View Full Version : Hand-painted Wells

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Jessica Dinh
08-17-2011, 01:57 AM
Hey guys! I am going to try hand-painting textures on some low-poly wells here. I've done some hand-painting on a couple props before, but I had really small texture sizes so this time I'm gonna give myself a little more room and make it look nice for port :) I'm going for WoW style proportions, textures, and colors. Also, this will be my first attempt at tileable textures, so here goes haha. Here's a sheet of concepts I came up with, as well as the 3 I've chosen to go with (the two with green dots and that one single image):

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5566/wellconceptss.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/wellconceptss.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/1194/3rdwellconcepts.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/5/3rdwellconcepts.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Here are my models, created in 3ds Max. They are not exact replicas of my concepts, as I was kindof working on designing as I went haha:

443 tris:

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/1497/2ndwellcomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/41/2ndwellcomp.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

866 tris:

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/6333/3rdwellcomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/651/3rdwellcomp.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

820 tris:

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/3914/1stwellcomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/231/1stwellcomp.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

So the plan is to do these wells in order from top to bottom (least favorite to favorite design, heh). I'm hoping they get successively better as I learn from each one! :)

Crits and comments on concepts and models appreciated. Next step is the unwrap on the first well.


08-17-2011, 02:00 AM
Cool start, although I would have loved seeing nr 5 being worked out. Silhouette on that one is pretty freaking awesome. :)

Jessica Dinh
08-17-2011, 02:10 AM
Ahaha! Really? I personally think it's just kinda weird, haha I went crzy on that one. But thanks xD

Jessica Dinh
08-18-2011, 01:23 AM
Alright, so I am unwrapping this piece, and I'm wondering which way is better: should I quick-planar that well top, or break it up into pieces and stack the shells? If I break up the shells, this will create more vertices, so I guess my main question is whether or not it's worth it to create more vertices in order to save texture space. I actually have quite a few instances of this across this well (and the others too!), so I think it would be a good thing to know before I unwrap the whole thing haha. Another big place where this is occurring is the floor beneath the well. To stack, or not to stack, that is the question!!

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/5264/stackingquestion.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/98/stackingquestion.jpg/)

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08-18-2011, 02:13 AM
think about how you will do ambient occlusion, whether you want a butterfly seam etc

also use more polies, this is 2011

Jessica Dinh
08-18-2011, 03:11 AM
Ahh! I completely forgot about AO Rick, so thank you for reminding me. This really helps me to decide which pieces should be unique, and which to stack. As for the tricount, I'm really trying to challenge myself to create textures that will speak in place of geometry :) I know it all looks pretty crappily simple right now, but I'm hoping that when I get to texturing, that will be resolved. It's not something I've tried before, so I'd like to give it a shot haha

08-18-2011, 05:12 AM
Lookin' good, textures will be nice to see once you start them :)

08-18-2011, 05:25 AM
as you are saying youre going for a handpainted look you might want to edit the geometry a little and make it more curvy...
its only straight lines right now, which doesnt give muhc character (or life) to the model

08-18-2011, 05:33 AM
I agree with xxm0rphh3usXx. You should add more polygons to your model, you can always remove unnecessary polygons later on. Nice sketches btw.

08-18-2011, 06:06 AM
Those sketches are nice :) I will have to say also that investing a couple of more polys will make a huge difference. Looking forward to seeing some hand painted textures :)

Jessica Dinh
08-18-2011, 12:56 PM
Ah, thank you guys. Now that I look at the models, they do seem pretty generic so I will take your advice and add some more polies for character!

Jessica Dinh
08-19-2011, 03:01 PM
Mesh update: added about 200 tris to help out the silhouette! Critique and comments welcome

http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/2645/2ndwellplustriscomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/854/2ndwellplustriscomp.jpg/)

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Jessica Dinh
08-20-2011, 12:59 AM
Got it packed. Should I go 512 or 1024? I'd like to do 1024, but is that kindof outrageous for something this simple/small, or is it acceptable especially if I'm trying to make some really nice textures for portfolio?

08-20-2011, 01:59 AM
Jessica, I think you should probably decide for what kind of game you making these wells. Even if there is no real game, it will help you with your final specs - tri count and texture resolution, and maybe you'll re-think some of your design choices.

For example: if you making this well for 1st/3rd person game, then your polycount is quite low. If its for some top-down perspective game, RTS or something, then 512 or 256 texture will be fine, but you might want to change your design completely, because player will be seeing only this massive roof, which is not that interesting really.

08-20-2011, 02:02 AM
Don't worry too much about texture size. 1024 would be fine. If you change your mind, you can always shrink it down, but you can't do the opposite.

Jessica Dinh
08-20-2011, 02:11 AM
Thank you Linkov, that really does help. I'm thinking of this being in a 1st person sort of game, with a big emphasis on textures. Now that I think of that, it's not so hard to decide what texture size to go with xD And that is true gsokol, haha. I could always shrink it down! 1024 it is:

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/7053/2ndwelluvw.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/829/2ndwelluvw.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Critique and comments welcome!

Isaiah Sherman
08-20-2011, 02:12 AM
What might be stronger as a portfolio piece is to in fact figure out what kinds of materials you're going to use, then create tiling textures based on that. Tiles for the roofing, wood, concrete, brick, etc. Make several 256x256 sheets and maybe some 512x256 for some horizontal texture that would be good for repeating horizontally / vertically to act as trim textures.

You can get a much higher rez looking image with using tiling texture sheets.

Also, is there a reason why the object is so low poly? Sure, this forum loves low poly stuff, but why not make it a high caliber hand-painted project that will make it stand out amongst the hundreds of other hand-painted projects you see?

The nice thing about using tiling textures if you can have a total shit UV sheet so long as the final product looks good.

Jessica Dinh
08-20-2011, 02:47 AM
Hi Halasi, I really appreciate your critique. I am going to try tiling in this project - it was my plan from the beginning. However, I must say that the whole topic of tileable textures confuses me immensely even after having done much research on it. So if I am going about uv layout incorrectly or anything it is because I am diving into tileable textures without much sense of where I'm going. Still, I feel at this point, that it is the only way I'm gonna learn how to do it.

What I do understand is how to make the tileable texture itself, but then my question is - what to do with it? Do I still layout my uv's like I regularly would if I were going to be painting everything uniquely? Or do I stack as many shells as I can? (which is what I did) Why do you say to make it 256 x 256? I was just going to make some tileable sheets that were square-shaped and duplicate them around in my uvw sheet up there. I didn't know the dimensions of the tileable texture mattered.

Or do you mean that I should have several different uvw sheets, each filled with their own tileable texture, on top of which I stack the pieces that belong to that material?

Or do you mean that I should create several tileable textures, each 256 x 256 (or rectangular as you said I might have to in some cases), then arrange them all into one final uvw sheet? And then unwrap and stack my uv's into the textures? In that case, would I just eyeball where to stack my shells? Like, 'oh, that looks like about 256 x 256 pixels right here, where my cobblestone texture is going to be'. Am I making sense?

08-20-2011, 04:07 AM
Jessica, there is a well inside Stormwind city, in trade district. And, perhaps, some other places too. Its quite lowpoly, and probably shares textures with nearby buildings, but it looks and fits naturally with surrounding area because this well is part of the composition. A filler piece noone cares about. Taken out, it will not be a piece of Art for someone to be proud of.

Consider this. You're making a portfolio piece. You need to make it look good on its own. Noone will be imagining your well within some larger environment. So, if you doing it for some 1st person game, spend time to polish you mesh. Add more triangles, play with forms. Right now its still blocky and not so interesting really. Textures might fix it, but there is no reason for not trying to support it with silhouette.

Jessica Dinh
08-20-2011, 04:39 AM
Thank you linkov, I see what you mean. I actually do plan on building a little town scene around this soon; regardless, I want everything in the scene to be interesting and able to stand on its own as a portfolio piece. I will take this concept back to pen and paper for awhile, until I come up with something more interesting haha. Perhaps I was trying to take this too fast, trying to understand textures and uv's and whatnot, when my concept still needs work. First things first! I hope to post soon with some better silhouettes.

08-20-2011, 07:30 AM
re: texture size.

ask yourself, do you need that many pixels for the amount of detail you're putting into it?

generally, when people put 'hand painted' in the title of the thread, they mean WoW style. Which does not need that much space. by all means, use whatever size you want for a portfolio piece, but keep in mind that if you're not using the full potential of those 1024x1024 pixels [which is a lot of pixels to paint!] it can ruin the piece in an employers eye.

at the end of this, try reducing the size and see what is lost. keep reducing until there's a significant loss in quality. this will help you when next you have to decide what size the DIF should be.

Lazerus Reborn
08-20-2011, 07:55 AM
Well, Well, Well. What do we have here then.

It's nice to see the variation in the designs, seems your bridging two cultures?

Pretty clean and efficient model with a good uv to boot. Cant wait to see your texture.

Jessica Dinh
08-20-2011, 12:38 PM
Thanks Sectaurs, that makes sense. I will use a 1024 but keep that in mind if my textures aren't doing the size justice. Thanks Lazerus :)

Isaiah Sherman
08-20-2011, 01:17 PM
The way I work with tiling textures I actually have a library of texture to choose from before I even start unwrapping.

Hopefully this helps you some. This is how we made 99% of all the environment art in Infamous 2! Hell, pretty much any environment in any game uses this. It lets you get assets looking really high res with some basic 256 or 512 maps. Of course, in-house shaders with some more features like strong vertex color support with height maps does a lot of the work.


08-20-2011, 01:27 PM
to piggyback on what Haiasi said-knowing the technique he suggests you could paint the textures of the materials you need first and then UV the obect to fit those tiling textures.

edit: this is a redundant statement.

08-20-2011, 01:35 PM
although you took the advice of adding polies, which i really appreciate, somehow i didnt get my point across.
look, what i meant is that you should give it more polies so you could diverse the silhouettes.
with those newly added verts you could pull some of the edges of the roof down, making it look less mirrored and more generic.

08-20-2011, 02:07 PM
What I do understand is how to make the tileable texture itself, but then my question is - what to do with it? Do I still layout my uv's like I regularly would if I were going to be painting everything uniquely? Or do I stack as many shells as I can?

If you're going to treat your UVs that will use a tileable texture the same way you treat a unique asset, there's really no point in using a tileable texture.

When you create a tileable brick wall texture, for example, that will repeat indefinitely within you UV editor. If you unwrap the wall model that will use said texture, regardless of where your UV islands are, you're always going to get nice, tiling bricks.

