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Kizza

Texture creation

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Hi all,

Making fairly good progress on getting some decent rendering results.

I've been tinkering with some textures and have a couple of basic questions.

Please see attached file.

1) Is there a way to tell VW the direction to "wrap" the texture around the wall? In the attached example I would like to have the paved pattern to continue over the top of the wall. VW appears to treat the top as a separate element and fills it accordingly.

2) The brushed aluminium texture runs both horizontally and vertically within the same line of text. The text objects are extruded polylines (grouped). How can this be fixed?

3) I want to create some of my own textures. What PPI setting is regarded as optimal (balance of speed and quality) for the source texture image? Most VW textures seem to be 72ppi which is fine for screen viewing (90ppi would be better though) but for presentation prints I'm thinking 150-300ppi?

Edited by Kizza

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3) I want to create some of my own textures. What PPI setting is regarded as optimal (balance of speed and quality) for the source texture image? Most VW textures seem to be 72ppi which is fine for screen viewing (90ppi would be better though) but for presentation prints I'm thinking 150-300ppi?

It is always hard to get a straight answer about this one, as there are a lot of variables. Basically, you want the texture to look good at the size the object it is applied to is rendered at in the final image (confusing?). This is my (limited) understanding of it:

Say you want to make a leaf texture for a model of a tree with 6" leaves (real world/actual size) and you'll print your finished scene on a 2' x 3' sheet. If the tree is in the background (far away), each leaf of that tree is actually going to print at about 1/8" in real world units. Pretty small. Your original texture does not have to be super high resolution to still print at a fairly high resolution (150 dpi to 300 dpi for most prints). But if your tree is right in front, close to the camera, that same leaf will appear huge and the actual size it prints at may be 4" or 5" inches. So you'll need a much higher resolution texture based on that.

Or say you have a brick texture, 10 bricks wide by 10 bricks high. You tile it across a 40 ft. building. Then print an image of that building on a 2' x 3' sheet. That forty foot wall is actually about 20" long on the printed sheet. Count out ten bricks on the wall and see how big they are. Probably about an inch, if you're lucky. So you want your original 10 brick texture image to have a resolution that will look good at 1 inch when printed at 300 dpi (so in this case, that would be an image 300 pixels long. I think.)

Now I don't know about you, but I almost never know where a texture I'm creating is going to eventually wind up in a scene, so it's very impractical to follow that guideline/logic. So just pick an average resolution that will work for most circumstances (unless you're specifically making a texture for a foreground object, then make it way high in resolution). All of this has to be balanced against what your hardware is - can your computer handle high res images? Can your rendering software? And how many textured objects are in your scene - a few, or thousands?

About 10 or 12 years ago, the average size image texture which covered most situations was 256 pixels square (or in the longest direction, if not square). That wouldn't bog down the hardware and the software of the day.

About five years ago, the average size went up to about 512 pixels.

Today, most average image textures are 1024 pixels. Most setups will handle that fine. I work with images that are 2048 x 3072 sometimes, but probably wouldn't go much higher than that except for special circumstances. I have seen high end renders where 5,000 to 6,000 pixel images were used. But you better have the hardware to handle it. Usually only a pro. In general, most of my textures I limit to close to 1024 pixels in the longest direction for the best balance between quality and speed.

And don't think of the image textures in terms of 72 dpi or ppi and 96 dpi or ppi. That's more for printing. Images for textures are usually based on straight pixels to determine resolution quality (open the image in Photoshop, go to "Image" > "Image Size", under Pixel Dimensions the Width and Height fields should be set to "pixels", you want that number to be 256 or 512 or 1024 in the longest direction (it doesn't have to be one of those exact numbers, but in that range). Under that there is Document Size, that's where the Resolution comes into play. It usually is set to 72 ppi. If you deselect "Resample image" and change that to 300 ppi, you'll notice the Pixel Dimensions don't change, but the Document Size Dimensions do (in inches, or whatever), they'll go way down).

I personally don't think I'd try using a texture image in Vectorworks above 1024 pixels, and preferably 512 pixels. It just can't handle what programs like Cinema 4D or Maya or Studio Max can handle. I find when dealing with Vectorworks, if I design for 10 year old video gaming standards, it works just about right (I'm not being snide in that remark, just practical/realistic, it just isn't up to modern day standards. By a long shot. But hey, I still love it.)

