Welcome Back, Student!
Class Resources: Download, Alternate Link
Part One: What are we going to do?
We are going to do something like this:
What I've done is modeled a simple toy building block, the model has a simple UV map (We'll cover it next). What we're going to do next is ... you guessed it ... texture it.
I can see the scared look on your face, but don't worry, we'll go step by step all the way through.
The difference between what we're going to do here and what we did in the last class is that in previous classes we edited vanilla textures, but this time we're starting from a blank canvas and will be building up our own texture.
Let's get started then
Part Two: UV Maps
I'm sure you've seen UV (UVW) maps mentioned before, either by other modder's or in tutorials. You're probably wondering what they are and what it has to do with us, well we're going to be using them, but first I'll explain what they are.
A UV map tells the model where and how our texture will be displayed, so for example say we had a nice sword model, the model UV map has two sections, one for the grip and the other for the blade, we paint one section brown and the other grey and when we view our nice sword in Nifskope it'll have a brown grip and a grey blade.
We don't have to worry about creating UV maps, though we may need to tweak them at times (That'll be covered in a workshop), we'll be sticking to just using them as templates for our textures so we know where to place everything.
Before we get to texturing our buildy block we'll be needing the UV map, but we don't have one, hmmmmm , let's get one.
Start up Nifskope and open our BuildyBlock.NIF, make sure you have the Block List pane showing (F2). If you look at the bottom of the list you'll see a node labeled DweLexiconCubeBlank01:0, this is our block
Now Right-Click this node and you'll get a nice menu, select Texture then Export Template.
You'll see a small window open up, this is where we tell Nifskope to place our template, what to name it and what size we want it.
Click the size drop down box and select 512, this will give us a UV template with the dimensions 512x512, this should be big enough for our block texture. Next click the File button, navigate to Textures\Clutter\GraphicArtistry (Create the folders if you don't have them), name it BuildyUV.tga and click save.
If you look in your texture folder you should now see a new file called BuildyUV.tga, now if you open it up in your 2D application of choice you'll notice it's a white image with some black lines on it, this is our UV map.
Now the boring part is out of the way, let's get to texturing
Part Three: Performing our Magic
We now have our UV map and it's open in our 2D magic machine, but what are we going to do?, well that's simple, we're going to create a wooden block with a piece of paper stuck to the front.
There are many different ways to create a texture, you could hand paint one, use brushes, high resolution images, baked from a 3D application ... list goes on. We're going to create one the easiest way which is to use images for our textures.
So for this we'll need two different base colours and two different images, in the resource file you downloaded you'll find the images we'll be using during this class.
Before we do that we need to make a block out layer, what this does is allows us to separate the UV map into sections we can work with a lot easier. So take your wand tool and select the empty space on the background layer, this should select everything except our UV, so now invert the selection so we just have our UV areas selected.
Smarty Says: For Photoshop users it's CTRL+SHIFT+I and for GIMP users it's CTRL+I.
Click Select>Modify>Expand, set it to 5 and click ok, this will expand our selection outwards by 5 pixels so we have a little space between the UV edge and the edge of what will be our texture.
Smarty Says: GIMP Users it's Select>Shrink> then a value of 5.
Next create a new layer, name it blockout, take your fill tool and fill the layer with any colour, for this step I used black.
Now we have a black layer, but I'm sure you're wondering which section is for which part of the model, so let's find out. Create a new layer, call it UVTest, now re-select the background layer, take your wand tool and select the part on the left hand side, select the UVTest layer and fill it with a red colour, repeat for the other part but colour it blue.
Now save it as DDS texture, call it UVTest, open Nifskope and apply your texture, you should now see something like this:
The block (our wooden part) has been painted a nice red colour and our paper part is now a nice shade of blue. This is a great and easy way of finding out which part of the UV map links up with which part of the model. The colours you choose aren't important, but to make things easier make sure they're different.
Finished playing with that?, good let's continue.
The first part we're going to make is the wooden part, to do this what we'll do is make a new layer, call it WoodColour, then select our background layer like we did before, take out wand tool, select the area to the left and fill in the colour on our WoodColour layer.
We'll want to use a brown colour for this, the one I used is #b99865, a nice light brown.
Open up the WoodBase image from the resource, copy it and paste it onto our Buildy block. Now rotate the texture 90 degrees so the wood grain is running downwards, desaturate the image and scale it so it better fits over the brown section we created, label it WoodBase01.
Now the fun bit, set the Blending mode of the layer to Overlay, you should see it turn a nice brown since it's sitting over the top of our colour layer, now duplicate the WoodBase01 layer, name it WoodBase02. Open up your Brightness/Contrast tool and set the brightness of this layer to -40, change the opacity of the WoodBase02 layer to 40%
We now have this:
Now that looks good as is, but I think it looks a little to smooth and clean for Skyrim, so we'll add a little roughness to the wood. Open up the WoodOverlay texture, copy and paste it onto our Block and name it WoodRough01. Next desaturate it and set the Blending mode to Overlay and drop the opacity down to about 70%. Now
We have something like this:
Now that's looking better, still not dirty though, hmmmm , I know I know, we'll use some brushes. Think of Photoshop/GIMP brushes as paint brushes, they allow us to paint our textures. This makes adding additional details a lot easier, it's also more fun.
