Digital Texturing and Painting

I’ve mentioned this book a couple of times before, and since I’ll be working through its project files I might as well elaborate a bit more on it.

I was looking for a resource that would teach me texturing like Digital Lighting and Rendering teaches… well, lighting and rendering – providing the fundamental “theory” and being software-agnostic. I want to know how to texture in Blender, of course, but I want to learn how to texture in the first place. Funny enough the book I found was in the same collection of the one on lighting, looked just like what I wanted, and the author is credited as Paint Lead in films like The Matrix, so yeah, I thought it should be good.

And it is. It’s divided in two main parts, one could say Theory and Practice. I’ve gone through the first already and it delivered – it focuses on training your eye to actually see (I’ve always known trees were green, for example, but now i’m looking outside my window and I’m seeing trees in one, two, three, four, five different greens, plus all the yellow and brown… hey and red, I hadn’t noticed that one yet!) and to dissect, teaches you how to collect references for creating textures, color theory, style and preparation decisions, and even saves you the trouble of going to your local art museum by showing you a few pieces of art and sharing the kind of things his trained eye is looking for.

The second part is a project, in which he provides a model and goes through the process of texturing it step by step, presenting the different techniques. Those are the ones I’ll be showing you while I work through them. Now, this part is not so software-agnostic. Well, it still is, provided that your software of choice has all you need, but the project files and the specified directions are for 3dsMax and Photoshop. I’ll be adapting these to Blender and Gimp as best as I can.

The first hurdle that I mentioned a few posts ago (the model was in a .max format that Blender couldn’t open) was overcome by getting 3dsMax just to open it and export it to another format (yeah). There is a review on Amazon about Blender Foundations in which the person says “the book is good, but the character is really ugly, I couldn’t stand it”. Well I just hope he never gets this book then. Here’s the dude:

Warned ya, Review Guy.

At first look it seems the import worked well. The wheels have some funky topology that I might (or might not) fix but the rest looks alright. So the first step will be texturing his bandana. Stay tuned!


Here are direct links to the posts on the series:

  1. The Bandana (Scanning Textures);
  2. The Hoses (Tileable Textures);
  3. The Tires (Displacement Maps);
  4. The Face (3D Painting);
  5. The Goggles (Procedural Textures);
  6. Finishing

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