Because of this fact, UV location is largely irrelevant. If you're using a very small texture sheet (like 256), to get that nice, crisp look, you scale those UVs up until both the proportions of the objects on the sheet (such as the bricks) and the texture quality look correct.

Keep in mind that the more you scale, the more your tiling the texture, which means the more obvious the tiling becomes. Using decals and/or vertex colors is a good way of making the tiling less obvious.

Looking back at Haiasi's example, you can see he has overlapping UVs and UVs that go off the texture. Why? Because as he pointed out, he wanted specific details from the texture on those areas of his mesh. Sometimes you'll need to really plan out how your tileable texture will function and what areas you can re-use to give your asset a unique look.

Tileable textures give you a lot of freedom with what you can do. You can get creative and rotate,scale, and manipulate your UVs to give the appearance of a uniquely textured asset, when you're really using the same textures that's all over the rest of the model.

My advice would be to simply grab a tileable photo source from cgtextures, etc and mess around with the UVs. From there you can plan a bit better how you want your textures for this project. Or just dive in with the project and ask about any problems you have. Either way, you'll eventually realize how simple it is.

Isaiah Sherman
08-20-2011, 04:10 PM
Also, there is something very important about using non-square tiling textures. When you first do your UV projections, Maya / Max will do its best to project the face with a 1:1 ratio of the face to its UVs.... meaning a square face on a cube = square UV shell.

With textures that have a 2:1 or 4:1 or 1:2 1:4 ratio (like the concrete I showed, pretty close to a 1:2 ratio), you're going to have to select your UV shells and scale it by 50% horizontally. This is because the texture try to fill the 0 to 1 space in the UV editor, so to counter-act that, you need to squish your UVs.

It's kind of hard to explain in text, if you follow my little tutorial it should scream out as obvious to you that the texture is stretching one way or another. Just squish the UV shell horizontally by 50%

08-22-2011, 10:35 AM
Cool concepts and cool to see you still at it.

One thing you were concerned about and that no one seemed to mention is extra verts due to splitting faces apart for uv mapping/tiling. It's a legitimate concern, something you should keep in mind. (try not to split in the middle of smoothing groups)

But in this case it doesn't matter. From the renders it looks like each face of the well base and top have different smoothing groups (hence the sharp edges). So even though your verts are welded (in 3d program) in most games they will be split anyway, to keep the smoothing groups. Some games (like Doom3) require meshes actually be split (Doom3 only uses 1 smoothing group, so the modeler has to force splits for sharp edges - Hammer uses smoothing groups successfully, and the exporter doesn't split faces, but in game it's the same thing)

But I like the concepts a lot, I also like the 'weird' one. Just has a lot of personality, could be an old tree hanging over the well or something, which would probably work well in that game you were making props for awhile back.

I'm sure if you search the forums for tiling, hand painted, etc.. you will find some good examples. I do remember one guy working on a Wow house, and i think he was using a tiled texture to the rooftiles and whatnot.

The one thing to really consider whether or not you tile can be engine and/or draw calls. Very basically a draw call is the engine rendering a texture once. More is more expensive.

So if you have the well all on one texture it will be one draw call in game. Great optimizing.
If you use 4 different materials (rooftiles, stone, metal, wood) it will be 4 drawcalls. Not so good.

BUT, it depends on the engine too. Some engines will combine similar textures in an area (so a house roof and a well roof get combined into one draw call instead of 2). Things like this make it hard to fully optimize models for many engines, but most of the time you are doing something for a specific engine so that's all that counts.

Probably the biggest thing for a portfolio is maybe show at least one model of each style.
A specific model texture, and a model using base assets. Showing that you understand and are capable of both options is probably a plus, then the dev would know you are ready for whatever style they are using.

Jessica Dinh
08-22-2011, 09:13 PM
xXm0RpH3usXx, I did try to change the silhouette with the extra tris, but apparently I didn't do it right xD Guess I gotta be more bold with my moves!

Halasi, I deeply appreciate the tutorial. Some of what you have explained I don't fully understand yet, but I think I will get it if I take it step by step.

Thanks for the explanation about the uv's Bunglo! In conjunction with what Halasi showed, I think I'm starting to get a better idea of how it's all supposed to be laid out.

I understand what you're saying about the vert count Baddcog - thanks for answering that. I will be sure to continue looking up examples of tiling and hand-painting here. As for what you are saying about the draw-calls, if I do the tiling method, do you mean I will be using a couple different material id's/texture sheets? They are not all arranged into one big texture sheet? In any case, I like your advice about trying both methods - I think I will try tiling 2 of these wells just so I can learn how to do that, and perhaps one of the wells I will texture uniquely. And yeah, I did stop 3d for a couple months to work on some 2d stuff and a character concept for a competition that never happened :/ I might try taking it into 3d though. Also, you remember the game I was working on! :D It shipped, so I'm gonna ask our art director where it is available for download and I will post it here hehe.

Anyway, I reworked the concept. Third time's the charm?? :

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/3330/2ndwellpushedsilcomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/5/2ndwellpushedsilcomp.jpg/)

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And the model - 1012 tris

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/5548/2ndwellpushed3dcomp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/2ndwellpushed3dcomp.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

From what I have deduced, I ought to start working on making some tileable texture sheets now - uv's for later. Photoshop, here I come! Critique and comments welcome.

p.s. If enough people like that weird well I drew I might just have to make it sometime ahaha

Isaiah Sherman
08-22-2011, 10:37 PM
I think the best way I can describe using a tiling texture for environment art is... the UV layout means absolutely nothing. There is no such thing as "packing UVs" into your 0 to 1 space. Just unwrap the object and move the UV shell to a location on the texture so that it looks like it makes sense.

The final product is what matters. If it looks good in the view port, that's what the player sees!

08-22-2011, 10:47 PM
i have an example from a small exercise

Jessica Dinh
08-22-2011, 11:28 PM

08-23-2011, 12:17 AM
waay better, good progress!
especially in handpainted / ciomic looks you have to exaggerate a lot...

Isaiah Sherman
08-23-2011, 12:58 AM
Another trick that he doesn't mention in that image is you can actually just add cuts after you lay out your initial UVs on the object to accentuate some details.

If you notice on the sides of the wall piece, the bricks are modeled out a little bit. Save details like that for the very last step so you don't have to UV anything more complex than basic cubes.

Jessica Dinh
08-23-2011, 02:04 AM
Ohh, that sounds like a cool trick, I will definitely keep that in mind for later!

Here are my prospective colors. I plan on four main tileables: wood plank, cobblestone, stone slab, and fish scale roof tiles. For the other random parts of the mesh, like the little bucket, metal lantern, and well chain, how would I approach that? A separate, small uv sheet for them? If that's the case, I might model out some of those planties and pebbles in my concept too to help fill up uv space.

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/2465/2ndwellpushedcolors.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/2ndwellpushedcolors.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Critique and comments welcome.

08-23-2011, 04:10 AM
wow, this is cute :) now don't bother about tri count, do you best and you can always optimize later. its easier that way.

08-23-2011, 05:30 AM
now don't bother about tri count, do you best and you can always optimize later. its easier that way.

Totally agree with linkov, do your best and dont worry about the tri count! looking foward to see more, I'm also doing some tests with handpainted textures :)

08-23-2011, 08:41 AM
Yeah, that's really oozing with personality.
For the draw calls, every texture will create one more. Dan's example is a great way to get 2 tiling textures on one sheet (aka 1 drawcall). It's great for objects that share a very common look. I could see that used on many objects in a temple/ruins scene. Or you could have the top and bottom on seperate sheets which would create and additional drawcall.
The bonus to two sheets is it would be easier to use the cobbles on a wider variety of stuff, like large floors or walls and not worry about the details being there. it also would have room for more cobbles, so less noticable tiling.

For your small items it depends.Having them on one and saving drawcalls is good. But say you use those props all over the place in your map. Grass everywhere but bucket only at well. Then being in a seperate part of the map that wouldn't need the bucket rendered would be a waste of GPU memory to have it loaded. (probably nothing to worry about really, it's only a few pixels...)
But still, it might be best to have a small grass tex and a small bucket. it would cost more drawcalls but only when both are in the same scene.

On the other hand you could probably have one texture sheet with 20 small props on it that are all used a lot, and it would be better than 20 small textures.

However, lol (there are so many choices), I'd keep transparencies on one sheet, and non-transparencies on another. Alpha overdraw is expensive, so you don't want to have 20 small objects that are on a sheet with transparency if you don't need to.

Do post the game, would like to see it.

Jessica Dinh
08-24-2011, 11:23 PM
Haha, thanks Baddcog, it sounds like there are a bunch of ways I could do it. I think just for the sake of making this project easier, I will put all the little items on one sheet then. I could split up transparencies and non-transparencies, but that would not necessarily put each prop in a clean category because some of them (for example, the bucket with its chain handle) include both solid mesh and alpha planes. So if the scene had only the bucket in it, it would still run two draw calls because the bucket texture is split up into two different sheets, right? So yeah, I think I will go with one texture sheet for everythaang. Thanks for the explanation :)

Here is my tileable wood texture for the edges of the roof. Did I make too many planks? Too few? Does it matter? It's 512 for now, but since I'm gonna have about 5 different texture sheets, should they each not be more than 256? Working on stone slab texture next. Critique and comments welcome:

http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/9123/planktileable04.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/841/planktileable04.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Here it is, shown tiling.

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/4409/planktileable04tiling.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/planktileable04tiling.jpg/)

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08-24-2011, 11:34 PM
I really like that wood texture. Keep up the good work.

08-25-2011, 12:40 AM
yeah, that wood texture is really nice :thumbup:

Here is my tileable wood texture for the edges of the roof. Did I make too many planks? Too few? Does it matter?

It depends. Right now your texture is great if you gonna use it to texture floors, ceilings, some wooden stuff in general. But if you making it only to texture this well, I guess it could use more specific approach.

Jessica Dinh
08-25-2011, 12:45 AM
Thanks ZacD, linkov. I'm glad to hear it will be good for other general use because I will probably end up using this later around my little town scene.

08-25-2011, 06:56 AM
wood looks nice!

very pleased to see that it's not stylized in the typical way everyone paints now-a-days. has your own flavor to it.

personally, i think you're a tad too far into the green spectrum for my tastes.

looks like you might have gone a bit overboard if it's just for that trim :poly124:

08-25-2011, 08:32 AM
Yeah, if you just need one trim board for the well you could probably get by with a 32x256 one plank tex.

But with that you could texture trim on five different objects and use 5 different planks and you'd have good variety. Plus use it for a floor as well.

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 02:58 AM
Thanks for the critique on the wood guys!

