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Thread: Blender and Texturing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Sydney, Australia

    Default Blender and Texturing

    Hi, been a watcher here for a while. I've been going through Blender tutorials recently and got carried away a little with my first project hopefully destined for Open Rails whenever. I think I have a handle on some basic modeling methods now and so I realised that the Blender UV and Open Rails specific-texturing process was a little foreign to me, so a couple of questions.

    1. For those Blender users, how do you create the DDS image? My first thought is entering Orthographic view to remove perspective, screenshot the mapped part of the mesh that has been UV unwrapped then save that as a DDS image and paint the section. Is that the regular process?

    2. Ok, when that image has been created and painted, do you just map the mesh with that DDS image then export the model with both in the same directory and it's done?

    That's about it for now, I'll attach a pic of the partial project I've been slowly edging at, feel free to let me know about any constructive critiscism and I might practice some UV texturing with some smaller models first. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018


    I usually paint my textures in a image editor (using straight lines where the edges of my mesh are supposed to be) and then unwrapped the mesh in the UV editor of Blender. I export the texture first as tga (which I use in Blender) and then make an ace file from it with AceIt. I haven't tried dds textures yet and am not sure if the MSTS exporter recognizes this, but I think it will make a reference to an ace file anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Perth, WA, Australia.


    Nice looking 81 Class there, well done.

    I'm not sure that there is a “regular process” as there are a number of ways of getting the same end result.

    I usually start with a 2D texture file that has the locomotive side, end and roof plan views already on it. I start the model with the major components like body and bogies/wheels and apply the 2D texture and unwrap it. This way the 3D model and texture 'evolve' together, over time, as the model has more details added to it. Also, once I have a body, bogies and wheels created, I can export and test in game. Despite their simplicity and crudeness, they give joy to me when I see them driving past in their underwear.

    To answer your DDS question, I would just export DDS from my 2D graphics program. Blender can display DDS, so you can use your DDS texture on the model in Blender. When the MSTS exporter creates the .S file it will use the file name of the texture you applied to the model, but instead of using a .DDS extension, the MSTS exporter will use a .ACE extension for the texture filename/s to work with MSTS. In game, Open Rails will use the DDS texture in preference over an ACE file if it finds one in the same folder with the same name.

    That being said, you may be better off using PNG between Blender and your 2D graphics program (see below for reasoning) and just export the DDS texture file when you want to view it in Open Rails.

    Rather than taking screenshots of orthographic views in Blender and pasting into a 2D graphics program you can get Blender to export the UV layout of your model.

    To do so, select all the objects in your model and press 'Tab' to go into edit mode, then go to the 'UV editing' tab. In the Editor Type select 'UV Editor'. Here you will see how the complete 3D model is unwrapped. If you have not unwrapped the model then it will probably be an unholy mess. That's not a problem, just more work to do (see below). If it is unwrapped, go to the 'UV' menu, select 'Export UV Layout' and choose the size and format, as .PNG is the only raster option it will have to be that. Import the PNG as a layer into your 2D graphics program, paint (preferably on a different layer) as desired. You could then export the 'painted' file as PNG and then use this PNG as the texture to apply to the model in Blender. That way when you are fine tuning the UV Unwrapping you are doing so on the texture that is to be used in game. If changes are made to the unwrapping you can Export UV Layout again if required and import into your 2D graphic program, make changes, export to PNG for use in Blender. Rinse and repeat. Once your model is completely textured you can export the final texture as DDS from your 2D graphics program and use that in Open Rails.

    If your model is not unwrapped then you need to unwrap it. I usually unwrap the largest parts of the model first, those that will use the most real estate like the side of the locomotive body. To do so I select all the faces on the right side of the locomotive body and cab, go into right orthographic view, press 'U' to unwrap and select 'Project from View'. Then in the UV Editor, rotate, scale and move those selected vertices to where the right side of the locomotive would be/is on the texture file. Do the same for the left side of the locomotive and then the roof, pressing 'U' and 'Project from View' when you are in the appropriate projection for that view. Once the large parts have been unwrapped work your way down to the smaller bits using the remaining area on the texture.

    I'm not an advanced user of Blender but those who are will probably use features like marking seams and getting Blender to unwrap in a more efficient manner. There is also a process called 'baking' textures that allows you use all the advanced materials and lighting features in Blender onto your model and then render the model. Blender can then apply the results of that render to a 2D texture file for use as a texture in games. I'm not at that level yet but something I aspire to do.

    Hope this helps.







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