OK, first thing is first.  Don't attempt to use any of these tutorials without first completing a car using the first tutorials.  I can't make that clear enough.  These lessons are for someone who has the understanding of what those tutorials offer.

What is offered here is theory on how to use Max to get the most out of what you can with low res polygons.  Each of these Tips and Tricks tutorials should correspond to the release of it's predecessor.  So you can read just that one, then come back to each of these, and see if what you are doing can be modified.

Tutorial 4:  Para-Photoshop

This is a simple tutorial, not really meant to show you every step that I would take to make a color skin in Adobe Photoshop.  What it does do, is tell you basically how to use the Texporter picture you had, and achieve good results.  So break out the programs and see how it is done.  First things first, the original export from Textporter.

Basics:  Basically, I will build this it will be real quick, so you will have to do a lot of work
on your own.

Layers:  The first thing that I do is to select all of the image, Ctrl-A and Copy it, Ctrl-C.
Then Paste it Ctrl-V.  What this does is create a layer in Photoshop of the original image.
Next, I use the Magic Wand tool, with Anti-Aliasing off (Anti-Aliasing will screw your
Entire work up, I hate it, learn to hate it.  I select just a piece of black, then go to the
Select pulldown menu, and Select-Similar.  Now friends, there is a number under the
options for the Magic wand, if you press return, you will see it it is called Tolerance.
If your tolerance is set to high, you will get the area's that are not black.  Now we don't
want that, we just want the black.  OK, now that that is out of the way, just hit the Delete
key. and Well nothing will change, cause the image underneath looks exactly like it.  If you
go to the Window pulldown menu, and find the one that says Show Layers, now if you
find one that says Hide Layers, don't click it, cause that just means that it is already up.

Layers 2:  OK, now what I did here, was to click on the Background Layer, and fill it with black.  The quick way
is to select all (Ctrl-A) and with the foreground color as black, Fill it, (Shift-Delete).  Then click Layer 1
and make it's opacity low, I usually like 30-40%.  What this does is allow you to see the layer beneath, but still
be unobstructed.

Basic Colors:  OK, with a Marquee tool, I just select areas and fill them with color, once I get
areas done I start using the fill tool..... remember Ant-Aliasing off. (Learn to hate... grasshoppa)

Starting:  OK, using the Magic wand, I start with it, section by section till I am done, painting
in the areas.  I usually do my body in one piece, then flip it.  Here, I have done the lower
part, just the basic shading.

Two Sides:  After that, I take a Magic Wand and copy the bottom part, past it back onto
the Document, then go under the Edit pulldown, and select Transform and Flip Vertical.
Move it into place and using the side arrow on the Layers window, merge it down.
That makes it part of the background.

More:  Now I start on the other parts.  I can, at this point, turn the Tolerance up on my
Magic Wand and reselect the area so that I don't accidentally paint on places that I don't
want to be painted right now.

More Details:  After painting more and more, I reason, that I want an inside door panel.
I just take a Lasso tool, with the Anti-Aliasing turned off and select the area that will
be the door panel and fill it with color.  Notice that I have also done the inside trunk.
Since this piece is dark, I used black for shadowing.

Zippin along:  As I go through it, I make sure that I am using the colors that I want, and
painting them in.  The seat was done differently then other places.  Most of them, I used a
dark color on a light area, here I used a light color on a dark area.  Actually I like that way
best, it just doesn't produce some of the results I want.

Layers again:  OK, layers are useful for more then just giving you an overlay.  In this case,
I use a layer to represent extra body pieces, like the headlights, tail lights and front emblem.
you can do the bulk of it in layers if you want.  The Lord of Destruction license plate was
done in 3 layers, one for the background, since I am using Photoshop 6, it has a style attached
to it to make it look like that.  It started off just a black box.  The type is set in two different
layers, but can be done as one.  The lights were pulled off of the cars on the interent.  I figured
that would look realistic.  The stripes are actually another layer, but they are simply a place-
holder for what I want.

Stripes:  The stripes were selected and then the layer deleted.  I then went to the background
layer and under the Image pulldown, Adjust then Hue/Saturation.  There I played with it until
It looked pretty cool.  Notice here that I have turned off the Textporter grid.

Damage:  Finally, I make another layer for my damaged textures.  I used the grid to figure
out just where the damages should begin and end.

Alpha Channel:  Basically the Alpha channel is the part of the map that turns portions
of the car's map invisible.  You can use this to make lots of things, but alas this isn't good
for the main body map.  It causes some polygons in your model to overlap when they shouldn't
so you get stupid looking problems in the way things look.  Under Windows, find Show Channels.
Originally this window is attached to the Layers window.  On the side arrow there,  pull down to
Add Channel.  A channel is another piece to an image, which may or may not be visible.  RGB
images have three channels, for Red, Green and Blue.  CMYK, which is for print, has four
channels, for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.  All web images should be RGB or Index colors.
Index colors are actually what Gif files.
Now, in that window, select selected areas.  Don't worry about anything else, just make sure that
is selected.

The Channel:  Now, this is what it looks like.  Click on the RGB channel or Ctrl-~ to get back to your image.

Next up is to hide the damaged channel, and the Grid, and go to the File menu, Save file.  that is the first thing. Actually you should have been saving all along.  I usually save it as something like Carname.psd and I always save it into the Max Maps directory.  Next, go to the File menu again, and select save a copy.  Under the format, choose TGA, and call it something like Carname.tga.  Basically this is the file that you will have as your primary map in Max.  it will be your undamaged map in the game.  Remember to choose 32 bit level so that your alpha channel will be saved as well.  Next, make the Damaged layer visible, then go back and Save another copy.  Call this one Carname_Damaged.tga.  and also make it 32 bit level.  Now, you can import these pictures into Max and see your entire car.

Now, I am going to do the rest of the maps, the wheel, driver and engine maps.

Next Up, Setup... Probably two tutorials, Again, it will be very intense.  Lots of pictures, lots of verbiage.  See you then, for now, this is my Saleen.

 

 

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