Right now I am really struggling with the stone texture though. This particular tileable is the one I'm gonna use for the roof supports, pillar bases, and well platform:

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/4580/largestonetileable.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/842/largestonetileable.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is my first attempt, shown tiling. It looks like bathroom tiles ]:<

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9559/stoneplatform01.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/stoneplatform01.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is my current attempt. Now it looks like destroyed bathroom tiles ]:<

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/6497/stonetileable02.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/228/stonetileable02.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Here it is, shown tiling:

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/1736/stoneplatform02.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/5/stoneplatform02.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

So yeah, I am not really happy with this. Originally I wanted it to be plain stone without cuts, but then I thought that would be boring since I can't even paint in edge-wear on any of the objects (since these textures are tileable and if I paint in wear then it will be everywhere!) But then the problem with having these cuts is that they might show up on the pillar bases and roof supports (which I don't want), unless I shrink those shells pretty small to avoid the cuts. If any of that made sense.

I feel like I should make two different tileable textures - one completely smooth stone for the pillar bases and roof supports, and one cut stone for the well platform. Then I can work on making this particular texture less 'square' and more random, without having to worry about the cuts crisscrossing the pillar bases and roof support meshes.

Maybe I just answered my own questions... Thoughts?

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 03:21 AM
Also, another question: when texturing in this tiling method, should all the uv shells on the model still be pretty normalized to each other?

08-26-2011, 03:23 AM
there is two possibilities:

- paint texture for your largest piece and then fit smaller pieces somehow. (thats kinda lazy, but sometimes can be an option)

and another one is

- think what you need for your small pieces and then find a way to incorporate these elements into the texture you'll be using for the largest piece.

for examle (and I think its quite obvious) - your stone texture right now consists of only ONE tile. Make it four. or nine. And from there you can make some of the tiles smooth without any damage. This will solve two things:

- break up the repetition
- you can have pieces for your other needs


Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 04:05 AM
Hmm, I think I know what I will do now. I definitely need to break up the repetition somehow, so I will probably add a couple more tiles to the texture (although not too many - I initially only had one tile because I wanted the stones to be big) Then I will test the texture out by throwing it onto my mesh, and if the other little pieces won't fit inside nicely, I will just make a new texture for them. Thank you for the suggestions linkov! :)

Just to clarify though, I am okay with the pillar bases and roof supports having damage, just not tile-like cuts/divisions. They are supposed to be single, solid pieces of stone, whereas the well platform is made out of many:

http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/7850/cutsu.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/585/cutsu.jpg/)

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Jeff Parrott
08-26-2011, 04:09 AM
Loving the wood texture. I'd prolly tone down the streaks in the middle of the planks so it's less contrasty when you're far away from it. Otherwise it's got some awesome style to it.

The stone texture on the bottom is leagues better than the first one. If it's going to be used on the ground watch the harsh lighting baked into the top. You might want to scale that down some. Tone some of the chips down too if you want. It should read fine if you put enough detail onto the surface.

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 04:19 AM
Ohh, I see what you're saying, thanks jeffro! Yes, this texture will be on the platform beneath the well, so I will tone down the lighting. I will prolly tone down the chips too, and detail the surface more - the texture is still pretty wip and I am gonna add more tiles to it also.

08-26-2011, 04:23 AM
(although not too many - I initially only had one tile because I wanted the stones to be big)

I'm not sure how amount of tiles can affect size of the stones. Its all about finding proper scale for UV chunks. Scaling them down will make stones look larger, and you still have other benefits. The only issue here is texel density. If you scale down UV chunks too much, texture will appear as lowres compared to nearby parts. But you can solve it by making texture larger. If 1 tile = 128*128 then for 4 tiles make it 256*256 and so on.

08-26-2011, 04:27 AM
i think the "bathroom tile" effect is coming from how sharp your corners are, and that every tile is pefectly square, i'd try to crack some of them in half, and bring more variation to where the corners intersect.
Realllll shitty paint over, but you get the idea:)

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 04:28 AM
But you can solve it by making texture larger. If 1 tile = 128*128 then for 4 tiles make it 256*256 and so on.

Wow, that makes so much sense, I didn't think of that! Ok, now I can tile without worries xD

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 04:30 AM
Gilesruscoe - I really appreciate the paintover [: I will definitely put it to use as I continue working on this texture.

Isaiah Sherman
08-26-2011, 01:08 PM
Break up the silhouettes of each of the squares. It looks like bathroom tile because they all match up on an even line.

If you look at my attachment, you can see each of the bricks has a unique shape, if even by a little bit.

08-26-2011, 01:17 PM
another thing to take from haiasi's reference is the placement of large/mid range stress cracks- currently your rocks look like a swordsman came along and slashed at the stones edges leaving lots of sharp almost uniform gashes on the edges. Instead I would think about areas of stress and deterioration which tend to be caused by weight and ground settlement. the rendering seems nice enough though.

Jessica Dinh
08-26-2011, 01:37 PM
Thanks Halasi - I think I just needed to add more tiles to achieve that effect, which I'm doing now :) That reference is very helpful.

Lol Dan! xD Ok I will go lightly on the sword slashes and think more about dips and wear now. Update coming soon.

08-27-2011, 06:34 AM
This thread is helping me a bunch as i am starting to really get into hand painted textures.
I just wanted to say thanks and tell you how awesome it is to see you improving!

Keep up the good work!

Jessica Dinh
08-28-2011, 12:06 AM
Aw, thanks djohnsen :D I'm really glad this thread has been helping you out too! Hope to see some work from you sometime.

Jessica Dinh
08-28-2011, 12:07 AM
Ok, that took a long time haha. Here is my stone tileable:

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/1860/stonetileable08.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/10/stonetileable08.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Here it is, shown tiling:

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/937/stonetileabletiling.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/11/stonetileabletiling.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Now that I look at it, I'm not exactly sure how it's gonna align correctly on the platform mesh, since the stones no longer make straight lines. I think what I'm gonna have to do is cut straight lines everywhere, but I'll do that laterr haha . . . and then I can keep this texture here for something else, like interior flooring. Why do I notice these things at the very end?? -__-

I'm currently working on the roof tileable. Critique and comments welcome!

08-28-2011, 02:41 AM
very nice! came out lookin good :p new pattern works alot better

08-28-2011, 02:53 AM
yeah new pattern is a lot more creative, loving your progress!

Jeff Parrott
08-28-2011, 04:03 AM
Painted real well the large, darker stone value could be closer to the rest of the stones. It sticks out a lot. Otherwise this is great. Really nice job.

08-28-2011, 06:26 AM
Now that I look at it, I'm not exactly sure how it's gonna align correctly on the platform mesh, since the stones no longer make straight lines. I think what I'm gonna have to do is cut straight lines everywhere, but I'll do that laterr

here is little trick you could use. I think its pretty self-expanatory, but feel free to ask =)


08-28-2011, 08:59 AM
nice! linkov nailed it, this is how tiling textures are used.

depending on your mesh, often you'll only need things to tile left and right. the full 360 tiling is mainly used for ground textures and basic walls, things that cover large areas. looking at your model, i don't really see the need for that kind.

for the texture, i'd love to see some color in there. keep it subtle, but some color in the light/shadow would help.

also, watch the edges. you have an awful lot of splits/cuts on the edges. almost more like wood than stone. stone doesn't really do that, unless someone has been running around swinging a very strong axe at every paver.

08-28-2011, 10:43 AM
That tex is awesome!

You can also build your mesh around it to a degree. The base doesn't have to be exactly square does it?

Try making a plane, put the tex on it, then use the shape tool to trace around the stones for a non-square shape. Then extrude it for thickness, touch up UV's.

08-28-2011, 11:22 AM
Also, another question: when texturing in this tiling method, should all the uv shells on the model still be pretty normalized to each other?

Yes. One of the most jarring things you can do is have two objects sitting next to each other at different texel densities. Try to keep the texel density as close to each other as possible.

Great work so far and great improvement on that ground texture.

08-28-2011, 02:37 PM
Just wanted to say that the explanations on how to use tileable textures in here is immensely helpful. I always had trouble understanding how to utilize them on things other than floors, walls, etc. Thanks a lot!

Jessica, I'm really enjoying watching you progress. Your hand painted textures look amazing so far. Really eager to see the finished product.

One very minor critique, like Sectaurs said, the wear at the edge of the stones looks like the sort of splits that a bladed edge would make. And stone doesn't really give like that, it would chip instead. And erode with time. Like this: ( apologies if the text hurts your eyes I was in a hurry >.> )


Devin Busha
08-28-2011, 04:46 PM
Great progress and super useful info in this thread. Keep it up! :)

Jessica Dinh
08-28-2011, 04:53 PM
Wow, thanks so much for the comments and help guys. linkov, that picture is worth a thousand words - I totally see what you mean! xD

Sectaurs, I will definitely add some subtle color in there, although I am intentionally keeping the overall palette of this particular texture pretty desaturated because I want to make the cobblestone tileable much more colorful in comparison.

Baddcog, I will play around with my mesh later to see how I can match it up with the texture better. I like your idea about tracing a plane for it!

Quack - thanks for explaining about texel densities. I thought everything should be pretty normalized haha.

And thanks Sybrix! Looks like I still need to take it easy on the slashes and go for chipping and erosion instead. I will post a revised stone texture when I post the roof texture - probably some time tomorrow.

08-29-2011, 05:00 AM
that texture looks awesome!!

Jessica Dinh
09-11-2011, 01:18 AM
Hey Simon! Thanks! I'm still alive guys xD The semester started, so I have to kick my butt into gear for the bigger picture now. I'm starting into my environment (first environment! nervous..), although I will be sticking the well in there, so it'll get done eventually too. Here's an update on the stone texture for the well base. Took out a bunch of the cracks, and put some blue in the shadows and peachy warm in the light. I like it much better now, so thank you for all the crits :):

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/1566/stonetileable09.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/819/stonetileable09.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Here's a brief of my environment. It's going to be made in 3Ds Max and UDK. I want it to have a pretty fun feel. Mostly it's going to be an organic place, with an emphasis on the foliage and landscape as opposed to manmade structures. There will only be a handful of the structures (for example, the well, and maybe some inn or something I haven't quite thought of yet), and they will be kindof integrated into nature, like kinda covered by grasses and vines, etc. (I guess I'd do that with floating alphas since the structures are using tileables too?) My inspiration is spring in the Tuscan countryside, so there will be rolling hills and a lot of green, and I have picked a couple of the dominant trees and plants to elaborate on. I have collected a lot of reference! Below is my sketch, as well as my study sheets and a color key:

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/9717/tuscansketch03.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/834/tuscansketch03.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/6741/colorkeya.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/32/colorkeya.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1318/corkwoodstudyw.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/221/corkwoodstudyw.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8522/cypressstudy.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/231/cypressstudy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/1431/lavenderstudy.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/lavenderstudy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/927/sunflowerstudy.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/40/sunflowerstudy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8915/thymestudy.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/402/thymestudy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/341/wheatstudy.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/687/wheatstudy.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Currently I am sculpting my terrain, as well as working on the tileables for it. I plan on creating 7 terrain textures:

lake pebbles (I'm gonna attempt a small body of water, heh)
smooth rock (for the cliff faces)
cracked rock (for crevice areas and general variation)
transitionary texture between sand and grass
transitionary texture between sand and lake pebbles

So far I have four of those textures below. Critique and comments appreciated!

