Repeat… Repeat… Repeat…

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February 27, 2013 by jonmillymiles

I’ve moved on to some textures… do you see what I did there??

Within a 3D environment textures provide the painting on the canvas that is your world. They allow you to explain the context of your space, the type of scenery, the year the very essence of your world. Lighting and objects are important, but its the textures that define.

With that in mind I got my butt into gear and started to download some of the textures that I had collected over the past few months and implement them as materials within my 3D world… which, by the way, is starting to look a little spangley.

The textures that I have used to begin with have been selected to identify some of the key locations, primarily the Sparker Room and the bridge area.

Wall texture

Wall texture

The first texture that I created was the brickwork for my bridge. I extracted this from a picture that I took at Baggeridge Country Park of one of the old bridges there. It may not have been quite Victorian, but it captured the look and feel of the dark brickwork that I was after. I then set about multiplying the brickwork many times over until I had a multitude of bricks. I then set about trying to remove the repetition from the texture, but with some of the sizes of walls that this covers it has proven to be a difficult task. Finally I used the nVidia Photoshop plugin to create a normal map of the texture which I could then apply to my material in UDK. This resulted in a rather nice walled effect. Were I to do this again I would have found a larger wall to take a picture of. This would have allowed me to capture a larger sample of brickwork and would have prevented a great deal of the repetition.

Road texture used in my 3D level

Road texture used in my 3D level

The next texture that I attempted was a road surface. While I didn’t want a regular patter I did want it to look constructed but worn. For this I used a section of wall from a photo taken at Warwick Castle. As this texture was to work at a different angle and on a different scale I only used four samples of the image. This was then made seamless by using the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. Finally it was passed through the nVidia plugin to create a normal map and applied to an area of road. I also took this opportunity to look into how to create the road, after looking at the Landscape and Terrain functions of UDK I decided upon cutting out a 16 unit high section with a brush as this gave me both the sharp edge that I was after without a loss of texture quality on the curb.

Floor tile texture

Floor tile texture

The final texture made so far was the most satisfying. The tiled floor was taken of my bathroom and I used 16 samples of a 4×4 area of laminate flooring to achieve the tile density I was after. The texture was made seamless and then I set about reducing the repetition inherent in the texture. As you can see from the image on the left, it hasn’t turned out too bad. When applied to a floor doesn’t obviously repeat, unless you look from above. I learned a lot from creating this texture, from how to take the photo in the first place (to avoid annoying shadow) to using a standard brush tool to create grime and reduce the similarity across the floor. Of all the textures this is the one that I am happiest with – I’ll do more like this in the future.

In other news I have realised that I didn’t copy my file over from Uni so I had to do some of the later stuff again, but then I also recreated my package file and had to repopulate the entire level!!! Never mind 🙂 I have created all four of the control boxes for the Sparker room, now I just need to work on the logic and the use of Material ID’s to turn the towers on and off.

I’ll leave you with a few images from the level showing the textures in use.

Entrance to the Lair

Entrance to the Lair

The Sparker Room

The Sparker Room

Entrance to Cells

Entrance to Cells


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