Making Textures with Project Dogwaffle
for use in 3D Rendering & Animation

   part 1 / next: part 2 / part 3 / part 4 + 5

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Part 1 - Making Textures, Painting Textures

In this tutorial we'll explore several ways and tools to make textures, for use in 3D programs such as Caligari's TrueSpace.

click to enlarge >>>

Take this simple scene for instance. A ground floor object, a small podium. Two walls in the back. One IBL (Image based light) around it.

We might want to add objects to this, perhaps a piece of fine art, a statue, a vase on display or a sculpture made of glass.

We will want to use the material editor to apply textures. We can make our own texture maps, and apply them to color channels, bump channels or reflectance info. We can leave the 3D program running, no need to exit.

Here are some of the textures we'll make:

Click on  part1, part 2, etc to jump to the corresponding section of the tutorial.
   part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 + 5

Start Project Dogwaffle

You will be promted to select the size of  the buffer. This is the drawing area, or canvas.

Enter the size (in pixels), or select a preset from the list. Note that the presets come from a text file which can be edited in Notepad if you wish to make your own presets. For example, a few square sizes such as 512x512 or 1024x1024 would come handy if you plan on making lots of textures.

click to enlarge >>>

Tip: the file is:  Def_Res.txt   and it can be found in the folder where you installed Project Dogwaffle (typically C:\Program Files\project dogwaffle )

Viewing Controls. New with version 2 are a set of 4 mini-icons in the Tools panel which facilitate interactive viewing. A set of nested boxes indicate the zoom in/out tool. Just click and drag from that icon, and you will see the white drawable canvas change size. Move the mouse to the left to zoom out.

To the left of that zoom icon is the hand icon, for panning. Use it to navigate through the image.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts for panning and zooming. Hold the Shift and Control keys down together, and drag with left button down to pan. Drag with right button down to zoom.

The 100% icon will resize the image to full unzoomed state. Large images will not always fit in the buffer window.

The zoom to fit icon to the right of the 100% icon lets you see the entire image by scaling it to fit the size of your buffer window. Note that you can grab the cornmer of the buffer window and resize it. You can then fit the image into that window.

You will find other tools such as Zoom window tool in the Windows menu, or more in the Buffer menu.

First Texture

We will now create our first texture.

Click the Filter menu, select 'Render', and select the 'Dread Plating...' submenu.

Check the 'Weathering' box, set the scale at 7, and click 'Go'.

This is part of what the created texture will look like. Click the image for more details. Note that in the titlebar Dogwaffle shows the zoom factor and which buffer we're looking at. There's a Main buffer and a Swap buffer.  We'll get to these later.

There are many plugins with filter effects which come with Dogwaffle. Some do more than one thing. This particular plugin had the weathering FX enabled, which is similar to applying the Wet paint fx after the base dread plating without weathering.

Undo and Redo - u)ndo and a)gain

We can in fact 'undo' the most recent effect. Hit 'u' for undo (or Control-Z). You will see the weathering FX disappear. Hit undo again, and the dear plating is gone altogether.

Use redo to re-apply the prior fx. In Dogwaffle, that's a shortcut 'a' for 'again'.

We should be back now with the dread plating but without the weathring effect.


Still in the Filters menu, select:

   menu:   Filters > Artistic > Tarnish...

This is a tool for a different type of weathering effect, more like wear and tear.

Select the maximum value for the slider.

Then click OK.
Apply the same effect several times. Two or three times should get you to the desired level of tarnish.
Color Emboss

It's time to add a hint of 3D embossing to this texture. Select:

menu:  Filter > Convolve > Color emboss...

This is one of the faster filters, and will show the embossing in realtime as you move the slider.

click to enlarge >>>

Wet Paint

Back to the wet paint effect. Something like this came originally as part of the weathring option in dread plating. Now we'll play with the filter directly.

menu:  Filter > Artistic > Wet paint...

The slider can be moved to left or right. To the left, darker colors are 'dripping down'. To the right, lighter colors are the ones dripping down and appearing wet.
The power of the Gradient

Now that we have essentially a greyscale image, we'll want to apply a gradient over it to colorize it.

There are several ways to show the gradient tool.  You can hit the shortcut:  "p"

or right-click on the fill tool (paint can near upper-right of Tools panel) and select Fill Settings.

There are four tabs in the gradient which control the 4 channels - Red, Green, Blue and Opacity. You could paint directly inside the colored area to change the progression of the current channel from left to right.