Hope that helps. And I wan't totally confusing to you. And I'm no expert, so someone else may have a better explanation.

Monadnoc

Edited by Monadnoc

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Thanks for your reply Modnac.

I think I'll keep my textures at 150dpi for general use. And I'll create a hi-res version for detailed renders.

Edited by Kizza

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What Monadnoc is saying is that the dpi (ppi) is the wrong number to be considering as it only tells half the story, the other half being the dimensions. 1" wide at 150ppi = 150 pixels in width. 1' wide at 150ppi = 1800 pixels in width

The correct variable to consider is the pixel size and from the above something in the range 512px or 1024px wide is generally optimal.

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Thank you for the answers there guys

Now how about the other 2?

I have been having problem with walls and wrapping of textures in genral, but I notice the walls have BUGS by the look of all the other posts on here.

1) Is there a way to tell VW the direction to "wrap" the texture around the wall? In the attached example I would like to have the paved pattern to continue over the top of the wall. VW appears to treat the top as a separate element and fills it accordingly.

2) The brushed aluminium texture runs both horizontally and vertically within the same line of text. The text objects are extruded polylines (grouped). How can this be fixed?

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The correct variable to consider is the pixel size and from the above something in the range 512px or 1024px wide is generally optimal.

Exactly.

And if you plan on printing at 150 dpi max for all your prints, now and in the future, then I would say 512 pixels is more than adequate. That would allow you to print an object using that particular texture at a real world, paper size of 3.413", or smaller. If it was larger than that, then at a print dpi of 150, that part of the print will look lower/blurry/pixeled/like crap. However you want to say it. To find that "magic number", in the Photoshop Image Size dialog box, enter 512 under Pixel Dimensions Width and Height fields, enter 150 under Document Size Resolution field, and the number that shows up in the Document Size Width and Height fields is the maximum size that texture/image can be printed at to be 150 dpi. Don't forget to de-select "Resample Image". If the Document Size Width and Height numbers are way bigger than you'll ever print that image at, then you're just wasting image data and memory. Reduce the Pixel Size. If they're way too small, then you need to increase the Pixel Size numbers. By going back to the high res original you had the forethought to save. Because once you reduce Pixel Size, you lose image data, and just turning the number back up won't get it back.

Hope that clears things up.

Monadnoc

Edited by Monadnoc

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If I may add my 2 cents worth...

The Maximium Texture Size and Number of Texture Units per material is determined by your graphics card

As you can see in the attached

by the way, 16,384 is one honkin' texture size

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What Monadnoc is saying is that the dpi (ppi) is the wrong number to be considering as it only tells half the story, the other half being the dimensions. 1" wide at 150ppi = 150 pixels in width. 1' wide at 150ppi = 1800 pixels in width

The correct variable to consider is the pixel size and from the above something in the range 512px or 1024px wide is generally optimal.

I understand the size/ppi relationship, but seeing that textures usually are just repeated patterns then one would assume that the physical size of the texture image would be relatively small.

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Sorry Kizza, I'm not following your logic here.

The larger the pixel count the better the texture will render for any given image and any given tiling size.

Remember, the texture's ppi and the ppi of the rendering are independent.

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but seeing that textures usually are just repeated patterns then one would assume that the physical size of the texture image would be relatively small.

Compared to the original size of the object, say a brick. As you're aware, a brick texture needs to be created to scale.

If you create a basic brick texture, sizing at approx 50% of real world size and at 72ppi seems to hit the mark - see attached.

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Hi Kizza,

I see where the confusion is

Firstly image textures are created as tileable squares so you're brick texture should represent a square of wall rather than a single brick.

Let's imagine you decide to choose 1 brick wide and 3 bricks high to represent your square you can then create an square tileable image that will repeat successfully at perhaps 150ppi.

Once done, save then downsize the image to be 512 x 512 pixels.

It doesn't matter at this point whether the image is 3"x3" at 150 ppi or 6"x6" at 72ppi or for that matter 512"x512" at 1ppi it's the pixel count that's important.

When you create your texture in Vectorworks you set that single tile to represent the real world size (eg 19.295").

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Hi Kizza,

I see where the confusion is

Firstly image textures are created as tileable squares so you're brick texture should represent a square of wall rather than a single brick.

Thats correct. Whether a brick texture or a fabric texture, it needs to be tileable. There are plenty of tutorials available on the net to explain the process on how to create a tileable texture.

