Monday, May 30, 2016

"Nearly Paint by Number" An Already Made Mesh Garment (Personalize).

Blender Texture Painting
Using Stencil to "Nearly Paint by Number"
Tattoo, Add Lace Detail or Text
Blender Texture Painting
Applying decals to External Texture

It is worth opening Blender even if you never plan to model an object on your own.  Blender's surfacing options are many and texture painting will turn a sweater, a hoodie, even a whole suit into something you hand painted yourself.  Follow the simple steps below to add the personal touch to a blender mesh top, sweater or hoodie.
 1.  Download open source collada files from Outworldz.  Ferd Frederix has already packaged them up for easy download, and with helpful photos.  Download the alphas too.  You can use those to cover the parts of your avie body that show through.  Lo there were a solution for real body fat.  Spandex simply doesn't do this so convincingly.
2.  Important:  Select mesh clothing item that you will import into Blender.  When you open Blender you need to navigate directly to the Operator's Panel (default far right).  There will see the items that are in your scene.  On the far left,while you are in object mode, import the the mesh you chose.  It will most likely be too small to see, but you will see that its there in the operator's panel.  Optional:  Use the scale key (s) to resize the entire armature provided - only for your own visual purposes.  You are going to download the .dae mesh directly into Open Sim, so you won't need to fuss with rigging or any part of the model unless you experienced with conversions.
3.  So the only touching you need to do is to activate the mesh clothing item in the operator's panel.  You will see it highlighted when you do.
4.  Now choose edit mode.  If your screen is divided like mine, you should see the unwrapped mesh on in the uv unwrap window.  It is already nicely set up for you.  Nothing to do here either.
5.  Optional:  At this point you may want to add an already made cloth texture to the background.  In many cases this where Blender modelers stop.  You can easily do this in world too,, but its not personalizing your garment.  It is  personalized, if you add a decal as shown in photo 1.
6.  To add the decal go to Texture Paint Mode.You will not need to do the next step, because the cloth texture you added should already be in the slot.  This would be the layer you are going to decal (paint or stencil) over.
7.  If you don't have a background texture and you want the entire item to be hand painted, then you will need to choose your first layer now.  I usually choose a diffuse texture background.

8.  Once I find my diffuse texture background in snipping
the uv texture (Image options) I use the fill brush to add the second color (same layer) so that I can easily see the uv.  At this point I can either paint, use a stencil for  "nearly paint by number" painting or apply a decal.  Use common license stencils or make your own coloring book outlines (easy enough to do).  Here is a link to a share site where you can pick up stencils for
9.  For photo 2 I decided to "paint by number" using a common license stencil. For photo 1 used
an already made tartan texture and applied a stencil decal to the sweater. It the same process either way.
Reminder:  Shift key - changes the size of your stencil or decal. Ctrl Key rotates the stencil or decal so that it can fit to your uv.  You are not using the model at all for this exercise, so no worries about it.
Note:  If you make your own stencil use a square ratio dimension or you will run into problems. 
This is easy enough to do.  Add an alpha background to your stencil or decal that is square.
10. Since your material was already added, either manually or automatically, you will not need to do that again.  To add your stencil, additional texture or decal you can add that by selecting the checkered icon to the right of the materials icon.  You should see your first layer listed.  Add you new texture, decal or stencil right beneath it. 
Now when you look in the texture box on the left where your painting options are located you will find it.
11.  Change view to UV View to Paint mode and you are ready to apply your stencil for easy painting. If you aren't easily adjusting your image, "image aspect" comes in handy.
12.  Once you are done applying the stencil.  You can paint into it using the "Nearly Paint by Number" method.  More information about that process here. NPBN.
13. The last task you need to do is save your image.  It is always best to save every layer as you go through the process or you will lose the images, but its a must to save your last one and import it into Open Sim.  Also import directly your collada (.dae) garment and rezz it.  The item will be very small, so you will need to keep an eye on it.  Add the image texture you created in the usual Open Sim manner.  No matter what size it is take it back ito inventory and wear it. It should fit fine, but now you need to add your alphas so that parts of your stick out body won't show.
14.  This process most likely won't replace bottom up garment making.  You will eventually want to learn how to create mesh clothing (suggestion use the Avastar method - less frustrating in the long run), but using this mesh and texture painting will introduce you to some of the fun of texture painting until you do.  There are so many fun garments to personalize that are already rigged and ready to use.

