This tutorial is under Gnu Free Documentation license

Texturing with blender is not hard to achieve once you understand the bases

Right now the technologies called "Next Gen" use 3 textures map to achieve a good result

1) the diffuse map (color map) this map is the main textures it is the color diffusion of the textures
2) the normal map , this map replace the bumpmap , it gives the impression that the low poly object if high poly
3) the specular map , this map is for the light i make bright some part of the object


first at all you will need to unwrap your 3D object , unwraping is the operation that consist in flattening your 3D object in a 2D plan

in our exemple we will use a sphere , so add a UVsphere mesh to your empty scene

then select the edges as you want to cut it in 2 like in the pic


type CTRL+e and click on make steam

split you screen to open a UV/image editor windows

in the 3D view select you mesh and go to edit mode.
Type u and then click on unwrap you should see something like that in your UV image editor windows

you must save this uv map on the UV editor open the UVs menu -> scripts->save uv face layouts put the size at 1024 click ok and then enter the name of your UVmap file (blender will add stuff to the name of the image (the mesh or the file name) , it will be saved as .tga .

you have done with the UVmap .

The normal map

for generating the normal map you will need 2 meshes , 1 high poly wich will have the final result you want so whatever you have the high or the low poly , you must copy it

Select you mesh , type *SHIFT+d* (duplicate) and click to duplicate it somewhere (don't bother where you place it for now , you can even move it in other layer).

now you mesh is copied you must transform it in low/high poly depending of your start mesh
to lower a high poly mesh you can use the tools "retopo" (just look around the internet , there are good videos about retopo), for our case our start mesh is low poly so we need to higher it

simply select one of the meshes and go on object mode and click on add multires, add level until 4 and then apply the multires, now work your high poly mesh and make it look like the wanted result , im our case we want something how look like that :

we want the left sphere (low poly) to look like the right one (high poly)

select the low poly mesh , *go in the uv image editor in the image menu click on new* (to add an image to the UVmap create previously), when this is done you should have a black backgroup to with the UVmap

At this step be sure that both meshes are set smooth

When this is done select the HIGH POLY mesh FIRST then type SHIFT and select the low poly mesh , type ALT+g and click on clear location (be sure that they are in the same layer now) , the 2 meshes should go in same location in space as in the pic below :
the 2 meshes are in same location after we select the high and then the low poly

Type F10 and go to the bake tab (be sure to be in the object mode)
set normal-> tangent , Selected to active as shown below :

Hit BAKE you must have something like this in the UV/image editor :
save it as sphere-NM.jpg , you can now put a part you high poly mesh we will need it later to create the Ambient Oclusion MAp (type M to move it in another layer)

ok let now apply this normal map to our low poly mesh to see the result

Select you low poly mesh , type F5 there type add new to add a material to your mesh

in the textures tab click on add new

go in the map input tab and click on UV as map input

go in Map to tab unset Col and set Nor

type F6 and set the Texture type as Image , in the Map Image tab set Normal Map and tangent

load your image the sphere-NM.jpg (or the name you called it)

type F12 the rendering screen should show you something like that (be sure to have set smooth on your mesh)texture-nm-sphere.jpg

Et voila , you have done with the normal.

The Ambient Occlusion map (the AO map)

in some case you can generate an AO map to use as specular map, the specular map is used to the shininess of the object , per exemple a billard bowl will have a strong specular map , to create this AO map we will use a similar way that we used to create the Normal Map
so be sure that you have your uv map ready in the UV/image editor windows and create an new image if you haven't done it yet (report to Unwrap and Normal map part of this tutorial if you don't know how).

Select the high poly first and then the low poly , type ALT+G to clear positions
type F10 go to the bake tab set Selected to active and Ambient Occlusion, then hite BAKE

type F5 to go in the material , in the textures tab select a empty slot and ADD NEW, go in the map imput tab and select UV as imput map , go to the Map to map unselect Col and select Spec

type F6 select the newly create texture slot (normaly the second) and set the textures as image
type F12 you result should look like that

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