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Learning how to map textures in blender.

The assignment for my online course this week was to add textures to a scene that had already been composed, to make it look more finalized. The idea to keep in mind is to remove this sense of the “3D” quality of the model, meaning the very square angles and straight lines that compose the shapes. This could be made for example in this instance by distorting the 3d shapes so they look less boxy, for example by adding more polygons that are slightly misaligned to each other respectively. This would add to the impression of abandoned structures that have been worn out with the passing of time.

For this exercise in particular I struggled at first to map the textures correctly, meaning some of them when applied to a particular object would look jagged for stretched out in some areas, in part because Blender’s software does not know with precision how to apply the textures so they strictly look even every time they are applied. This is when the process of “unwrapping” comes into play. This means that the textures need to be unwrapped from covering the 3d shapes in the third dimension form to be stretched out into a 2d surface form. This makes viewing how the texture is spread out along the shape much easier, being able even to see what particular piece the texture is shown on a particular face of the 3d shape. Being able to unwrap the texture in Blender largely solves the problem of textures sometimes stretching out too much over certain parts of the shapes.

In terms of composition I tried to recreate the same temple that I had blocked out a few months earlier, but this time using only 3d techniques in blender. In this case the forest texture in the background is an HDRI image, which is basically a high resolution image that covers the entire 3d viewport, leaving a background of forest, viewable from any angle in the scene when the camera is moved. The water underneath is a simple test with me beginning to understand water properties, in terms of transparency and reflectivity. I think the characteristic that I liked the most in this case is the water color, but the reflectivity properties are a bit off. Perhaps I could be able to correct this by making the water more reflective instead of translucent, reflecting a lot more of the surrounding objects above, like the columns and the staircases submerged in the water. This would also reduce its translucency.

The general geometry of the scene was kept simple for me to see if I was able to create a simple ambience of a forest with correctly mapped textures, which I think I was able to do. I am probably going to be revisiting this scene in the future when my skills are a little more polished, and I am able to make more organic shapes like relief sculpture for example to add more interesting detail to the composition. I think though that I like the general composition and proportion of the shapes for me develop in the near future.

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