I fixed the lighting a bit in the scene and took a few more shots of the models, and some close ups so the detail is easier to see. 
I also took some render shots of the model with the added texture, to show that detail as well, because that model is complete too. 

Main model

Model with texture

I wanted to test out some of the external textures I had gotten off the internet on my model, just to see if I could make it more interesting with a pattern. I played around with 3 different types:
I chose to work with the splats first because having a look back at the research again, I noticed that spots are a common feature on caterpillars. I do like the flakey texture that's already on my model, it works pretty well, but I wanted to see whether I could add some of these ink splats on there as well. 
So to begin, I took a UV snapshot, took it into photoshop and added the texture onto the photoshop file. I then saved it, and added it onto the model. It was looking a bit red, so I changed the colour by altering the hue and saturation and making the ink splats green instead. I saved the file and reloaded it on the model. I wanted to have a look what the texture on the other side of the model looked like, and it was coming out really really distorted. 
I thought I could solve that by changing the texture in photoshop by altering it's size. It didn't really work though. 
I then tried the other two textures so see how they came out. It still ended up being very distorted. 
External textures don't seem to be working well, so I had a play round with the textures in maya instead. 
I went for a sort of stone look and played around with the settings for it. I applied it to the rest of the model, but it made it look like tin foil. I wasn't very fond of it. I actually think the base textures work so much better than adding these external textures in too. 
Having a think about why the textures weren't working, I suddenly realised it was because of the UV map. When I had the UV map reference on the model, parts of the map was a bit distorted. I wasn't able to fix the map, so when I try to add a texture, it doesn't work and it comes out wrong. The map is very complicated, and I couldn't fix it. I'm really happy with the base texture outcomes however. I don't think it looks bad, and the flakey reflections add to the shiny metallic base.   
The next thing to texture was the feet. I wanted to use the ramp shader to texture it, and although it didn't work the first time I tried to use it, I thought I'd give it another shot. 
It didn't work. 
I'm not sure whether it's the way I've modelled the geometry or whether it doesn't work well on polygons, but it doesn't look right so I had to stick to the method of using the shiny material texture that I've been using for the rest of the body. So I went ahead and started playing around with some dark green colours and whatnot.
 I wasn't liking how the outcome was looking so dull, so I copied the texture that was applied to the body. Having a look back on my research, looking at caterpillar's feet, I noticed that they have the same pattern and colour as the body. I however, wanted the feet to be a bit darker than the body colour, otherwise they wouldn't be distinct enough and would blend it a bit too much. 

As I was changing some of the setting around, I noticed it was too light on the inside, and that just looks strange because it should be darker on the inside, not light. So I adjusted things and made it darker. 
When I was happy with the texture, I applied it to the rest of the feet. I also added a few simple lights into the scene so I could see the textures in better lighting now that the base is nearly complete. I will probably change the lighting and set it up with more care nearer to the end. These were just quickly added in so it lights up the model a bit.
The next and last thing to texture was the antenna. 
I wanted to be a little different with these, so at first I added a sort of reflective texture. However, it was a very heavy texture, and it was taking maya a while to load it. So in order to speed things up a bit, I added the normal metallic texture I've been using throughout, and within the metallic texture, I added a sort of reflection to the base colour. It worked seemingly well. 
I then had to decide on a colour. At first I went for a sort of golden look, but when I looked at it from a distance, it wasn't really working well. 
I went back to my research to have a look at what the antenna colours usually are. Based on my research, most seem to be a dark colour, matching the sort of colour scheme with the rest of the caterpillar, so I opted for a kind of black with a tinge of dark green/grey in it instead. It worked a lot better, so I applied it to the other one. 
The base textures for the model is now complete.  
Final model with the base textures complete.
Before I start adding any external textures to the model, I want to get down the base textures and colours on the model first. 
I was happy with the colour of the first part of the body, so I applied the same texture to the rest of the body by duplicating the texture in the Hypershade and assigning it to the rest of the body geometry. 
The next thing I wanted to work on was the spikes. For the colour scheme, I really like this green/yellow combination that's happening, so I tried to stick to those sorts of colours. 
I'm still playing around with the type of metallic textures that are in maya, and the one I chose for the main spike seemed a bit too dull. I liked the sort of flake reflection that the other metallic textures gave me, so I opted for that instead. 
I then worked on the spike on the right of the main spike. I went for a sort of yellow/gold colour. I liked it, but it wasn't sitting very well next to the greenish main spike, so I changed the colour of the main spike and gave it a more yellow base tone. I also felt that the texture on the right spike was a bit dull again, so I added some flakes to that as well, and made the rest of the smaller spikes the same colour. 
I didn't actually like the yellow colour for the rest of the spikes along the back of the body. It didn't look right, so I opted for making them the same colour as the main spike. This ended up working out much better. The main base texture for the spikes is now done.

