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Create a Game Ready Fire Extinguisher with 3D Studio Max: Part 5

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the previous part of the tutorial, we learned how to bake Normal and Ambient Occlusion maps. And in this part, we will learn how to texture our asset. 

Texturing is a very major part of the game art pipeline. Lots of people think texturing is a very difficult job, but I think there are lots of good ways to create a good texture using a few simple methods.

Here we are going to discuss the basic rules and pipeline of the texturing with the help of Photoshop and xNormal. We will be using the default Photoshop brushes and some texture images. 

Wewill use a 2048x2048 map for our asset's texture. So, first create a new document with a size of 2048x2048 in Photoshop. 

Here you cansee I have defined the different types of materials needed using the reference image. The maincylindrical chamber is made of copper. Several of the supporting parts are made of brassand rubber, and some areas are painted. 

To begin the texture, arrange all of the maps in Photoshop as shown below. The UV/ Screen map is the UV layout image. And the AOand Normal maps are the ones we already generated (see the previous part of theseries). One more essential map we need is the Selection map which I generatedusing the Textools plugin in 3ds Max (see next step.)

Start the Textools script and click on the TxMap option. Withthe BlockoutMap selected, define the texture size (2048 x 2048) and EdgePadding, and then click on the Save  As option. Hence you will get a Selection map to beused in Photoshop.

Back in Photoshop, make separate Groups for the layers. Make a Utilities group and put the UV andSelection layers inside it. Make an AO group and put the AO layer inside it. Make a Normal group and put the Normal layer inside it, and finally, make a new group named Color and then create a new layer with a base grey color and place it inside it. 

Apply the indicated Blending Modes to each layer as shown in the image below . Screen modeis applied to the UV layer so that only the wireframe will be visible, and Multiply is applied to the AOlayer to extract the contact shadows onto the surface.

Now let’s createa cavity map with the help of the Normal map. The cavity map is very helpful to create highlights along the edges and corners of your asset. So first of all, with the Normallayer selected, press Control-J (or Right Click and select Duplicate Layer) tocreate a duplicate layer. Then rename it as Cavitymap.

We will be using xNormal's photoshop plugin to create our cavity map, so you will need to have it installed to follow this step. xNormal is a free to use plugin which can downloaded here

Once you have installed the plugin into Photoshop, go to Filter > xNormal > Normals2Cavity.

Since our Normal map was baked inside 3ds Max, the Swizzle coordinates should be set to  X+Y+, Z+and the Method option should be set to EMB. Then click on Update and finish with Continue.

Here is thecavity map.

Now placethe Cavity map inside the Color group and apply the Overlay blending mode. Herelayer 1 is our background layer with the grey base color.

Nowwe will apply some color to the texture. Let’s start with the copper. Make a New Layer insidethe Color group and apply a copper color (R: 175, G: 123, B: 99). Renamethis layer as Copper.

Put theCopper layer in between the Cavity and the Base layers.

Now save thetexture file and apply it onto the fire extinguisher inside 3ds Max. In the following image you can see the texture using two differentmaterials. One is the diffuse only and the other one is the diffuse map with some specular applied. 

Most of the time, I prefer using the diffuse map as the specular map until it’s completed. It helps you to recognize the colors and the surface withhighlights.

When the Selectionmap is applied, you can see all the parts are separated by the different colors.This is where we are going to apply different materials like Brass, Copper and Rubber.

Back in Photoshop, makeseparate selection layers for each object. Use the Magic Wand tool (W) to select the desired area of the Selection layer, and then press Control-J, so the selected part will create anew layer. 

As you can see below, I've created a selection for the Copper layer using a selection of green from Selection layer.

Now maskyour color layers with their selections. Select the Copper layer and apply a Mask using the Add a Mask button at the bottom of layer manager. And then fill the desired area (where you wantto apply the copper) with a white color in your mask. 

Wherever you apply white in your mask, will be visible. And the black parts will be invisible.

Now make aNew Layer above the Copper layer and name it Brass. Fill this layer with a color similar to brass. 

