Concept Art – Texturing a Spiked Post

Today in concept art we were given a helping hand with our texturing skills. We used a combination of Photoshop & Mudbox’s ability to live paint to texture a blank spiked post. The model was provided and UV unwrapped by Tony for this exercise.



The aim of this exercise was that every object has a ‘story’, by this I mean how the environment or use has affected it. I usually refer to this as weathering. The example given is a rock is lodged loose and rolls down a hill, it falls into a pot of orange paint. The rock is then found by passers by, removed from the paint and further thrown down another hill where it comes to a stop. How different would the rock now look compared to the start of its journey, likely covered in paint, dirt, bits of grass, dust etc. How would you go about texturing this to tell that ‘story’.

We were provided with a blank UV set and let loose to texture the post however we wanted within Photoshop, while keeping in mind the idea of giving the object some history. I began this the way I begin most of my textures, filled in each area with a solid colour to represent the material I want to emulate and then headed to to find some resources I could use to start adding detail to the post.

While considering the posts function, time period, building material etc, I naturally fell upon some sort of medieval fortification, could be medieval fantasy too. Therefore I stuck with the obvious building materials of wood and iron, however for a raw look I opted to make it look like an unprocessed log with the iron work attached. I gathered textures as close to the idea I had and set out editing the texture together. Once I had all the base textures applied, I went in on a second pass adding some alphas of mossy grunge, dirt and rust and used the burn tool to darken some of the edges in an attempt to blend them a little better.


The end result looked okay, but had the same feel as most of my photoshop textures, owing to an over reliance on photo textures. Tony had shown examples of some gorgeous hand painted textures, eventually I’d love to replicate something similar. There is also Substance Painter which is slowly changing my workflow. I’d rather not get too stuck into one method of working.

Speaking of new ways of working, our textured models were then imported into workflow. At first I was a little confused, I knew about its sculpting but I had no idea it had live paint abilities similar to Substance. So after being shown a few of the basic painting tools and how the layers worked, I tried to blend some of my rust alpha into the rest of the texture, there were some areas it ended abruptly and looked out of sorts. I could have spent many more hours tinkering but sadly it’s a short class, from Mudbox it was brought back into Maya with the new changes to the texture.

To wrap up the lesson we rendered out the scene using the renderer Turtle. Brand new to me, never heard of it before but Tony assured us it exists in Maya. I need to check the plug-in manager of my student copy and see if it exists. For what I’ve seen of it so far it gives a very crisp render and has softer lighting by default. Maya software first, Turtle below it.



I spent part of Sunday downloading new materials into Substance from Substance Share and I thought I’d quickly test some of them on the arch/wall from this tutorial. Any excuse to try and learn more about the software! Rendered out using IRay since I seem to have lost the use of Arnold in SP after installing Mental Ray.



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