Smooth Rock

http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/1634/smoothclifftileable.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/94/smoothclifftileable.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Cracked Rock

http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2113/clifftileable.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/839/clifftileable.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9103/grasstileable.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/84/grasstileable.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/1020/sandtileable.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/713/sandtileable.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

09-11-2011, 02:03 AM
Looking better and better :).. For cracked rock I'd add more volume to make it look a bit sharper from here and there.

Fast paintover


edit: Forgot to mention that I love that environment concept :)... Colors are spot on.

Jessica Dinh
09-11-2011, 02:09 AM
Holy shit nice paintover, I will do this haha.

09-11-2011, 03:20 AM
Must say, i do love the colour palletes you choose in all your textures!

09-11-2011, 03:39 AM
anyone else thinking of a minecraft texture pack?^^

really love the start of those!

09-11-2011, 08:35 AM
Those colorconcepts are awesome!
And merecraft nailed what them rocks need

09-11-2011, 08:41 AM
Wow, that whole environment spreadsheet is pretty impressive on it's own.

Your textures are really coming together.

Can't wait to see how this turns out.

09-11-2011, 09:08 AM
Really nice hand painted stuff in here and quite inspirational! Love the colour pallette's!

09-11-2011, 09:18 AM
~ This thread is made of "Yes"

09-11-2011, 11:05 AM
Nice stuff jess.

09-11-2011, 07:07 PM
Wow this thread just lifted a dark cloud of ignorance off my head.

Thanks for all the posts regarding proper use of tiling textures in UV space!

09-11-2011, 07:15 PM
you're gonna go far kid, keep it up. Merecraft hit it on the head with his paintover.

09-11-2011, 09:29 PM
this thread was also useful for me, thank you much. hoping to see the progress continue. now i'm considering painted textures... :)

Jessica Dinh
09-14-2011, 02:17 AM
Thank you guys! :D Here are the lake pebbles. Revised cracked stone texture and transitionary tileables will be posted soon. Critique and comments welcome:

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/2559/lakepebbletileable02.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/64/lakepebbletileable02.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


09-14-2011, 02:49 AM
anyone else thinking of a minecraft texture pack?^^

really love the start of those!

would use those instantly!

09-14-2011, 03:14 AM
Ahhhwww :D really nice! Please give some tutorial how you work :)

09-14-2011, 03:29 AM
Hell yea! so much variation in those pebbles, looks really nice.

09-14-2011, 04:43 AM
really nice thread to watch, my work isn't so good atm :S

Jessica Dinh
09-14-2011, 11:59 AM
Haha thanks EVIL, xXm0RpH3usXx - that's a real compliment! xD I really love that game, maybe when I'm all done with this project I'll figure out how to make a texture pack from them hehe. Thanks gilesruscoe, takes a looooong time to put all the variation in there haha. Keep working Kyuzo! I always make a lot of bad drawings and paintings first before I ever come up with something ok.

SimonT, here's a little about my workflow. The process was recreated just kinda quick and dirty, so pay more attention to the words than the pictures ahaha:

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2103/lakepebbleworkflow.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/215/lakepebbleworkflow.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Btw, I reallly looove your environment work, makes me want to make something high-poly again haha.

Hope it helps, and now, off to class!

09-14-2011, 02:03 PM
Hey Jessica. Really good thread, lots of useful info. Your work is looking really nice. Just wanted to point out one little thing:


In your wheat study image, the plant in the top left image, and your drawing beside it, is canola, not wheat.

Cool work though, and nice little tutorial. I look forward to more updates.

09-14-2011, 02:05 PM
Pretty much just awesome, thanks for the tut, great idea

09-14-2011, 02:29 PM
Really nice work with pebbles :thumbup: My only concern is this outline you have around each stone. Kinda makes it look flat. Try varying its thickness, maybe small pebbles on top should have thinner outline, than ones that hiding underneath larger stones. Something like that.

Jessica Dinh
09-14-2011, 02:38 PM
Thank you for pointing that out SgtNasty - it's good to know what I'm modeling hahaha xD I shoudn't always trust google I guess . . . >_>

Thanks linkov! I was kindof uneasy about the outline too, so I will try softening it in some areas and varying thickness and whatnot. And all the stones actually ARE flat, just laid out next to each other, so I should work on developing another layer or so of stones.

Jeff Parrott
09-14-2011, 04:14 PM
No idea how I missed this for a few pages. Great progress Jessica. Super inspiring and motivating to watch.

Your grass texture could use a lot of refinement. Define blades of grass and add shading (depth) to the texture.

Your pebbles texture is leagues better than all the ones in the post with the grass texture. It'd be great to see the refinement you have on the pebbles with those ones.

Jessica Dinh
09-14-2011, 04:23 PM
Thank you for the crits jeffro. I will revisit the other tileables and bring them up to par! I did work the longest on the pebbles so far, and I agree I need to revisit the grass especially haha. If you look really closely you can still see the effects of the clone-brush :/

09-14-2011, 04:38 PM
Nice progress, Jessica. Your textures look nice but it would be cool to see how they look on objects. You should create a small scene(if you haven't already) just to see how well they work.

Jessica Dinh
09-14-2011, 05:21 PM
Will do! At the same time I am making these textures, I am also sculpting the terrain. Soon I will post an update with the textures applied to it.

09-14-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm blown away by the amount of info here and the progress you're making!

09-14-2011, 06:28 PM
Epic learning thread, this. Might as well bookmark now..

I really like the way you think about the palette and the volume of your sketches/thumbs. Just don't get too caught up in making your 3d assets low poly and be confident in your own style. Your first well concept were far better than the reworked one in that respect. People will tell you when you have thrown in too much, and help you optimize it. But that is just the technical stuff, don't let that get in the way of the style - just translate it.

Keep on truckin' :D

Jessica Dinh
10-06-2011, 03:04 PM
Thanks jimmypopall!

I'm glad you're enjoying my thread bbob, and thank you lots for your advice on style vs. technicality; I will keep it in mind :)

As for progresss, I know it's been awhile since I've updated due to drama with curriculum at school . . . sometimes makes me want to drop out -__- But anyway! Here is a tree. Planning to create a color variant of it, either bluer or yellower, not sure, and also a cypress sapling:

500 tris. This tree is on a 1024 x 1024, but only half of the map is shown here since the other half is currently empty, as I am planning to fill it with other things.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4361/cypshotpcount.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/43/cypshotpcount.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

The body of the tree here is split in 4 256 x 256 sections, of which the center two are tileable for extending the length of the mesh. The body is also tileable horizontally - thus the tree is mirrored in half with no seams. That little section of tree on the right side of the map is for the alpha cards sticking out of the tree.

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/7981/cypress01offsettestpcou.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/831/cypress01offsettestpcou.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Critique and comments welcome,
Thanks! Jessica

Jeff Parrott
10-06-2011, 03:13 PM
Looking awesome Jessica! I keep checking hoping there's some updates to this thread.

Keep on painting loose like this. It's working great. Push some warm color to balance out the cool blues, etc. Could be the spots just brighter.

Also the lighting on your 3d model is killing the whole thing. Get a better lighting set up please. The model looks solid and the texture is awesome. But with the lighting on the right picture it's hurting it bad.

Jessica Dinh
10-06-2011, 03:15 PM
Haha yeahh, I suck at lighting - but that is actually just the UDK mesh viewport, I hadn't set up any lights. And I will look into pushing the warms. Thanks Jeff! ^_^

10-06-2011, 03:15 PM
Love the style and great Tutorial on the rocks, I've been looking for a method that could reduce the time it takes to make something like that. I'll have to try it out later.

Again, great stuff.

Jeff Parrott
10-06-2011, 03:39 PM
Place the static in a scene and make a simple 3 point lighting set up maybe. Just invert a sphere, scale it large, export it and put a simple dark grey material on it. Placing your static in that type of environment will showcase it much better.

10-06-2011, 04:00 PM
Too much style, tone it down a bit would ya? Jeeze, making us look bad ;)

Looks like you got the tiling aspects down pretty well now too.

10-06-2011, 04:13 PM
Really good progress, great to see. Now get back to work! :\

10-06-2011, 04:36 PM
Love your handpainted textures Jessica! Really awesome work! Can't wait to see the entire scene start coming together!

10-06-2011, 04:56 PM
Wow, I really like that tree texture!!

10-06-2011, 06:10 PM
awesome work, what brushes do you usually use? I have a problem of my painted textures looking to blurry and muddy.

Jessica Dinh
10-06-2011, 06:20 PM
Thanks guys!

Jeffro - Ok, I will attempt that lighting setup for my next post. So basically I put my mesh and lights in a scene contained within a sphere? Or am I misunderstanding completely? haha

Baddcog, thanks to you and a couple others, I'm totally starting to get the hang of the tiling stuff now :) :) I can't believe how utterly lost I was before lol!

Mcejn - I'm working mannn

jeremiah_bigley - I can't wait either haha

octokitty - And I really like your creepy asian twins.

snake85027 - I am just using a hard round brush with pen pressure/transfer on. But to clean up edges (the blurriness, muddiness) I go back in with a tiny %100 hard round brush in some places. To top it all off, Smart Sharpen (it's like my favorite thing ever). However, my stuff always looks blurry and muddy when I am first starting out, so maybe it is just a matter of you needing to put a little more time in - and it will look great :)

10-06-2011, 06:20 PM
nice textures and lots of good info on this one!

Jeff Parrott
10-06-2011, 09:01 PM
Yeah you can do that or just use a plane. The sphere is just easy and it looks nice. Just make sure the normals are flipped on it. Apply a simple shader to it. Then just add some lights that show off the asset well.

