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Help with texturing


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So I'm trying out modding for the first time, and at the moment I'm just trying to model a fuel tank, but I'm having trouble with texturing. What is the best way to make a texture that doesn't just look flat? I'm trying to go for a orange tank based off this image but I don't know how to go about giving the tank that insulated texture look.

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Neat image! Here's advice from the man himself (KSP's former head artist who pretty much codified what consistency there is to the game's style)

As for the foam insulation, basically you just need some subtle noise in your normal map - hopefully that gives you some keywords to follow up on :)

EDIT: Some more thoughts... learn how to bake AO (Ambient Occlusion) to give your parts a less 'flat' look, and definitely download open up the textures on some of the stock parts. I wouldn't base my UV unwrapping techniques off them, but the more detailed parts like the Mk3/Mk2 spaceplane parts are good for reference on style.

Edited by CobaltWolf
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7 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

Neat image! Here's advice from the man himself (KSP's former head artist who pretty much codified what consistency there is to the game's style)

As for the foam insulation, basically you just need some subtle noise in your normal map - hopefully that gives you some keywords to follow up on :)

EDIT: Some more thoughts... learn how to bake AO (Ambient Occlusion) to give your parts a less 'flat' look, and definitely download open up the textures on some of the stock parts. I wouldn't base my UV unwrapping techniques off them, but the more detailed parts like the Mk3/Mk2 spaceplane parts are good for reference on style.

Thanks for the link! It was definitely helpful, but now I've hit another stag.

When exported the UV map, the "guide lines" don't align with the background grid, which has made it impossible to get my textures to align properly with the mesh. Any ideas on how to fix that? I'm using Blender and paint.net

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14 hours ago, CodeFantastic said:

Thanks for the link! It was definitely helpful, but now I've hit another stag.

When exported the UV map, the "guide lines" don't align with the background grid, which has made it impossible to get my textures to align properly with the mesh. Any ideas on how to fix that? I'm using Blender and paint.net

What do you mean 'align with the background grid'? I'd check your UV export options and make sure there's nothing weird (exporting at a non-square resolution for example, maybe). I don't use either of those programs but I'll see what I can do.

Can I see what your model looks like right now?

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2 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

What do you mean 'align with the background grid'? I'd check your UV export options and make sure there's nothing weird (exporting at a non-square resolution for example, maybe). I don't use either of those programs but I'll see what I can do.

Can I see what your model looks like right now?

This is what I have so far

https://imgur.com/a/EdpPBuZ

So I made a texture for one side of the tank tank, as I thought I could just put the image in the UV map, but  the rectangles in the UV map not in order. the UV map split the outside surface into 4 sides,  and two of the sides are upsidedown in the UV map. Not only that, but when using the UV map as an overlay in paint.net, the overlay lines are just slightly off the pixel grid, meaning I can't align the textures properly.

Edited by CodeFantastic
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Hi, 

Your imgur link doesn't seem to work, I don't think the post is submitted yet. 

What resolution is your base image in blender? A higher resolution image can help, within reason of course. 

It's important to note even some of the best modelers here have to do a once-over after their image is made to properly align the UVs without seams being apparent

As far as inverted sides, by selecting all the cylindrical faces (alt-right click on a long edge) and all the subsequent UV faces (A in the UV side) it can be figured out which faces are inverted by dragging around the UV while watching the model. Then you can just use 'h' to hide the islands in the UV panel, and type r180 to spin the UVs (or sy(-1) if they are actually flipped and not just rotated) 

Without seeing what is going on, I can't be sure if this actually helps you or not, but this is the best I can do for now. 

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@CodeFantastic I took a look at your imgur images. By the looks of things you did an automated UV mapping. We modelers usually do it manually, there's an option in blender to mark edges as seams (Ctrl + E / Mark Seam). Marked edges will turn light blue and during unwrapping the UV ( U / Unwrap) Blender will make separate UV islands for faces surrounded by seams. Basically seams are where Blender will cut the UV island from the rest.

After unwrapping we usually merge all similar islands on the map to save space and reuse the texture where possible. Better space management on the texture use the resolution to its fullest. In your texture your tank sides use only 1/4 of the texture space, but they're the most prominent element of the tank, having it use more space will let you add more details and the resolution of those faces will be better in the end.

In this image I marked a window frame with seams so that it unwraps as a separate UV island:

hQ9ULhO.jpg

There are some very good tutorials on youtube about blender UV unwrapping techniques.

As for using the UV map as an overlay in your graphic software, make sure that you place it with pixel precision, matching all 4 corners of the map with the 4 corners of your canvas. When I'm working in Photoshop and I drag and drop a UV map onto my canvas - it doesn't always align perfectly, I zoom in and do it manually.

Edited by Enceos
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