Download and install these Dirt Brushes - http://www.obsidiand...op-gimp-brushes
Smarty Says: If you are unsure how to install them, you'll find instructions on the website.
Create a new layer and call it WoodDirt, set your colour to black and pick a dirt brush, doesn't matter which one, you can play with them to see which you like best. Once you've painted on some dirt drop the opacity of the layer down to about 70% and set the blending mode to Soft Light.
Last thing for us to do is make the edges a little light so they look a little worn, to do this we will need to know which parts of the UV to paint. So duplicate the background layer, name it UVMap and place it at the very top of the layer list, set it to Multiply.
Set your colour to white, pick a small round plain brush and make a new layer above the UVMap layer, call it WoodEdge. Now using your brush paint over the straight lines like so:
Use the Guassian blur filter and blur the layer with a radius of 2, set the layer to Overlay and drop the opacity down to 30%, we now have highlighted edges.
And that's it, our wooden part is done, looks nice
Next we'll be making the paper part, we'll do this the same way as the wood, so we'll start out with a PaperColour layer. Repeat the steps we did about, but colour the layer #c79f5a.
Next step is to open our PaperBase image, copy and paste it over our paper layer, desaturate it and set it to overlay, name it PaperBase01. Duplicate the PaperBase01 layer, name it PaperBase02, drop the opacity down to 40% and use the Brightness tool to darken it by 30%.
After that is done, open the PaperOverlay image, copy and paste that onto Mr Buildy Block and position it . Now desaturate it and drop the opacity down to 70%.
Last step is to make it look a little dirtier, so we'll re-use the brushes from earlier and setup our layer the same way. Make a new layer and call it PaperDirt, set your colour to Black and pick a nice brush. Finally set the layer to Soft Light, leave the opacity as is.
Save the texture into your Textures/Clutter/GraphicArtistry, name it BuildyBlock and use the DXT1 compression setting.
That's our texture done, there is one last thing I will mention. If/when you find your layers are overlapping and making things a mess, use your Wand tool and select the base layer under the layer causing the trouble. This will select everything around it, with that selected click the troublesome layer and hit the delete key, this will remove everything outside of the base layers shape. This will allow you to keep things where you want them and not overlapping causing other areas to look wrong.
Part Four: Making it Normal_n
We're going to make it Normal_n , no wait, we're going to make a normal map
Lesson #2 already covers making normal maps, but what we need for the Buildy Block differs slightly. We don't need an Environment map and we don't need a Specular map (The alpha channel). The buildy block is going to have a rough look, so we don't want it to shine at all, that includes the paper since I'm pretty sure they didn't make paper that way in Skyrim.
Anyway what we need to do is open our texture, or if you still have it open in Photoshop or GIMP, flatten the image so there is only a single layer. Then run your Normal Map filter, set the Filter Type to 3x3, give it a Scale of 2 and be sure Max RGB is selected. This can be saved as BuildyBlock_n with the DXT1 compression setting.
Onto the next part.
Part Five: Prepping the NIF
Last part before we get it into the Creation Kit , This again was covered in Lesson #2 but we'll have a little refresher here so we can make sure it sticks. Move the NIF and Textures into your Skyrim Data folder, and open up the magical tool called Nifskope.
Open up the Block Details pane (F3), now in the Block List you'll want to click the little plus sign next to the DweLexiconCubeBlank01:0 node, keep expanding until you see the BSShaderTextureSet node.
Select the BSShaderTextureSet node and in the Block Details pane, click the little arrow in the top left corner to show the textures. Change the texture paths so the point to the ones we've just made.
Smarty Says: Make sure that the texture paths start with Textures, this will make sure the paths are not hardcoded and will avoid issues when people use them with copies of Skyrim that are not tied to the same directory you have yours installed in.
We're nearly done
Part Six: We just did that!?
Yes we did, it's fine you can take a break, I know I need to . Final thing for us to do now is to get the Buildy Block into the Creation Kit so we can see it in-game.
What we want to do is create a clutter item, something that can be picked up, moved and placed in the inventory. The NIF is ready for that so it's just CK work to do. In the Object Window expand the tree until you MiscItem under the Item tree, click on it.
In the list on the right, Right Click and select new. This will bring up a new window where we can add our blocks details.
Name: Buildy Block
Model: Click the button and navigate to the Graphic Artistry folder and select the Buildy Block NIF.
Click ok, open up a cell in the Render Window, drag the block into it and get it placed in its new home.
- Exported UV Map
- Colour testing
- Screenshot showing all the layers
- Normal Map settings
- Finished Normal Map
- Finished Texture
- In-Game screenshot