Jessica Dinh
10-06-2011, 09:11 PM
Thanks Tadao215 :)

Will do jeffro! Thank you

Lucas Annunziata
10-06-2011, 09:25 PM
Thats a really cool idea to have the center two sections of the tree tileable. Seeing your progress and other's feedback has been really helpful. Keep at it!

10-06-2011, 09:33 PM
Dont know how I' missed this thread for so long, all these textures are amazing. The pebbles one is especially awesome.

10-07-2011, 04:54 PM
this is seriously the best thread out there for game texturing to.. like i learned alot from ur workflow and so on
i started painting my own ones after alot of different threads + this !

Thankyou !

Jessica Dinh
10-07-2011, 11:37 PM
Thanks guys :)

Here's a small update while I continue working on my terrain sculpting and corkwood tree texture. Fixed the terrain tileables!

Still not as good as merecraft's paintover I think, haha, but still a lot better thanks to him! :D


Added more depth and defined the blades:


Moarrr sand:


Diminished the cartoony outline around the pebbles:


Also, here is a little sample of how they interact with each other, done up in photoshop. I ain't showing you guys my ugly terrain yet :/ (although I have tested my textures on it myself and found there is no noticeable banding :D). Soon, soon, I will have a scene to show, and not just a bunch of random textures haha!


Critique and comments welcome,
Thanks! Jessica

10-08-2011, 12:21 AM
Whoa, excellent update on those textures especially the stone one.

All of these textures are brilliant, actually - I think it would be cool to see them applied to more things like that tree.

10-08-2011, 12:50 AM
This project is looking awesome, you are kicking ass. I will say though, watch your relative scales - your grass, pebbles, sand+pebbles, and rock all seem to be in different scales - shouldn't the lake pebbles be closer in size, on average, the the pebbles on the sand? If this isn't mowed grass, shouldn't those blades of grass be 6-7 inches long? Which would make the pebbles huge? etc.

Jessica Dinh
10-08-2011, 12:57 AM
Thanks BrontoThunder! I will be applying these to the terrain and posted here, after I sculpt it out a bit more.

Ghostscape - I guess I should have been thinking about scale when I painted that little test, but in UDK I can change the scale of each of the textures pretty easily. Then I will be able to shrink the pebbles to match the sand better, make the grass bigger, etc. I also plan on making actual grass meshes as well as other types of ground cover. So overall I think I will be dealing with most of my scaling issues once I get into UDK :) Thank you for the crit!

10-08-2011, 03:24 AM
I like your 2d skills! you have so much good illustrations on your site! :thumbup:
This scene looks very nice!
I will follow this thread. :)

10-08-2011, 05:17 AM
bravo excellent!

10-08-2011, 07:13 AM
Cool painted textures! The tree is great. I think it could use a little bit more warmth to it in the lighter areas, kind of like how you have it in the grass.

10-08-2011, 07:42 AM
Looking good, but grass is kinda weird. It reminds me of traditional oil paintings :) It works, but I think you can do even better. Here is some pictures, these are NOT MINE! though they might help.



they are from here: http://shurick.livejournal.com/195876.html

its a big article, regarding environment art direction for Allods Online. Quite interesting read, but sadly, only in russian. Some pictures are self explanatory, and I guess google translator can make some sense of it.

10-08-2011, 10:15 AM
the blog journal post was realy interesting ! if u google translate it that is !

10-08-2011, 10:32 AM
Nice link linkov, and great work here!

Jessica Dinh
10-08-2011, 11:33 AM
Thank you alloa - your work is realllly inspirational to me.

coots7 - :D

kelll - you are the second person already to suggest more warms for tree, so I will definitely touch that up!

linkov - Wow! Thank you for those images, and that blog post is awesome. The pictures are self-explanatory, and I will definitely be reading through the text. I will try to revisit the grass texture later, after my scene is a little more complete, and see what I can do about making it better :) It certainly has been one of the harder tileables to nail haha...

10-08-2011, 06:58 PM
Jessica : Love your workups and all the extras that you have done. It's been a really great and educational thread.

I was thinking that the tip of your tree could use more love. The grey is looking strange to me. I think if you layered in either some deeper muted green for depth and allowed the top branches to pop or split up the geo at the top and pulled/ twisted them to get more life out of the texture might work out for you.

However it goes, you are doing a fantastic job, I think you will go far.

Jessica Dinh
10-10-2011, 11:29 AM
Thanks katana! I will go back to the texture and see what I can do to layer in some more depth :)

Hey guys, I have a question: currently I am sculpting my terrain and in my concept there are hills like way far in the distance. Would you put those on a separate terrain, or just tessellate this one a lot so that it is 'bigger' (I'm guessing lots of tessellation is the same thing as making the terrain bigger since you have more to work with??) I could also use fog to fake depth I guess - and could I also scale down the trees to help fake the distance, or do you think that would look weird and obvious? :0 sorry, i am noob at this haha...

Here is the concept again:



10-10-2011, 11:36 AM
I would use 2 terrains. One for detail one for distance. You could try just painting a plane and use that almost like it was composited. Make a normal map for the plane as well. As long as it blends nicely with the front stuff could look great at a very low cost. Some DOF and fog could really sell the distance.

Your work is pretty inspiring! Love your style

Jessica Dinh
10-10-2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks Chris - I hadn't thought of compositing! I will consider both techniques as I continue sculpting all the detail stuff on this one terrain. The more I work on this, the less appealing it sounds to cram everything on one terrain haha.

As far as tessellating goes, how many levels is too much/outrageous? I want a lot to work with, but I don't want to overdo it either. Also, I noticed that there is a new landscape editor in UDK - you can use 11 texture samples as opposed to the 4 you are allowed in the terrain editor - are those numbers correct? If so, I'm considering converting my terrain over to landscape editor since I currently have 7 texture samples I intend to use. Do you guys find landscape editor to be pretty legit, or is it kindof buggy due to how new it is still?

10-10-2011, 03:13 PM
This thread is filled with a lot of great information! Your textures and work are simply outstanding great job.

10-10-2011, 03:50 PM
Awesome work! good luck with the terrain :) The textures are really good! Hope to see more soon ~

10-10-2011, 03:54 PM
Terrain depends. If it IS going in a game engine, you might be best doing the terrain there. I haven't used SDK so I can't make any calls on it. But most engines let you use a skybox camera for distance
(In Hammer you build a 16th scale version of terrian outside player area and it gets rendered full size behind player terrain at all times. so it's costly as far as always rendering, but in Hammer the actual play 'airspace' is costly, so having a tiny model and tiny textures that cover what seems to be a huge area makes sense)

If using Max it would be a great time to use the terrain painting tools (painting vert shape, not color).

As for tessalation I think you still want to try and match the level of detail of your models. If they are fairly low, and you put them on buttery smooth terrain it won't match up all that great.

I'd probably start pretty low poly on it, get all the massive shapes in. The tessalate a little, then paint in some details for more defined shapes/smooth things out. Then if it still looks rough you can tessalate more.

Jessica Dinh
10-10-2011, 04:09 PM
Thanks Baddcog! This scene is going to be in UDK, therefore I am sculpting in UDK. What you say about the tessellation is really helpful - sometimes I forget about the bigger picture haha.

10-10-2011, 05:08 PM
You might take a look at the Airborn mod by Neox and his group. They tackled a nice distance issue with clever painting and equally clever poly counts.


Nate Broach
10-10-2011, 05:12 PM
Wow great work, don't know how I missed this thread. Really cool seeing how much improvement was made from the start of this thread.

Captain Narway
10-10-2011, 09:11 PM
I am so pumped to see this all in engine. Keep up the good work.

10-10-2011, 10:37 PM
this stuff is awesome!! can't wait to see everything together, going to be great! keep goin!!!

10-11-2011, 05:42 AM
Is there a reason you are still using Terrain?
Landscape handles tessellation much better. (http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/Landscape.html)

Jessica Dinh
10-11-2011, 10:33 AM
Thanks guys! katana, I am going to check out that link today - curious to see what they've done :0

Chris, I actually didn't know about Landscape until after I had started sculpting for a bit. I was hesitant to start using it because somebody told me that when I convert my Terrain actor to be compatible with Landscape, I would lose some sculpting information or something (they didn't exactly say what, and I tried researching it to no avail). So I worried about it allll yesterday, only to decide, at the end of the day, that my sculpt was so much in the beginning stages anyway that I might as well switch over.

So I am going to convert my terrain now. Talk about over-thinking things, lol

10-11-2011, 11:07 AM
Great updates! :thumbup:

I'm also pretty excited to see this completed. *subscribe*

10-11-2011, 01:30 PM
Jessica, this stuff is awesome. It's great watching you prepare for each stage with the quick concepts/references you come up with. Really well-thought out and your textures are all really strong. I think your grass texture could be improved by more refined shapes. There was a beautiful grass texture painted a while ago by someone in the WAYWO thread (here: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1222194&postcount=8492).

Keep going, looking forward to seeing all this in engine.

Jessica Dinh
10-16-2011, 02:26 AM
Thanks sybrix, paulsvoboda! I will definitely be revisiting my grass for further definition. I love that texture you linked - it's amazing!

For now, here is my Corkwood trunk. It is not a full 1024 height because I'm planning to fit something above it, and this particular tree is much shorter/stouter than the Cypress and won't be needing quite as much length. There are 3 256 x 256 sections, of which the top two are tileable, and the texture also tiles horizontally. Still working on the branches/roots and foliage; in the meantime, critique and comments welcome!

Here is my concept again:



p.s. This time I'm gonna set the model up with an attempt at 3pt. lighting. For jeffro x]

Jeff Parrott
10-16-2011, 03:03 AM
Thanks Jessica!

Awesome texture for the wood. Just lacking some subtle colors (blues and oranges). It reads a bit flat as a result. But the overall texture is gorgeous. It's a lot tighter and not as loose/painterly as the stuff you were doing previously. But the idea and texture itself is awesome.

You're making awesome progress on this thread. Keep it up.

Jessica Dinh
10-16-2011, 03:16 AM
Hmm, for the color, I do have blues for shadows, and the whole texture is already orange - so do you mean to add in some splashes of more saturated blues and oranges, and exaggerate what I have?

Ah, I didn't mean for this to look very different from my other textures! Maybe I will make the leaves nice and painterly to balance out haha - I definitely don't want there to be style discrepancies in my environment. Thank you for the critique!

10-16-2011, 04:39 AM
Your textures are fantastic. Great work all round. Also cheers for the little workflow tut. This is going to be a crackin' scene to look at.

Jeff Parrott
10-16-2011, 04:58 AM
Maybe try pushing some brighter oranges in highlight areas.

