How Do I Shade / Texture Stuff?:
Shading Workflow Overview
By Neil Blevins
Created On: Nov 12th 2013
Updated On: Nov 19th 2016
So this lesson discusses my workflow for shading / texturing
models. This topic is of course huge, so consider this an overview.
I've added links to specific tutorials on specific techniques, and
check the Shading / Texturing section of my CG Education
page for further lessons on materials and shading. But this lesson is a
good place to start.
If you'd like a video version of this lesson, please consider buying my
And Texturing Gnomon DVD, the first part of the DVD is me going
over in greater detail a slightly older version of the same material
This workflow is the process I go through when shading any sort
of object, regardless of whether its a character, vehicle, set, or
prop, hard surface or organic, maya, max, xsi, this workflow is pretty
much the same no matter what software you choose (I use 3dsmax as my
main example software in this lesson, but all the theory applies to
maya and every other 3d app and renderer out there).
Most of us when
texturing are doing something similar to this workflow instinctively,
but the nice thing about laying it all out is it may help you make more
informed decisions on which techniques to use for what objects. There
are many, many ways to go about texturing cg models, and rather than
choosing one technique and trying to use it for every situation, there
is value in using a number of different techniques, ones that are
better suited for the specific situation. At many companies, they have
decided to UV and then paint everything. Which is fine, but they're
missing out on a lot of time saving methods like Blended Box Maps,
Procedurals and Projections. This article hopes to show that there are
lots of methods for shading, and using many instead of few has a lot of
Here are the basic steps of my shading / texturing workflow...
Now lets look at each stage one by one.
- Visual Details List
- Splitting Details Into Shaders And Patterns
- Splitting Patterns Into General and Specific Patterns
- General Patterns
- Specific Patterns
- General Pattern Placement
- Specific Pattern Placement
- Pattern Storage And Texture Baking
- Pattern Creation
- Light Rig
- Final Material
Go To Part 2...