To painters and texture artists of NR2003: A new way to paint

Discussion in 'NR2003 General Discussion' started by Mystical, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    I was gunna just toss this in the general section random thoughts thread but I figured its too important to hide it from those that may not see it so figured why not just make a demonstration thread to inform the painting community here. This thread is going to be a bit technical and while not a tutorial at all I wanted to show a quick breakdown of how I got here and what I did. The best way to sum this up without wasting everyone's time is back in the day Photoshop had introduced a 3d mode that allowed to you paint on a 3d model you imported into the program. To this day its still pretty unruly and does not (in a timely fashion) produce that great of a result when you need pinpoint accuracy and image quality. There was a tutorial here about that method but it never caught on much since the method was more painful than just doing it manual and getting your logos across a hood without trying to fight photoshop with stretching or pixel issues: http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/tutorial-painting-on-3d-models-in-photoshop.30140/ I can almost guarantee both new and old painters still paint the traditional 2D way and don't bother with this 3D mode save very very few. Even father back these was a program called NRStretch that would allow you to import a texture and it would make sure the design lined up on the original cup mod. It was very basic though but one way to have a design that didn't look all cut off on every edge.

    Well I'm happy to say today in this age of wonderful 3d and design programs the technology is here to do just that: Paint at a professional level on high poly 3d models in a 3d space in real time without having to paint on your 2d UV unwrapped texture checking to see if the lines lined up on the UV's. If you want to skip the first half thats not super NR2003 related then just go past the red line. First section wanted to go over the application of the principle and how powerful the tools are.

    So I was playing around with that gun I modeled and showed pics of several weeks ago: http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/your-random-thought.53807/page-133#post-736523

    Well some things have changed since then in terms of my approach and workflow. I discovered the wonderful world of voxel sculpting/modeling/painting and it has completely overhauled the way I think about modeling high poly ... in the sense I no longer have to manually create a high poly smooth mesh as the program (3D Coat) does it for me. Where polygons are restricted to hundreds of thousands of verts, voxels go into the millions and are like clay which you can mold and pull around and the mesh and will auto-update to it. Long story short I can now simply model my low poly in-game model in my favorite 3d application (maya) then just import to 3d coat and literally do the rest: Auotmatic UV's, high poly mesh, normal maps, and textures.

    As a quick example I took just the receiver and baked a 1024x1024 resolution normal map then applied a simple metal material to it. Even at the low 1024 resolution it turned out great. I purposefully added in the dents and patches so I could see if the normals were indeed working.

    [​IMG]

    In a matter of minutes since everything is done on layers just like photoshop I changed the texture of the gun and slapped an anime chick on it (yes decals and anything you design can be added as textures to a model):

    [​IMG]

    ================================================================

    So that is very exciting for me when it comes to video games that I can mod that have normal, metalic, displacement, ambient occlusion, curvature, and specular mapping with them. But what about NR2003? Do these new 3d painting programs such as 3d coat and Substance Painter offer any new ways to paint a car or quickly texture a model for a NR2003 track? As we all know NR2003 literally has no mapping except the simple Color and Specular. For painting cars all you have is color, specular is primarily used for 3do's on NR2003 tracks. Sure we can throw in bump mapping for renders but that is not actually seen in NR2003 the game itself. The quick answer is yes and yes with flying colors these new programs work great for NR2003 projects.

    I did the same thing above that I did with that gun and then slapped the same anime chick on the hood. It's literally taken me longer to type this entire post than the literal 5 seconds it took me to make this base in 3D Coat:

    [​IMG]

    Not only can you add decals to your car in areas where the UV's overlap and the program knows how to split it apart on your 2d texture but you can also paint like you would in photoshop and even use a curve tool to make designs like flames or other shapes. Not only this, unlike photoshop, you can save the curves you've designed (aka pen tool) like a flame design and reuse it later or manipulate the handles to make easy variations. All on layers, all in real time, all in a 3d worldspace. No more 2D flat painting to try and connect up hard to make bases. As proof here's a raw 'final' version of that base I output from 3D Coat and finished up in my 2D program:

    [​IMG]

    I did this base really lazily too and with the power of adding decals and materials you can make complex bases in a matter of minuets that would take hours in a 2D editing program like Photoshop. Don't worry the program even has the blend modes like photoshop as well so if you needed to paint something specific or mask out a certain section of the model to avoid painting on it you can as well. I hope this demonstration was useful to some. I know for me with a combination of 2D painting and now 3D I'll be able to make bases much easier when it comes to strictly NR2003 stuff. For those who are curious the two programs I personally own that do this type of thing are:
    -3D Coat: http://3dcoat.com/home/
    -Substance Painter 2: https://www.allegorithmic.com/blog/substance-painter-2

    Now I need to leave a note saying yes, these programs are great but as with any tool they are only as good as those who wield it. These tools are at a very professional level and it takes a bit more than just wishful thinking to make stuff. Having the proper skill and knowledge to paint good car bases would still be required. These tools offer extremely easy ways to get around certain time consuming processes for skilled designers though. This is not to say that 2D painting is done for either, its still very much a useful way to painting and apply the final decals on a car instead of in the 3d program. The 3d way just offers a very awesome method to make hard to design bases that cross over many UV's islands in really weird distortions and sizes.

