B Tutorial 2D Texturing: Height maps, normal maps.. V3 haired plumes...

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Those info tutorial things go together with some OSP packs
OSP V3 plumes

in this sculpting age normal maps is probably the most important thing for every model you do

but what if you are not a modeler you haven't any sculpting program, but you can paint in 2d, could you get good normal map?

so here is the main scheme how every single model should be constructed
1)doing basic 3d model (newer start to do texture maps if you don't have real 3d model, exception could be only small ornaments)
2)sculpting high poly model or painting height maps in 3d
3) normal maps (with some kind of program :zbrush,xnormal, crazybump,or one of photoshop plugins, or a gimp nvidia plugin)
4) occlusion or displacement map (or both of them)
5)diffuse map
6)spectacular map

V3 hair based plume tutorial

Height maps normal maps occlusion maps

what height maps actually say to us
1) in this point mine height is 20
2) in this point mine height is 240
3) in this point mine height is 0

also you should know that height maps has no shadows no dirty no colors ornaments and no reflection lights and it is no matter what matterial it is metal leather wood, the only important thing is height
before you sending to an program with will generate your normal map do not forget fill background with darker light value (cause if you leave white you could get some troubles)

by the way if you know exactly what are you doing you could start even from 0 light value (if your height map go just up) or from 255 (if your height map go just down)
50% grey or 128 grey color light value is an general version for people who actually still don't know what they will do in future
it is few ways to construct height maps
1) sculpting
2) painting in 2d
a)for lines : if you could select your lines for example you could use shrink (contract ) or grow(expand) selection tools and in every step increase(decrease) light value 
b)duplicating layers decreasing the one layer with is on top light and using percentage eraser tool on darker texture( height map )
c)using retouch (in gimp doge:burn tool) (with ability do light-up or light down texture or height map area)
d)using gradients
e)airbrush tool (personally i don't use it but i heard that some people did it in the past)



displacement maps

should be very close to height map looking
but basic comands should be
1)go up
2)go down
3)do nothing
there is an picture how i understand the difference between height and displacement maps

what blue normal maps actually shows us?
normal maps is something like a program with 3 basic comands
1)go up (and how fast)
2)go down (and how fast)
3)do nothing
normal maps actually do not really shows us what height is in current point
like do nothing comand in height map position 0 and 128 and 255 are always the same color
so the only thing what could let us decide where we are is to count rises and falls in whole normal map till we get our position

warband standart blue normal maps is like +R|-G|+B
where the green channel is inverted
so in mostly programs you should do some minor changes like in xnormal (Swizzele Coordinates X+|Y-|Z+)
crazybump already had inverted green channel so if you use this software you don't need to do anything else

normal map rotation tool

sometimes is situations that you have layered height map and it is not as good as it should be to get instace proper normal map
in such situation it is possbile to do height maps of different elements and latter combine it
sometimes for small ornaments it is also good to do an normal map with a lot bigger resolution than you need in such situation you could do an additional occlusion map to and latter resize all maps
higher resolution mostly doing much more detailed normal maps and also occlusion maps
so even when you resize it you could get like 5x better and more detailed result than doing it in simple way
sometimes when you doing some kind of ornaments you could get around it big bluring with will look very unnatural
so here is one method how to deal with it

normal maps edditing (i will update it afer 10 hours)
what occlusion maps says to us
1)occlusion map shows us points and lines where light reflections changes

basically crazybump has such thing like like convert from blue normal map to displacement map
but actually it wont work as i could see
cause what crazybump gets here is exactly the same as ambient occlusion map just in a bit different color palette

any way if you use crazybump and you do displacement map for your diffuse map improvement it will be quite good
some combination with it doing great deals

dds dxt compression's dxt
1)DXT1 :
it is 2 types with 1-bit alpha and without alpha
Blue Normal maps, spectacular maps and Diffuse maps without alpha channel should be saved always as DXT1
if in openBRF you see black models when normal map tag is on that means that you need to resave normal and spectacular map in dxt1 format (game works with dxt3 or dxt5 blue normal map to but you loosing free HDD space and performance in things like that) 
2)DXT3-sharpened alpha channel and DXT5-interpolated alpha channel
it is used only in in 2 things diffuse map with alpha channel
and green normal maps
it uses 2x more HDD space than DXT1 (and it is just cause alpha channel takes a lot of details)
this formant do not have any difference for RGB values like DXT1 and DXT5 is exactly the same thing




Download rgcotl V3.00 plumes pack
if you find a plume with form is good for you, but you want to do some variation with color groups
then first thing what you need to do is export that plume in 3d program like in wings3d
then in wings3d object mode select your object and separate it in a lot of small things

then select and group things (single group we could say is single color)
latter in OpenBRF you could change colors for individual groups
and here is some more basic theory about plumes:
V3 rgcotl (mine created and designed) version hair based plumes (with normal map support in warband)

ok so at the beginning here will be some basic info about 2d things
1)alpha channels :
alpha channels we could say is some basic boolean type operation with would say if the value is 1 this image area is visible and it is 0 this one are not
alpha channel also could have any value between 0-1
2)mine haired plumes are based on lines not on brushes

splines we can say it is "S type " of lines or just "smoothed lines"
when you paint lines or splines make sure you are working on a new layer and that layer is fully transparent and has no other background
so latter you could select that what you painted
single mine personal lines looks like this
it is based for height maps so it gives not even good visual result but even let me construct normal maps

latter when you have few basic lines you could star work on raster layers
so when you have for example 6 hairs that we could say is one layer you could duplicate increase or decrease a bit light color value and do few versions of it then just move it and form something. When you get something it could be good if you could merge those few layers and not loose selection for new thing you did
selection is very important thing here and if you loose we could say you loose quality of your work  (so when you dealing with it don't forget to save it somewhere )




also another lines example is feathers
it is not so hard to paint its
just when you painting make sure that you wont loose your selection and latter alpha channels


3)geometry (all geometry i did is in wings3d so for doing such things you don't need any special commercial  program)
the only thing what we need is possibility to show transparent PNG images in your 3d software

mainly V3 plumes are based not on planes but on single quads (with looks like triangles)
basic idea looks like this


unfortunately if we want a bit wider plume in both sides we should change triangles in this construction (that is 2x more triangles)

now it is time to construt a sided planes core from our quad based mesh construction
any way now we got most of frames fulled with our construction but we still need to do some more job for an perfect thing
so it is time to do now front triangle's (it is actually not a triangle but you could see how it looks like)

so now when we combine it we will get an really good result 
here is some HD screens from very close distance and it works on any vertex color you setup in openBRF


Except some minor spelling errors and a couple of wierdishly put together sentences, the Mapping tutorials, pictures and explanations was exactly what i was looking for. Thank you VERY MUCH !!! I haven't really been able to make any progress before i found this (suggested in the 3d art thread) , hopefully I can get around to make a decent model with this information (hopefully lol)

Have a good day sir :smile:   


well it is emboss effect i guess
at least in most of the software the effect name is like this

mainly in perfect way it shouldn't look like this as it is showed in this picture

mainly the top part should be the lightest and all around going in dark

things like that could be made with selection shrink operations and after every step you increasing the color light value
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