Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

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Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

Post by machf »

I made this a few years ago to help S.I., I guess now it could be released to the public...
What you'll need for this:
- Gmax and the Tempest pack
- LithUnwrap 1.3
- A graphics editor, like PaintShop Pro 4.15SE (used on this example), the GIMP, etc.
- TPM import and export plugins for Gmax
- A TPM file of the mesh you're going to work with and the corresponding texture as a BMP file (otherwise, convert prior to starting)
The example uses the Acrocanthosaurus mesh and textures converted from JPOG, but I won't go into the extraction/import process here. Download links for the various tools may be provided later. The links to the videos have been updated, as I've uploaded them to TresCom. The videos were captured with AviScreen Classic and edited/converted with VirtualDub. The tutorial is as follows:

OK, here it goes. First, as I said, get the Tempest pack for Gmax, as you'll need it to be able to export the meshes to work with LithUnwrap (and any other modeling software, possibly).

Step 1
Start the Gmax through the Tempest pack. Load your .tpm file into Gmax as you'd do. Now, export the mesh as a Quake 3 .md3 file:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step1.avi (23.6 sec, 880KB)

Step 2
Load LithUnwrap. Load the .md3 file you just saved into it. The texture coordinates (UV map) may need repositioning, if so displace them vertically by 1.0 as shown. If the texture isn't showing, assign it to the material as shown. Then export the UV map as a B&W BMP with the same resolution as the texture (512x512 pixels, in this case):

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step2.avi (1 min 56 sec, 5.5MB)

Step 3
Load the UV map, the texture and the opacity map into the graphics app you're using (Paint Shop Pro in this example). Combine the UV map and the texture into a new image for reference. Be sure to revert back any changes made to the texture in the process:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step3.avi (1 min, 4.89MB)

Step 4
Use the new image as a reference to help you decide how you're going to cut the original texture. In this case, I decided to use 4 overlapping 320x320 pieces. Starting with the body, we copy and paste to a new image the corresponding area. Don't forget to do exactly the same copy/paste process for the opacity map, too:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexTut/Step4.avi (1 min 47 sec, 2.57MB)

Step 5
Ooops, I forgot to resize the images to 256x256, so let's do it and save them again:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step5.avi (12 sec, 518KB)

Step 6
Go back to LithUnwrap. Select the triangles which will be assigned to our new "Body" texture. Create a new material for it, and assign those triangles to the new material. Assign it the texture (color and opacity map) you just saved. Select the new material, you'll notice the size and position of the triangles don't match the new texture yet. So, first rescale the texture, in this example it's 1.6 both horizontally and vertically because 512/320=1.6 (now you see why I chose 320 and not, for example, 300). Then move the triangles, initially I use a 0.175 displacement both horizontally and vertically because that's more or less it, then I just do some "fine-tuning" by displacing it manually by a small amount repeatedly. Use the "combined" UV map/texture for reference, and also check the 3D preview until the UV coordinates are OK:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step6.avi (4 min 7 sec, 15MB)

(you can omit downloading the videos for steps 7-9, if you want)
Step 7
Repeat the previous steps, this time for the head:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step7.avi (4 min 16 sec, 16.8MB)

Step 8
Once again, for the arms:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step8.avi (4 min 14 sec, 15.5MB)

Step 9
A last time, for the legs. Since there are no transparent pieces for this one, you don't need an opacity map. Also, since it's the last material, after you're done you can delete the original material:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step9.avi (4 min 22 sec, 15.8MB)

Step 10
Export the mesh from LithUnwrap as a .3ds file, then import it into Gmax. Make the materials visible, and there you have it:

http://www.trescom.org/tutorials/TexsTut/Step10.avi (1 min 22 sec, 4.65MB)

After this point, you should do everything else (convert the textures to 8-bit BMPs, align/position/resize the mesh, and finally, rig it in TPDC), I really don't recommend doing this process after the others...
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Re: Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

Post by machf »

So, what do you think? Should we make this public on the site or the forum?
This can also be used with those meshes which currently have a single 256x256 pixels texture, you first enlarge the texture (to 512x512 or mayb larger), then retouch it to give it better detail, then follow all the steps from the tutorial...
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Sound name listings for the Demo (build 117), Retail (build 116), Beta 103, Beta 99, Beta 97, Beta 96, Build 55, PC Gamer Alpha (build 32) and E3 1998 Alpha (build 22) TPA files
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Re: Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

Post by Rebel »

Well, I don't have the connect speed needed on this computer to view the videos, but any useful tutorial is worthwhile.
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Re: Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

Post by Draconisaurus »

I would watch, but.. Tempus fugit.. It sounds like a great thing to do a tutorial on, bet it took some time to make (or maybe not, dunno). Hopefully others around here who didn't already know how to do this can comment on its helpfulness...

Matt, if you read this, it might be good to combine them, maybe overlay the text, and put them onto the TresCom channel..
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Re: Video tutorial: splitting and UVmapping large textures

Post by machf »

I should upload the videos to YouTube and update this post...
Visit The Carnivores Saga - a forum devoted to modding Action Forms' Carnivores, Carnivores 2 and Carnivores: Ice Age games
Tres WIP: updated T-Script Reference and File Formats documents
Sound name listings for the Demo (build 117), Retail (build 116), Beta 103, Beta 99, Beta 97, Beta 96, Build 55, PC Gamer Alpha (build 32) and E3 1998 Alpha (build 22) TPA files
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