The Joy of Texture Painting by Number and Other Fun Experiments

Since Blender 2.70 I've been using Blender Texture Painting. Before slots I did not enjoy so much the process. I didn't get the results I wanted every time. Once a few fixes were added, texture painting is my most fun task in storybuilding. The writing and diabolical plotting is fun too, but there is something fluid and colorful about texture painting that cheers me up.

Not that I didn't need to find out what worked and didn't work.  I did.  It took several tries to make the process fun and repeatable.  Now I use it for nearly every model I want to use for my storybuild, whether or not I decide to use surface nodes or just use specular and normal maps to go with.

Because its fun, and there is no need to make it less fun or this tutorial less fun, here are the bullet points:

Disclaimer:  There are most always several methods for using modes in Blender Render or Cycles.  Within each process there are choices to create internal processes.  The process that follows is about making texture painting easy and fun.  Once the basics are learned, it is best to add complication when you are ready for more involved outcomes.

1.  Build a lo poly model or sculpt that you convert to a lo poly model.
2.  Unwrap the lo poly model in Blender or Cycles.  For this phase of the process Blender Render is my preference, because I can choose to vertex paint my model visually and easily.
3.  Mark your seams and adjust the uv layout with the Lkey (less scattered layout).  Clear your original seams if needed and use Seams From Islands to mark them again.  Use Project From View if possible, but I don't suggest using the Smart UV Project, because it will scatter your uv into small islands.  Some folks do use Smart UV Project, particularly for houses, but I fuss later about this wrap when I start to paint it.  In other words, do as you please.  This is your painting project, but if you don't like what happens, take a few extra seconds to lay our uv for painting.
4.  Once you are satisfied with your layout, you can optional vertex paint it. If you decide to vertex paint your model, the map you make will be your first SLOT, or in painting terms, your ground.  See below for simple Blender Render vertex paint steps
5.  If you decide not to vertex paint your model now, go directly to Texture Painting.  It is an option option like sculpt mode, object mode or weight painting mode.
6.  When you choose Texture Painting you see your options (TOOL TAB). If you did not choose to vertex paint (causing you to add a material to your uv), then you need to make one now.  Note also if you didn't unwrap your uv as suggested, you can use the automatic unwrap method that is time saving for uncomplicated projects.  I rarely use this option, because I like to design my own painting template.  Especially when I plan to "paint by number."

7.  Now go the SLOTS TAB, where you will find the basic texture you can use.  If you don't like it for some reason, you can make a new one, or you can use your vertex texture.  If your materials data accumulated properly, it will be seen here, otherwise you will need to move into place manually (cycles or render).

8.  The final tab you need to use is the OPTIONS TAB.  The options tab gives you more control over where your paint dabs will land on your mesh.  Since most of my mesh objects are fairly simple, I leave them all checked.  If your machine is dragging, take a look at what option(s) work best for you.

9.  The next step I use is to fill the islands (shells) of my model.  It helps me to see better the shapes and lighting in my model's color.  For my work I choose to use the immersive paint box that you can change in preferences.  I can pick up the paint like I would off a traditional paint palette. Pick a hue/color and drag your pen or mouse across the box for saturation, down for value. 

Go to preferences and change the color picker type.

10.  Either use your per-made pattern outline, your vertex painting or paint directly from color picker or texture brush onto your uv map and/or model.  If I used a texture (common license) for a layer of paint, I tile it first.  I then stencil the same texture over the tiling, so that I can get the pattern I expect..  I either add it directly to the tiling layer or I make a new layer before I begin stenciling. Stenciling is also the process I use for adding decals, text, buttons or other details.  It is another way to paint by number.