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bob.bernstein

Creating Photoreal Textures

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I am working on a new KGEG(Spokane Inter.) in GMAX and am planning a trip to GEG in the next two or three weeks to shoot some profiles of the building as well as work at getting some digital images I can convert into Photoreal textures.Question.....is there a tutorial on the net that is available for what I am trying to do.Thanks for the help.

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Don't know about tutorials, but here's some pointers.take your photos with the sun at your back if possible, try to avoid specular reflection into the camera lens. Try to get as perpendicular as you can to your wall of interest. If you can include the entire wall in one frame, its nice.Take minimum resolution vga, better if you can.After you get your photo into your editor of choice, you'll want to correct for perspective. At this point you'll want to take the jpg and save it as a 24bit rgb windows bitmap image. If the image comes in at 640x400, for example, I change the canvas size to 640x640 or bigger giving me more room for editing. That way the aspect ratio is square, which your final texture will be also.Once you do edits enough, you'll realize some kinds of changes you'll make ruin your resolution, others don't. For instance, if I remove the perspective from a wall by doing a distort transform, If I grab a corner and "stretch" the image, I'll get worse results than if I grab the opposite corner can "compress" the image. All graphics programs are more accurate if they have to reproject the image over fewer pixels, than if they have to add content to fill more pixels.Once you get your walls and other elements squared up, "compose your texture by including the images in tight proximity to fill the space. I generally try to maintain maximum resolution, so you have some choices to make here. If a wall i really like, after editing, is still bigger than 512 pixels wide, I'll be reducing it. If not, I may not have to. This is where you have to decide. Often I'll aim my texture to end up 256x256...in which case check to see if your edited imagry is bigger than 256. If it is, my technique is to take the images that are bigger than 256, and make a temporary file for them...for example if the image is 340x80 pixels, I'll make a file at 340x340, and make the "wall" fill the top part of the image. Then I'll resample that image, by changing the image size to 256x256. You could avoid this step by just resampling the image portion to 256wide also. Anyway, then I'll add portions of the original edited image that are smaller than 256x256 directly to the new 256x256 image, so the end result will display the big wall at a resampled 256pixels wide, and display the other walls at their full resolution, all in a 256x256 pixel file.other pixel counts are available also for textures, you have to make that decision based on your goals. Some folks use 1024x1024, to avoid multiple textures, the biggest I generally use is 512x512. You are balancing file size, frame rates, and image quality.Once you like your image, that is, you have the walls or elements edited nicely, and you've composed the texture, with the texture at the proper pixel count for an fs texture, you'll want to save it twice, once as an rgb bitmap. Use this as the material map in GMAX or fsds. Then convert the bitmap into a dxt1 or dxt3 format using one of the conversion utilities, imagetool or bmpdxt...and save that in your texture directory for the use of fs2k2.Enjoy!Bob Bernstein

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Thanks Bob,What do you say about working on a project together sometime....I got a great idea..Regards

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Bob made some good points about creating photoreal textures. I'll add a couple about taking the photos, as I've got some experience on these (I always use photoreal textures in my sceneries).Just as Bob noted, it is very important to avoid any reflections etc. from the sun. Keeping the sun behind your back is a good idea, but even better is shooting when it is overcast. The cloud layer softens the light, shadows vanish and different sides of a building are evenly lit. You should take all your photos in one go, to keep the lighting same in every photo. This makes your life easier when editing the photos, as you don't have to make the tones mach each other. If the weather stays the same, you can continue same time the next day.Perspective is also important, you want to get as perpendicular to the wall as possible, just like Bob said, but also not too close nor too far, because the perspective might get distorted. You have to adjust your distance or your zoom so that straight lines are exactly straight. You can do this for example by moving the camera and comparing them to the edge of the viewfinder. This will make your life much easier when editing.Finally, don't take the photos on too low a resolution, because it can be very frustrating in the editing phase. Instead take as high res photos as your camera and memory card allows, it is always better to have too high than too low resolution. Large buildings can be photographed in many pieces and then stiched up in photo editor, for example.These simple instructions should get you some fine material to work with. After that you still have to make them look good in FS, though. If you want, you can check out some sceneries on our team's home page for inspiration, many of them are photorealistic. :)

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sounds intriguing! time is always tight, but I'd enjoy hearing your idea. bob.bernstein@attbi.com

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