Jessica Dinh
10-16-2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks Di$array :) I will try that jeffro.

Nerf Bat Ninja
10-16-2011, 02:09 PM
This thread makes me want to try handpainting again! Ahhh, it's all so great like cake! MORE!!

10-16-2011, 02:18 PM
damn sexy textures, can't wait to see them on some models.

Jessica Dinh
10-18-2011, 08:25 PM
Hey guys, here's some more. I'm currently working on some lavender flowers. Gotta redo it though, cuz I made some bad early decisions and gave this particular asset way too many tris haha. There are 180 tris, while my cypress only has 500, and this flower is only about half as tall as the cypress trunk! Even though I made an alpha card version of the flower to put at distances, the detailed mesh for up-close shots is still too tri-heavy I think. I'm gonna combine some petals together on bigger planes instead. Thought I'd post anyway though, for critique and comments as I continue to work:

3pt. lighting! (Does it look right?)

512 here for your viewing pleasure, but it's actually 256:


10-18-2011, 08:37 PM
Hi Jessica! Cute flowers. I think you could make the petals even more varied in color. The purple and blue one don't look a whole lot different. And where the petals and stem meet looks like they aren't really attaching, like the flower is just floating on top. I know this isn't really the same, but maybe add those leaf-like things where they would attach?


Jessica Dinh
10-18-2011, 08:55 PM
Hey thanks kelli! I will add those leaf thingies on the bottom - I see what you mean about the flower looking floaty. As for the color variation, are you looking at the model or my color map? In that render I only used the purple petals because I was just setting up a quick composition and lighting test - hadn't gotten around to playing with the uv's yet, all the petals are still stacked on purple. The render does have some blue areas though, because one of my lights is blue.

10-18-2011, 09:16 PM
I was just looking at both, but I thought the blue petals on the model was the blue version on the texture.

Jessica Dinh
10-18-2011, 09:20 PM
Ah ok, sorry about that, I shouldn't have posted an unfinished setup. But hopefully the model will look a little more colorful when I actually have all my colors in it haha :)

10-18-2011, 09:39 PM
Preety nice thread so far ms. jessica. Looking for more. :)

10-18-2011, 10:32 PM
Wonderful work so far!

Guess it's mostly personal preference but I think handpainted work looks best presented at 50%~ Self illumination in viewport shots rather than offline renders.

Jessica Dinh
10-18-2011, 11:45 PM
Yeah, I am still searching for the best ways to present my work. Usually I just take a printscreen from the UDK viewport, but that is probably the worst of all ways to do it haha. Are you saying that hand painted textures look better when you turn up self-illumination on the material, rather than setting up lights? Or do I still set up lights even with the self-illumination on?

10-19-2011, 12:33 AM
I usually just take my screenshots in the 3DS Max viewport, with 1 light source (to direct the shadow) with the material set to 50%+ (the number is not really set in stone, you'll have to play with the number) self illumination. You could try adding more lights if you want, with self illum you shouldn't need a fill light though.

The issue with letting hand painted textures full-shadow themselves is that you end up with black areas (like in your renders) because there's so much lighting info already painted into it. Sometimes this is alright but your textures are really colorful so I don't think that's what you want. Plus since there's no normal map, the gouraud/phong shading makes textures look really flat if the shading is too strong.

Best I could suggest is just drop a light source into your scene and start toying with the self-illumination til you get something you like then experiment with more lights, different colored lights/self illum, etc.

Jessica Dinh
10-19-2011, 12:52 AM
Ah, thanks dll! I'll experiment to see what's best for my textures then, but that explanation was really helpful as a starting point.

Jeff Parrott
10-19-2011, 03:48 AM
The lights need to be brighter or placement adjusted some. For models it seems like showing things off with some sort of lighting is nice. These are small enough that you might be able to get away with self illumination.

10-19-2011, 04:13 AM
This post is so full of awesomeness! keep it up Jessica :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

Jessica Dinh
10-20-2011, 05:20 AM
Thanks funkdelic :)

So I'm gonna come back to that lavender for sure, but for now, here is my corkwood tree. It's about 1000 tris, and I still plan on attaching the branches. There is also my updated texture sheet with both trees on it now (gonna fill that empty space with some cypress foliage variation). Critique and comments welcome!

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2418/corkwoodwireframe.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/12/corkwoodwireframe.jpg/)

With 50% self-illumination, a directional light, and a backlight - I'm loving the self-illumination a lot :D

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/4744/corkwoodshot.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/249/corkwoodshot.jpg/)

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/6623/trees01.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/444/trees01.jpg/)

Thanks :)

10-20-2011, 06:05 AM
Lovely textures.
I'll work on a hand painted scene soon and this thread will help me a lot ;) Thanks for these eye candies ;)

10-20-2011, 06:47 AM
The tree and textures look great ! Keep going :D can't wait to see the scene

10-20-2011, 07:02 AM
In your textures for the tree it looks like you are using the same leaf painting with two slightly different hues? If your simply doing this for variation, i suggest using vertex colours :)

10-20-2011, 07:51 AM
that's beautful painting, love the levels

10-20-2011, 08:23 AM
Wow girl these are awesome!

Love this entire thread, your kicking ass can't wait to see what ever environment your making. :)

Keep going.

10-20-2011, 09:06 AM
These textures are incredible. Keep it up! :)

Jessica Dinh
10-21-2011, 02:41 AM
Thanks guys! GoSsS - I would love to see you do some handpainted things :) And if I ever do a high poly scene I will have to take a few cues from you ;)

gilesruscoe - Hm, I will look into vertex colors, I don't really know what that is haha.

Here is a sunflower. These will be about the height of a person. 256 x 256, and 80 tris, although sunflowers at long distances will have considerably less tris, somewhere more along the lines of 6 or so. Also I just realized the flower part is too big which makes the whole thing look kinda small, gotta change that. Critique and comments welcome!



10-21-2011, 02:52 AM
This is looking fantastic! I'm totallly falling in love with your painting style.

If I had to point something out, I'd like to see you maybe work a bit on the presentation, as of now it doesn't serve your work justice. Your sunflower has beautiful colors and saturation, but the shadows and light makes it feel a bit more dull. I guess they are either 3Ds Max or Maya screengraps, if so, I would make the material a bit self illuminating(something like 40-70%) so your colors and textures pops more :-)

Jessica Dinh
10-21-2011, 02:59 AM
Thanks Zpanzer! Yes, these are Max renders, and I agree with you about my presentation - now that I look closely, I see that the renders aren't matching my texture very well. I have 50% self illumination at the moment, but perhaps I need a little more! *sigh* presentation is harder than I thought haha.. in the end I will have to go back and render all my stuff again correctly!

10-21-2011, 03:26 AM
Looking good! There's a visible edge in your tree canopy where the texture is being clipped off though.


In regards to your presentation yeah, mess with the self-illum it's not an exact science :U It'd probably also be worth it to turn off shadow casting from your back light.

Also fwiw, on small ground objects like flowers and grass I usually tweak the vertex normals so that the normals are facing more upward, that way they get more light. Otherwise when you put them on the terrain they'll clash with the floor because they'll be lit wrong.

If you're using 3DS Max just apply the edit normals modifier to your editable poly then grab the blue sticks and rotate them so that they're facing more upward (probably dont want them to be straight up tho). Make sure you've got a light source in the scene so you can tell what's going on.

Jessica Dinh
10-21-2011, 03:39 AM
Ah! I didn't think anybody would see that leaf!! But looks like you saw it easy so I better go back and fix it xD Also, thank you for the explanation and tip about the normals, I didn't know about that!

I'll turn off the backlight cast shadow too, if you guys think that's better. I kinda thought the double shadow was cool :x

Jeff Parrott
10-21-2011, 04:08 AM
Looking great as usually Jessica. When is the full scene coming together? Just wondering how it'll all look since you're doing pieces individually. You might want to see how it's all coming together as a scene.

Jessica Dinh
10-21-2011, 04:20 AM
I know what you mean about seeing the full picture - I really did just get too excited about the assets first :P . . . I will have the full scene roughly set up and posted here by the end of Monday. Then I will continue working on the rest of the assets and editing existing ones accordingly!

10-21-2011, 10:18 AM
I've been enjoying watching you progress on this. Love the style of you textures and how you carry that into the shapes of the model. It all comes across as very well thought-out.

10-23-2011, 02:08 AM
Hi Jessica, I bookmarked this thread cause you keep on showing really interesting hand painted textures ;). I am looking forward to see more!!

10-23-2011, 03:39 PM
Really nice and clean painted textures. About how long does it take you to paint textures like that? I love the style and the design of it all.

I'm looking forward to seeing this environmental piece put together! Keep at it! Love the hard work here!

Jessica Dinh
10-23-2011, 04:31 PM
Thanks Jenn0_Bing, Kuki :)

AyalaN3D: Each texture is different, for example, sand took about half as long as grass or pebbles. But in general, I'd say about a full day + (as in 24 hours or more) per texture. I feel that's pretty slow, but I think if I keep making these I can get faster! :)

Will post a block-in of my scene in a couple of hours.

10-23-2011, 05:12 PM
I'm currently slapping my head against my keyboard practising hand painted textures. I have been trying with a mouse, but I have ordered a wacom tablet. This thread is incredibly useful/inspiring/intimidating :p I adore your style, you have a great eye for colours in particular.

10-23-2011, 06:45 PM
I have been following your thread since it was introduced and it has been great - keep it up Jessica, please!

Jessica Dinh
10-24-2011, 12:54 AM
B8MaN! No slap head against keyboard! xD I can't believe you have been trying to texture with a mouse haha. I think you will have a much easier time when your wacom tablet arrives :] :]

Thanks dinfet, that is encouraging ^_^

dll, I've raised the normals on my grass to about a 70 degree angle. Here's a before and after shot - I can see how the grass gets a little more light now! :)


This is my new render of the sunflower, with fixed proportions. Does the presentation seem better to you guys?


Okay, here's what I have so far for my scene. All my terrain textures are in, as well as the cypress tree and 2 variations of sunflower. For now, I just have a textured plane in place of water. I plan to add actual cliff meshes for the overhangs in my concept, as well as rocks and boulders. In addition to that, still need to put in:

-more cypress variants/saplings
-corkwood + variants
-fallen leaf clutter (possibly)
-some man-made structure


BTW I forgot to build lights! D: Sorry... next update !

So yeah, tons of work to do still, but this is my rough start (sculpting is hard!! haha). Critique away, please!

