This is Part 4 of my tree building tutorial. you can access the other parts from the bottom of the page.
One the of best features of Mudbox is the texture painting system. Layers work really well and there’s plenty of flexibility provided by using the various brushes in tandem with stamps and stencils. However one of the biggest frustrations can be that there’s no automatic way to paint and sculpt using the same brushes. However I stumbled on a very simple workflow that makes things a little easier, start by creating your bump maps and then copy these maps over to your diffuse channel, that way at least your fine details will match up between sculpt and diffuse.
I decided that I wanted some super fine cracks and an overall bumpy texture for the bark. So I created two 16bit stencils in Photoshop and brought them into Mudbox. Switch from sculpt to paint mode in the layers tab and then make a new Bump channel. Now using the paint brush I could paint the crack and bumpy detail over the tree trunk. To keep things neat and controllable put the two elements into different layers under bump so you can control their strength independently of each other.
I just use the cracks image as a collection of decals that I could paint on in various places. With the bumpy noise I set the stencil to tile and painted in on all over the tree.
The crack detail stencil I created is linked below. Right click and choose ‘save link’ on the image below to download the 16bit TIFF file.
Once you’re done with the bump maps take both layers and duplicate them. Then create a new Diffuse channel and drag them into that. You should now see black and white images that line up perfectly with your bump, you can now adjust these layers further or multiply them over your base diffuse colour to reinforce the bump information. For the diffuse colour I created a tileable image in photoshop and used it as a stencil to create random and natural feeling texture. I then worked a few more layers into this to highlight dirty and more worn areas. The colour burn and dodge brushes are great for shading this sort of detail into the texture.
Once you’re happy with your textures it’s time to bake the high poly onto the low. We’ll tackle this in the next section.
I’m a highly experienced freelance CG & VFX Artist. In the Commercials world I’ve led many award winning projects; both as an onset VFX Supervisor and as a CG Supervisor. I’m now branching out into Film VFX and am currently at Double Negative as a 3D Generalist. read more