Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Happy scientific accident.

I was in photoshop and intending to use the gradient map. (Image > Adjustment > Gradient Map)
I accidentally clicked an existing saved gradient and realized I had made sort of a scientific texture.

You know, like that sort of stuff:

 Here's my photoshop gradient:

And that's the result on my texture:

The real question is: what on earth did I create such a gradient for in the first place??

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mapping a texture to world coordinates. Part 2.

Example 1: blinking mask

Back on Enslaved, the environment artists used this method to map a gradient that would reveal some floor lights along a corridor so they would appear to blink sequentially.

This setup is very simple. This is the texture I'm using:
(It's actually vertical but I rotated it for the sake of this post's layout.)
Since there's a lot of black it will repeat less often.

And this is what the unreal material looks like. As you can see, it's nothing different from what I described in the previous post.

Now in the map, I've just put down a few small cubes with that material on and there I have my blinking lights (sort of).

and here's what the map looks like with the material on the ground plane.

It actually took me longer trying to optimize those gifs than it took to make the whole thing in unreal.
This is not the most exciting of all examples but more will come. Stay tuned.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Map a texture to world coordinates. Part 1.

Today we'll start looking at mapping a texture UVs to the world coordinates.
It's taking quite long to write the whole thing up so I'll keep the examples for later posts.

Mapping to world.

We've looked before at remapping a texture with another texture. The coordinates of a texture have vertical and horizontal data, which you can remap to whatever you want.
‘Whatever you want’ can be the world coordinates.
We're going to use the world position, but we need to divide it to start with. The values not quite usable as they are. The more you divide the world position, the larger the texture will be. It's sort of like zooming in your world: the texture appears larger.

The result is just like setting your texture tiling in a texture coordinates node.

Dividing the world by 500:
Dividing the world by 100:

Unlike your world, a texture has no depth, it only has two axis.
Next thing we need to know is the way your material will be oriented in the world so as to map the texture to the correct two axis. Imagine that you're facing a plane with your material on it. Which axis do you see pointing away ?
In our example we want to map it to the ground. If we look down from above, we see the R and G arrows pointing away. The z channel will not be visible.
So we use a component mask to keep only the R and G channel (x and y).

 Bear in mind that the texture will stretch along the third axis, the z axis in our case.

Would we be to use lerps and map the texture several times along different axis we could start to get a 3D feel. (at a cost obviously)

That's it for today, several examples will come soon.