cxg2827

Texturing & UV Mapping Megathread - Share Your Techniques and Tricks

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I always see individual threads pop up to share some techniques, but I figure it would be nice to have a Megathread for everyone to contribute their own tricks and techniques.

Table of Contents
Topic Programs Keywords Contributor
Don't be afraid to critique each other! - Advice CobaltWolf
Weathering & Layers Photoshop, GIMP Weathering, Scuff, Scratch, Layers CobaltWolf
Creating Radial Patterns, and Utilizing Guide Lines Photoshop Patterns, Duplicate, Guide Lines cxg2827
Intermediate Texturing Guide - Panels and Edge Damage Blender, GIMP, Inkscape Layers, Normal, Specular CaptainKipard
Intermediate Texturing Guide. (Colour, Specular and Normal maps) Blender, GIMP, Inkscape Ambient Occlusion (AO), Pixel Density CaptainKipard
Tileable Heat Tile Material Substance Designer Diffuse, Specular, Gloss, Normal, AO martinezfg11
Fuel Tank Tutorial - Blender Workflows/Techniques/UV editing Blender Intro, UV, Collider, .dae export NecroBones
Panel Indents and Extrusions using Inner/Outer Glow Photoshop Layer Style, Shape combination (Donut/Ring) cxg2827
Getting weird UV results? Try Project From View Blender UV xxhansonmaxx
Porkjet Texturing Advice (Outbound Link) - Texturing, Stockalike, Porkalike Porkjet
Texturing Advice Photoshop, GIMP, etc. Advice JohnnyPanzer
Using UV Square Add-On to straighten and pack UV Blender, UV Square (add-On) Blender, UV, straightening wavy textures Enceos
Reducing Cylinder faces in Blender, keep UV map Blender Blender, UV, lowering face count cxg2827
Generate Normal Map using grayscale Image in xNormal Photoshop, xNormal Normal map, Height Map, xNormal cxg2827

 

Edited by cxg2827

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Beat me to it! I'll edit this post with some other stuff later this weekend when I have time, but for now I'll leave this:

Don't be afraid to critique each other! If there's one thing I've learned since coming to university, it's the value of giving each other honest and insightful feedback. If you see something that you think can be improved, don't be afraid to say something! If you have help to offer, offer it! The worst mistake that can be made is taking it personally, instead of seeing what can be made better. Especially with things like textures, there is always room for improvement. So go into each other's threads, look at what each other are doing. If you see something cool, ask how they did it. If you see something that is missing something, point if out even if you don't necessarily have a solution.
Just remember the flip side of that: Don't be a jerk, and remember, everyone does things differently. At the end of the day, everyone has their own styles that they like to work in, and they won't all mesh perfectly.

EDIT: Part one of my advice!

The biggest things I see is there isn't enough variation. KSP parts have lots of scuff marks, scratches in the paint where bare metal is exposed. When I texture, I have several layers I work with to combat this.

One, I have a 'Light Edges' layer where I lay in scratches and scuff marks along the edges that would be exposed to wear. Edges in KSP are, as a rule of thumb, always lighter than the surrounding parts. They are only darker when two big panels come together and you want to show there is a small gap. I usually work with this layer inside a layer folder of the same name. There is an 'outer glow' effect on the folder, with the noise set at 1 or 2. Having the effect apply to the folder, and not the layer, means I can create multiple 'Light Edges' layers for when I don't want to worry about messing one or the other up.

Two, I have an 'Edge Smudges' layer. Around the inside perimeter of every panel, just past the light edges, I run a 3% opacity, soft black brush once or twice around, very quickly/sloppily. This helps further add variation, because you have the panel's most extreme light and dark next to each other. This layer often has to have extra blurring applied, and if I get too zealous, lower the opacity. This layer works best when it's hardly noticeable. It should be something felt, not seen.

Three, I have a 'Smudges' layer. This is pretty much what it sounds like. Take a big, soft, 3% opacity brush and run it across the canvas somewhat randomly a couple times. One or two of the passes can be tinted brown for faint fuel stains or rust. Because you have to be mindful of your UV layout with this, it can be helpful to use selection boxes to work on one section of the texture at a time. This layer is purely to add light / dark variation to your texture. Never leave something a solid color. Break it up with some smudges.