Here you can see I have followed the same process for the Brass layer also. I applied a mask to the Brass layer and filled it with a White color wherever I needed brass. I also created a new layer named Rubber and just filled It with a dark color for now. Here you can also see the selection I created for the rubber material.

Now saveyour map and jump back to 3ds Max. You can see we now have some nice color values to easily recognize the materials.

Now let’sadd some details to the surface. We will add the details step by step, and from basic tocomplex. Create a New Layer over the Brass and Copper layers and then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise... to apply some noiseusing the following settings. Here we are going to apply some basic noiseto our textures.

Now go to Filter >Artistic >Sponge andapply these settings.

Now savethis texture and apply it onto your object in 3ds Max. The problem here is with the Texel rate (please see the UV Mapping part of thetutorial to learn more about it). The noise looks quite large in size, so we haveto reduce it.

With theNoise layer selected, press Control-Tto enter Transform mode and scale it down by 50% to create smaller grains. Now make several copiesof it and spread them over the texture.

Look at theresult now. This is a decent scale for our noise/grains.

Back in Photoshop, changethe Blending Mode of the Noise layer to Soft Light with 30% opacity. Now youcan see the small grains all over the colored surface.

Now we aregoing to add some more detail, like patches and grunge for a more worn look. Iam using a texture image from But there are lots of varieties ofgrunge maps out there there which you can try.

Apply thistexture above the Copper layer. If the texture does not fit yourdocument size, Transform (Control-T) and scale it down. The details must match the size of your object to look correct.

Change theBlending Mode to Luminosity and set the Fill value to 20%.

Add one moretexture with some scratches and dirt details.

DoubleClick on layer to open the Layer Style dialog box. And adjust the blending using the Blend If option. Move the white right handle to the middle and you will see the light areas of the texture will begin to dissolve. Do the same thing with black handle on the left side to achieve the desired result. You can also split the handles and adjustthem manually by Alt-Clicking on them.

Now we haveto apply a Patina to the surface. A Patina is a coating made up of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulphides and sulphates which have formed on the surface during exposure toatmospheric elements (oxygen, carbon dioxide, rain, acid rain, sulfur - bearingcompounds). A common example of this is rust, which forms on iron and steel whenexposed to oxygen. 

Patina also refers to the accumulated changes in the surfaces textureand color which is a result of normal use. Such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.

To create this effect, just add a New Layerwith this color. And randomly apply some deep brush strokes with a low opacityvalue to make it look patchy.

With the AOLayer selected press Control-A to select all and then press Control-C to copy. Thenwith the Patina layer selected, first apply a mask, then Alt-Click on the maskand paste (Control-V) your AO here. 

Then invert the mask using Control+I, and you will see some little green areas show up on your texture.

The resultshould look like this. Now we have to add some detail to the Brass.

Right nowthe Brass looks very clean and flat. So we need to add some scratches and surface detail to make it look like real Brass.

This is thescratch image I'm going to use. Cover the brass surface with this image using a separate layer placed above the Brass layer.

When weapply this to our object in 3ds Max, it looks quite big. So we have to scaledown the Texel rate just like we did in Step22.

Now it looksquite good as the Texel density is much more believable. 

Now file theentire document and mask this texture using your Brass selection.

Now apply a Soft Light Blending Mode with 50% opacity .

Now you cansee we have some detail on the brass areas.

Now let’s addsome more dirt or grunge onto the main surface. I'm using a differenttexture here. Make it tileable and adjust the size for your document.

Invert this layerusing Control-I and change the BlendingMode to Hard Light, the Opacity to 50% and the Fill amount to 82%.

This is theimage we will use to add some grunge to the Brass. We need some variation inthis texture.

Apply another maskto the Brass areas.

Now you cansee we have some variation in the brass areas.

The originalfire extinguisher image had some text written on the plate. So I recreated it by writing sometext in white on a blank new layer in Photoshop.

With your text ready, hideyour Color group and add this layer onto the Normal map layer. The background of thetext layer should be grey.

