I am going to run through how I make textures. This is my method and there are probably better ones out there. If anyone wants to tell me a better way of making textures please email me at the address at the bottom. :)
Note anything in itallics is a layername and (23,23,32) is an RGB colour. The brush opacity required changes as well. I have used something like 46% on this texture but it really depends how dark your background is. Its something that needs playing with until you get a feel.
The advantage of this method over previous ways I worked is that the basic colour of the texture can be changed without changing all the shadowing and rust. This is especially useful when working on German vehicles as they appeared to use camo just to annoy modellers.
I am going to be texturing a section of the front of my Universal Carrier. These are basically Bren Gun Carriers. This has a basic lime green wash over the whole thing for no real reason. It was started a long time ago when I didn't know what I was doing.
Now lets look at the model in Oxygen. I have isolated the region that I will be texturing and hidden the rest. There are some objects in front of the actual plate I am texturing. I will include these on the texture I make so that in lower resolutions the model will still look as if they exist without me doing any extra work. Its a lazy way of working but that suits me fine. For lower resolution LODs I can simply delete the water container but the texture will still show something there.
Notice how I have highlighted the plate in the background. This gives me information that is useful. Now - the great secret that Marfy revealed. Press the PrintScreen button to place the screen on to the clipboard. Start up your art package and open a new document. Photoshop automatically opens a new image to the size of the image stored on the clipboard. If PSP does not do this just open one up the same size as your display (the default for mine is 1024 x 728 for instance)
Once you have the base image in your paint package you can use it to create the blueprint of your texture. Make a new image 256 x 256 - or a more suitable size and cut and paste elements from the printscreen image into this. I paste a section in and then change its size using 'transform scale'. Basically just make parts fit the space efficiently.
Place all the elements you need here to be able to texture the area. For my texture I am going to need some side and top views of the container. Often this means you will have to go into Oxygen and highlight something else and PrintScreen again. What you are looking for is a blueprint in your paint package that lets you see all the structures you will be painting. This image took 4 printscreens to build but gives me everything I need to make the texture.
One thing to note here is that it is easier if you manage to get everything from Oxygen at the same scale. That means I tend to only use the 'front' window and then select a face and use the 'look at face' button in the front window. This will keep every element you put in your blueprint at the same scale. Remember to tranform tham all the same amount when you are moving them around.
Now I have 5 layers here. I normally use a lot of layers so things can rapidly get out of control. Once the blueprint is laid out I normally trim off the white or grey areas a little, finally reposition areas and combine into a single layer which I call blueprint. I highly recommend naming layers as its the only way you will have a clue whats happening when you go back a few weeks after making the texture. Occasionally I draw on this layer what the different parts are so that I can work on them again after a long break. For instance if the elements join - like on a mudguard I will draw arrows on so I know which end joins to which. Its just a way of making it easier to maintain in the long term.
Lets begin with the texturing.
I always use a base colour. I have a soviet base green. A Western allies base green and a dunklegelb for the germans. Photoshop has something called 'swatches'. This is basically a predefined palette. I have added a number of colours to this so I can get matched colours every time. One other thing to note that OFP seems to make bright colours even brighter. Its surprising how dull a colour has to be to look good in game.
As I am working on a British vehicle I go to my standard british green RGB(47,53,35) and make it brighter. This means that in the normal colour picker I select a colour to the upper left of the one I have predefined. In this case I end up with (71:58:77) but thats just to give you an idea of how much difference between the base colour and the hatch colour.
Make a new layer. Call it hatch. Now the name is not important. It was just on all my tank textures there was always a hatch and this name has stuck. I now use it on every texture - even houses as I know immediately what should be in that layer. It represents an surface above the main surface. Like a hatchcover, a panel or a windowframe.
So we have hatch and we have a lighter version of our base colour. Lets do some painting. Simply paint the areas of your texture that are raised from the main surface.
Notice here I have made another layer called hatch2 this was because there was more detail vertically. As a guideline, the higher a surface is from the base surface the lighter it is. The colour of the areas in hatch2 is lighter than the colour in hatch
OK, lets make a new layer called base. This layer should be directly on top of the blueprint layer. Select your base colour (from a predefined 'swatch' or from your palette ideally) and name this new layer base. Fill in all the areas to be textured.
Now you will end up after doing this process with some layers. In this texture I have 3 - base, hatch, hatch2. I do not include blueprints as it has now served its purpose we do not need to refer to it again. The next step is perhaps the most important part of the tutorial.
At this point I used to work on the layers. If I wanted a darker area I would use the 'burn' tool (PSP users - it just uses whatever brush you select to darken an area. You must have something similar). This produces results that will look the same as this when its finished. The problem was if you ever need to change the texture colours later - imagine if someone says 'Can you do a Winter camo?'. You have to start again. So, the golden rule now is:
NEVER EVER CHANGE ANYTHING ON base, hatch, hatch2. These are your templates for the future.
Lets introduce the weathering layers. Lets make 3 more layers. They are called weathering, h1 weat and h2 weat. Place weathering above base. Place h1 weat above hatch and h2 weat above hatch2.
Now select black and a soft edged brush. Turn opacity down to about 46% and brush size down small. Select weathering and begin to apply some dark areas. Areas at the bottom are darker than areas nearer the top. On this texture I also have some areas that will be in shadow. Look at the image to see what I mean.
