Ptex to UV

Posted by Rodrigo Assaf, 31 May 2012 6:48 pm


Using PTex can boost your workflow! You dont need to wait for the UV Mapping to begin the painting task. Now it is possible to do both at the same time!

But why do we still need UV mapping if PTex made it easier? Well, not all renders or game engines deal with Ptex mapping. Thats why we still need to work with UVs.

Curiosity: Vray Render works fine with PTex (Does Anyone know another one?)

For this example, I chose a 3D Model from the 3DS Max demo folder.

1) Lets consider this 3D Character model, just created by an artist, without UVs.

2) Just to prove that there is no UVs, here is the messy UV Unwrap of the character. At this stage of production it is necessary to generate the UVW but also we can begin the painting/texturing process using PTex in Mudbox.

3) I will send to Mudbox this 3D Model. In the Entertainment Creation Suite we have the SEND TO Options.

4) The 3D Model is sent to Mudbox.

5) Select the Mesh and lets get it ready for Ptex Mapping. Go to Mesh -> PTex Setup...

6) You need to set the Mapping Resolution to be used on your Mesh. Higher resoltuion means bigger file sizes and memory usage.
In this low resolution it is possible to notice the lack of definition in the texture.

7) I just increased the resolution into a level of detail I need. Press Done to begin the Painting!

8) To paint, create a Paint Layer. I created a diffuse channel Ptex 16bits Integer.

9) Ready! Your 3D Model is ready to be painted. We can use all painting tools in Mudbox. Please do not consider my painting skills here...As you can see my painting is terrible (just to be an example :-)!!!

10) Meanwhile, in 3DS Max, Maya or Softimage the 3D Model could be UV Mapped. With both processes (UV Map and PTex Paint) ready, we can now project the PTEx on an UV Map. I will export this model with the correct UV Map to MudBox.

11) Just click on SEND TO MudBox and choose ADD to Current Scene.

12) I just selected the PTex model and moved to get a better visualization from both meshes.

13) To project from Ptex to UV, I moved the UV Mesh to be in the same position of the Ptex Mesh, in order to help the projection. Just click on Maps -> Extract Texture maps -> New Operation

14) Transfer Paint Layers

15) In Target Model, choose the Mesh with the correct UV Mapping.
In Source Model, choose the PTex Mesh.
I Used Ray Casting as a Projection Method. Click on Extract

16) Ready!! The projection works fine! My UV Mapping has the texture I did in PTex. Now I just need to export this texture mapped on the UV Mapping to use in 3DS Max, Maya or XSI.

17) To export the texture, go to the paint layer from the UV Mesh, right click with mouse. Select export channel to PSD, or Export Selected... to choose other formats.

18) Now just load the bitmap file in your material diffuse channel!




Posted 19 June 2012 6:14 am

Looks fun!
Could you please translate it to English?

Rodrigo Assaf

Posted 13 July 2012 8:36 pm

Now in English! Hope U like it!


Posted 18 July 2012 4:31 am

Cool. Congrats, very useful Tutorial .


Posted 26 September 2012 3:18 am

Cool! Thanks!


Posted 16 January 2014 5:09 am

Hello. Sorry for my bad english. If you still need to make UV's, to put your model in a game engine, why do you use Ptex? I don't understand, is Ptex better then, for example, Poly paint in Zbrush?

Rodrigo Assaf

Posted 16 January 2014 1:35 pm

Hi folklick,
You are right about game engines using UVs only, but I use Ptex to speed up the workflow. Imagine a fresh 3D model in your hands for texturing. First thing you should do is to open UVs but in the same time you could paint it using Ptex. After doing both tasks you may project the Ptex on to UVs. It is a matter of time, in my opinion, most of renders and game engines will work with Ptex.


Posted 17 January 2014 10:53 am

Sorry, but you haven't answered my question. I want to know what's the differense between Poly paint tool in Zbrush and Ptex in Mudbox. Why it would be fine if we paint our model with Ptex? Is it just simpler to work with, or there are more pluses in using Ptex? This technology was created to free us from using UV's. But we can't use it in game engines. So what's the differense between painting textures in Zbrush and baking them and Ptex technology if we still need to make UV's?

Rodrigo Assaf

Posted 17 January 2014 12:54 pm

Sorry but I have no experience with ZBrush, so I can't tell you the difference between polypaint and ptex.


Posted 14 January 2015 10:41 pm

WOw Thank you!

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