Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Texture Chaos - A Journey into Taking Control, Post 1 - Admit you have a problem

They say the first step to finding a solution is to admit you have a problem.  Well, I have a problem...


They litter my inventory, hide in the corners, and multiply over night...like stray socks!   (What if a texture and a stray sock mated - is that where those odd argyle socks from nowhere come from?)

I know I've probably bought duplicates and own 742 different grass textures, yet I can never find the texture I want when building a set or making costumes so I end up buying new ones.  Let's not forget that some textures are 3D - which means keeping track of those normal and specular layers too.  Oh the agony.... [cue Oscar winning dramatic faint here]

It's like containing a bunch of tribbles, or those gremlins that started creating gremlins!  It's not that I haven't tried to organize them.  I'm a gadget lover after all.  Alas, several failed attempts are squirreled away in my inventory.

There are all kinds of gadgets for organizing textures, but I've found two main types that will let me see a number of images at the same time:

Different texture organizers will have different features.  The first one shows about 100 textures at a time, press an arrow and see the next 100 textures - no real rhyme or reason, just whatever textures are loaded in that organizer.  The second type uses categories.  You store the textures into categories.  When you select a category to display, it will only display those textures.

Many will give you a copy of the texture when you click on it.  Some will open up a larger viewing area so that you can really see the texture.  Some will "tile" the texture - showing you what the texture looks like when it's repeated, like you might do for carpet or a wall.  Others will even give you a prim textured with your choice, ready to build with.

In project management, I learned to start with what the desired outcome is.  All actions and planning should lead to that result.  I think that might apply here, don't you?

Hmmm....what do I want? 
  • an easy way to store new textures
  • an easy way to find a certain type of texture when I need it for floors, walls, stone, fabric
  • a fast way to find the texture I want (without knowing exactly which one I want)
  • I don't want to pick through 100 categories to find what I want
  • I don't want to scroll through 50 pages either
  • being able to see an image scaled would be helpful, so I can see what it looks like and if it's really seamless
  • being able to see a bigger view would be helpful
  • I need a way to identify what images are 3d (normal, diffuse, and specular layers)

So, this is my conundrum - and one I believe many of you have too.

Please feel free to comment!  Did you find a method that works well for you?  Have you taken control of the texture beast?  Ideas on how to categorize your textures, keep track of which ones are 3D (aka - materials enabled)?  How did you get started with organizing?  Get over that overwhelmed feeling? 

If not with solutions, at least we can start our own support group.  I'll make t-shirts!  Well...if I can find the right texture...

Don't forget - no feeding the mogwai after midnight!
~ Eva