeframe. (This is a How-to post not a tutorial :P)

This may be helpful if you're a better modeler than a texture painter like me.

The process is like this:

I made a .blend file which is basically a camera in orthographic view mode (without perspective) that is pointing down, a plane which is exactly the same size as the camera and a sun lamp to get some shadows in the texture. With this setup, when you make a render, the square plane will fill all the render image.

Once you have modeled whatever you want to be the texture, you can use the plane that fills the whole camera view to bake normals, ambient occlusion, displacements... whatever.

You need to have some basic knowledge in blender to know how to apply textures, modifiers, etc.. so you create the scene textured, and you render to get the texture that will be used (preferably for 0AD lol)

In this video I show the final scene of how I made a test texture for an elephant howdah. The bricks are just cubes that have two subsurf modifiers (that makes them smooth), displacement modifiers (that makes them bumpy) a desaturated leather texture that makes them grey and a rusty metal texture that makes them dirty. The wood is a single plane with a wood texture, and little details are modeled with a metal material. After rendering the scene and check the texture, I use the plane to bake the normals selecting all the geometry I want to bake, select the plane last, create a new image to bake the normals, and baking them with "selection to active" checked. Since the plane has the same ratio as the camera, the normal texture matches the rendered texture.

Here's some links to pages with licenses compatible with 0 A.D:




I also used this technique for creating textures for units. The trick for units is using a background image with an existing unit texture, and modelling only the "new parts" placing them following the background image as reference. Then make the render with transparent background, and use GIMP or photoshop to add the resulting rendered texture in top of the base texture. Here's an example of the blendfile I used to create Ashoka's texture. I used Cycles renderer instead of blender internal because it works better for metallic reflections (but is harder to make a good light setup).

Here's the blendfile ready to model the contents of the texture and render it.

Blender texture creator.zip

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