If are are following this tutorial making a texture of your own you may find that the white background is a little distracting. It can also throw nasty pink and white highlights on your textures when you get them into oxygen. I think we will add a new layer. I call this one basewash. It goes directly above the blueprintslayer and should be a colour similar to your base colour but different enough so that you can see the outlines of your detailed work in Oxygen. Just floodfill this whole layer with a dark green (in this case). I find it makes things easier to work but its up to you.
This vehicle is British. Much more than other nations the British seemed to like rivets. These are best applied in a layer all of their own. I also place all bolt heads in this layer as well. The rivet layer. Make a new layer called rivet above everything else. Take your base colour and change it so that its very very light. Take a brush that has quite hard edges and make opacity 100% and just place round blobs everywhere. In his tutorial Marfy recommends making a single rivet - applying shading and cutting and pasting it everywhere. I dont do this but that could be an option for you. Apply the rivets where you source material shows them.
A lot has happened to this texture now. I have added a backwash green. I have added the rivets and I have also added an extra detail to the face place which was on my source material but not on the model. I can add it using textures, its only a hinge. If you look at it you will see that I have added a part in hatch and another part in hatch2 then placed 2 rivets over the top. Well, the rivets look rubbish, almost cartoonish at the moment so lets return to our weathering. Remember - our brush is soft edged with an opacity of 46% and black. Rivets collect shadow and drips form from them in vertical surfaces so that gives us something to work from.
Here I have added some detail to weathering, h1 weat and h2 weat. Notice how things are beginning to take shape. The rivets still dont look quite right. I need to darken then. I want to leave a bright spot in the upper middle but darken the edges and bottoms. Also, some of the rivets are on places on the vehicle where they should be a lot darker. I am therefore going to break my golden rule. Its only for the rivets layer. In Photoshop its called a 'burn' tool. I dont know what the PSP equivalent is but there must be one. In the rivets layer just 'darken' the edges and make the detail fit with the area around it.
Its beginning to take shape now but lets be realistic. There is some shading over a basic paint. This texture covers a metal surface that is outside. That is exposed to scratches, dust, and water. Lets add some more layers. I will have to edit this a little from my normal naming scheme as mud + stuff is not quite what I normally use but there might be children reading so I'll keep it clean. This layer owes a huge amount to Marfy and as I will be using his colours he gets a mention. mud + stuff uses 3 colours. Place them into your palette or swatch. They are mud1 RGB(60,53,45),mud2 (102,94,80) and mud3 (126,120,101).I use a single layer here but Marfy recommends 3 each colour on a single layer. I am too lazy for this.
Lets take a few moments to think about mud. When mud is wet it is darker. It dries lighter. On a vertical surface like the one I am texturing the top will be drier than the bottom. We will concentrate on keeping the top of this layer lighter than the bottom. Now I normally place mud + stuff above everything else. Do this and take a soft edged brush, make it small and select the darkest mud - mud1. I amde the opacity 46% here so that I could get a visible effect. Once you have coated the bottom go to mud2 and do the middle. You are looking for blobs of colour here. Areas where water runs, places that could get splashed with mud or where feet go. Once you are happy with this use mud3 to pick out areas with dry mud - almost as a highlight. I have added a temporary layer here so that you can see what my mud + stuff layer looks like.
Now you see that its not solid blocks of mud colouring, its a thin wash to create effect. Heres what the texture looks like now.
Lets add some rust. We do this through 3 colours bright orange (247,148,29), red/brown (123,46,0) and grey/brown (54,47,45). When steel rusts it forms a dark reddish brown patch. As water runs over it is leaves an orange stain where it has been deposited by the flow of water. The actual rust is red but the stain is orange. Lets make a new layer called rust. Place this layer under mud + stuff It should be the 2nd layer from the top. Again with the soft brush at 46% apply the orange colour all over the surface. Look at the picture below, it looks like theres just too much orange.
Change colour to the red/brown and start to move over the orange areas. Just do the places where you think there is too much colour and blotch some other palces as well. The OFP engine does not like big areas of colour. Its better if you add a few slight discolourations here and there. After adding some red/brown use the grey/brown to finally tone down to your finsihed rust. I also use this to mottle the large areas of base that are still visible. Again I have added a temporary grey layer so you can see what's going on.
And now the final texture. Well I could add a bit more detail on the water container so we will. It should have the words 'WATER' written on them. Now adding the detail is easy but which layer do we add it to? If its not obvious which layer to add to (remember earlier when I added a hinge detail to hatch and hatch2 - an obvious choice) add a new layer. The text will be applied to the surface of hatch so we add the new layer directly above hatch. That means that the shadowing done in h1 weat will be applied to this layer as well. In order to let us know why the layer exists I have called it h1 detail
The final result.
After a few minutes in Oxygen we can see what the texture looks like on the model
Not too shabby, then all you have to do is select another area in Oxygen, Printscreen and start all over again.
Any problem with this, any suggestions, even any donations :) please contact me at scousejedi_AT_antispam__blueyonder.co.uk. Just replace the _xxxx_ with @. Its pathetic but I get so much junkemail now its silly. Also, I have mentioned Marfy in the text a couple of times. Just in case you don't know his work is of professional standard and he has a couple of tutorials out there that have really taught me a lot. You can find his stuff out at Marfy's Site