Thank you,

10-24-2011, 03:24 AM
great start! Can't wait to see more! try to add in that road into the distance- background aswell (sure you were planning on it, but it looks so awesome in that concept :) ) Good luck with the project

Jeff Parrott
10-24-2011, 04:00 AM
The silhouette of the cliff in the back would be much cooler if you could match the concept. You've got the basics in place now.

The wavy tree texture seems a bit different than the rest. Not sure it's blending as well as it should. I think it might be a smidge too saturated.

Jessica Dinh
10-24-2011, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the critique guys! I will add in the road, and model the cliff silhouettes in max for import into UDK. I also feel like my grass is way too saturated so I will be changing that, as well as tryinig to get a little self-illumination working on all my materials. I also feel that the viewer is a little too far from the scene, so I'll try pushing the foreground hill further in and lower.

Jeff Parrott
10-24-2011, 10:38 AM
Try adjusting the FOV on the camera. That might help some. I know with my UDK scenes that helps usually.

10-24-2011, 07:53 PM
Awesome! At least your time spent in painting gets you more familiar of how those textures should be! Great practice for sure!

Overall, your scene is coming out nicely. Like what has been said before bringing some more form and silhouette to those hills like your concept will definitely give it a much better feel. And of course bringing them closer to the camera which will fix the perspective or camera view.

Vertex painting will help you as well as in blending in textures where you need it in your scene! great job so far though! :)

Jessica Dinh
10-24-2011, 09:40 PM
Hmm, I did some research on vertex painting and I think I'm getting the general idea of what it is, but so far I've only seen people use it on meshes and not terrain. Is it possible to vertex paint on Terrain or Landscape? Both? Neither? I am actually using Terrain edit for this scene because my lights were building really weird with Landscape and I had a hard time figuring out how to create materials for it >_<

EDIT: SCRATCH EVERYTHING I JUST SAID - I am currently reading through the most enlightening tutorial thread ever (Swizzle!!! I love you!)! I believe I will be starting fresh on Landscape instead, so I can put all my textures on one actor. Currently I have 2 terrain actors just so I can hold more than 4 textures for my entire scene. It's kindof ridiculous lol . . . I'll be back with a new scene soon, considering this one ^^ practice I guess! >_<

According to the tutorial, vertex painting is possible on Landscape. I have yet to figure out how to implement it for Landscape, but I think first steps first . . . gotta figure out how to use the very basics of Landscape before anything fancy haha . . .

For anyone interested, here's the tut:


10-24-2011, 09:58 PM
Really nice work in here! Can't wait to see it all come together

10-25-2011, 05:20 AM
perfect textures, i really like them! :)

10-25-2011, 03:22 PM
Really nice texture work, subscribing!

10-25-2011, 03:56 PM
I'm really enjoying watching your progress in this thread, Jessica. Excellent work!

10-27-2011, 02:23 AM
BTW I forgot to build lights! D: Sorry... next update !

... This makes me sad.

Could definitely use some more light. More bright greens and yellows like the concept. Maybe some god rays coming down... And couldn't hurt to rotate those trees a bit or make some variations that way they aren't all bent the same. ;)

Great work so far! More updates (with you lights built!) >.<

10-28-2011, 04:09 AM
Looking good, but grass is kinda weird. It reminds me of traditional oil paintings :) It works, but I think you can do even better. Here is some pictures, these are NOT MINE! though they might help.



they are from here: http://shurick.livejournal.com/195876.html

its a big article, regarding environment art direction for Allods Online. Quite interesting read, but sadly, only in russian. Some pictures are self explanatory, and I guess google translator can make some sense of it.

gold! shame it's in russian, the translation very likely does not do it justice!

and Jessica, love your style.

10-28-2011, 05:57 AM
much sexiness in this thread...cant wait for the final scene!

10-28-2011, 09:46 AM
Awesome, nice to see all these excellent pieces start to come together.

On-top of what the others have said. In your sunflower texture, try adding a bit of a gradient to the stalk so it's darker towards the bottom, it should help "root" them to the ground better.

10-28-2011, 09:50 AM
wow wow wow!! one of my new favorite artist!! I love this style of art work! never been big on doing it myself, but I LOVE looking at it! keep it coming!!

Jessica Dinh
11-04-2011, 03:47 AM
Thanks everybody! :) Your comments are encouraging.

Jenn0_Bing - I see what you mean about the stalk gradient, I will definitely implement that.

So this week I finally got landscape to work and have been sculpting it out, trying to get it back to the progress I made with terrain. Nearly there...

I've also been working on my presentation some more (internships are opening up soon, so I figured I'd better get cracking on some good layout). Branches and roots are attached to the corkwood now, and I've made a variant. I forgot to change up one of the foliage clumps so that the two are not identical (besides a slight difference in color), so I will have to do that later and rerender haha. In the meantime I might as well put these up for critique!




I've also revisited my concept in hopes of giving it a better sense of travel and direction. Specifically, i've been thinking about the structures I want to add in. I don't have a lot of time left before the end of the semester (even though I will continue working on this project past that point heh), so I'm gonna try my hand at kit-bashing and tileables as opposed to all unique construction and texturing.

I want to make a little villa or two, and perhaps put together a small town on the distant hill, for which silhouette will be the most important thing since I'm gonna have a lot of fog back there. I'm abandoning my wells, because I thought about it and I think it's kinda stupid to have a well next to a lake ahaha. So yeah, this week is going to be dedicated to creating the tileables: stucco, cobblestone, and roof. Let me know what you guys think! Thanks in advance:


Sorry the corkwood images are pretty compressed, not sure how to fix that.

Count the cows! :D

11-04-2011, 04:02 AM
olala :) i want to run there with rocket launcher :P

Jessica Dinh
11-04-2011, 04:06 AM
Don't hurt my cows! ]:<

11-04-2011, 04:12 AM
Really great work Jessica, you have an awesome style.

11-04-2011, 04:51 AM
That reworked concept looks great, those villas really help flesh out the space. The updates to the trees are looking good too.

11-04-2011, 06:23 AM
wow, amazing work in this threat! I love the textures, not only the style, but also the craftsmanship.
I secretly copied some of your work in progress textures and especially the making of the pebbles and had to show them to our texture artist: "This is how I want you to paint those textures, now get to work!" *slap*
I really hope he learned something today :)

Jeff Parrott
11-04-2011, 06:29 AM
Castle is greatly improving the concept. It will definitely help create a sense of scale that was lacking. I'd suggest giving


a read too. It's my bible for environment presentation ideas.

Also your presentation is nice. Have you thought of putting them on a darker background? It might help the single assets pop a bit more. Make your website/contact info a bit more apparent too. It's too easy for that to get lost looking at the awesome art.

Good stuff as always. This is the kind of thread that makes me come to PC daily. Page 1 is very basic and by page 12 you'll be a seasoned vet.

11-04-2011, 06:29 AM
This thread is everything polycount stands for.... holy F, I am not only inspired, but have learnt SO much.... Thank you all!

Jessica, you're illustration skills are phenomenal. Very well done

11-04-2011, 09:55 AM
Love your style, Jess! Thanks for posting this project - looks awesome so far and I'm learning a lot from this thread. I am looking forward to seeing it finished :)

11-04-2011, 11:14 AM
Love the artwork, and the new concept! This whole thread is very inspirational! Keep it up!

11-04-2011, 11:59 AM
great update on the concept! Can't wait to see the new textures and models! :) Making the last building in the background less complex in shape works great. This is gonna be awesome!

11-04-2011, 12:25 PM
Great improvement on the presentation!

Love the additions to the concept as well but I have to admit though, the slew of left-facing cows that are all looking at the viewer is a bit unsettling :0 Especially the one creeping into the corner in the foreground, he seems like he's up to no good.

11-04-2011, 12:51 PM
The tree could use a lot of work. The shapes and proportions are very dull and not very believable. I'd also rethink how you approach your canopy. You can get a lot better coverage and the possibility for more interesting shapes if you go with a different modeling method.

Your style is interesting but the textures are kind of flat. The two trees on this page lack color variation. It appears that you are using just a single hue and different values of that hue. Your highlights and shadows could use different colors.

There is a little more variation in the bushy tree thing but not much. I also thing this bush could be more successful if it wasn't modeled as a solid block in a tree shape. Using planes with certain transparency can give the bush a lot more depth and layers. You have some of that going on here but not much.

Good luck!

Jessica Dinh
11-04-2011, 05:11 PM
Thanks everyone! :D

jeffro - I will def give that tut a read. Thank you for sharing! And I will find a way to put my contact info. on my homepage.

dll - The cows are innocent. And thanks for all your help on the presentation earlier

mheyman - Seems like I have a lot to consider! I'll think about how to better improve my shapes and proportions, and revisit the trees once I have figured it out. This week while I create my villa textures I will pay closer attention to depth and colors - I felt I had added colors in my previous textures, but I guess I need to push it? Also thanks for critting the bushy-tree - looking back, I agree it could use some more tris and layering. When I create the variations for it I will. I really appreciate the critique - if you see anything else as I continue to work, let me know!

Jessica Dinh
11-06-2011, 07:02 PM
Hey guys! Right now I am working on the stucco texture for my villa. At the moment I feel the stucco layers are too obvious and deep for a plain wall texture, so I'm working on kindof flattening it out and adding some smaller, shallower details like pocks and raking instead. This texture is harder than I thought it would be because if the subtlety I have to take into consideration for it! >_<

When this is done I'm gonna make another version with grime on the bottom for crevice areas (but it will be 256 x 512 and only horizontally tiling). Critique and comments welcome:

512 x 512

Here it is, shown tiling:


11-06-2011, 07:37 PM
I like it Jessica. It has a nice warm feel to it and looks like it will go well with the rest of the scene. The tiling looks very good as I dont see obvious repetition there. I cannot wait to see it applied to a building, keep it up.

11-06-2011, 10:58 PM
I love those leaves, and really like that second tree. MORE!

11-06-2011, 11:30 PM
Your painting style consistently wows me, that stucco is awesome! The only tiling bit that is easily spotted is the crack on the upper left corner, other than that its damn near perfect

Jessica Dinh
11-06-2011, 11:54 PM
Thanks dinfet, POFFINGTON :)

And thanks for catching that tiling error Tokoya xD I've addressed it, hopefully you don't see it there anymore ;)

So I think I've got the stucco in a good place; the layers should be raised just enough not to be distracting now. Moving on to the grime variation, hehe - this part is funn. btw I've just figured out how to add cool smilies, so now you will probably see an overabundance of them in my posts :poly142:



Jessica Dinh
11-07-2011, 02:25 AM
This might be a dumb question, but is it possible for a prop that's using tileable textures to have an ao map?

