TurboSquid 3D Modeling Blog

3D Modeling

TurboTips: A Guide for PSD Structure

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by

Photoshop is the most commonly used program in creating textures for 3d models, but what about the customer who needs to edit these textures ?

The majority of TurboSquid customers edit the textures of a model after purchase, and more often than not, they are using Photoshop to do so.  Letting the customer know that a well-organized PSD is included with your model can make it more attractive to a customer (and potentially increase sales).  In this edition of TurboTips, we’ll show you how to structure a PSD for easy use.

When a material uses several bitmaps in different channels (Diffuse, Specular, Normal, etc.) the bitmaps should be placed in a PSD file, with each texture map on a separate layer, organized for easy workflow.

PSD1

In the PSD file, use folders and Copy Merged rather than collapsing layers. Using folders and Copy Merged is to work non-destructively, allowing you to use a group of layers as a single layer, instead of collapsing. Copy Merged allows you to paste a flattened or merged copy of your selection allowing you to keep the original layer composition unchanged.

Using Copy Merged makes texture modification much easier if it needs to be edited it the future, or if the model passed on to another artist. Photoshop’s History can only go back so far and once you close the program, you are stuck with the saved changes.

psd2

Folders also allow you to clean up and organize the PSD for easy navigation, or moving groups of elements.  The Photoshop file folder organization should be broken down into texture specific maps:

  • Main folder names should be the full word, abbreviation, or representing letter of texture map (EX: Diffuse, Diff, or D). Keep the naming consistent for all maps in the PSD.
  • Subfolders within the main Map folders should be used when necessary for organization. For example, multiple grunge layers should be put into a folder called Grunge inside the folder.

psd3

All Photoshop layers should be named short, descriptive names, so that others would be able to quickly identify layers and edit them. (See images for examples.)

We strongly recommend that you NOT use the PSD file for texturing the model directly. Save out the individual bitmap files in a format such as PNG. Name each file with a descriptive suffix, referencing which map it is.

Calvin Bryson is the Senior Technical Artist at TurboSquid, and a 3ds Max expert.  If there are any topics you’d like to see in a future edition of  TurboTips, let us know in the comments below, or Tweet your question to @TurboSquid with hashtag #TurboTips.

TurboTips: Optimizing Render Speed

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 by

Tick, tock… if your render is taking a maddeningly long time, we’ve got a few tips to help you speed up the process, in this edition of TurboTips.

There are many places where your settings can be optimized to speed up your render time. Decreasing the render time will make the model easier to work with (and it can even be mentioned in the model description to attract customers). Some of these are minor settings that don’t affect the model’s quality, and others are a trade off between quality and speed.

These small changes should always be kept in mind, so here are few things to think about when trying to optimize a render. While the examples use 3ds Max, these concepts apply to all 3d Modeling packages:

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TurboTip: Quad Cylinder Cap Plug-in for 3ds Max

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 by

Welcome to TurboTips: where we give you quick tips that will make your 3D modeling easier, cleaner, and better.  This week, we’re taking a look at a Quad Cylinder Cap Plug-in for 3ds Max.

quad_cap_example

Vertices or poles with more than 5 edges can cause a variety of issues with a 3D model. Using these vertices should be avoided whenever possible, especially on curved surfaces, because they can cause render issues, edgeflow problems, and can cause the model to break when distorted. (more…)

TurboSquid Releases Major Revisions to Terms of Use

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by

Documents like licenses, privacy policies and other related terms of use have historically been overly complicated for those that are most affected by their content. We, at TurboSquid, recognized that not only were our policy documents difficult to understand, but that as the industry has changed, so must the guidelines that govern participation within it.

Today we are releasing significant revisions to the terms related to publishing and purchasing content via TurboSquid.

The ultimate goal of these changes is to simplify the verbiage without sacrificing the content or coverage provided to artists, customers or our core business while incorporating changes based on this ever-evolving industry and the often unexpected lessons learned from our 13 years in the business.

Links to all of TurboSquid’s Policies are available at the newly created “Policies Page” available at http://support.turbosquid.com/entries/28757878.

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The Great TurboSquid Holiday Gingerbread Throwdown

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 by

gingerbreadBefore our Squids trek back to their respective homelands for the holidays, our amazing HR department worked tirelessly to bring an early holiday bash to the Squid Tank. Last week’s festivities included a filling lunch at Red Fish Grill, soothing massages from Balance Massage, holiday bartending tips from Ralph & Kacoo’s, holiday film favorites, ornament arts-and-crafts, and the star of the show: The TurboSquid Gingerbread Throwdown.

Our staff was divided into teams and issued one challenge: create the best gingerbread house, to rule them all. Each team was handed a box of graham crackers and an assortment of candies, though they were allowed to bring extra decorations from home to aid their creativity— and they didn’t disappoint. (more…)

Meet Susan de la Houssaye, Human Resources Coordinator

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 by

Susan de la Houssaye toasts to TurboSquid!

In this week’s Meet the Squids, we’re talking to Susan de la Houssaye, Human Resources Coordinator at TurboSquid.   While her daily to-do list is varied and plentiful (and probably impeccably organized, as you’ll read below), Susan also monitors the many resumes that flow into the TurboSquid inbox.  If you’ve applied for a job with us, it’s very likely that your resume passed through her hands first.  Read on to find out some of Susan’s handy resume tips– as a former Career Counselor, she definitely knows how you can get the attention of her fellow HR folks.

 

What’s a typical day at the Squid Tank like for you?

Every day here is different. Some days I’m making travel plans, preparing for a new hire to arrive, doing pre-screens over the phone with potential candidates, posting job openings, contacting headhunters, working on expense reports, signing checks, sending wire transfers, ordering lunch for a department meeting, preparing for a company meeting or a board meeting, and the list goes on.

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