We will nowconvert this text to a normal map. So with the Text layer selected, go to Filter> xNormal > Height2Normals.

Follow thesesettings.

Now look atthis beautiful Normal map. Overlay this layer onto your old Normal Map.

Now Double-Click on this layer and open the Layer Style dialog. Go to the Advanced Blending section anddisable the B (Blue) channel.

Now this is whatit should look like inside 3ds Max. To apply the Normal map into the material andturn on visibility in viewport, see the Normal Map Baking part of this series.

Generate a Cavity map for the text layer following the same process we previously used in in Step 7.

Overlay thisCavity map onto your Brass map. You can also add some shadows beneath the text if you like.

Now create aNew Layer on top of the Brass layer and fill it with a Red color.

Now apply amask on this layer and paste the text layer onto it, so your text will bevisible through the red. And rename it as Paint Layer.

Nowduplicate the Patina layer and place a copy on top of the Brass layer. Apply amask and fill it with Black.

Select the Brushtool and choose the Wet Media brush by Right Clicking. Select the Rough Ink brush andthen turn on Shape Dynamics and Scattering.

Now applysome brush strokes with light hands on the corner and inside areas, especiallywhere two shapes joint.

Note: Whenyou make brush strokes using a white color on your mask, that means the underlying layer will be visible. Butif you press X or change the colorto black, it works then like an eraser. So you can adjust the visibility of your brush strokes by choosing black or white as you paint. 

Now make a duplicatecopy of the Grunge layer (Step 40) and place it on top of the Paint layer.

Now invertthis layer and change the Blending Mode to Multiply. Then apply a mask with a blackcolor.

Now add somelight brush strokes on the corners of the text.

Now choosethe Rough Dry brush to add some scratches on the red painted part.

For thescratches, choose black in your color palette and paint on the mask along the edges and corners of this texture.

Now we haveto add trim and some rivets as shown in the following image.

Create a NewLayer with a black and white line and some rivets painted in white above the Normalmap.

Turn thislayer into a Normal map with the help of xNormal (Step 48). You can adjust thewidth according to your preference.

Here is theresult of the Normal mapped line in 3ds Max.

Add somedetails around the seam and rivets as we did in Step 58.

Here is the finalresult.

Now we haveto make the Specular and Gloss maps.

Specularmap:  This map is used to define thesurface highlights and shine.

Note:- Sometimeswe have to make a differentiation between materials according to their shininess andhighlights, and this is possible with the help of the Specular map. There are nospecific conditions needed to create the Specular map, it's only job is to make brightand dark areas. White for shiny areas or highlights and black for matte and dull surfaces.

Gloss map: AGloss map defines the width or size of specular highlights and the amount ofreflection on the surface. Nowadays, most game engines and rendering systemsuse Gloss maps for reflectivity control.

To get started, duplicateyour Color map folder and rename it Spec (Step: A). Open this folder and applyan adjustment layer for Hue/Saturation (Step: B). (You can find this tool in the bottom of Layer dialog). Now save this texture as Specular.

In 3ds Max, removethe Diffuse map from Specular slot, and apply the new Specular map.

Now wehave to add some bright and dark values. Here is a little pre visualization for thespecular values needed according to the different materials. Here Brass and Bronze have almost the same values as most bright, highlighted materials. Since the Paint materialis a bit old, it's less shiny. The Rubber and Patina are mostly dull areas.

Here is thespecular map and as you can see, the surfaces have different values according to the different materials.

Here is aquick result of the Specular map (with only the spec map applied in the material). As you cansee the text is more highlighted and shinier, than the dirty areas around the text.

Nowwe have to make a Gloss map. It’s very similar to the process used to generate the Specular map.

All the workis now done, so let’s render the scene to see our final game asset. 

There are lots of different options forrendering (Scanline, Mental Ray, V-Ray, etc.) to make your asset look morebeautiful. Here I have shown a real-time screenshot rendered using Marmoset Tool Bag.Let’s hope to see a detailed tutorial on Marmoset Tool Bag in near future!Cheers!!



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