    I hope this demonstration proved worthwhile. I know for me it will be a very valuable method just with NR2003. For the other games I mod it will of course be super awesome. However, with NR2003 making those harder bases that have huge logos, lighting, repetitive tiling, and so on and so forth will be a breeze now.
     
  2. James76

    James76 Well-Known Member

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    Nice to see the new technologies being applied to the old stuff :)
     
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  3. Alan Harkleroad

    Alan Harkleroad SRD Site Administrator Paint Crew Admin

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    So do you have a video on how to do this? I tried the 3d once and it didnt come out crisp so i went back to 2D
     
  4. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    Were you using 3d coat or the photoshop version? As far as I know the photoshop one has always produced weird results, I haven't really touched that method in years. For 3d coat you can set your texture resolution just like you would with a template. So anything around 1024x1024 or 2048x2048 (recommended) would produce the best results with images. In 3d coat on the paint section on the top bar you can go to Edit > Set Texture Resolution

    [​IMG]

    Once finished you can output all your color layers in a single psd file which also retains all alphas which is awesome so you had a logo it will be alpha already and you can extract it from that PSD to any other projects you had for a car.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  5. Alan Harkleroad

    Alan Harkleroad SRD Site Administrator Paint Crew Admin

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    PS, never tried 3D core. Will have to give that a whirl
     
  6. Josh Mertz

    Josh Mertz #JB17

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    Glad to see someone else uses the 3d method. I used this for BR2011 to apply signatures on my cars when they split the roof rails.
     
  7. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    Yeah 3D Core is leaps and bounds better than the 3D mode photoshop has to offer. Photoshops 3d mode is a mini version of what the true 3d paiting programs offer today. Here is an exmaple of using a Doritos logo all over the car:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the Doritos layer in png format that I ouput (make sure to save as in full resolution, was for BR15 Chevy mod):

    [​IMG]

    So if you want to import it into your paint program and render it out to see the quality you can. I think you will be quite pleased with the results in the simple fact in a matter of seconds I slapped a logo over all the hard sections of the car that would take forever to line up and deform. You can continue to have better and better resolution with the logos of course with the higher your texture output and of course the logo you use.
     
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  8. Alan Harkleroad

    Alan Harkleroad SRD Site Administrator Paint Crew Admin

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    How do I get the model in and so forth is what I need to know on where to start. And is that Core3d or 3DCoat you are showing as an example?
     
  9. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    My bad a typo, meant 3D Coat yeah. As for the model you can import it as an OBJ file. If you have 3ds max I believe it can export the car body as that (as you really only need the car body to paint on). In 3D coat when program first open it gives you a list of options. If you choose the UV unwrap one it will then prompt you to open your model. A list of import options will occur. The only really important one to select is the triangulate one. After that You'll see yourself in the UV editor mode, you don't need that since the car is already unwrapped. So just switch over to the paint tab and you should see your car model in the viewport. If you don't it may be tiny so just zoom in. 3D Coat allows users to set hotkeys and even has preset camera movements so if you are used to 3ds max it has an option for that even. I didn't mention this before but 3D coat just like a 3d program has a 2D UV editor where you could still paint in 2D if you wanted but now with the benefit of painting in a 3d viewport too.
     
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  10. oddball

    oddball Well-Known Member

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    I'm liking what I see. Would it be possible for you to set up a step by step tutorial, if that's not to much to ask for? I'm a visual learner, so seeing each step will be helpful to me.
     
  11. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    PepsiRacer4, MrDude68 and TColeman12 like this.
  12. garrett1127

    garrett1127 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this great post, and opening my eyes to something new, I do have one request though, First off, I've managed to import all 4 BR15 models into 3d coat, saved them off as a template to apply graphics onto. I just don't know or better yet, figured out how to get my logos into the program. If you could post up the steps required to get these into the program, and into the correct folder, that would be a huge help. I've viewed your video about 20 times and still can't grasp how you get logos into it.
    Also, if you view your video on youtube, it is much more clearer....for those FYI
    Thanks for all you do for us.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  13. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    To import decals its simply in the brush tab. You can create a folder or use an existing brush folder and just click the add button next to it.
     
  14. garrett1127

    garrett1127 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I'm liking this a lot. Do they need to be a cetain format, png, jpeg, psd........I actually might start doing more paints.
     
  15. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    I believe any format will work. Higher the resolution the better it will look on the model as well.
     

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