Blender 2.5: Creating a UV Texture

Exclusive offer: get 50% off this eBook here
Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering — Save 50%

Bring your 3D world to life with lighting, compositing, and rendering

$23.99    $12.00
by Aaron W. Powell | October 2010 | Open Source Web Graphics & Video

Many times, objects contain numerous attributes that define how they look, and they're not always perfectly uniform in relation to the object. For example, a used paint can would have paint dripping down the sides of the can—if we were creating this can in 3D, we'd have to tell Blender that there is a specific spot on our 3D mesh that contains different attributes than the rest of the mesh. This is where UV mapping comes in handy. UV coordinates are, in simple terms, a two-dimensional representation of the texture coordinates of a three-dimensional object. They allow us to tell Blender specific properties about specific areas of our objects in a scene.

In this article by Aaron W. Powell, author of Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering, we're going to talk about creating custom textures for our scene and how to bring them into Blender. We will learn how to create a custom UV map and texture for an object in our interior scene.

 

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Bring your 3D world to life with lighting, compositing, and rendering

  • Render spectacular scenes with realistic lighting in any 3D application using interior and exterior lighting techniques
  • Give an amazing look to 3D scenes by applying light rigs and shadow effects
  • Apply color effects to your scene by changing the World and Lamp color values
  • A step-by-step guide with practical examples that help add dimensionality to your scene
        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Blender, see here.)

Before we can create a custom UV texture, we need to export our current UV map from Blender to a file that an image manipulation program, such as GIMP or Photoshop, can read.

Exporting our UV map

If we have GIMP downloaded, we can export our UV map from Blender to a format that GIMP can read. To do this, make sure we can view our UV map in the Image Editor. Then, go to UVs | Export UV Layout.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Then save the file in a folder you can easily get to, naming it UV_layout or whatever you like.

(Move the mouse over the image to enlarge.)

Now it's time to open GIMP!

Downloading GIMP

Before we begin, we need to first get an image manipulation program. If you don't have one of the high-end programs, such as Photoshop, there still is hope. There's a wonderful free (and open source) program called GIMP, which parallels Photoshop in functionality. For the sake of creating our textures, we will be using GIMP, but feel free to use whatever you are personally most comfortable with.

To download GIMP, visit the program's website at http://www.gimp.org and download the right version for your operating system.

Mac Users will need to install X11 so GIMP will run. Consult your Mac OS installation guide for instructions on how to install.
Windows users, you will need to install the GTK+ Runtime Environment to run GIMP—the download installer should warn you about this during installation. To install GTK+, visit http://www.gtk.org.

Hello GIMP!

When we open GIMP for the first time, we should have a 3-window layout, similar to the following screen:

Create a new document by selecting File | New. You can also use the Ctrl+N keyboard shortcut. This should bring up a dialog box with a list of settings we can use to customize our new document.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Because Blender exported our UV map as an SVG file, we can choose any size image we want, because we can scale the image to fit our document.

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. Vector graphics are images defined by mathematically calculated paths, allowing them to be scaled infinitely without the pixilation caused when raster images are enlarged beyond a certain point.

Change the Width and Height attributes to 2000 each. This will create a texture image 2000 pixels wide by 2000 pixels high. Click on OK to create our new document.

Getting reference images

Before we can create a UV texture for our wine bottle, which will primarily define the bottle's label, we need to know what is typically on a wine bottle's label. If you search the web for any wine bottle, you'll get a pretty good idea of what a wine bottle label looks like. However, for our purposes, we're going to use the following image:

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Notice how there's typically the name of the wine company, the type of wine, and the year it was made. We're going to use all of these in our own wine bottle label.

Importing our UV map

A nice thing about GIMP is that we can import images as layers into our current file. We're going to do just this with our UV map. Go to File | Open as Layers... to bring up the file selection dialog box.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Navigate to the UV map we saved earlier and open it. Another dialog box will pop up—we can use this to tell GIMP how we want our SVG to appear in our document.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Change the Width and Height attributes to match our working document—2000px by 2000px. Click on OK to confirm.

Not every file type will bring up this dialog box—it's specific to SVG files only.

We should now see our UV map in the document as a new layer.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Before we continue, we should change the background color of our texture. Our label is going to be white, so we are going to need to distinguish our label from the rest of the wine bottle's material. With our background layer selected, fill the layer with a black color using the Fill tool.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Next, we can create the background color of the label. Create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer button. Name it label_background.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Using the Marquee Selection tool, make a selection similar to the following image:

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Fill it, using the Fill tool, with white. This will be the background for our label—everything else we add with be made in relation to this layer.

Keep the UV map layer on top as often as possible. This will help us keep a clear view of where our graphics are in relation to our UV map at all times.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering Bring your 3D world to life with lighting, compositing, and rendering
Published: November 2010
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:
        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Blender, see here.)

Adding text

We're almost there! All we need to do is add some text. Before we do that, though, we want to make sure that our text is centered with our image. To do that, we need to add Guides in GIMP. To create a Guide, simply click on one of the rulers to the side of our image and drag.

