Chapter 9. Texture Painting
THIS CHAPTER COVERS various texturing techniques. It is not, however, a chapter on "how to draw." Rather, it explains how to use Maya in conjuction with Adobe Photoshop to prepare and paint your characters' textures. We also discuss how best to optimize your pages to get the file size as small as possible.
I chose Photoshop for our work in this chapter because it seems to be the industry standard; most companies I know of use it. Feel free to adapt this chapter to whatever digital imaging software you are using, or you can download a trial version of Photoshop from the Adobe Web site using the link on this book's CD.
The Photoshop toolbar shown in Figure 9.1 holds most of the tools we will use to paint our textures. These tools are generally self-explanatoryfor example, the Zoom tool allows you to zoom in and out of your imageand I'll briefly explain the others as we use them.
Figure 9.1. The Photoshop toolbar
For further information on Photoshop's tools, go to the application's Help > Photoshop Help, or press F1.
For best results when creating any 2D artwork on a computer, I highly recommend purchasing a graphics tablet. A mouse is good for work that requires more precision, but for drawing it's not a very fluid tool. Graphics tablets are also pressure sensitive, meaning you can vary the thickness of the line you are drawing by applying more or less pressure. The two main suppliers of graphics tablets are Wacom (www.wacom.com) and Nisis (www.nisis.com).
To begin, we will load in our UV snapshot and prepare the image so we can use it efficiently. We need to invert the UV snapshot so we have black lines on a white background. We can then use this as an overlay, guiding us as we paint underneath it.
The initial preparation of the image is complete now. In the next section, we'll apply the base colors for our texture.