Bitmap Approximation (WIP)

As the easiest and fastest method of creating PBR materials this is the way that most people (including myself) create their textures when they start out. In this part we will shoot a number of overlapping images and stitch them together to one high-resolution texture. We will then edit this texture in Krita to make it seamless and finish by approximating the PBR maps for the final material using software.

The shooting process

Once you have found a suitable surface start taking pictures in a serpentine pattern and make sure that there is always enough overlap between the images. ICE needs these overlapping areas to piece the images back together.

While shooting the images it is also very important to always keep the camera in a 90 degree angle to the ground or wall. During the stitching process ICE is going to perform a so-called ”planar projection” to merge the individual photos, this projection will only work if the images only show planar motion from one to the other, perspective changes will lead to a failed projection.

Stitching

Once you have covered a large enough area copy all files to your computer and open up Microsoft ICE. Create a new project, import the images and set the projection method to ”planar” in the first step.

Then click on ”NEXT” to start the stitching process. ICE will now try to construct the raw texture. Depending on the computer and the size of the imageset this step can take up to an hour. Once the alignment and the compositing have finished you will get a first view on your texture. The steps 2 & 3 offer further projection settings3 and options for cropping. If you want to save on diskspace you can already do a rough crop in here, though I like to export the entire canvas at first in order to not loose anything. In step 4 you can save your stitched texture as an image file.

Cropping and perspective correction

Before we can start making the image seamless we first need to do some preparation work. The first step in this process is to ensure that all visible patterns are roughly aligned and match up around the edges of the image. In most cases this is achieved by simply cropping and rotating the image, but if the texture’s structure has been warped by the panorama projection then perspective correction may be required. In this example the paving stones have been stitched properly, but the parallel seams between the individual stones no longer appear as parallel lines in the image.


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