Saturday, 19 February 2011

Manhole texturing

The last part of creating my manhole cover was the texturing.  The manhole had to be textured in such a way, that it would blend in with the live action footage; therefore I tried to work with fairly realistic texturing.  I started by using the mental ray renderer that is built into Maya, as it is made largely for photorealism.  I tried using one of the materials that came with mental ray that was called mi_metallic_paint.

The thing I didn't like about mental ray was that it wasn't as hands-on as many other methods of texturing and largely involves inputting numbers to configure.  And furthermore, the colouring of the material was solid and the rest of the group advised me to use texturing that was easier to render, but also had a colour scheme which blended together more naturally.

I then decided to create a texture from scratch in Photoshop by creating a PSD Network, and here was the first outcome.
This image consists of two images layered on top of one another.  The first was this simple background image that was originally a Stucco texture that I produced in Maya and then exported into Photoshop.  I added brown patches to the texture to create a rusting effect on the manhole cover.
I then searched Google for a high resolution image of rusting metal to Overlay on top in Photoshop, and I came across this one.
I learnt how to Overlay in Photoshop, thanks to my fellow team member, Nat.  It is a fairly simple process, which involves selecting how I want a certain layer to appear in a composition.

Here is how the 3D Model looks with this texture.
I added another layer on and I shaded in the central image and patters around the outside so they stand out more.  At first, we were satisfied with this outcome; however, when I we went back up to Kilburn to do filming, I decided to study the manhole texturing more closely to ensure that this model will fit in with the live action environment.

The manhole cover is actually made up of dark brown colours, and has very little rust.  My model almost looks like stone in comparison to most manholes.
I sampled the colours of this manhole and applied it to the stucco layer of my texture, as pictured below.
I also reduced the rusting texture effect that I had applied, and here was the outcome.
I have actually produced two versions of the model with this new texture;  the first with the rusty metal overlay as pictured below...
And the second, without a rusty metal overlay, and a more plain, solid look.
I will show these to the rest of the team and find out which one they think will fit in more with the scene. 

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