Types Of Textures Research

Since texturing is the next stage of my developing my 3d skills for use in a video game I decided to research into the different types of textures as well as the layers that make up a final texture.

Normal Map

This is a technique that is used for faking lighting to give a texture depth, for example, bumps and dents. The reason this map is used is because it can add more detail to a prop without increasing the polygon count of the model. The way it works is that it stores a direction at each pixel of the model meaning these can be placed to imitate detail by having lighting and shadows.


Specular Map

Putting it simply a specular map is what is used to alter the textures shininess and highlight certain colour areas so that they are either more visible and give depth to the model. Another aspect of this map is that it shows the different pixels in different colours to represent the different levels of lighting in that part of the texture. This makes it easy to alter the lighting and make parts separate from one another. When looking at what the specular map is I came across a good youtube video that explains the basics of how to create a specular map.

Specular map example

Metalness Map

This map is pretty self-explanatory as it is used to make certain parts of the textured model look as if they are a metal material. This is done using black and white. The colours of the model which are white are the metal parts, the parts which are in black are not. This helps to add realism to the model, making props look more believable. For example, a sword blade would look silly and fake if it didn’t have the metal map as it would not have the shimer and roughness of metal.


Base Colour

The base colour is simply the actual texture which is used for the model. The map is then used on top of it so that it can contain more detail.

Base colour.png

Occlusion Mapping

Similar to the normal map, the point of the occlusion map is to simulate soft shadows that appear in the cracks and curves of an object. this helps to make the texture more 3d and prevent it from appearing flat. It also helps to separate different parts of the model from one another. A good example is on a brick wall. The occlusion map will help separate the bricks from the mortar so that they stand out and don’t blend together from a distance. This would usually be added after the final render of the model in photoshop.



The albedo map, also known as the diffuse map is the basic colour of the texture. for example the red of a brick texture. The user can then adjust the shadows and highlights of this colour.

aledo example.jpg

PBR Workflow

PBR, also known as physical based rendering, is a process that the user has to go through manually where they remove the light from the texture. This is a longer process but the majority of the time creates a better outcome as it gives the user more control on where they want the lighting to be. It is done using a combination of the previous maps.  The final result is more accurate to what the user desires than the other texture processes available. Here is a good video on what PBR Workflow is.


Mini Brief: Pride and Joy Concept


The aim of this brief is to create either a hanger, a garage, or a dock with a relevant vehicle shown taken apart, being repaired. For example, for the change, a jet would be a good choice. As well as this a pet must by shown near or on the vehicle, awaiting the return of the owner. The environment must be cluttered with things found in that place as well as show the personality of the owner and as if it has been life half way through repairing the vehicle. The final outcome would be in the form of a 3D model. Not only was this project about expressing my perspective skills but also about give a narrative to a piece so that it gives a backstory or a reason on why it is designed that way.


To start off my sketches I drew small little thumbnails of different ideas for this brief. This included different environments as well as different vehicles. I also wanted to try drawing different perspectives. Even though I can change the perspective when on the 3D side of this project I felt like doing this would give me a better understanding of how I wanted it to look as well as what items looked best where.

Final Idea and Sketches

These thumbnails gave me lots of different ideas which I could then use to start my initial sketches. I decided that I wanted to proceed with the garage task for this project and started drawing the different props commonly seen in this place as well as the possible vehicle that could be placed in the garage. I went out and got the reference from my garage of what the environment would look like when it has not been kept looked after. I finally decided that I wanted a Baja as a vehicle in my garage and that it would be on a car lift so that it was more convincing and that parts could be removed from the vehicle.


I also decided on a perspective for my final render after drawing multiple different angles of the garage. This would then be shown in the final render of my environment. When deciding my perspective I took the rule of thirds into consideration. I know that my Baja would be in the centre of the garage meaning that the final render had to be from a diagonal so that it would position the Baja at one side and still show lots of props.

Photo Bashing

To help me visualise my final outcome I went into photoshop and made a photobash which included the basic elements that would make up my garage. I tried to do this in the perspective which I had decided upon so that it would give me a clearer understanding of how the final render would look and what props would be visible. When doing this I found that I had to change the shape of the garage as the shelves could not be seen, therefore I moved them on the back wall so that they could include more props.

Garage Photobash

Grey blocking

Before creating my 3d render I went into SketchUp and blocked out the environment including where I would roughly like the props to go so that the filled out space. As well as this I was also able to use the label tool in Sketchup so that I could easily see what each prop was meant to be and where it was meant to be.

