Once again, there’re bunch of ways to bake your stuff, i use xNormal[www.xnormal.net]
. Neat little tool that will allow you to bake your maps from the highpoly to the lowpoly. it’s pretty easy, just watch some instructional videos. You just need to pick highpoly, lowpoly and select which maps you want to bake. I bake AO, Bent Normal and Normal map.
After baking those 3 maps, we’re going to get us spec and displacement map using CrazyBump[www.crazybump.com]
Load up the normal map in Crazybump[www.crazybump.com]
We're going to get displacement map with 50 Enhance detail and specularity with the detail to the max.
Then we're going to drop it all in Photoshop.
You'll want blank Background, put your AO bake on top with the Multiply mode, Then choose which of the bent normal channels you want, we picked COLOR for this one. And dropped it on top of our AO as multiply. Then we're going to add our displacement map as 20% soft light and specular map as 100% Overlay.
You can also bake point light map in 3Dsmax, but for this model we don't really need it.
After setting all of our baked maps in the file we're going to drop some colors on the Background layer. I'm going to sample them from my concept.
After we added the base color you may notice that our texture looks a bit dirty. That's because our baked maps are grayscale, and when you multiply greyscale on a color it usually produces dirty colors. So what we want to do is select out bent normal layer, go to Adjustment -> Gradient map and it'll color our map with the selected colors. I'm going to add some reddish tint on it.
Now with our base colors laid out it's time to bring the texture to our painting software of choice. if you're using Photoshop, just stay there.
I’m using Corel Painter for most of my paintovers. And it really works with the painted look of Dota 2. We're going to draw fake highlights and shadows. We're also going to smooth some weird parts of the bake we're getting on our spec layer.
Don't be afraid to use big brushes, your texture will be downscaled 4 times and all those details will smooth out ingame.
After we're done with our manual adjusting to the base colors, and our normals are already baked, let's create masks. Easist way to create masks is to check out the original ones.
As you can see, metal parts of Nagas original weapon are heavily using metalness maks (blued channel of mask 1), have high specular (red channel of mask 2), max
rimlight (green channel of mask 2) and max specular by base color, this way your specular will be tinted with the texture (blue channel of mask 2).
Alpha of mask 2 Has higher values on the sharper part of the blade and lower on the rest of the metal parts. This map modifies the softness of your specular highlights. With that cleared out, let's create our own maps!
Lucky for us, our metal part is mostly yellow, so what we do is we select our main color on the background layer and using that selection as a basis for our mask. We use it to fill the metalness mask, specular mask and everything else. Let's see: