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How to Generate Texture Maps

from a Single Image


(in 8 easy steps)

Mostofthetime,realisticsurfacesandrendersrequireyoutohaveafairnumberof
texturetypesuseddfifuse,specular,displacement,roughness,etc.However,ifyouhave
noaccesstospecializedsoftwarelikeCrazyBump,Knald,Bitmap2Material,andthelike,
thiscanbeaproblem.

Inthisbrieftutorial/article,Illshowyouhowyoucanuseoneimagetextureandgenerate
commonlyusedtexturemapsoutofitusingBlendersCyclesmaterialnodes.However,
thetechniquespresentedherearealsoapplicablewithothersoftwarepackages.

Bytheendofthistutorial,youshouldhaveabasicunderstandingonhowtomanipulate
imagetexturesusingavarietyofnodetechniques.

Optional downloads

starter.blendfile
finished.blendfile
woodplankstexture (externallink)

Available formats

websitearticle
YouTubeVideo(comingsoon)

Software used

Blender2.74
Cycles

Ready?Letsgo!
1 Basic Material Setup

Tostartoff,prepareasimpleDiffuseandGlossymaterialmixturewithanimagetextureas
diffuseinput.Notprettyatthemoment,butwellimprovethisinthenextsteps.

2 Creating Diffuse Gradient

Thisstepistotallyoptionalbutaddingitcanaddthatbitofrealismtoyourshader,atleast
formepersonally.)

Createthegradienteffectonthediffuseshaderbyusingan RGBCurves
(Add>Color>
RGBCurves) nodetodarkenthebasecolorand mix (Add>Shader>MixShader)
this
withtheoriginaldiffusenodeusingaLayerWeight (Add>Input>LayerWeight)
as
factor.



3 Creating the Specular Map

TheSpecMapisatexturetypethatdictateswhichpartsareglossy/specularbasedonthe
grayscalevaluesthatithas.FortunatelyinBlender,thisisaseasyasattachingan
RGBto
BW (Add>Converter>RGBtoBW)
node tothebaseimageandcontrollingtheinfluence
witha
ColorRamp node (Add>Converter>ColorRamp).

4 Adding Physically-based Shading

Inreality,nonmetallic/dielectricobjectsandsurfacesproducemoredefinedreflectionsat
grazingangles,alsoreferredtoasfresnelreflectance.

Usingtheinformationwehavefromthe LayerWeightnodeinstep2,wewill
subtract
(Add>Converter>Math)thevaluewiththeSpecMapgeneratedinstep3.

WewillthenusetheoutputofthisnodesetupastheFactorinputfortheMixShader.This
achievestwoeffectsinone:
fresnelreflectanceand
specularitymap.

5 Creating the Roughness Map

ThismapbasicallytellsBlenderwhichpartsoftheshaderhasroughglossysurfaces.To
dothis,simplyaddanother
ColorRamp nodeandusethesame RGBtoBW nodethatwe
usedinthepreviousstepsas
Factorinput.

AttachtheColoroutputofthe
ColorRamp
nodetothe
Roughness
inputofthe
Glossy
BSDF node.Wenowhaveapseudoroughnessmaskthatwecantweakhoweverwewish
viatherampsoftheColorRampnode.

6 Creating the Normal Map

Itworksmorelikeaworkaroundcomparedtowhatyouwouldnormallyachievewhen
usingdedicatednormalmaps,buttheeffectsarerelativelycloseandindistinguishable.

AddaBump node(Add>Vector>Bump) andattachthe


Value
outputofthe
RGBtoBW
nodeintoits
Height input.Toseetheeffectsontheshaders,connecttheNormal
output
intothe
Normal inputsofthecorrespondingshaders.

7 Creating the Displacement Map

Derivingthesametechniquespreviouslydiscussed,wellbecreatingthematerialbump,
ontopofthealreadyexistingnormalmaps,forevenmorerealism.

AttachtheValueoutputofthe
RGBtoBW nodetoa
ColorRamp nodeandadjustthe
sliders,creatingacompacttransitionfrompureblacktopurewhite.

Adda
Mathnodesetto
Multiply
andattachittothe
Displacement inputofthe
Output
node.Thevalueinthesecondsliderdictatesthismapsintensity.



8 Creating the Cavity Map

Inconjunctionwiththedisplacementmap,thistypeofmapwillimplyeffectslikedustand
dirtforminginthecrevices,occlusioneffect,andthelike.

Adda DiffuseBSDF nodeandsetittoclosetodarkgray(orsomethingsimilar)andmixit


viaaMixShader nodewiththeexistingshadermixture(DiffuseandGlossy)thatwehad
earlier.

Nowwejustneedtospecifywhichpartswillhavethecavitymasks.Adda ColorRamp
nodelikewedidin
step7
andinsteadofusingpureblackfortheleftcolorslider,usea
grayishcolor.



Andfinally,connectthe
Color
outputofthe
ColorRamp
nodetothe
Factor
inputofthe
MixShader .

Conclusion

Theprocedures,techniques,andworkaroundspresentedhereareonlytouchingthe
surfaceofwhatispossiblewithnodes.Incombinationwithothereffectslikescratches,
surfacedusts,andthelike,thiswillbeapowerfuladditiontoyourworkflowasanartist.

Ihighlysuggestyoutoexplorefurther,breakdownwhatIhavepresented,andeventually
comeupwithsomethingmoreintuitiveandeffective.

Ifyoulikethisarticle,spreadtheword,leavemeacomment,andshareitwithyour
friends.

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HavefunandhappyBlending!:)

Reyn