3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 2 - Texturing Uneven Terrain

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  • Film & VFX
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Subject
  • Modeling
  • 2017
  • 2017x1
  • Workflow
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  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
8 min

3ds Max Blended Box Map - Part 2 - Texturing Uneven Terrain

In this tutorial, learn how to texture an uneven terrain with the blended box map.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2017.1
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2017.1 or higher.

Related Links

Transcript

00:00:06 --> 00:00:12
Now that the main concepts are covered, you use Blended Box Mapping to texture an uneven terrain.

00:00:13 --> 00:00:19
Uneven terrains can be difficult to map by their very nature, especially when imported from third-party applications.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:25
Often, their topology adds to the difficulty and unwrapping can then become a nightmare.

00:00:25 --> 00:00:33
It's not exactly the case in this scene named BBM_terrain_start.max where the terrain was in fact modeled in 3ds Max.

00:00:34 --> 00:00:41
Still, the geometry of this particular terrain is still complex enough that traditional mapping techniques would be difficult.

00:00:42 --> 00:00:51
In case you're wondering, this terrain was built in 3ds Max using a simple Plane object and Freeform tools such as Push/Pull,

00:00:55 --> 00:00:58
Shift and Relax.

00:01:05 --> 00:01:11
It is all made of one mesh, except for the two smaller boulders in the center left.

00:01:11 --> 00:01:18
Those started as spherified boxes and then shaped into boulders with the same tools used to shape the terrain.

00:01:18 --> 00:01:24
Select all three objects and apply a Standard material to them.

00:01:28 --> 00:01:35
Add a Blended Box Map to the Diffuse channel and test render the scene.

00:01:37 --> 00:01:39
The default setup is already a good starting point.

00:01:40 --> 00:01:46
From there, you can test the solution using a checkered pattern to look for bad texture stretching.

00:01:46 --> 00:01:51
You could use the default checker procedural map or use your own bitmaps.

00:01:51 --> 00:01:57
I personally prefer that method as I can fine-tune the solution to look for problems in projection directions.

00:01:58 --> 00:02:02
When loading bitmaps, naming convention plays a big role.

00:02:03 --> 00:02:09
Bitmaps sharing the same name with appropriate suffixes can be loaded more easily.

00:02:09 --> 00:02:18
In this case, all three bitmaps start with the name "Checker" and end with "Front", "Left" or "Top".

00:02:19 --> 00:02:29
By using Load Maps, you can select any one of them and all three would be used in the appropriate slots.

00:02:29 --> 00:02:37
Blended Box Map tries to conform to the shape and size of the model it is applied to. It stretches to accommodate the size of the object.

00:02:38 --> 00:02:47
By default, Blended Box Map is applied in a Non-Uniform way, this means that the scale of the map is not the same between smaller and larger objects.

00:02:48 --> 00:02:56
You can control the map size at the individual bitmap level, or at a more global level in the Blended Box Map controls.

00:02:57 --> 00:03:04
Set the Map Scale to 10 to see the effect on the terrain and boulders.

00:03:06 --> 00:03:10
You can see that the map size on the boulders is different from the terrain.

00:03:10 --> 00:03:15
You can manage these situations using the Projection controls group.

00:03:15 --> 00:03:21
If your bitmaps are square like typical tiling maps are,

00:03:25 --> 00:03:30
you may want to enable the Cube option to avoid texture stretching.

00:03:34 --> 00:03:39
Moreover, the pull-down menu lets you choose how the projections behave.

00:03:39 --> 00:03:47
In the default Non-Uniform mode, each object gets its own virtual mapping gizmo based on the size of that object.

00:03:47 --> 00:03:51
This is why the texture scale is different between smaller and larger objects.

00:03:52 --> 00:03:56
Set the general map scale to 100 once again to test the other options.

00:03:57 --> 00:04:06
You can force the same uniform map size onto all objects by defining it, set it to 5 and test render the scene.

00:04:07 --> 00:04:10
The checkered patterns are now uniform throughout the scene.

00:04:11 --> 00:04:18
You can also use a picked reference object in the scene to define the map size based on that object's size,

00:04:18 --> 00:04:26
or you can base the map scale on the largest object in the scene sharing this material, which in this case means the terrain.

00:04:28 --> 00:04:36
For now, go back to the Non-Uniform-Size option and ensure the global map scale is set to 100%.

00:04:39 --> 00:04:48
Another way of controlling the projected maps is to treat various objects as one, using the Multiple Objects at Once option.

00:04:48 --> 00:04:56
This lets you create a Projection Box in the form of a dummy object, that you can transform in the scene to control the mapping.

00:04:56 --> 00:05:02
This can be based on selected objects, or on all objects sharing that material.

00:05:08 --> 00:05:17
As mentioned earlier, you may also simply want to work the bitmap sizes at the bitmap levels. This is the approach I personally favor.

00:05:20 --> 00:05:29
When you're done experimenting, go back to Individual Objects mapping type with a Uniform mapping size of 100%.

00:05:33 --> 00:05:37
A render at this time shows that the map scale is rather huge, if uniform.

00:05:38 --> 00:05:44
Simply edit the individual checker patterns to make them tile 20 times in each direction.

00:05:50 --> 00:05:57
Render again. With the global scales set to 100%, the test renders look quite satisfactory.

00:05:57 --> 00:06:03
Once you're happy with the projections, you can start replacing the checker patterns with actual textures.

00:06:04 --> 00:06:10
A few were provided with this scene, most notably textures for grass, dirt and rocks.

00:06:22 --> 00:06:28
The rockwall image is straightforward and meant to be used for X and Y projections.

00:06:38 --> 00:06:45
The grass and dirt textures are meant to be used for Z-projections, perhaps mixed up with the help of a noise map.

00:06:46 --> 00:06:51
This can be done by using a Mix map with the dirt and grass textures,

00:07:05 --> 00:07:09
and a Noise map to act as a mask.

00:07:10 --> 00:07:15
You will probably need to fiddle with the noise map a bit to get it to work to your liking.

00:07:21 --> 00:07:26
A finished scene is also available as part of the downloadable archive.

00:07:30 --> 00:07:37
In the next movie, we take a look at the animation limitations associated with the Blended Box Map.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2017
  • 2017x1
  • Workflow
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