Resolution Gate indicates the outer edge of the render.

UVs At the same location as the vertices used to help apply textures that exist in a 2D pixel based space with a set width and height. For Maya to understand how to apply a 2D texture to a 3D polygon a 2D coordinate system, called texture space is used. The UV at a given vertex is the 2D texture space position or coordinate for that vertex.  The pixel at that position on the texture map will be located at that vertex. UVs can be selected in 3D space, cannot be manipulated in 3D space, to directly manipulate UVs open the UV Texture Editor.

UV texture space refers to a coordinate system that relates pixels of a texture map to positions on a surface.  UV points represent the location of a polygon’s vertices within a UV texture space.  If polygon faces overlap within the UV texture space, they share the same section of an assigned texture.
Unfold the UVs into UV shells to define the different parts of the body eg head, arms and legs aiming to have the shells to lay relatively flat without overlapping.  The UV cuts require some planning to obtain the best unfolded result to create the best possible result between the original polygons and their corresponding UV mesh.  The polygon edge cuts are likely to result in texture mismatches along those edges and need to be located in less visible places such as under the arms and at the back of the legs.
Unfolding of the UVs to ensure the UVs do not overlap. Helping to minimise the distortion of texture maps on polygon meshes by optimising the position of the UV coordinates so they more closely reflect the original mesh.
The 0-1 UV space is visible in the Texture Editor and when loading a texture Maya will normalise it to be in the 0-1 space, making it square, regardless of the width and height.  If using one texture map for the character then it is better to place the UV shells in the 0-1 space to lose as little as possible of the texture map.  If there are multiple texture maps such as one for the head, one for the body, one for the arms and another for the legs then different UV shells can be placed into different quadrants.  Texture wrapping does repeat the texture beyond the 0-1 UV space.

Materials or shaders are small programs that determine the surface qualities of the geometry they are assigned to.

Ambient Colour represents diffuse reflections from other surfaces in the scene and can affect the contrast of the shader.

Translucence simulated the diffuse penetration of light into a solid surface such as leaves.

Bump Maps, Normal Maps and Displacements Maps are three ways to add surface detail to a model using textures.

Bump and Normal Maps alters the surface normal of an object to give the impression of surface details. They used the colour information that is stored in a 2D texture map.  The lighting that hits the geometries surface normals tells the render to alter the surface normal and it is the light that then creates highlighting, shading or shadowing.  It does not change the surface’s silhouette edge.  Middle-grey values have no effect, higher values cause peaks and lower values cause valleys.

Displacement Maps are essentially textures that deform geometry.


3DCoat is the one application that has all the tools you need to take your 3D idea from a block of digital clay all the way to a production ready, fully textured organic or hard surface model. Today 3DCoat is available to learn at 240 Universities, colleges and schools worldwide.


This tutorial attempts to cover and clarify the process of generating and applying accurate displacement maps from either ZBrush or Mudbox, to V-Ray for Maya, V-Ray for 3ds Max, V-Ray for Cinema 4D, or Arnold for Maya (MtoA).  Akin Bilgic.

There’s often a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding displacement maps and how they’re supposed to work. You’ll sometimes see artists load a displacement map onto their low resolution geometry and play with intensity and depth values until it looks somewhat similar to their high resolution geometry and assume that’s it’s as close as they can get. But with a correct workflow you don’t have to fiddle with settings or settle for ‘close enough’ – it’ll just work correctly from the start to match your high resolution geometry as accurately as possible.

We’ll first cover some of the underlying concepts behind how a floating-point displacement map works and how to recognize if you’re getting correct results. Then we’ll cover some of the common pitfalls that artists frequently encounter and how to avoid them. And finally I’ll provide the step-by-step procedures to make displacement mapping work accurately in your software of choice.


Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Triad, Complementary, Split Complementary, Analogous Colours, Double-Complement Colours, Tetrad Colours, Alternate Complementary Colours.

Trichromatic and Opponent colour Theory

Hue or chroma, proper name for a colour, the wavelength of light.

Saturation depending on its mixture with grey, ranging from grey to pure colour, the vividness or dullness of a hue, perceived intensity. Saturated colours have no white.

