What to do with shade maps

Learn how to use shade maps included in the sculpt packages like a professional!

As the number of people trying to create content grows, it is important to make things look as good as possible and unique as possible. Many of the sculpt packs and all of the mesh packs from Treasured Cove include shade maps, also called ambient occlusion maps, occlusion maps, or baked maps.

Using these textures really is not that difficult and can allow you to create a true work of art out of the items that you purchase and add a great touch of realism to your creations.

I've used a chair that I textured up for a friend for this example. The chair in the example is Chair Pack 5 in case anyone is curious.

Here is the product pic for it, so you can see how it looks just in the picture.

Treasured Cove Chair Pack 5 Sculpt Map

Now that you have seen that and know exactly what we are working with, I'm going to show you an array of options using the shade maps for this chair. Each chair uses the EXACT same texture, only different methods of applying the shade map in Photoshop to create different looks.

Various AO Maps Applied 001

Same chair, same basic texture used, only different is the BLEND MODE used on the shade map.

Shade Map Example - Shade Map Only

Shade Map Example - Texture Only

Shade Map Example - Color Burned

Shade Map Example - Multiply

Shade Map Example - Overlay

Shade Map Example - Soft Light

As you can see, each chair with the different blend mode applied looks quite different. Using various other blend mdes you can have different effects too. Feel free to play arouwith the different effects to find the exact look that you want for the overall design idea that you have in mind. Some effects are quite handy for almost any texture, while others don't look as well.

Getting started is asw easy as downloading the shade maps to your hard drive, and combining them with the texture of your choice in either Photoshop or GIMP to generate the final textures.

Using the shade maps you can make the texture as simple, dramatic, fancy or creative as you like.

  • Wednesday, 06 February 2013