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Tim270
2012-07-12, 14:35
This is something is use a lot for low poly weapons as a 'quick and dirty' to get coloration into metal and to subtly fake dynamic lighting.

Original thread can be found here
cdg.net • View topic - [TUT] How to bake colors onto a model in MAX (4colorblind) (http://cdg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=61272)

Tutorial by Thanez.




I'll use Soulslayer's p226 model as an example for this, beacuase I used this method to create the colors on the model, and it does contain some of the issues you'll encounter, such as overlapping UVs that face different directions.

Okay, so you've made a texture, and it's grey:
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/before.png

Sadface.

Well, sadface no longer, young padawan, for here is how to degrey(TM) it.
Step 1:
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/1.jpg
A. Put a standard grey material on the entirety of your model.
B. Add 6 omnis to your scene, one directly above, below, behind, in front and on each side. Six. Make sure NONE of them cast shadows.
C. Place them at the center of each side and move them equally apart from the model, so each omni has about the same distance to the major plane it will cast light on. This is important in order to not get baking errors on overlapping UVs.
D. Make the top light blue, bottom reddish orange, front and back green or some shit, and the sides bright orange. These colors are yours to chose, ofcourse, but unless your model has no overlapping UVs, you'll want the sides to have the same color/intensity. the same goes for the front/back. Make sure to use very bland/watered down colors. No explanation, just do it.


Step 2:
Press F10 to bring up the Render Setup settings box.
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/2.jpg
A. On the "Renderer" tab, make sure your AA filter is set to Catmull-rom, and that both object blur and motion blur are turned off. For any sort of rendering in the future, remember these settings.
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/3.jpg

B. On the "Advanced Lighting" tab, change it to "Light Tracer", and set the Rays/sample 500 (or more if your textures are huge) This basically sets how fine your result will be. A low value will render quickly, but give a coarse fuzzy result (can be used to test your settings quickly), and a higher value will give you a fine, smooth result, but will take way longer to render.

Step 3:
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/4.jpg

A. Hit 0 (zero) to bring up the "Render to texture" box. In the viewport, select all the objects of your model, and under "Output", click "Add" and add a "Completemap". Set it to the same size your textures are for the individual parts. In my case, all UVs are 1024x1024, so i just have to do this once.
B. Hit the "..." box next to "File Name and Type" and go to your destination folder. This makes MAX save all your baked goods in the folder of choosing instead of the default output folder.
C. Hit "Render" at the bottom.
D. If your model is split into many objects that use the same UV maps, and your maps are packed tight, set the "padding" to 1 or 2. This setting is how many pixels the bake will bleed out into empty UV space. This can only affect you negatively if you have several model objects that use the same UV map and you have to merge them later. In those instances the bleeding of one object's UV segment can bleed onto another object's UV segment, and that's bad. If you're doing something simple, like a knife, where you only have one model object, bleeding will stop between UV segments when they collide.

Step 4:
If everything went well, you should now have your baked color maps, but you should follow these rules of logic:
A. White and black do not contain color. Therefore, if your baked result contains either, go back and edit your result. If everything turned out white or near white, edit your material to be darker, or edit individual omni's intensity lower or higher.
My result had only a few parts that were too bright, and thus i solved it by darkening the material.

Bad: (White parts)
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/result_bad.jpg
Good: (No white, no black parts)
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/result_good.jpg

Step 5:
Simply throw the result into photoshop, ontop of your texture, set the layer mode to color, and set the opacity of the level to like 15 or something.

Before:
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/before.png
After:
http://skins.thanez.net/tut_coloring/after.png

Chuc
2012-07-12, 15:57
Great technique :D Looks very very hawt.