Brightness is the apparent intensity of light that ranges from a totally dark black or luminous white, described by its value and a perceptual evaluation that indicates whether an object appears to emit mor or less light.

Value is the deviation of a hue from white or black, how light or dar an object is, the shad of an object, the light reflection off it, lightness or the nonlinear response to luminance.

For pigment mixture colours we use:

Tint, the addition of white to a pure hue, the consequence of adding white to a pure colour is deceased saturation.

Shade, the opposite of init, with the introduction of black to a pure hue, decreasing the objects’s lightness

Tone results from the addition of black and white to a pure colour being hue plus grey.

Colour Mixing can be additive or subtractive. RGB, CMY, CMYK, HSV, HLS, HVC.

Colour symbolism and emotions

Colour Weight or perceived density changing the virtual perception of the objects apparent size.

Colour Consistency, what is white inside may not look the same white outside, our perception under different lighting conditions.

GLSL Tutorial – Texture Coordinates

The line between a flat, unconvincing texture and one that fools the viewer into thinking they’re looking at a real world object can be a fine one. Ultimately, the real secret to success lies both in working with good source materials and taking the time to modify and augment them with all the necessary associated maps that will determine how the textures behave as viewpoint, lighting conditions, reflections and so on all change. “When it comes to creating realistic materials you want to be able to keep your workflow flexible for iterations and also make sure you’re using the best quality references for the surface, whether they’re photographic or surface scans,” explains Chris Nichols. “This will go a long way to quickly setting up a texture workflow for testing quick iterations of a shader and then building on that in a modular fashion.”

CGI Moon Kit

These color and elevation maps are designed for use in 3D rendering software. They are created from data assembled by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera and laser altimeter instrument teams.


Struggling to achieve convincing results when working on textures for organic and hard surface models? Chris Nichols – Lead Texture Painter for Avengers: Infinity War at Digital Domain in Vancouver and the instructor for CGMA’s Texturing For Films/Cinematics class – offers some words of wisdom.

ADF: What’s The Foundry buying? The Tech of ADF


CG Society

Maya – Using the Layered Texture Node with alpha layers Phil Hoppes

Achieving Realistic Skin Details With Manual Sculpting in Zbrush

The pro guide to creating 3D textures:

By Kyle Peeters, Jacek Kalinowski, Janine Smith, Jan Hoppenheit, Käy Friend – Winners of Allegorithmic’s Procedural Material Contest share their tips for creating a variety of amazing textures.

Customizable Eye Texture Template for Zbrush

Disney Modeler Suzan Kim shares her, Customizable Eye Texture Template for Zbrush for stylized character artists to work with! Go download it for free with a big thanks and throw a tip her way if you feel like it:)

Landscape Smart Material

Apply the material instance to any landscapes. First layer will texture the entire landscape automatically. On top of that, you can also paint manually with other layers.  All foliage is distributed procedurally using “Grass Tool” and “Procedural Foliage Spawner”.  Not that Grass Tool does not support collision.

Modeling and texturing a current gen prop by Ognyan Zahariev

OGNYAN ZAHARIEVPRO is a Senior Lighting Artist at Ubisoft from Sofia, Bulgaria. In this post you will see Tutorial – Modeling and texturing a current gen prop by Ognyan Zahariev. A breakdown of modeling and texturing Dumbledore’s desk.

Animating Materials with Gradients

New to Materials in UE4?  You will want to have a look at this often requested skill for animating materials.


Sells 3D surface scans for digital artists in the Visual Effects and Video Game industries. Our surface scans are high resolution displacement, normal, and color diffuse .psd images.


In this article, I’m going to share with you a few UV’s tips and tricks that I’ve learned in the past two years that I hope can help you get ready for the VFX industry. If you have missed my latest articles and tutorials, check out this page! I hope you enjoy the reading.

Polyraven UV tools

The Polyraven UV tools is a MEL script for MAYA 2018 and later, which makes it easier to unwrap hardsurface geometries, and much faster to deal with the distribution and layout of the UV shells. It includes checker materials, and error checking functions, which can relatively quickly find: flipped, overlapping, incorrectly positioned and missing UVs. And many more things. It has been in development since the beginning of 2017, and every tool in it was created and iterated as the need arose for it.

