Due to unexpected demand - I've created this tutorial to show how to achieve the texture map I created for my Dark Star fighter project. I will primarily be using Corel Photopaint 7 through this tutorial but you can achieve the same with any high end graphics program - like Photoshop for instance - and a good texture creator. Luckily Photopaint has a superb set of texture creators as part of it's Fill function - if you don't have Photopaint - use another program to achieve the texture you desire - bear in mind I won't get the exact same texture I created - but this tutorial will show you how to achieve the desired results ;-)
Right lets take a look at this texture creator / fill function - first create a new document the same size as your monitor res.

Right - now click on the fill tool and make sure the Tool Settings roll-up is visible - click on texture fill and you'll get this menu opposite Now click on the edit button... You'll get this screen. Photopaint has a few of these texture Libraries - but to save you the time of finding a texture to suit - I opted for Flares 2 from the Library Samples 5

Right a quick guide to adjusting these textures:

if all the little lock icons are unlocked whenever you press the preview button a random set of variables will be made and you'll see whatever the result in the preview screen. First of all lock them all for now, and then go and adjust your colours to match the texture you want to create -- in my case I already knew roughly what the colours should be like - but any discrepancies can be sorted out later.

For now; just aim for an approximation - remember to keep hitting the preview key after you select colours to see what the fill will look like - keep playing around with the colors - you may find it easier to knock the density setting to about 15 - 20 - this makes the texture larger and therefore easier for you to see any changes with all the locks down you'll only affect the colours and not the overall texture shape and size etc...


Now - after a while you'll eventually get the colour match - or at least a good approximation of what you're after - now it's time to start playing with the densities of the texture. - remember that the preview screen shows what the fill will be like on whatever you use the tool on - in this case the entire screen. So ensure the size of the texture matches the size you'll be applying the fill and of course the model you'll finally be applying it to.

Remember when you apply the fill if it doesn't come out at the right density - just press undo and edit the texture density and try again - keep doing this until you get it right.

Once you get the density right then start off by unlocking the texture# and pressing preview continuously until you get a texture to your liking in the preview screen

The settings below are what I settled for in the end.

Now apply the fill to your blank document and then save it in your programs native format

! Now you will note that the colours probably don't match what you're really after - especially if you after certain colour blends to begin with - but if you're happy with these colours - then pat yourself on the back - you've created your texture. Save it in the program's natural format - in this case *.cpt - this will preserve everything in detail.

However if you need to adjust the colours then carry on to lesson two - this is advisable anyway as there is more to learn

Below is a scaled down version of the fill applied to the document.

Adjusting the Colours of your Texture

Right - here's one of the features of Photopaint I really do like - and it's the Replace colours feature.

Now I know I wanted to keep the colours of the texture roughly similar to the existing Whitestar scheme so I used the Whitestar texture as a reference initially for the colours. So first I load the Whitestar texture into Photopaint. I'm interested primarily in the base Blue colour and the Purple highlight colour - so using the ink dropper tool - I take a note of these colours with a jotting pad.

Base Blue: RGB 100,43,244
Purple highlight RGB:230,185,255

Remember this is going to only give you an approximation of the colour blending - but it's an excellent place to start your adjustments from. Now its on to the colour adjustment. In Photopaint load up your texture - and then click on Image-Adjust-Replace colours and you'll get this screen


The hand tool when selected and placed over the Original will let you zoom in (Left click) and zoom out (right click). To save you pressing preview all the time you can lock the preview screen down and see adjustments as you make them.

Now using the color picker tool (right of magnifying glass) select the colour you wish to replace from the original image - then click on the new colour button to open it's menu and choose your replacement colour by clicking on Others and specifying the exact colour from the RGB colour selection - then check the preview screen to see the assumed result.

Do this first for the blue and then for the purple - don't worry you won't get it right yet - but start from there

You will have to replace quite a few colours to achieve the result you're after and it will take some time - but it is worth it in the end ;-) Here's an image of the original texture...

....and one of the finished texture after a few colour replacements plus some adjustments made from the Color Hue filter (Image-Adjust-Color Hue) which allows you to add more Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow to the Shadows, Mid tones, Highlights or all three. Finally a little bit of gamma adjustment and contrast and you get the bottom image

Purple's less pronounced and the Blues are a bit more subtle - again save this in your editors native format - congratulations - the texture's done! Finally I applied the 2D Effects Ripple filter twice - with different angles to achieve a totally non-uniform organic effect

Part two deals with making the final map for your object - in this case the Dark star's Top Wing and Hull.

Making the actual map for your object.

At this stage it really helps if you still have the spline cage for the object you want to make a map for. If not - it doesn't matter all that much - it just makes things a little less cluttered visually - anyway load your model into modeller - place it in the view you want to map - some quick tips here for modeller display:

Numerical keyboard (The one on the right!)