Or you can start by exploring the predefined gradients. There are 8 in the set.

You can also click the 'Gradients' button to choose another set.

Select gradient #4 from the default gradients set. It goes from black through red/orange and yellow to white.
Map to current Gradient

We can now map this gradient, i.e. this progression of colors, to the pixels in the current buffer.

menu:  Filter > Color > Map to current gradient

This can create many colorful results.

click the image for full view >>>

Fade Last Action
If you do like the type of effect but not the intensity of it, then you'll want to become familiar with the 'fade last action' feature. It;'s also called interactive undo. It lets you choose something that's between Undo or redo, i.e. between 0% and 100% of the most recent effect.

menu:  Filter > Fade last action...

Use the slider to change the mix between 'fully applied' and 'not applied'.

Keep this feature in mind when you apply lens flares or other FX which come too strong and you want to blend them with the image prior to the effect, to make them fainter.

click the image for full view >>>
Air Brush

Let's now manually paint over this texture. The default brush is a large airbrush. We can also select it: Right-click on the brush icon near the upper-left of the Tools panel.
Select the "Large airbrush" in the Airbrush menu.

Store Buffer

Now that we're about to experimentally and liberally paint over the texture, it might be a good idea to save the image to file. If you don't have time for saving, at least store a safe copy of the image in a placeholder. Select

menu:  Buffer > Store buffer...

The image will be copied into memory and ready for quick restoring if we need to return to that image.

Start painting. Paint some graffiti!

If you hold the mouse or pen in the right hand, rest your left hand near the 'u' for undo key.

click to view larger >>>

Fractal Particles Brushes

There are several ways to select the fractal particle brushes. They are called Optipustics, and available from the Window menu.

The shortcut is "i" - does it stand for i)ncredible?

You can learn more about particle brushes here

Near the bottom of the Optipustics panel, click the Settings... button. You can choose from presets for various types of foliage, grass, trees, waterfalls, fireworks... Additional presets are available here

Select the Grass.opt settings

Make sure the checkbox at the top of the Optipustics panel shows that it's enabled. Then start painting in the lower left corner of the image.

As you drag the mouse, particles are shooting out and changing colors against the settings in the gradient.

There are slight differences between the features in v1.2 (free) and the full Dogwaffle 2. The dark shading is a checkbox only found in v2.

Add a few flowers - there are some built-in FX brushes (not using particles. Right-click on the brush icon and select Flowery from Organic effects. (this disables particle mode)

The brush settings for the flowery brush have a random position, random hue and other attributes such as changing the size based on mouse motion speed. Set the base color for the brush from the presets or color wheels and you'll have many flowers in similar tones.
Return to the Optipustics particle brush and select other presets. Dogwillow is pretty impressive. So are pine branches. Notice how pine branches paint "backwards", i.e. in opposite direction to the mouse. You start from the tip of the bracnhes and work your way to the trumk of the tree.
This is also one of those scenarios where it's nice to be able to pan and zoom out so as to find space around the active canvas where the image is. You can draw "outside" of the canvas area, and optipustics branches from pine branches will still appear to grow into the picture from outside.

click to enlarge >>>
Save Often

Better safe than sorry. Let's save this current image. Use Ctrol+S often to save to file. Or use the menu: File > Save...

The default file format is Targa (*.tga). It supports 32-bit (with alpha). In this case we can save to 24-bit since there's no alpha in this image.
This is the texture we've just created.

click to enlarge and save >>>

Back to TrueSpace - Material Editor

It's time to map this newly created texture to a material's color channel. Switch back to TrueSpace, select the object (such as one of the back walls), click the material editor, and click on the color icon in the top of the material panel.

Then Right-click on the samecolor mini-icon.
This will show a variety of available color chaders.

Notice the one carrying the Caligari logo (in the upper right corner here), it's for a texture map. Click or double-click it.

The Color Panel of the material panel now shows empty or a texture. Right-click on the area to select another texture map. Or Left click for a different dialog and file selection method. Or click the file name button ('Caligari' in this example).

Either way, you'll now be able to select your newly created texture and use it as the texture map in the color channel of the shader.

The free version 1.2 of Project Dogwaffle can save to Targa (.tga) and Bitmap (.bmp) files.
The selected texture will appear in the color channel of the material panel.

In the 3D view or upon rendering, if it appears upside-down, you may want to rotate the back wall 180 to tilt it.

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