3ds Max

Using my sketches I then went into 3ds Max and began modelling. I started off with the vehicle as this is the largest and the focus of the render. I created all different props which would be commonly seen in a garage such as a workbench, a toolbox, and storage boxes. These props would also be duplicated to fill out more of the space of the garage. The pet I decided on was a cat as they are known to linger and considered loving. This would help with adding to the narrative of my piece.


For my garage I wanted it to appear as if the owner had been working on the Baja but was unable to complete it and had not done for some time. Shown by the accumulation of different tools and boxes. To help with this I added a plate of food half was eaten and a drink to show that the owner had suddenly left and never returned. This is further shown by the cat as he appears to be laid down under the Baja, waiting for the return of the owner.


When adding the props to my environment I noticed that the position of some of the objects had to different from my grey blocking so that they were either visible in the final render or so that they looked like they belonged. I decided not to include some of the props such as the lights and the generator as the position of them would not be in the final render. Also since I knew that I wanted the render to appear as if the sunlight was entering through the garage door I felt like I didn’t need to make the light as it would not be on.  I also used a debris maker script so that I could include leaves which appeared to have blown in from the front door. Making the garage look dirty and unused.

Final Render

My final render used lights to give the effect of sunlight entering from the exterior and was then rendered using a camera positioned in the place I decided in my sketching stage of the project. This also helped give light on the props at the back of the garage which are less visible The final render ended up being a slightly different perspective to what I originally decided upon as a realized that a lot of the props and the door could not be seen in that view.

Final Render


With my final render, I wanted to create a presentation sheet, similarly to what I have done with my past projects. This will allow a viewer to easily see how I got from the beginning to the end of this project. It also showed everything neatly and only contained relevant information, including what added to the narrative.

Pride and Joy Development Sheet


For this project, I paced myself well making sure I had the relevant sketches completed before moving into the 3d so that it would make it easier for me to imagine the final render and know what would be in my final environment. This is certainly one of my favourite pieces that I have done so far, as I have paid more attention to detail making sure that it contained lots of props that filled out the entirety of the area yet didn’t look out of place. Even tho the final piece of this project was a render I’m glad that I created a presentation sheet as it matches the recent projects I have done and helps me to maintain a theme. This is beneficial for me in my portfolio.



3ds Max: Improved Props

To help with my skills in 3DS Max I wanted to go back and revisit some of the props that I made in the first semester. Instead of going straight into the 3D software I began this small project by drawing out the props I wanted to create. This way I could break them down into the key component as well as visualise them in perspective.


The first prop that I decided to create was the cart as this was one of the first 3D props that I made. I began by drawing out the cart in perspective as well as breaking it down it to its components. This was fairly simple as it was mainly made up of boxes.

Scan_20170330 (8).png

IN 3D I could easily create this and since last time I have learned lots of new techniques that meant I could make it more realistic. This included the bend modifier. I tried to include more detail with this version and think about how it fits together. For example, I created individual planks that make up the cart as well as the wooden planks that lay underneath the cart, connecting it all together. With the first attempt at this I simply placed the wheels on the side but with this version, i connected them to the under the beam.

Final Render.png


Similar to the cart I also recreated the square shield that I did about also decided that this would b e more of my own design rather than from a reference. I drew out the shield in the shape that I wanted it to be as well as with all the components that would make this up.

Scan_20170330 (9).png

I think that my first shield wasn’t too bad considering I just started, however, this version looked more polished and professional. It may differ a lot from the original design however I like this as it is more of my design rather than just copying from an image. I’m glad I decided to redo these props as I feel like ti helps show my progression. This is something I will then do again in the future to show more improvement.


First Time Texturing

Using my previous model that I made based upon a telephone, I had the task of adding texture to it so that it was realistic. To do this I created a UV map. This was simple as all I needed to do was go into 3ds Max, add the UVW modifier and then use the flatten filter. This laid all the faces of the model out for me to view. By clicking on each individual face of the model it showed me the corresponding part in the UV map.


I then took this into photoshop where I could add a texture using the uv as a guide. I went into google and found an image of a grey plastic so that it showed the correct material of the telephone. I used this in photoshop to then texture my uv map. So that the texture didn’t appear to big I made sure I choose one with a scale of 1024×1024 and then scaled it down in photoshop. This meant that I could multiple the texture across the entire map so that the pattern was small and only visible up close.Once done I added an LCD display so that this part of the phone was not plastic. This could then be simply added as a material in 3DS Max and then rendered.