7 Gives Top View - full screen
9 Gives Preview - full screen
1 Gives Face View - full screen
3 Gives side View - full screen
4 & 6 shares on the screen 7 & 1 and 9 & 3 respectively
5 Gives all four views

(Note: You have to manually configure these holding down the alt key with whichever letter you want for that view!)
if you do or don't have the spline cage:

Now with the object in the view you require click display options "d" ; Verify the correct view port and choose these setting:


Now press "a" to make the object fit the screen - use the polygon lasso - selection with "]" key or the surfaces panel to select the objects you don't want to see and hide them with the "-" key. Then using the infamous "Print Screen" button capture it and transfer it to your graphics editor.

If you had the spline cage you'd get this:

And if you didn't have the spline cage - you'd get this:

We'll now use these as painting templates for our texture map.

Making the final map in Photopaint.

I'm going to use the non-spline capture for the rest of the tutorial for those of you who don't have them - i.e. downloaded model that you want to re-texture -- just to show you it matters not to the final outcome. Now in Photopaint crop the image to the edges of the object - like so:

Now - make sure that you have the Objects/Channels roll-up displayed and click on the layers button and you'll see this :

The file is now the background object.

Click on the indicated button to add a new layer - think of layers as sheets of paper - layers allows you to have many sheets of paper on top of each other - some visible - others not - some transparent - others not - you control how they are finally merged and can create a single graphic from elements that you choose. Select your new layer and color it completely black with the fill tool. The box around the preview means that layer is selected for applications of filters etc.. more than one layer can be selected at a time. The pencil means that the layer is selected for direct editing - only one layer at a time; and the eye toggles the layer on or off - i.e. you can see it or you can't.

Every time you create a layer it will be constrained to the same size as the initial background layer and it will initially be transparent until you paste an object or adjust it directly.

Now create another new layer - select it for editing make the black layer invisible and you will have a transparent layer through which you can see the background i.e. your template of your object. With the new layer selected pick a nice brush with a soft edge (adjust the brush using the Tool Settings roll-up) and pick a base colour for your object and paint over the template - remember you're not painting the template but the new transparent layer - just like old style animating.

Paint over the edges of the template to ensure there are no problems when applying the map in Layout later.

Now here comes the fun bit:

Make a new layer - if you haven't done so already make the layer above transparent as I have done -- so that you can see the template. Select the new layer you made for editing and then load up the texture you made earlier into the Graphics editor.

You should now have two files open - the one we've been working on and the texture file. Make them both full screen size and then select the texture so that it's the one you can see - use the windows drop down menu to select the window you want to see.

Now get the clone tool - ensure you have the clone tool set with a nice soft edge so that it will blend well with the base colour later - place it roughly in the centre of the texture and press ALT + Right click your mouse - the cross hair should stay put.

Then select the other window and start cloning the texture to the new layer you made earlier - using the template as guide to where you want it to be.

Concentrate only on one half of the object - as this map will require symmetry - we'll deal with it later - for non symmetrical maps just cover the area you require.

Finishing Up.

This is what you are aiming to get after you've cloned your texture to the new layer - if you find that at certain points you stop cloning the texture - it's because it's source has run to the edge of the clone source image- so go back to reset the clone source point -- return to the layer and continue cloning - the soft edge of about 85-100 will ensure that it blends well.


If the colour looks to vivid - don't worry - that will be sorted out later too -

This part deals with achieving the veining effect of the Minbari-Vorlon hull and to do that we use the eraser tool with a soft edge of about 95-100 - working on the new layer you created just now -- start erasing parts of the texture that you don't want - but to make it easier for your eyes and judgement -- make the layer about 50% transparent first so you can see the hull template and erase at the points you require - a good idea would be to make the base coat invisible here to stop it cluttering your view.---Again only concentrate on the one side -- I used the mask tool to erase down the centreline of the hull before I started erasing.





Now - for Photopaint at least remember that these layers are objects in their own right - so select the object you have just created in this layer - the veined texture - bring it's opacity back to 100 and copy it. Then paste it into the same document as an object. A new layer will appear in the layers window with a duplicate of the texture.

Select the object in the new layer and using the handles select the right handle and drag right across to the edge of the image on the left side - this will in effect mirror the texture across the central plane. Now Photopaint won't let you do anything more until you right click on the object and select apply to effect the changes to the object.

Nearly done now!

select the two veined texture objects (see window - on right) then click on Objects-Combine-Combine Objects Together - and you will make one single layer from the two and have a symmetrical texture map.

And now for the last hurdle

Make the base coat layer - object 2 in the previous window - 100 percent visible again and adjust it's opacity to 100 also.
Then make the black layer visible too
Then select the new symmetrical map you just made and adjust it's opacity til you get the level you want.
Finally select all the layers except the background and do the same as before:
Object-Combine-Combine objects and you will have made your texture map.
Finally cut or copy this final layer - paste as a new document and save it as your Final map for application in Layout to your object.

Once you practice it really gets easy and is even easier for non-symmetrical maps as you'd have finished it long ago. Now obviously this map is a little bit untidy - as I did it quickly for the purpose of the tutorial - but just take your time on your maps as the effort really does pay off

Making specular maps is easy - gamma the image down - up the contrast and save as the specular version of the map :o)

Right what are you waiting for - get mapping!

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