Edited by CobaltWolf

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ingenious !! just something I need, I hope the war back with gimp also 
Many Thanks !
:lol:

 

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You should put this thread in your signature like I did.

Speaking of which I made two texturing tutorials some time ago. Links below. ↓↓↓↓

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Wow. This will be a helpful thread. Awesome idea. 

Here's a question: The shading, the AO, I get, but how do you guys distribute and align things properly? @cxg2827, in your last photo of the album, you've got the bolt-type shapes, perfectly distributed in a circle around a ring. HOW do you distribute things like that? What's the technique?

Thanks. :)

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10 hours ago, CaptainKipard said:

You should put this thread in your signature like I did.

Speaking of which I made two texturing tutorials some time ago. Links below. ↓↓↓↓

Good idea, I'll add it to my sig for greater exposure.

Also, would you be willing to repost your tutorials within this thread as well? Otherwise I can put a link to them in my first post.

 

1 minute ago, curtquarquesso said:

Wow. This will be a helpful thread. Awesome idea. 

Here's a question: The shading, the AO, I get, but how do you guys distribute and align things properly? @cxg2827, in your last photo of the album, you've got the bolt-type shapes, perfectly distributed in a circle around a ring. HOW do you distribute things like that? What's the technique?

Thanks. :)

@curtquarquesso, a mix of OCD and using transform tools. I'll make a post this week covering how I've been achieving linear and radial symmetry.

 

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2 hours ago, curtquarquesso said:

HOW do you distribute things like that? What's the technique?

 

Not CXG, but the free-transform tool in Photoshop allows rotation by degrees, you only need to line up two opposing bolts, then you can copy->paste->rotate and achieve perfectly separated bolts by 10, 22.5, 30, etc degrees.

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Creating Radial Patterns, and Utilizing Guide Lines
(Open in Imgur so you can read the instructions better)

 

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Intermediate Texturing Guide - Panels and Edge Damage

If you want a fullscreen album then here is a direct link to it on Imgur. You can Alt+Tab between the text below and the album if you open the album in a new browser window.

Not for absolute beginners.

The guide assumes you're familiar with basic 3D and texturing concepts and that you're comfortable with Blender, GIMP and Inkscape or other equivalent programs.

Having said that, I tried to make the guide clear enough so that you can google things if you need to.

Feel free to ask questions, point out errors and share your knowledge to help me improve this guide.

Preparation

Image #01

First unwrap your model. The aim here is to make the texture quite crisp, so it's best if you snap vertices to pixels. Give your islands about 10 pixels of space between them.

Image #02

The foundation of your texture will be clean-ish metal. You can find one online. Find a texture that large enough to give you 256px per metre. Decrease the contrast, so it's only a little bit noisy.

Image #03

Next create your mask which we'll use later to randomise the damage a little bit. Find a texture with a lot of small scratches.

Image #04

Edit the levels using the top three handles to increase the contrast. Desaturate.

The Panels

Image #05

Import your UV layout as a path. If you don't know how, then read this tutorial first.

Create a new Layer for your panel seams. Using the Pencil Tool draw straight 1px lines where you want your panel seams to be. You can leave some space between the panels and the UV edges if you want. It might or might not look better depending on the model you're making.

Image #06

If you want diagonal edges, then draw your diagonal line as normal, then add one line on each side, using the Pencil Tool at 33% opacity.

Image #07

Duplicate your panel seams layer. Apply Gaussian Blur. Use a setting of 20. This makes the texture look a bit less flat.

The Damage

Image #08

Highlight your panel seams layer. Use the Fuzzy Select Tool to select the transparent areas between the panel lines, as well as the transparent area outside of the panels. Make sure the threshold is low enough to not select the partially transparent pixels near the diagonal lines.

Shrink the selection by 1 pixel.

Distort the selection using the settings shown.

Click "Selection to Path" in the Paths dialogue.

Image #09

Create a new layer for your damage.

Select the Paintbrush Tool. Pick the hard brush. Set size to 1. Click "Apply Jitter". Set Jitter to 2. Make the colour white.

Highlight your damage path and your damage layer.

