Replies: 5 (Who?), Viewed: 16424 times.
Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd May 2005 at 2:15 PM Last edited by tiggerypum : 6th Sep 2006 at 9:21 PM. Reason: fixed graphics
Default Texture Mapping Mini Tutorial
So many people have PM'd me with questions about texture mapping, so I am going to try to explain the basic concept here.

I am using MilkShape, I don't know if this will be much help if you use a different 3d program, but it doesn't hurt to look - the basic idea is the same for all programs.

The key to texture-mapping is that you want to do it as you are making your mesh, not as an afterthought once the whole mesh is completed. In fact, you should think about the texture-mapping BEFORE you even open your 3d program. I first make a "preliminary" texture image, with at least the basic areas marked out as colored rectangles, to use as my texture image while creating the mesh. If you are going to use the original Maxis texture image as a starting point, be sure to RENAME it before opening it in MilkShape. MilkShape can't handle extremely long texture image name such as Maxis and SimPE use, so rename it something short and simple, like "preliminary_texture.png". Using the long Maxis name is certain to cause a crash in MilkShape.

OK, here I am working on a Violin mesh.

Here I have created a new cylinder which I am going to rework into a string for the violin.

I will immediately texture-map this cylinder while it is still a separate group, because in this case it is so small that it will only need to be "colored", there is no point in trying to detail the string since it will barely show up in the game at all. You always want to remap your new parts before you re-group them into the main group, it will be extremely hard to do anything with them after you combine them into the main group. The texture mapping stays with the group, even when you combine them all later into one group.

So, I assign the texture image to it, and go to the texture co-ordinate window

1} Here is my preliminary texture image. Notice that I have given most of the area to the wood-grain texture which will be used on all the main body of the violin. This is the part that needs the most detail, so it gets the biggest area. The smaller or less detailed parts get smaller areas, which are now simple colored rectangles.

2} I select my new cylinder in the drop-down list. By default, MilkShape has mapped it to cover the entire image, which isn't going to work at all.

3} I click the [Region] button and drag a rectangle to show MilkShape where I want this part mapped

4} I now select what "view" I want it remapped from with the lower drop-down list. This corresponds to the view of the group that you see in the corresponding window - Front will be the Front window, etc. Front is fine here, so I leave it as-is and click [Remap] MilkShape remaps my cylinder into this area, exactly as it is shown in the Front window at this moment. Dep[ending on what you are doing, you may wish to do (or re-do) this group's texture mapping at a later stage, after you have re-shaped it. You can even temporarily regroup one group into two (or more) different groups, and re-map each from a different "view", depending on how you need the final object textured.
For example, you could split a "box" into 6 different groups so you could put a different color on every side of it.

This is what the finished violin mesh looks in the 3d window, with the temporary texture on it. You can see all the different parts have different colors on them, even though I have now combined them all into one group.
This will make it very easy to do the real texture image later, and to do re-colors of it since it is very obvious where each part is getting it's texture from on the image.
Space Pony
#2 Old 3rd May 2005 at 1:03 PM
Thank you! This will come in really handy when I get back to meshing
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 3rd May 2005 at 1:27 PM
Cool tutorial!Thx!
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 3rd May 2005 at 2:06 PM
Thanks for the mini-tut! It will sure come in handy!
Field Researcher
#5 Old 11th Nov 2005 at 7:19 PM
This was exactly what I needed! Thank you!

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Test Subject
#6 Old 26th Nov 2010 at 12:39 PM
Thank you!
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