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Texturing A Head in Cinema 4D

CreativeCOW presents Texturing A Head in Cinema 4D -- Cinema 4D Tutorial


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In this tutorial, Jannis Labelle demonstrates texturing a head in Cinema 4D and Bodypaint. Jannis says this is the tutorial that he wished he had when he first learned about texturing a mesh. He's written this tutorial so that others won't have to go through the headaches that he went through. This is not a tutorial for beginners.




This is the tutorial that I was looking for when I first started to learn about texturing a mesh, so I thought I would write it and help others avoid the headaches I went through. Having said that, this is not a tutorial for beginners, unless you are committed and want to have a go. Really it should suit intermediate or advanced users who might want to see another way of doing things. But then if you are beginner, try it anyway, these kinds of warnings never stopped me when I was a beginner. I went on and did the tutorials regardless to the detriment of my screen that nearly flew out of the window on several occasions. It should also be of interest to 3D Max and Lightwave users who use Bodypaint as a plugin for texturing.

Unfortunately texturing is a rather complicated thing and most manuals or books about the subject leave a lot of holes with the information they provide. This is purely because the subject matter is so big that it is impossible to generalize. I feel that the ideal way to go about it is to first learn specialized aspects of texturing, because texturing a head is different than texturing or building an ocean. So concentrate on one aspect of the craft and in this way you will bring forth the capabilities of your software and your talents, and then grow into other areas.

I will be using Cinema 4D and Bodypaint to texture the head from my tutorial of Modeling A Head. I will urge you to complete that tutorial first, especially if you don't have a lot of experience with texturing. It will give you the chance to create a mesh that you will know intimately before you texture, which I promise you will be a huge bonus. I have not included a file of the mesh because I want to save you time in the long run. If you go through the whole process you will have no gaps in you knowledge and if you already can model a head use one you already have in order to follow the tutorial.

OK, before we start: a little bit about Bodypaint. If you have worked with it before, you will agree it is a very good program. Unfortunately, it is not very well supported in the manual from Maxon and the manual tutorial does very little to lead us to the far recesses of the software or to expose us to its fantastic potential. Maybe Maxon will rectify this and give it the manual it deserves in the future. To illustrate my point look at the manual for Cinema R8 which is over 1000 pages and that of Bodypaint which is barely 100, even though both modules cost the same price. That's my moaning out of the way.

I will write the tutorial in the same way as the previous one. There will be a lot of information to start with but as you move on there be less text and I will take it for granted that haven't moved on without understand the previous part.

--let's get started--


Here we go,

First of all look at my layout (01)

I have given myself a lot of space in the Texture View and have docked both the Brush and Color Settings while the View Panel is rather small on the left, but I have a floating View panel from Window, New View Panel that I can minimize and maximize when ever I need a better 3D view of the mesh. Spend sometime creating the layout that helps your workflow or copy this one. If you don't know how to create a new layout have a look in your manual.

 01

Next go to Edit, General Settings and click on the Bodypaint tab and change the Default Texture Format to Photoshop, this makes for a more stable file format and also will enable you to move in and out of Photoshop when you want to refine your texture. Click OK and if you have not loaded your mesh do so now and move on to the next part.

Here you can also change the undo steps to a smaller number. As you can see I have changed mine to 5. This helps you with the ram in your computer so things don't get too slow.

 

In this part, we will be fixing the UVW to the mesh. The UVW are the corresponding coordinates of the polygons of the mesh in the 2 Dimensional area of the texture. Although you can move the UVW points on the texture you will not affect the polygons in the geometry. This is the first stumbling block in understanding texturing -- how you convert 3D into 2D. Think of it like the skin on a 3-dimensional object which uses the same number of fixing points but the fixing points themselves can be moved around the surface. If you already find it difficult to grasp this concept, do first the little tutorial in the Tutorial Manual of Bodypaint called Texturing a Cube and then come back.

In the Material manager create a new material (01). Double click on the name new and change it to Texture. Make sure that only the Color (02)channel is activated and close the Material manager.

01
02


Drag the material from the Material manager and drop it on the mesh making sure you don't drop it on the Hypernurb(
03).

In the Texture panel that comes up choose Spherical Projection and disable the default Tile option (04). If you don't the textured will be tiled on your mesh as opposed to constrained to the polygons you select. Leave the rest of the settings as they are.

In the Object manager if you have a UVW coordinates tag, the checkered tag on (03), delete it. This fixes your UVW which might be from a previous geometry. A point that is not very well documented in Bodypaint and which can lead to confusion.

03
04

From the Layer manager go to Channels, choose Color and load the New Texture panel (05). Here you can choose a new texture or load one from the disk. Choose New Texture (06). Leave the rest of the settings as they are and hit OK.

05
06


As soon as you hit OK you will see some changes in the Layer manager (
07). On the left you will see a thumbnail for the Color texture, while on the right you will see a thumbnail for all the layers in that texture. If you had more textures loaded in other channels, like a Bump Texture for example you would be able to see it under the Color Texture. Double clicking on the Texture name loads it in the Texture view, while clicking on any layer makes it active.

07

In the Texture view go to Tools, Show UV mesh and you will see the unwrapped UV mesh in the Texture view (08)

08

You will probably see that the unwrapped mesh is not very well laid out (08). You can fix that by using the Texture tool (09) and moving the sphere to a better position with the Move tool. The UV mesh will change interactively in the Texture view (10).

You can use the Move, Scale, Rotate tools from the main View to adjust the texture in the Texture View

09
10

For this tutorial we will only use the face because otherwise I would have to write a whole book on the subject, which might not be such a bad idea... Anyway, once you are happy with the way your mesh is laid out, go to the Object manager click on texture and hit Generate UV coordinates (11).

This should give you a UV coordinates tag, which means that now your texture is fixed on the geometry. So you can move the points and polys around and the texture will follow like a skin.

Now you should be able to see a few changes in the Texture view. First the mesh should turn blue which means that you can now manipulate it, and the tools in the Texture view on the right should turn from gray (13) to colored. This also means that the tools have become active and you can use them. Until you have UV coordinates you can't use the tools or manipulate the UV mesh.

11
12
13
14


In the Texture view using the Select UV tool, 5th from the Bottom (14) select all the polygons of the face (15). Make sure you are in polygon mode in the main view also so that you can see your selection in the 3D View (16).

15
16

Now on the Texture view hit Edit, Invert All to select the head polys and then move them out of the texture area (17). Then using the move UV and the scale non uniform tool try to fit the mesh in the texture area, making sure that you scale it broader than it was, like (18)

17
18

When you are happy go on the main Menu and from Painter choose Functions, Outline Polygons (19). Make sure that your foreground color is set to white in the Color Settings panel and your brush size is set to 1 pixel in the Brush Settings panel.

This is how your texture would wrap around your mesh (20). As you can see around the nose and eyes the texture is stretched out because the nose and eyes being perpendicular to the screen at some angles, occupy the same pixels. Don't worry though, this can be easily fixed. This is what we are going to do in the next part of the tutorial.

19
20





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