Click "Paint along the path" and choose the Paintbrush Tool.

Image #10

Repeat step #08, except use a "Smooth" value of 1. You should have two slightly different paths now.

Create a second layer for damage.

Select the Paintbrush Tool. Set size to 2.

Highlight your second damage path and your second damage layer. Paint along the path.

Use the Gimpressionist filter with the Crosshatch preset on your second damage layer. Lock the transparency.

Image #11

Fill the layer with the white color.

Image #12

Apply the mask you created earlier to the second "crosshatched" damage layer. Select the mask. Bring up the Levels dialogue and use the top sliders until you get the amount of damage you want. If you want you can also at this point paint some random scratch lines on this layer. The mask will make the lines look broken up and the scratches will look a lot more natural.

Image #13

Go back to your first damage layer. Pick a tiny white jittered brush and fill in the corners.

Finishing

Image #14

Using only a copy of the original panel lines layer and a background, create a normal map.

Image #15

Using the damage layers, panel lines layer and a background, create a specular map.

Image #16

You can add a multiplied layer with some colour for your panels. You can also play around with the amount of damage by either decreasing the opacity of the layers or by applying a random mask, or modifying the existing one.

Image #17

Finished product in Blender with all three maps applied

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Intermediate Texturing Guide. (Colour, Specular and Normal maps)

If you want a fullscreen album then here is a direct link to it on Imgur. You can Alt+Tab between the text below and the album if you open the album in a new browser window.

This is a quick a dirty guide about making semi-professional textures that I made for the Open Part Mod.

Not for absolute beginners.

The guide assumes you're familiar with basic 3D and texturing concepts and that you're comfortable with Blender, GIMP and Inkscape or other equivalent programs.

Having said that, I tried to make the guide clear enough so that you can google things if you need to.

Feel free to ask questions, point out errors and share your knowledge to help me improve this guide.

Unwrapping and AO

Image #1

This shows how I unwrapped the spherical tank. A larger number of sections decreases the amount of texture warping, but increases number of texture seams, which can sometimes be problematic. This is personal preference but I think 8 sections is a good balance. Here I've also kept the middle two face loops completely connected and edited those UVs to be a perfect rectangle, in case I want to easily add a horizontal texture later on, like text or a straight line.

This model is unwrapped without any overlap but you can bake AO on models with overlapping UV. Whether or not it looks good depends on two things:

  • Whether the overlapping islands are the same and in the same place, which will happen if you duplicate a mesh. This will allow the AO to look the same for all duplicates.
  • Whether the overlapping islands receive the same ambient light. This means the surrounding geometry must be the same and in the same place with respect to all duplicates. This precludes the AO artefacts which are the result of the program fighting over which light intensity to choose.

 

Both of these must be true if you want good looking overlapping AO.

Keep in mind that overlapping UVs might (depending your your model) make it more difficult to remove texture seams with texture paint.

When choosing your texture size, which can be done at any point before you baking AO, you should keep in mind pixel density. 128px/m is probably pushing the boundaries of what looks good and it's the minimum you should be aiming for. 256px/m is roughly the pixel density of B9 parts and it's a good balance between memory usage and good looking parts.

The pixel density in the example above is a little under 128px/m. This is partly because of the large amount of empty space between the UV islands. You will have a lot of fun optimising texture space usage especially if you decide to keep rings intact. Blender has tools for automatically equalising pixel density and for optimising texture space usage, but it works best with convex UV islands. It will not place smaller UV islands inside enclosed islands like a ring or even concave islands like something in the shape of a "C".

The example above is only one part, but if you have a project with more than one .mu files or parts you can save memory by filling in the unused texture space with UVs from more than one mesh object, but remember that each mesh object in a .mu file can only have one material applied to it. Sharing a texture between meshes can save memory, but doesn't necessarily save HDD space. In order to keep your textures as small as possible in terms of disk space, make sure that the unused space in a texture is all a single colour. This helps with compression of some file types.

You can also see here the Ambient Occlusion map with the settings I used. The default settings make AO really blurred, so I decreased the Attenuation distance to 20cm. I think that's more realistic that way.

The ring tops and bottoms are continuous, again to keep texture seaming to a minimum. It's not the most efficient but it makes for nicer textures.