Overall I feel like this isn’t bad for my first time texturing. However it certainly could be improved. If I were to spend more time on it I could add multiple textures to the different buttons and even a better LCD display.

textured phone.png

Low Poly Telephone

In 3DS Max I had the task of modelling a telephone based upon pictures that I had taken of a real life one. The telephone had to be as close to the real scale as possible and have as low poly count as I could get them.

This task was fairly easy as I only needed to use two boxes. One for the phone, and one for the base. The buttons and indents would be added using the connect tool and the bevel tool. I also used the technique from the hard surface modelling task and added a chamfer to the phone so that the corners were not as harsh.

Final Render.png

I found this task very interesting as it allowed me to find new ways to complete tasks and minimalize my poly count. I was also able to grow more confident wth the bend modifier in comparison to the previous projects as I found new ways that it could be used so that it bends different parts of a shape. I used this modifier for the actual phone itself.

Hard Surface modelling

To improve my 3D skills further we were provided with the task of hard surface modelling. What this means is making it so that when a texture is applied to a model, corners are not so harsh and are less visible. We did this by finding an example on the internet and trying to replicate the result.

For this task, I decided to a floor. I found a picture on the internet that I liked and recreated it in 3DS Max. To remove the harsh corners I added chamfers to all the 90-degree angles so that they where moe rounded and smooth. This was the easiest and quickest way to hard surface the model ready for texturing. I only recreated part of the floor since it is a recurring pattern.

This is something that is extremely helpful depending on what it is that I am modelling. For example with my previous project, the motorbike, I don’t think this would have helped so much as there were a lot less sharp angles. However, it is perfect for environment models.


Low Poly Model


For this task, I had to recreate my computer that I have at home. This included the computer itself, the monitor, and the mouse and keyboard. The only limitation I had was that each model could not be more than 256 polygons. This was fairly easy as most of the components were samples boxes with insets and bevels.

The hardest to create was the keyboard as the buttons caused the poly count to exceed 256. After a while of trying to lower this, i was able to get it down to 240. The mouse I am fairly proud of even though it was easy to create. I simply used an FFD to gain the rough shape and then used a turbo smooth which gave me the exact shape of my computer mouse.

As the final poly count (including rendering items)  is 447 that means all the items are far below 256 polygons




Mini Brief: Motorbike

Starting this project I was given the task of modelling a motorbike. However, I couldn’t just go on the internet and find one that I liked. I had to go out and find a bike which I could then take pictures of and use later for reference. The reason for this is because it gives me real world experience of the source material that people in the gaming industry have to get and how they have to get it. It also meant that I could get up close with the vehicle, giving me a better idea of how each part fits together.

With these reference shots, I then Identified the bike so that I could go on the internet and gain even more images that would help me model this bike. With these, I then began my model by drawing out all the different component of the model. I did this in a way so that I could model it all separately and then bring it all together. This way I would be able to concentrate on one part at a time without other pieces being in the way.

Using my sketches I began 3d modelling. I made all of the pieces using cylinders and boxes. This was to ensure that I was using quads at all times. To create the correct shapes I used a technique which I had previously learnt from my Iron project which was to use the FFD modifier. This allowed me to easily create the shapes I needed for the bike. A little trick I used when creating my model was to allocate different material numbers to different parts of the bike. For example, the bodywork would be green whereas the wheels would be blue. The reason I did this is so that it was easy to separate all the pieces from each other.

With my model finished I rendered it in multiple ways. I made a rotation sheet so that all the sides were visibly seen. I then rendered two other images which showed just the bike, which I could later go in photoshop and texture over the top, and the other so that I could add realism to the bike. I rotated the bike and moved the side stand so that it appeared like it was properly stood up.

I also created a development sheet so that it was clear how I started this project and how I got to the final model.

development sheet

This project has been the largest that I have done so far and I have used a lot of techniques learnt from past projects. A good example being the use of the FFD modifier to shape the panels. However, there are some techniques that I have learnt which I didn’t find too helpful with this project. One of the most recent techniques that I had learnt was to chamfer corners so that they weren’t as sharp when it came to texturing. However because of the shape of my model it meant that I didn’t have any corners which needed to be chamfered as most of the bike had either straight or rounded panels. Overall this project has allowed me to increase my 3d skills. I am glad that I had one of the harder models as it enabled me to push my limits and caused me to plan out how I was going to create this model.

