Learning Texturing – Hoses

Digital Texturing and Painting

A Small Tileable Texture

Wow, I am learning lots. This is exceeding my expectations quite a lot! As a byproduct I’m also learning lots of Gimp, and even other things: this chapter instructed me to use Illustrator, so I used Inkscape for the first time ;)

So this chapter was about creating tileable textures, which we applied to texturing an engine braided steel hose. Ready for awesomeness?

First step was to define the repeatable tile. Based on a few reference images, an “over-two-under-two” pattern was established, and so we put it together in Inkscape:

Fairly intuitive, Inkscape. I couldn't find direct translations to some of the instructions for Illustrator, but I solved those issues in other simple ways.

Repeat that pattern a few times and you see it taking shape:

Remember the days when desktop wallpapers had tiles like these? Fear not, our purpose is another.

All we have to do is isolate the tileable square and we’re good to go:

Here we go.

From here on we take this to Gimp. These braided hoses are made with very thin steel cables, so with the help of Gimp’s gradient fills we created two layers of weaves, one vertical and one horizontal.

Like this.

Using layer masks (like I said, I’m learning a lot of Gimp!) we applied these weaves to the respective directions on the base braid we made in Inkscape. With the airbrush tool we added dirt and shadow to the edges of the braids, and things are beginning to look like what we want:

Cool stuff huh?

I did desaturate the color map a fair bit after. Before applying the texture to the hoses though, to give them an extra kick we put together a bump map. Without it it just doesn’t look right. It wasn’t just duplicating the color map and making it black and white though. The vertical braids have a darker grayscale value, so they would appear to have different depth than the horizontal ones. So basically we just had to make the tones equal. We also duplicated the layer of dirt and shadow to accentuate the creasing.

Here's the final bump map

Time to apply it to the hose mesh! Simple UV unwrapping, some specularity, color and bump maps applied… and there we go:


I’m really liking this, for some reason I was a bit pessimistic but these results are just too satisfying. So stay tuned, because there will definitely be more!


This post is part of a series on the book Digital Painting and Texturing.
You can find the base post of the series here.

Next post on the series: The Tires (Displacement Maps)
Previous post on the series: The Bandana (Scanning in Textures)


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