Texturing Troubles


Now that my model is complete, the next step was to begin texturing it. 
Before I started thinking up possible designs for it, I wanted to test that the texturing methods I was thinking of using was going to work, so I had a little play around. 
The first thing that I did was add a UV map reference to the model and try to see whether I needed to move the geometry about on the UV map. I wasn't too sure what I had to move round when I added the map reference, so I went into photoshop and layered up some textures I found to apply it to the entire model to see what was going to happen.
As it happens, I had a lot of fiddling around to do with the map reference. The contrast from light to dark with the texture was too noticeable, so I began to fix the map reference. 
Only problem was, I couldn't fix it. The boxes weren't matching up and the geometry on the UV map was complicated to fiddle around with. I had to think of an alternative method to texture my caterpillar as this method just isn't working for my model and it's hugely time consuming. 
With that method of texturing ending in an absolute disaster, I had to think of alternative method. 
The tutorial I had followed fully used a map reference, so I went back to the Digital Tutors tutorial I was following to build the plane and watched the videos on texturing. They went into texturing from maya more than using external textures, so I decided to give this a shot instead. 
It ended up work a lot better. I added a base texture to the head and filled it with a colour and adjusted different effects for it like reflection. I wasn't getting dodgy textures popping up, and I did a little test to see whether, if I wanted to, I could still add external textures to the model via photoshop and it ended up working. 
Another thing mentioned in the Digital Tutors tutorial was the use of a "ramp" texture to colour a piece of geometry with more than 1 colour and have them blend smoothly into each other. I tried this out on the head, but there seems to be something wrong with the way I made it because like when I added the UV map reference, it distorted it. So I probably wont be able to use the ramp to texture my model. 
The ramp texture became distorted.
As my caterpillar is a metallic looking caterpillar, I decided to play around with the shiny textures that are in Maya. 
They ended up working quite nicely, getting a sort of car paint look. 
In order to edit it and see the changes I was making as I went a long (you can't see the changes you make to the texture for such high quality textures in the default screen in maya), in the render view, you can use something called IPR and select the area you want to view rendered. As I alter things in the attribute editor, it changes in the render, so I can see the changes I make directly and it saves me from having to do a full render every few seconds to see how it's changing.
I also did the same for the first part of the body, using a similar metallic texture and playing around with the settings for it. 
I also wanted to test whether I could add external textures via photoshop on this, because if it worked, I could make the texture even more interesting. 
I tried to add the file into the "Ambient" colour so it would sit on top of the texture I already had and not override it. However, it didn't work. It crashed maya as it was too much for it to handle it. 
Not put off however, I decided to have a look at the different options for adding textures, and I found one where it said "add a psd file", rather than adding a normal file, so I tried that instead. 
This time maya didn't crash and it worked. It was just a test, but now that I know it works, hopefully I will be able to apply it in some areas and maya will be able to handle it, because it will end up making the texture look a whole lot more interesting than block colour. 

    Texturing in Maya

    On this page you will find all the work related to the texturing of my caterpillar model. 


    April 2013