Move the Guide until it's positioned 1000 pixels from both sides. We will use this to align our text.

To start, we need to create some title text for our wine bottle. For this tutorial, we are going to use the name Henrietta Blue. We want to create a feeling of elegance, so let's look for a font with curves and serifs. We're also going to want to use a different color for the word Blue to emphasize it, so we're going to have to use two separate text layers for the title—unlike Photoshop, GIMP doesn't support using multiple colors on one text layer.

Using the Text tool:

  1. Click within our image to add a new text layer.
  2. Type the word Henrietta.
  3. Change the font size to 68.
  4. Change the font color to black.
    Now we need to change the font to one that suits our needs. Change the font to the one you choose earlier—in our case, I'm going to use Didot Italic.
  5. Change the font to Didot Italic (or the font of your choosing).
  6. Move the font so it matches the position in the image below.

Save often!

Before we continue, we should save. Make frequent saves to avoid losing work. In GIMP, go to File | Save As and save the image as UV_texture.xcf. XCF is GIMP's extension for files, comparable to Photoshop's PSD file type.

Now let's continue...

Now that we're sure our file is safe, let's continue. Duplicate the Henrietta text layer and move it over so it's on the opposite side of the Guide. Our image should now look like the following image:

But, remember our wine is called "Henrietta Blue", not "Henrietta Henrietta". Using the Text tool again, edit the text of our new text layer so it reads Blue. Then, change the color of the text to a blue hue—we can use the hex value #49a4e3.

Next, we need to create a logo for our wine brand. For this logo, we're going to use the design found on the flag of the Republic of Kosovo—make sure it's downloaded from the website at http://www.cgshark.com/lighting-and-rendering.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Now that we have our "logo", we need to import it as a new layer into GIMP. To do this:

  1. Press File | Open As Layers.

    Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

  2. Navigate to the folder where we downloaded the "logo" image.
  3. Press Open.

Now we can see that our "logo" has been brought into GIMP as it's own layer! Let's position it so it's directly below our Henrietta Blue text. To do this:

  1. Make sure GIMP's Move Tool is selected and click and drag our "logo" until it is positioned underneath our Henrietta Blue text, centered with the image.
  2. If needed, use the Scale Tool to make the logo smaller, so that it fits within our whitespace.

Our last step is to add what kind of wine our bottle contains. This can be whatever you choose—for the sake of this lesson, we're going to make it champagne. Using the text tool, create a new Text layer with the word "champagne", written in all-caps. Adjust the font so it's a nice serif font, like the one below.

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Now all we have to do is position it properly and we're done! Using the Move Tool, position the word champagne so it's centered underneath our logo.

Summary

In this article we've created a custom UV map for our wine bottle. We used custom-made textures and mapped them to the wine bottle's UV set.


Further resources on this subject:


Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering Bring your 3D world to life with lighting, compositing, and rendering
Published: November 2010
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

About the Author :


Aaron W. Powell

Aaron Powell is currently studying 3D Digital Graphics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since joining the Blender community in 2005, Aaron has worked as a freelancer and tutor to students through one-on-one meetings and online tutorials, and since 2008, his primary focus has been on digital lighting techniques in both Blender and Autodesk Maya. In his spare time he manages the increasingly popular blog, CGShark.com, where he hosts Roland Hess's "The Essential Blender" book on PDF. Blender users can constantly find him plugged into the community through the forums at BlenderArtists.org and CGTalk.com, as well as on Internet Relay Chat under the username "blndr08".

Books From Packt


Blender 3D 2.49 Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery
Blender 3D 2.49 Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery

Blender 2.49 Scripting
Blender 2.49 Scripting

Blender 3D 2.49 Incredible Machines
Blender 3D 2.49 Incredible Machines

Blender 3D Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery
Blender 3D Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery

PrestaShop 1.3 Theming – Beginner’s Guide
PrestaShop 1.3 Theming – Beginner’s Guide

Moodle 2.0 First Look
Moodle 2.0 First Look

Agile Web Application Development with Yii1.1 and PHP5
Agile Web Application Development with Yii1.1 and PHP5

OpenCart 1.4 Beginner's Guide
OpenCart 1.4 Beginner's Guide


No votes yet
Can we stay in SVG by
To do this editing, would there be any advantage to staying in SVG and using a vector editor like Inkscape?

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
x
f
Y
6
d
c
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.
Code Download and Errata
Packt Anytime, Anywhere
Register Books
Print Upgrades
eBook Downloads
Video Support
Contact Us
Awards Voting Nominations Previous Winners
Judges Open Source CMS Hall Of Fame CMS Most Promising Open Source Project Open Source E-Commerce Applications Open Source JavaScript Library Open Source Graphics Software
Resources
Open Source CMS Hall Of Fame CMS Most Promising Open Source Project Open Source E-Commerce Applications Open Source JavaScript Library Open Source Graphics Software