Let's imagine you decide to choose 1 brick wide and 3 bricks high to represent your square you can then create an square tileable image that will repeat successfully at perhaps 150ppi.

If you are resizing the image (and not resampling), this is where you need to decide the pixel count - here.

Once done, save then downsize the image to be 512 x 512 pixels.

It doesn't matter at this point whether the image is 3"x3" at 150 ppi or 6"x6" at 72ppi or for that matter 512"x512" at 1ppi it's the pixel count that's important.

If you re-size the image (in photoshop) then that would be the case. However, if VW reduces (in size, not pixel count) and tiles the texture image in a render, say a rendered wall, then your pixel count could be too dense, hence increasing render time and file size. Unless VW Resamples the texture somewhere in the render process.

When you create your texture in Vectorworks you set that single tile to represent the real world size (eg 19.295").

One still needs to be aware of what the target pixel count should be when creating the texture.

Edited by Kizza

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OK, now I'm getting confused.

The ppi Resolution is irrelevant to the original texture creation, that's really just for printing or scanning images. I wouldn't consider the texture image a "Document", it's a piece of an imaginary, eventual Final Document. A small piece. Literally. So the "Document Size" fields are secondary info, they are really there just for reference. Although you can effect the Pixel Dimensions using the Resolution settings and having "Resample Image" checked, like you're doing. I just find that a more indirect way of manipulating the image data, hence a little awkward and more confusing. The only numbers that matter concerning texture resolution are the Pixel Dimensions Width and Height. See my above post for the explanation why. You'll notice that by changing the Resolution with "Resample" checked, that's all it's doing - changing Pixel Dimensions. The Document Width and Size is only cueing you on the max dimensions that texture can be showing up on the final print and still display at the listed ppi. It can be smaller with no problem. But if it prints at a surface area greater than the Document Size Height and Width then it will be at a less ppi than displayed.

You certainly can adjust your pixel numbers/resolution any way you want, either using the ppi setting w/ Resample Image, or directly in the Pixel Dimensions field w/o Resample Image. Both will get you the same results. But the only numbers that have any meaning at this stage of the game are the Pixel Width and Height. Texture Images will always be listed by pixel dimension when referencing resolution. It is independent of print settings and applies universally to all situations and programs.

Just out of curiosity I went and checked some brick texture sizes floating around on the web.

Google search = range from 140 x 140 px to 1000 x 1000 px, with most in the 500 px to 600 px range.

Arrowway Textures (the best there is) = 690 x 580 px for their free Lo Res and 2500 x 2100 px for their Hi Res commercial version.

CG Textures (the second best there is) = 700 x 700 px for their free Small size, 1600 x 1600 px for Medium (Premium/paid members only) and 3200 x 3200 px for Large (Premium/paid members only).

What size textures you use really depends on the quality you're going for, your hardware (especially memory and graphics card) and how well your software program handles large images.

Again, for VW I think 512 px or 1024 px on average will work the best in most situations in general (how's that for committing to a stand).

Monadnoc

Edited by Monadnoc

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See attached

How then, does VW handle the tiling of the texture? Does it create multiple copies of the texture image? Or does it use the texture as a source, and then duplicates the source - similar to multiple copies of a symbol reduce file size?

Edited by Kizza

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See attached

How then, does VW handle the tiling of the texture? Does it create multiple copies of the texture image? Or does it use the texture as a source, and then duplicates the source - similar to multiple copies of a symbol reduce file size?

I'm not sure, but I'd guess that it handles it similar to a Symbol, in that it holds just the small single texture image in its memory and then duplicates/instances it across the entire surface. That's why tiled textures were originally used vs. one full size texture to cover an area - it cuts way down on file size/memory requirements. Although it usually doesn't look as good. A trade off.

But maybe someone with more knowledge about it can explain the process better?

Monadnoc

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I'm not sure, but I'd guess that it handles it similar to a Symbol, in that it holds just the small single texture image in its memory and then duplicates/instances it across the entire surface. That's why tiled textures were originally used vs. one full size texture to cover an area - it cuts way down on file size/memory requirements.

If that is the case, then most of my concerns regarding image sizing are unfounded

Edited by Kizza

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edit

texture images need not be square

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If that is the case, then most of my concerns regarding image sizing are unfounded

I wouldn't say that. Even with tiling, textures take up memory, so it is well worth creating them at an optimum size to avoid "wasting" memory on resolutions you don't need.

Monadnoc

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