Full-Body Mapping?

Started by Ryno, October 28, 2011, 06:53:43 AM

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I'm planning on beginning a new personal portfolio project in which I'll be designing a contemporary LeMans Prototype (like this) and modelling it up in Solidworks. Initially I had intended to do a paint job by splitting surfaces in the shape of the paint scheme and applying different materials to them to create the paint scheme, but this will prove to be a stupid amount of work, especially considering what I've got in mind for the paint scheme itself. I've used Keyshot a little bit before and I know some of its capabilities and given its superb quality renders I would like to use it for this project, but I'm not certain how to go about accomplishing this.

After ruling out the 'materials-as-paint scheme' idea, I thought about using many, many decals to create the paint scheme, but this will just create, again, an insane amount of work, headaches with the mapping system on such complex surfaces and little-to-no control over reflectivity (I'm going to be very specific with it). Breaking the car up into multiple surfaces is not an option for this, either, as the paint scheme will have a variety of wrapping textures/details that will be all but impossible to align correctly manually. So that's out, too.

My third thought was to export the mesh to 3DS Max or some other like program to give the body a full UV map and then paint the car like I would for a racing game (you can see my work for the popular sim Live For Speed here, for an example of the paint scheme complexity I intend to achieve). The issue I'm running into with this method is that I want different finishes on the paint scheme; there will be some matte areas, some pearl areas and some normal gloss areas. How would I achieve this result with Keyshot? I had thought about using a PNG map with transparent sections for what I wanted to be matte and then using a matte material for the whole body in Keyshot which then has the texture applied to it, but then I don't get the pearl finish. Splitting up the body into pearl and matte sections with different Keyshot materials will wreak havoc with the mapping, will it not? Or would the UV mapping coordinates supersede the surface breakups? Would a label with the same settings applied on two different types of materials yield the same result, or will it look a little different due to the underlying materials' characteristics?

Sorry for the novel, but I'm trying to get this all figured out before I get too deep into the process and get stuck without finding a solution and waste the hundreds of hours. Luckily I am, at this point, only in the 'gathering of resources' stage, and trying to develop features that comply with the current rules of the series this fictional racer would be in. Thanks for any help you can lend!


Sounds like you're going to have your hands full!  can't wait to see it!  Actually, using the split line tool is not that difficult, and you get the hang of it quickly.  I use it all the time to create mapping surfaces for KS materials.  Best of course for main areas, not detailed decals.  For example, I did a full flame job on a hot rod in about two hours.  Unfortunately I trashed it.  Anyway, give it a thought...
Bill G


Thanks for the reply Bill!

The split line tool is quite easy, it'll just be far, far too much work to make the paint scheme on the car this way. There is going to be a LOT of detail work in the paint scheme that is just simply easier to do in Photoshop and apply as a decal/texture. That will also give me the ability to apply a bump map, as well, so that the items on the paint scheme that would be stickers in real life will have just that tiny bit of an edge around them to make them look even more real. The other issue with doing it as a split line is that it will be tough to get it to wrap nicely around oblong shapes (which the whole thing pretty much is, there won't be a single true cylinder for which to be able to use the 'wrap' tool even) so a Photoshop paint scheme will just be easier. I'm just concerned about retaining the UV coordinates across multiple keyshot materials. I haven't had any opportunity to test it, yet, as I don't have access to a program to try and UV map anything.

After quite a bit of searching, it looks like I'll be exporting from Solidworks as an STL file so I can control the mesh resolution, importing that into 3DS MAX for UV work, then importing that into Keyshot. I'll have to find the best method from going from 3DS-KS, still, though, but that should be easy. I'm still months away from this, anyways; I still have to actually design the car and model it, first, and my spare time is very limited. Another option that sounds promising is DEEP UV. From what I've seen it looks like it would be a very easy choice for mapping, but I bet it's not cheap, either, and I don't know anyone who has it.


Given Keyshot 3's new specular mapping abilities, I think I might be able to pull this one off easier than before. I haven't installed the trial yet to test out the theory, but I think I can make it work.

So, now, the biggest hurdle is the UV mapping. What is the best program to do the UV mapping in? I read Keyshot doesn't really play nicely with 3DS; is there a better avenue to go through? Solidworks does not do any UV mapping, so I need to go through a middle ground somewhere to get the UV done. Any suggestions?


I'm interested in the same thing.  Any updates?


Unfortunately not, as I've been wayy too busy with work and other life stuff. I've recently started looking to this project again, though. I think I'll be using Maya instead of 3DS for the UV part, though.

As far as the layering of different maps, goes, I won't be able to do pearl, matte and glass all in the same render, unfortunately. The metallic flakes persist even with a specular map present, so it'll have to be done with several renders. I'm keen to see what they're cooking up for KS4 in this department, though.

One thing that would be nice would be to have labels with specular maps. That would work for my purposes quite nicely.


Sorry to rehash this thread again, but I've just been doing some tests for an upcoming project (unfortunately not the person one, but this will serve as a good test-bed for it!).

I might be doing something with chrome, as well as matte and gloss sections and I've figured out how to do it all in one render.

First up, the base material has to be chrome (or the metallic, if that's the effect you want). Then, if you want different coloured areas of the same kind of material you can apply that as a texture map that blends with that base layer. Then, for the matte sections, you apply a label. Everything you do not want gloss, you make transparent (so use a PNG texture), and use a dark specular colour for the label. Then, add another label on top; everything you do not want to be gloss, make transparent, and use a white specular for the label. You can keep layering and layering all you want, and this way you can get a special effect base (chrome, metallic, etc) as well as gloss and matte designs all in one render.

I've attached an image to show this, using a model I grabbed off the internet (doesn't have both matte and gloss colouring on it, but it works!). The blocked colour areas are all the same material as the chrome part (all one material, UV mapped). They are applied as a label, so they don't take on the chrome characteristics. The wings, on the other hand, are a texture on top of a metallic material, so the texture takes on the metallic properties.

[EDIT] I've cracked it. You need to make duplicates of the body(ies) that are to have multiple special effects and use the opacity maps to hide the areas that will not have that effect on them. I can now achieve exactly what I had set out to achieve! I will just have three duplicate bodies; One for the pearl, one for the gloss and one for the matte, all with opacity maps to hide the areas that will not be in that body's special finish, and use textures on them for the colours/design. Perfect. Now I just need to get going and finish the CAD for the cars... that'll take a few months still.