Tutorial - Multi-Layered Terrain Texture in TS 7.6

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Tutorial - Multi-Layered Terrain Texture in TS 7.6

Post by Finis » 19 Sep 2012, 19:32

Multi-Layered Terrain Texture in TS 7.6 Model Side

The Lightworks renderer in trueSpace 7.6x Model Side supports multi-layered textures. This feature allows textures to be combined to produce useful and interesting effects.

This tutorial is intended for artists who are familiar with trueSpace and its texture system but have not used multi-layered textures. It focuses on using this technique to produce terrain textures but the method is broadly applicable. These methods should work in earlier versions of trueSpace that have these texture tools.

1. Creating Another Texture Layer

To create another texture layer start the Material Editor. Then click the right mouse button on the material example area. Then select "Add new layer" from the pop up menu. See Figure 1.

2. Texture Layer Controls

As shown in Figure 2, some new controls appear when a second layer is created.

Note that Color, Bump, and Reflectance each have these controls except Layer Selectors.

o Layer Selectors -- These "Eye" icons select the layer you will work in. One is called the "Base Layer" and the other is "Layer 2". Think of Layer 2 as being above the Base Layer. You can also make layers invisible with these icons.

o Layer Transparency Type -- Left click this to select constant or mapped alpha (transparency). This transparency controls how we see through Layer 2 to the Base Layer.

o Constant Alpha Slider -- This control sets a uniform transparency for Layer 2. At zero the layer is opaque and at 1 it is completely transparent.

3. A Simple Layered Texture

Figure 3 shows a layered texture in the Material Editor. Layer 2 is selected so its characteristics are shown in Color, Bump, and Reflectance. Note that Bump and Reflectance are completely transparent since they are not used. Layer 2 is a green color and the Base Layer is a pink/purple color.

This texture uses an Alpha Mask image instead of the Constant Alpha Slider for the Layer 2 color. To use an Alpha Mask image for layer transparency select "Masked Alpha" on the Layer Transparency Type control. The alpha mask image makes the layer opaque for black, transparent for white, and partially transparent for shades between.

Figure 4 illustrates this multi-layer texture.

4. A Multi-Layer Terrain Texture

By using this technique with images of ground and plants and an alpha mask you can make good terrain textures.

Use a soil or stone texture for the Base Layer and a photo of plants, preferably an aerial photograph of land, for Layer 2. Apply an alpha mask so that some areas show the Base Layer and some show Layer 2. Figure 5 illustrates.

5. Additional Information

Use the Bump channels for each layer too. Apply the same alpha mask to each channel used in a layer. Set the Constant Alpha Slider to 1 for all unused layer channels.

Appendix

Figure A1 shows the Material Editor settings for the terrain in the finished image. The road texture uses the same method.

Tutorial by Finis Miller, Sept. 19, 2012. Released to public domain.

A zip file with this tutorial is below.
Attachments
TutLayeredTerrainTex.zip
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TutLayeredTerrainTex_A1Pic.jpg
Last edited by Finis on 19 Sep 2012, 20:26, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Multi-Layered Terrain Texture in TS 7.6 Model Side

Post by Finis » 19 Sep 2012, 19:34

Images by Finis Miller, Sept. 19, 2012. Released to public domain.
Attachments
TutLayeredTerrainTex_F1.jpg
TutLayeredTerrainTex_F2.jpg
TutLayeredTerrainTex_F3.jpg
Why assimilate a species that would detract from perfection? -- Seven of Nine

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Re: Multi-Layered Terrain Texture in TS 7.6 Model Side

Post by Finis » 19 Sep 2012, 19:36

Images by Finis Miller, Sept. 19, 2012. Released to public domain.
Attachments
TutLayeredTerrainTex_F4.jpg
TutLayeredTerrainTex_F5.jpg
TutLayeredTerrainTex_FA1.jpg
Why assimilate a species that would detract from perfection? -- Seven of Nine

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