Megamawman here. We realize that it has been a while but with exams/finals for school and work popping up left, right, and center, it was rather challenging to get any sufficient content out here. However, today I'll be writing up an article on my workflow for texturing and some tips to get started yourself. This may seem like a filler and...that's probably because it is. Okay! Let's get started.
First off, feel free to watch this video of me texturing the GR9 by Lukelcc who is one of our newest members. This incredible model took him 4 months to complete and will probably take me 4 months to texture. ^^
After watching the video, most of you are probably wondering what in the world is going on. In summary, I use Quixel Suite to create 4 base layers: Metal, Dirt, Edge Damage, and Other Wear. Let me get into more detail on these.
This is probably the simplest stage of the process. Here, I choose my basic material for the model whether it is bright with a chrome finish or dark with a matte finish. This stage is very important as you will be building on this base that you create. However, with Photoshop layers, it is easy to change this at any time to fit your needs as you will see me do in the video.
The appearance of this layer depends on the model's composition but consists of low gloss and specular values (I'll get into that later) and a brighter albedo value. The rule of thumb is that you take the AO map, invert it, and apply a dirt like effect on top with a vivid light blending mode. This chops up the AO map and makes it look more like real dirt. After doing this, I will make edits to it with some fancy 3D brush work which you can also see in the video. This is done mainly in Quixel Suite as I can paint directly on the object I'm working on.
For me, this is by far the longest stage of the process as almost all the edge damage on the metal will be painted on by me for the best appearance on the model. People may try to trick you and tell you that it can be generated using a cavity map. Please ignore them as this will work but won't look nearly as good as proper painting on the model. On this model, I have already spent 2 hours painting edge damage and will probably spend another 6-7 hours just to finish it up. Not to mention, the magazine and such have not be done yet.
The most important part of this stage is to use your brain. Think about where the damage will be and how it will get scratched. When the mag goes in it and out, where will the damage be (where it enters the receiver) and what direction will it be? (up and down)
I know that this stage can be extreme tedious and boring but put on some of your favorite tunes and just chill out. It can actually be really relaxing if you take your time.
After finishing up these steps, you may want to add some other random details depending on the model such as rust and various materials in an overlay. This is completely up to you but remember that no texture is complete without lots of Photoshop editing. Get into Photoshop and start adding decals and making adjustments to your layers and further detailing your model. Generally, this stage will be around 25% of the time spent on the model.
Now that you understand the basic of texturing in my workflow, it is important to understand what the words PBR mean as you will be using it a lot. PBR stands for Physically Based Rendering. In short, it is the new shading method for newer games on newer engines. Unfortunately, Source does *not* support this method of shading but Quixel Suite requires to use this method for texturing. To learn more about how this works, check out PBR Theory and PBR in Practice from Marmoset.
I hope this helped you guys out a little bit on learning my texturing workflow and how I do things. Of course, I have spent years learning how to texture (since I was 11) and I have a long way to go. Sorry but having to use a filler but due to time constraints, it was necessary. Thank you very much for your time!
Note: The music in the video is as follows: Pegboard Nerds - Heartbit, Pegboard Nerds - Pink Cloud, Pegboard Nerds- BADBOI
^ I realize that it's all Pegboard Nerds haha