11-07-2011, 02:39 AM
Looks great :) Keep on painting!

11-07-2011, 02:53 AM
This might be a dumb question, but is it possible for a prop that's using tileable textures to have an ao map?

If the engine you're using allows for a second UV channel you can throw an ao in there. Alternatively you can use vertex colors to bake the lighting directly into the verts of your mesh. The engine has to support vertex colors though.

11-07-2011, 02:56 AM
This might be a dumb question, but is it possible for a prop that's using tileable textures to have an ao map?You should be able to, just give it a second UV set that doesn't tile. 3DSM/UDK tutorial:


Edit: what he said

11-07-2011, 02:58 AM
This might be a dumb question, but is it possible for a prop that's using tileable textures to have an ao map?

You don't even need a 2nd UV channel (you can bake an AO map on an object even if you have overlap on it).
You can bake it, then, in the engine, multiply your diffuse by the AO (exactly like you would have done in photoshop, but because your doing this in the engine, you'll keep your diffuse clean (aka without AO ;))).
Dunno in which engine your doing this, but in the UDK it's really easy.

If it's not really clear, I'll make a little tutorial if you like.

@Bunglo & dii : I think you're mistaking AO and lightmaps here.

Jessica Dinh
11-07-2011, 03:17 AM
Hey thanks for the responses guys! GoSsS - I am using UDK. And I would super appreciate a tutorial if you have the time. I know how to make a second UV set, but if you say I don't even need to do that, I'm curious to find out what you mean. I am talking about my building in particular, for which I will be using multiple material ID's. Does having the multiple material ID's complicate anything at all?

So I guess my specific questions are: How would I go about baking the AO when my uv's have overlap? Which material would I multiply the AO map to if I am going to have multiple materials? All of them?


11-07-2011, 05:01 AM
You don't even need a 2nd UV channel (you can bake an AO map on an object even if you have overlap on it).
You can bake it, then, in the engine, multiply your diffuse by the AO (exactly like you would have done in photoshop, but because your doing this in the engine, you'll keep your diffuse clean (aka without AO ;))).
Dunno in which engine your doing this, but in the UDK it's really easy.

If it's not really clear, I'll make a little tutorial if you like.

@Bunglo & dii : I think you're mistaking AO and lightmaps here.

Only if you keep your UVs under the 1x1 space and tile the diffuse via shader I guess, then I can see it working, but how could you possibly bake AO if the UVs are stretched out beyond the 1x1 working area?

Edit: I'm assuming she's stretching the UVs, but even so she's at least overlapping them which wouldn't work either. Jessica, IMHO the best option sounds like baking it to your vertex colors, I think it'd be a lot cheaper than having a second set of UVs AND a separate AO map.

Nerf Bat Ninja
11-07-2011, 12:21 PM
I reserve this song for the true greats, but you've earned it, so here goes...

Did you ever know that you're my heeeerrrrooooo?
You're everything I wish I could beeeeeee
I could fly higher than an eeeaaaaaglee
Cause you are the wind beneath my wiiiiingggggs

Seriously, just get that Blizzard internship already. Just don't forget about us little people.

11-07-2011, 12:52 PM
Bookmarked this page.

Awesome stuff!!!


Andrew Mackie
11-07-2011, 06:37 PM
*puts this entire thread into Inspiration Folder*
Amazing work!

11-07-2011, 07:41 PM
I reserve this song for the true greats, but you've earned it, so here goes...

Did you ever know that you're my heeeerrrrooooo?
You're everything I wish I could beeeeeee
I could fly higher than an eeeaaaaaglee
Cause you are the wind beneath my wiiiiingggggs

Seriously, just get that Blizzard internship already. Just don't forget about us little people.

wtf... get a hold of yourself come on :poly142:

Really nice texture work you got here ! :):)

11-08-2011, 07:02 AM
Your stuff continues to rock Jessica...very inspiring.

11-08-2011, 09:17 AM
I think GoSsS may be referring to screen space AO rather than actual mapped lighting info..

11-08-2011, 01:01 PM
@bbob : No, I was talking about the AO you usually multiply on top of the color map

Only if you keep your UVs under the 1x1 space and tile the diffuse via shader I guess, then I can see it working

This might be a dumb question, but is it possible for a prop that's using tileable textures to have an ao map?

I donít think youíll go over the 1x1 space for a prop. But if itís the caseand you want an AO just to add details like trims and stuff like that itís ok (because youíll usually go for a stretching on the X axis)

Here is an example (I donít want to pollute your post with bad images so Iíll keep them just as links =)):
I did these models quickly to mimic the kind of shapes you have on your artwork.

(lighting is baked on the vertices + a value of 2/2 used on the texcoord node for the color map (wanted it to tile a bit more))

As you can see here : http://gaetm.free.fr/help/UVs_AO.jpg , the UVs use the -1 to 1 space on the UVs (you can also see the AO added on top of the color map)

The good thing with this technique is that you can use 3 differents AO maps in only one texture using the R G and B independently (even 4 if youíre using the alpha ;)).
Example :


If you want to be able to choose between the channels using instances of a master material it is possible, using this method (http://gaetm.free.fr/help/material_AO.jpg)
(dunno if there is a simpler version but this is how I do it and it works =))

So, with this technique, youíll have to unwrap your UVs only on the X axis (could also be on the Y but it depends on your AO (if it is ďY tileable friendlyĒ or not =))).
If you want to make the color map even more repetitive, you can use the texcoord node as shown on the material (you can use different values for X and Y etc.)

So, to summarize, you can use the AO with the exact same UVs to add some details or occlusion from the wood pieces and, on top of that, use a second UV channel or use the vertex color (depending if you have enough vertices) to bake the lighting on your model (in the UDK).

Hope it helped

11-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Thanks GoSsS, that is really inventive. It involves what I said before about tiling the diffuse through the shader butI totally overlooked the possibilities of multiple AOs in one texture. Also, sorry if I came out like an ass, just read my post again and it came out with a bad tone.

However, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it does seem a little unnecessarily expensive. For "last-gen" stuff like this I think you could just add the geometry to get a good vertex bake, even that trim on the bottom of the tower could be modeled with enough geometry surrounding it for a good bake. It would have a better silhouette and one material, with less texture fetches, shader instructions and draw calls. I think your method could work wonders on next gen stuff but for her case in particular the simpler approach seems more cost-effective.

11-08-2011, 01:50 PM
Yeah, maybe that's not the best method for this kind of stuff but I was just answering her question for the AO =)
I don't know what's better in her case, but I think you're right.

Never thought your post came out with a bad tone, so, no probs ;)

11-08-2011, 01:55 PM
Great progress! Nice to see more ladies shooting for the game industry ;)

Jessica Dinh
11-08-2011, 02:24 PM
LOL Nerf Bat Ninja, makin me blush. Thanks for all the comments guys!

And wow, GoSsS, that is one in-depth tutorial :D I will have to pore over it a bit to fully understand (I'm a bit noob when it comes to shaders and UV's in general), but I'm sure with the abundance of straightforward images you linked, I should get it soon haha. It was great actually getting to see the results of what you were explaining!

I may end up going with felipefrango's idea though, if it is ultimately cheaper for the kind of project I am working on. So now I will also need to look into how to bake lighting into vertex colors!

But really, much thanks for all the help and advice :)

More textures coming soon!

11-08-2011, 08:14 PM
It's quite simple, really, it's super late here and I just got home from the movie theater. I'll look up some tutorials on this tomorrow, or even show some stuff we do at work as an example, but it's really as simple as positioning lights and pressing a few buttons.

11-08-2011, 10:03 PM
Good stuff Jessica, you've been improving greatly.

11-08-2011, 10:24 PM
Wow you've improved a lot.

11-09-2011, 06:33 AM
So, I wrote a tutorial on baking vertex lighting. Not sure if it's the best method out there but here's how I do it anyway. I'll just link to it instead of embedding the image cause its quite big. Anyway, hope it helps!


Evil Flower
11-09-2011, 09:24 AM
Another possibility is using a second UV set and handpainting an AO map for your props. This way you can make sure the shading won't clash with the style of your diffuse textures.

11-09-2011, 08:32 PM
So, I wrote a tutorial on baking vertex lighting. Not sure if it's the best method out there but here's how I do it anyway. I'll just link to it instead of embedding the image cause its quite big. Anyway, hope it helps!


Thank you so much for making and sharing this, I will try it out in the future!

11-10-2011, 04:43 AM
Nice, I'm glad it helped! I've used simple primitives to illustrate the principles but you can do anything really, props, interiors, terrain, whatever. At work we used it to light a huge asteroid with tunnels that used tiling rock textures and we did what I wrote in the last paragraph, baked AO in the vertex alpha channel and lighting in the vertex color, it looks as good as if it was lightmapped considering the massive scale of the asset (its a space sim game and the asteroid is like 20 miles long) and the occlusion helped make the tunnels darker with no need to use real time shadows and other expensive stuff.

Jessica Dinh
11-11-2011, 04:18 AM
:D Hey thanks felipefrango! That does seem pretty straightforward - so basically I am using my vertices to create a permanent AO that is a part of my actual mesh, and nothing to do with texture maps or UV's, right? In any case, I will try it out soon. Great to hear that you used it at work and it looks quite good!

Also, thanks for the suggestion of yet another alternate method Evil Flower. Never too many ways to skin a cat, and I'm sure this method will come in handy some time or another.

Here is some aging stuff for the stucco texture. I made two variations, one where the grime is dripping down, and another where dirt collects at the bottom.


Here's my roof tileable:


Currently working on a cobblestone texture!

Critique and comments welcome,

11-11-2011, 04:28 AM
I've been following this thread and I must say everything has been inspirational.I especially love you color choices. Looking forward to future amazing updates.

Jeff Parrott
11-11-2011, 04:31 AM
The stucco is pretty nice. You really captured that texture.

Roof tiles need some work. It looks like a block out stage. The quality doesn't match the stucco and those next to each other are going to look real off. I'd polish that one up a bit more.

Otherwise good stuff as always.

11-11-2011, 04:39 AM
As jeffro said the stucco looks sweet, great work on that.
I do agree to some part with the roof tiles I don't think it looks as unfinished as a blockout, but I think you maybe can push some more details in the shadows, like the selfshadowing from the other tiles seams a bit to flat right there.

Just amazing how good some of the textures look and the concept you made for your scene :)

Jessica Dinh
11-11-2011, 04:45 AM
15 hour block-out? oh noes.. D: Haha I will go back and see what I can do, such as working on the details in the shadows. Is there anything else in particular that stands out, or does this just need more work in general?

Thanks for critiques!