It's very difficult to predict the amount of time you'll spend unwrapping a model, since it's directly linked to the complexity of the model.

Image #2

This shows the way I've unwrapped that bent pipe section. This way isn't always necessary, but keeping all the UVs parallel and perpendicular allows you do easily make textures that look like they're made of interlocking rings (like those shower head bendy hoses for example). This works best when the pipe was made mathematically perfect, with a bezier curve for example.

Texture foundation

Image #3

I downloaded a scratched metal texture from a free website, and decreased the contrast so it's not as noisy. Disregard AO for the time being.

Image #4

Applying this simple texture results in visible seams. I need to fix this.

Image #5

Doing this requires Texture Paint (or equivalent tool in whatever app you're using).

You need to save your background texture as a copy with a different name. This will be your stencil.

Make sure your base texture is active in the image view window for the mesh you're using.

I've circled the settings that are important to me, but you can experiment.

The Texture in Texture Paint settings should be your stencil texture and NOT your base/colour texture.

Then just paint on the model on the seams using the stencil, and when you're done save the colour texture in your Image view and import it as a layer in your texture source file.

Image #6

No more seams!

Image #7

AO should be a new layer in multiply mode above the base texture. This is the result. A nice foundation.

This took me about 30 minutes, but if you know what you're doing you can do it in 5.

Adding some colour

Image #8

Firstly I need to know where to apply those colour. Blender allows you to export the UV layout in SVG format, which you'll need to open in Inkscape and merge all the objects into one. This can then be imported into GIMP as paths. If you don't merge all the faces in Inkscape then each triangle will be imported as a separate path. You can of course merge various groups of faces into separate objects in the SVG file, and each merged object will be imported as a separate path.

Images #9, #10, #11, and #12

In my experience (and I have no professional training) there are three main way of applying colour to a texture. They are done using the various Layer Modes.

  • Multiply (#9). This is to make an existing texture have a different colour while keeping the the noise underneath similar. This is good for making the texture look like it's made of a particular material, like the copper pipe.
  • Overlay or Hard Light (#10 and #11). This is to make a surface look like it has paint on it. I used this to "paint" the tank grey, and add the stripes.
  • Normal (#12). This is best for adding something that's meant to be a decal, like the warning labels.

 

All of these should be between your AO Multiply layer and your background layer. You can obviously experiment with other layer modes for colours, but I think these three are the most important.

I should mention that the less UV overlap you have, the more varied your texture can be. My way of unwrapping allowed me to add two different warning labels and leave all other sides grey.

Image #13

This is the result. I literally did nothing except what I described here. It's starting to look good, but there are still three main things to do.

This took me a couple of hours but I spent most of that time experimenting with what looks best. If you have everything planned out this can take as little as 15 minutes.

Weathering

Image #14

First I need a stencil with which I'll paint a rough mask. I looked for a metal texture with lots of scratches, and edited it to be greyscale, with a white background and prominent scratches.

All you need to do is desaturate, and adjust levels.

Image #15

Starting with a white background I painted the mask to a new image using Texture Paint as before, very roughly. I fix it later.

Image #16

In GIMP you need to invert it. As a mask, the black parts determine what's invisible, and white determine what's visible. I edited everything to be more subtle in terms of size, dabbed away a lot with a dirt brush and increased the contrast a bit. The resulting mask is applied to a bright metal texture, which is placed right under the AO layer, because the scratches should affect paint and decals.

I keep a backup of the mask because I'll use it later for the specular mask.

Image #17

Result. I'm pretty sure I didn't place the damage in all the right places, but this kind of thing is way beyond me. It would take some kind of simulation to determine realistic damage placement.

This can be done in about 30 minutes conservatively.

Specular Map and Normal Map

This is probably the simplest part of this texture so I did them all in one go.

Image #18

This is the specular map. It's composed of the layers from the colour map. All you need to do is copy all relevant layers, lock alpha of each of the layers and bucket fill each layer with an appropriate grey colour. All colours need to be greyscale. For parts like the copper pipe, I kept the noise, desaturated and adjusted levels. Bright is very reflective, dark is matte.

