Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

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Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:45 pm

Well, I am tasked with created a texture for the fronds of the medusa tree, which Dakro will then be able to use on his model. I think it's going to be an interesting ride, so I wanted to post my progress as I go along and share what I'm learning. Any thoughts or suggestions you guys have for me would be much appreciated! :)

So, to start off...
First, I tried to edit a picture of a real fern (which I had acquired on my trip to Hawai'i) as the alpha texture. Unfortunately, even though it was a cloudy day when I took the photograph there was still a lot of specular reflection (and shadows) on the leaf. I tried to correct this problem using Color Burn and a variety of other tools, but it turned out all covered in light and dark patches and very unevenly colored or undetailed. So, the next thing I'm trying is to make a basic green fern leaf shape in Illustrator. I plan to load that up into Photoshop when it's finished, and then to try to lay a semi-transparent leaf vein texture to it from various leaves. I might also experiment with layering a skin texture on it too, to make it look more animal-like. :geek:
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Lontahv » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:07 pm

Try evening the texture out in PhotoShop or gimp. This is a trick I learned on some site or other but I don't remember the URL so I'll just quickly explain here:

First duplicate the layer of the texture, then on the duplicate desaturate and invert it. After that apply a Gauss-blur and put the radius up until you can't see the features anymore (so it looks like huge blobs of dark and white--you should have about 3 blobs or something like that). Then put the duplicate-layer's transparency down to 50% and there you go. :)

After that it'll look a little gray, you'll have to fix the contrast and saturation.
Currently getting some ink on my hands over at the Guild Of Ink-Makers (PyPRP2).
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:17 pm

Well, I gave it a shot. :geek: Unfortunately, after the process there wasn't enough detail left in the image anymore where it was replaced. (There wasn't much detail in the affected areas to begin with due to the shininess, but there was even less after the blurred layer was added.) So, ah well; at least we tried. Thanks for the tip anyway; it'll be handy when I'm trying to clean up pictures with specularity that isn't so widespread as that in the picture I was using. :) One other thing that I'll add to your instructions is that for Photoshop, you can help avoid the greyness on the resulting picture by changing the hue of the duplicate layer to the natural color of the leaf by using the eyedropper to get the correct color from the original picture and then using the "Overlay" brush on the desaturated duplicate layer. It doesn't help all the way, but it's a bit better then blending the grey layer directly with the green layer. :geek:
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:55 pm

Well, here are the finished fronds in Illustrator. Next, I'm going to open them in Photoshop and try overlaying some leaf textures over them to make them look realistic. :geek:

Image
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:42 am

Well, that failed. :roll: It quickly turned into a clone stamp nightmare, with the veins looking all funny or too blurry and not matching up to each other.
So, back to the old drawing board. My next scheme will be to combine this tutorial (basically, doing the big veins by hand):
http://www.xenicore.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=33
and this tutorial (for the tiny veins):
http://www.yourphotoshopguide.com/tutorials/leaf-texture/
And then I'll try messing around with the filters and see what happens... :roll:
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:33 pm

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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Aloys » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:36 am

These types of textures are a pain to do because you realy have not other solutions that to draw most of it by hand.. They are too structured to be able to usefully sample from other textures. For the most part you will have to go with something like what you started. It's not very long to do and it's really the best solution.
I'm not sure using illustrator for this is the best way to do it though, sounds a bit tedious to me, a bit of painting in Photoshop (or any other bitmap sofware) would be faster; but use whatever works best for you.
and this tutorial (for the tiny veins):
http://www.yourphotoshopguide.com/tutor ... f-texture/

You may be able to use something like that but you'll have to make sure to set it a a very low opacity so that it doesn't 'override' your main hand drawn veins.. (also make it at a very small size because your leaves are thin)

Also, what size do you plan your final leaves to be? You current texture is pretty large and if the leaves end up being only a couple inches large it's overkill; and you'll end up spending time on details that won't be visible on the screen even if you are able to walk really close to the model. (It's a good idea not to use a 1024*1024 texture for a 3 inches leave ;) )
[edit] I took a look at the other Medusa tree thread, and although the leaves are big compared to the main trunk I'm still not sure what size the whole thing is.. Even assuming it's around 6 feet high I wouldn't go with a texture larger than 1024*512. That or you only make one half of the leaf (1024*256), and then you'll mirror it on the other side in your UV mapping. Actually given the size of the thing that might be the best soluation, as it'll save you half the texture size (and work).
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Re: Building a Texture for the Medusa Tree Frond

Postby Jennifer_P » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:58 pm

These types of textures are a pain to do because you realy have not other solutions that to draw most of it by hand.. They are too structured to be able to usefully sample from other textures.

Yes, I'm afraid you're right. This is taking forever to complete...

I'm not sure using illustrator for this is the best way to do it though, sounds a bit tedious to me, a bit of painting in Photoshop (or any other bitmap sofware) would be faster; but use whatever works best for you.

Well, I don't own a stylus, so there's basically no way for me to draw my lines right the first time. So I draw them as vectors and then adjust the handles until the veins are correct. I'm kind of tempted to pass this one on to ABguy...

You may be able to use something like that but you'll have to make sure to set it a a very low opacity so that it doesn't 'override' your main hand drawn veins.. (also make it at a very small size because your leaves are thin)

I've seen that tutorial you found, Aloys (it worked out pretty well, too); I'm planning on doing what you recommended with the low opacity, as well as putting it in a layer underneath the main veins. :)

Also, what size do you plan your final leaves to be? You current texture is pretty large and if the leaves end up being only a couple inches large it's overkill; and you'll end up spending time on details that won't be visible on the screen even if you are able to walk really close to the model. (It's a good idea not to use a 1024*1024 texture for a 3 inches leave )

Each leaf is about a meter long, so unfortunately all the little veins are going to be visible. :roll: Good idea about only showing half the leaf in the texture and then mirroring it in Blender; that hadn't occurred to me. :) That should save some texture memory.
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