Presentation: Experimenting with Rendering

To improve my presentation in showing off my work that I create in 3D I practised rendering the model using different approaches. I experimented with the materials, trying to find a colour which made the model clearly visible and eye-catching but still subtle enough so that the details can be seen. For example, I wouldn’t use bright pink as this would be unbearable to view.

I also used various different lighting techniques which involved me changing the position of the lights as well as changing a number of lights on the model. For the background I originally used a chambered cube, however, this showed a crease line, therefore I then decided to use a cylinder as this would give me a smooth background. The smooth background was necessary so that the shadows cast from the model, showing the depth of the model.

Finally, I multiplied the model and rotated it so that I could then create a final render showing the prop in all angles. Then I changed the background colour for this render so that the model clearly stood out from it and so that if I wanted to I could remove it entirely in Photoshop. This was then taken to Photoshop so that I could create a professional design sheet to show off my model.


Practising rendering has given me a better understanding of the better ways to present my work in the best lighting as well as the best materials. Comparing the final render to the first render that I did I can clearly see the different in presentation as the colours appear more uniform and show that the model is finished whereas the multiple colours of the first render make it look like a work in progress piece.


Developing 3D Skills: Iron

For this task, I was randomly given an object to 3D model. This object had to be based on its real life counterpart sitting on the table. The model had to be as close to the real-life piece as possible and only needed to show the detail of that. What I mean by this is that since the iron was stood upright, there would be no need to model the bottom of it as it can not be seen.

I started off this project by drawing the iron in multiple different perspectives so that I could identify the key shapes that make the Iron. I then began to break it down into its core elements which included a drawing of it from the front, back, and sides. Then drawings of the handle separately and all of the buttons separately. The reason that I did this is because these items would have to be modelled separately, therefore, it makes sense to draw them in advance so that I don’t need to try to visualise the object on its own.


After finishing my drawings I began to 3D model the Iron. I found that the easiest way to gain the shape of the iron was to use an FFD Box modifier since the iron was curved in two directions. To make this easier for myself I only did one-half of the iron and then mirrored it as this would give me an exact copy so that both sides lined up.

I Then created the handle using the bend modifier as this allowed me to easily curve a cylinder into the correct shape. I had to adjust the vertex’s so that it aligned with the front panel smoothly and didn’t look out of place. I found that the best way to gain the shape of the handle was to just create half of it as if I had done an 180-degree bend it would be too rounded and cause me more hassle. By creating just one half I could adjust the length and shape which then gave me more of an oval shaped handle when I mirrored it. The mirror tool benefitted me a lot with this project and has certainly increased my thought process with the beginning stages of the project as I feel like I try to think of the easiest solution before creating the work unlike what I have done in the previous projects where I start and then realise how I can do it more easier.


Finally, I created the buttons and the lead for the iron. These were fairly simple to create as the buttons mainly consisted of bevelled cylinders and bevelled cubes.I made sure with the cylinders that I was only using quads, I deleted the inner polygons of the caps and replaced them so there was no tris. The lead was made using a cylinder which I added the bend modifier to 180 degrees and then mirrored to gain the complete ring. The reason I did half is because I wanted it to sit as closely to the Iron as possible and this was easier If I did it piece by piece. I then mirrored the lead multiple times and slightly moved them so it looked like the lead had been wrapped over itself multiple times. The plug was simple to create and I used another mirrored lead which was attached to it and then hidden in the bundle of lead.


The mirror tool benefitted me a lot with this project and has certainly increased my thought process with the beginning stages of the project as I feel like I try to think of the easiest solution before creating the work unlike what I have done in the previous projects where I start and then realise how I can do it more easier. As well as this I feel like I am slowly getting better with the program as I am starting to understand more of the modifiers, especially the FFD. If I didn’t use that modifier I doubt I would have been able to complete this project. The finished render came out really well for this project and I have tried to keep the Iron to scale as much as possible using measurements which I made off of the real life version.

When trying to improve my presentation in Creative Futures I improved the materials used for my iron aswell as the lighting and the background. This was to make it look clean and finished. I went for a light orange colour so it looked like a clay model, subtle, but would stand out in a bunch of images.