Image #19

This is the bump map. It is made in the same way as the specular map, except of course colours have to be edited a bit. Bright is high, dark is low.

Image #20

This is the normal map. It is generated from the bump map, I made it subtle because scratches aren't very deep and decals aren't very thick.

Image #21, 22, 23

Maps applied to the model. Colour (#21), colour and specular (#22) and all together (#23).

If you have your layers well made, this can take about 30 minutes I guess.

That's all folks!

If you're going to make an actual part you need to apply the specular map (as a mask) to a merged copy of the colour map and export as an image with alpha. I'm not doing that because that's not the focus of this thread.

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cxg2827, i dont know how much you want to "maintain" this thread, but maybe occasionally go thru the thread, and add direct links to relevant posts as they get added, to the OP... That way we can get the actual tips & trips right from the OP, instead of having to read thru and filter thru any questions or "chaff" discussions, over time, especially if this thread gets to be pages and pages of discussion... ???

EDIT: lol... pretty much what Captain posted right above me, which i didnt see...lol

Edited by Stone Blue

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8 hours ago, CaptainKipard said:

@cxg2827 it might be a good idea to create a table of contents for this thread.

 

I plan on starting the TOC tonight after i get home from work. Good opportunity to try these new forum features.

 

Edited by cxg2827

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So this isn't really a technique or a trick..

I made a tileable Heat Tile material for one of my parts and I wanted to share it. I made the material in Substance designer, the sbar files are in there in case anyone wants to modify it. Also included are diffuse, spec, gloss, normal, and AO maps.

Feel free to modify and use this however you want. :)

Here's the link https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31166353/HSRI.zip 

NvQmSMI.jpg

 

 

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Spoiler

 

On 09/12/2015, 06:33:49, CaptainKipard said:

Intermediate Texturing Guide - Panels and Edge Damage

If you want a fullscreen album then here is a direct link to it on Imgur. You can Alt+Tab between the text below and the album if you open the album in a new browser window.

Not for absolute beginners.

The guide assumes you're familiar with basic 3D and texturing concepts and that you're comfortable with Blender, GIMP and Inkscape or other equivalent programs.

Having said that, I tried to make the guide clear enough so that you can google things if you need to.

Feel free to ask questions, point out errors and share your knowledge to help me improve this guide.

Preparation

Image #01

First unwrap your model. The aim here is to make the texture quite crisp, so it's best if you snap vertices to pixels. Give your islands about 10 pixels of space between them.

Image #02

The foundation of your texture will be clean-ish metal. You can find one online. Find a texture that large enough to give you 256px per metre. Decrease the contrast, so it's only a little bit noisy.

Image #03

Next create your mask which we'll use later to randomise the damage a little bit. Find a texture with a lot of small scratches.

Image #04

Edit the levels using the top three handles to increase the contrast. Desaturate.

The Panels

Image #05

Import your UV layout as a path. If you don't know how, then read this tutorial first.

Create a new Layer for your panel seams. Using the Pencil Tool draw straight 1px lines where you want your panel seams to be. You can leave some space between the panels and the UV edges if you want. It might or might not look better depending on the model you're making.

Image #06

If you want diagonal edges, then draw your diagonal line as normal, then add one line on each side, using the Pencil Tool at 33% opacity.

Image #07

Duplicate your panel seams layer. Apply Gaussian Blur. Use a setting of 20. This makes the texture look a bit less flat.

The Damage

Image #08

Highlight your panel seams layer. Use the Fuzzy Select Tool to select the transparent areas between the panel lines, as well as the transparent area outside of the panels. Make sure the threshold is low enough to not select the partially transparent pixels near the diagonal lines.

Shrink the selection by 1 pixel.

Distort the selection using the settings shown.

Click "Selection to Path" in the Paths dialogue.

Image #09

Create a new layer for your damage.

Select the Paintbrush Tool. Pick the hard brush. Set size to 1. Click "Apply Jitter". Set Jitter to 2. Make the colour white.

Highlight your damage path and your damage layer.

Click "Paint along the path" and choose the Paintbrush Tool.

Image #10

Repeat step #08, except use a "Smooth" value of 1. You should have two slightly different paths now.

Create a second layer for damage.

Select the Paintbrush Tool. Set size to 2.

Highlight your second damage path and your second damage layer. Paint along the path.

Use the Gimpressionist filter with the Crosshatch preset on your second damage layer. Lock the transparency.

Image #11

Fill the layer with the white color.

Image #12

Apply the mask you created earlier to the second "crosshatched" damage layer. Select the mask. Bring up the Levels dialogue and use the top sliders until you get the amount of damage you want. If you want you can also at this point paint some random scratch lines on this layer. The mask will make the lines look broken up and the scratches will look a lot more natural.

Image #13

Go back to your first damage layer. Pick a tiny white jittered brush and fill in the corners.

Finishing

Image #14

Using only a copy of the original panel lines layer and a background, create a normal map.

Image #15

Using the damage layers, panel lines layer and a background, create a specular map.

Image #16

You can add a multiplied layer with some colour for your panels. You can also play around with the amount of damage by either decreasing the opacity of the layers or by applying a random mask, or modifying the existing one.

Image #17

Finished product in Blender with all three maps applied

Oh man ! exactly as a stockalike-structure tutorial I wanted !! thank you !!!!!  and even with gimp .. haa  :lol:

a8Ld5Tw.jpg

cheers, raendy !!!

 

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I edited my post upwards in the thread. Not a full tutorial yet. I'll get around to it. One day haha.

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@RaendyLeBeau You're welcome, but you basically copied the whole tutorial. Please edit your post and delete the quote. A simple mention is enough to get someone's attention. This kind of thing just makes threads hard to read.

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This ended up being a lot longer than I planned, but I ran through a "quick" fuel tank example in blender. Made some mistakes along the way, and the phone rang at one point. Ugh. :) But at 47 minutes I'm not re-recording. ;)

 

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On 8 December 2015 22:29:54, cxg2827 said:

I can put a link to them in my first post

 

Tbh, I think any thread like this is improved with a "Links To Other Useful Guides/Information/Tools" section in the OP.

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1 minute ago, Pronoes said:

Tbh, I think any thread like this is improved with a "Links To Other Useful Guides/Information/Tools" section in the OP.

I've been busy with overtime at work the past week and I only have mobile access the next few days but the OP will be updated,  so give me some time. 

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On 11.12.2015 00:10:46, CaptainKipard said:

@RaendyLeBeau You're welcome, but you basically copied the whole tutorial. Please edit your post and delete the quote. A simple mention is enough to get someone's attention. This kind of thing just makes threads hard to read.

:)  Hi Capt.Kipard
Yes're absolutely right, as you happen see a greenhorn like me sometimes misadventures at the start.
Thanks for the tip !
cheers, raendy

 

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Panel Indents and Extrusions using Inner/Outer Glow, Copying Layer Style, and Simple Shape Combination Example (Donut/Ring)
(Open in Imgur so you can read the instructions better)

Edited by cxg2827

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First post updated and split my tutorial from it so its dedicated to the table of contents.

I added a column for keywords that can help people search for specific topics that the title might not give away. If you want me to add other keywords or make any revisions shoot me a PM

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I suspect "uv" and "mapping" should be separate tags for better SEO. You could also add "texture" and change "tutorials" to singular in case the search engine allows searching of strings within longer strings.

Could you tell me what the purpose of the keywords in the toc is?

Edited by CaptainKipard

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2 hours ago, CaptainKipard said:

Could you tell me what the purpose of the keywords in the toc is?

My thought was that titles don't really give the full description of topics that are covered. Especially for videos, adding keywords can help people figure out if a certain post will give them the information they are looking for from a quick glance.

Using NecroBones' video as an example, I found it to be a great tutorial and I learned some blender functions that I didn't know about until I watched it. Though from the title, I wouldn't have known it was primarily a video on manipulating the UVs and the mesh in edit mode using one of his existing textures to lay out his UVs. He also touched on some best practices with creating a simple collider.

Rather than CTRL+F and tabbing through a whole page, they can refer to the ToC and then fine tune their search after navigating to the individual post. embedded imgur albums titles/descriptions dont come up when searching using CTRL+F either, so they would have to open individual albums separately to search for the key words.

 

Edited by cxg2827
typo

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