How to Texture a 3D Character with Mari

Hello, my name is Javier Blanco and I’m a Spanish modelling and texturing artist. Here’s a simple breakdown of the creation process I did to create the first piece of my demo reel at Think Tank Training Centre, with Chris Nichols as my mentor.

Maya -Transferring UVs from “repair” object to animated/rigged original

If you use the standard method of selecting the objects and going to Mesh -> Transfer Attributes, then the result is a matching set of uv’s which are tied to the source object, and will be applied after deformation and skinning, meaning they will slide when deformed. There is, however a solution, which is to add them to the Original mesh node which, by default, is hidden. Once this has been achieved, you can safely delete the history on the Original node thereby severing its dependency on the source object, and applying the uv’s before any deformation thereby preventing sliding.


Working in Zbrush, these high quality alphas will be a great tool to help bring your creatures and environment to life and speed up your concept or work.  05 alphas – Human Skin, black and white .psd files, specifically created and collected with creating realistic and interesting skins.

SUBSTANCE SOURCE material library

An online library of over 2,000 varied PBR materials.  Since its launch in 2016, Substance Source has grown to a library of over 2,000 PBR-ready procedural materials in Allegorithmic’s Substance format.  The collection, which includes fabric and organic materials as well as more conventional categories like wood, metal and stone, can be used in any application that supports the .sbsar format.




How we achieved the iconic look of Blade Runner 2049

One of the most highly anticipated releases of 2017,  neo-noir science fiction thriller Blade Runner 2049 garnered a multitude of plaudits for it’s eerie, atmospheric aesthetic.  Bafta and Oscar-awarding winning VFX studio Framestore were key players in bringing the film’s environments and assets to life. We caught up with Adam Goldstein, Lead Texture Artist and Michael Borhi, Head of Texturing with Framestore Montreal, to find out more about how the team pulled it off.


The Wikihuman project is a collaborative by the members of the Digital Human League to advance the study of digital humans. For more information on the Wikihuman project, please visit their blog at wikihuman.org


Digital Tutors, Pluralsight – Easily learn Maya Toon and achieve the look of traditional 2D cartoons and comic books with over 3.5 hours of project-driven training. Ideal for beginner to intermediate users. Popular highlights include: Custom Toon Shaders; Shader Network Creation; Toon Outlines; Toon Outline Attributes; Paint Effects; Converting Toon to Polygons; Crosshatching and Stippling; Particle Dynamics; Profile Lines; Border Lines; Creases; Intersection Lines.

Autodesk – One can construct crosshatch shaders in Maya without needing any special plugins. The key trick is to use a shader in a shading network as if it were a texture. One can use the outColor of a shader(not assigned to any object) to control the linewidth or other attributes of a procedural texture that is in turn assigned to an objects shader. The attached scenefiles demonstrate some hatching techniques and can be loaded into Maya8.5 or later versions.

Hatching Shader – Non Photorealistic Rendering


Snap shot courtesy of Philip Smith

Allegorithmic develops Substance, the reference suite for 3D texturing.  The Substance suite includes the software tools Substance Painter for 3D painting, Substance Designer for material authoring and Substance B2M for image-to-material generation, as well as the ever-growing physically based material library Substance Source and the artist-to-artist exchange platform Substance Share.  With a fast-growing community, Substance has become a standard in the game industry and is rapidly expanding to the industries of Animation/VFX, Architecture, and Industrial Design.

Allegorithmic has been reimagining the process of texture creation since 2003. Today, over 85% of AAA game studios use Substance in their production pipelines, making Substance the industry standard for PBR material authoring. Substance is quickly spreading to the fields of VFX and animation, design and architecture, allowing a growing number of artists and designers to harness the power of rapid, efficient texturing and material authoring.

Algorithmic’s YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/user/Allegorithmic

m50 assult rifle step by step in substance painter

Official Extended E3 2015 Gameplay Demo – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Maya 2015 – Multi Tile UV Workflow

Interview with Fashion Historian Ivan Sayers

Invoking Venus – Animal Magnetism: attraction through fashion – Ivan Sayers

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