DMMultimedia

3D Graphics, Tutorials and Tips
Using 3DS Studio Max and Mental Ray

DMMultimedia

3D Studio Max Studio - Using 3DS MAX and Photoshop to create Tyre Sidewall Bitmaps

To finish off a 3D tyre good sidewall markings make a real difference to the realism of a final render. These sidewall markings can be created in 2 ways :

1. Create the individual geometry of the sidewall markings as real objects, or
2. Create a sidewall bitmap for a bump or displacement texture.

In most renders the tyre sidewall will not be the focus of the image so method 1. may be a bit of overkill. This tutorial outlines one method of using 3DS Max to create bitmaps that are perfectly matched to your tyre.

Tyre Tutorial 3DCheck out the Previous tutorials which outline how to:

1. Create a 3D Tyre

2. Basic tyre texturing

 

The main problem when trying to create a tyre sidewall bitmap texture is the the fact that the texture is circular. A much easier way to create a bitmap is to have it in a single horizontal line. This method shows a way of unwrapping a tyre to create a simple flat template to use for painting. This is much easier than trying to paint in a circular format in Photoshop.

Open up 3DS Max and load in a tyre. Use side view of your tyre

Add a box, with approximately the right sidewall height. Untick Use Real-World Scale.

Create a simple box with approx the same height as your tyre sidewall
Create a simple box with approx the same height as your tyre sidewall

Move the box in front of your tyre and centre it on your tyre's sidewall.

Move the box in front of your tyre and centre it on your tyre's sidewall.
Move the box in front of your tyre and centre it on your tyre's sidewall.

Adjust the height of the box (length in my case) to match the tyre's sidewall height. Set the number of width divisions to 200

Adjust the height of the box (length in my case) to match the tyre's sidewall height.
Adjust the height of the box (length in my case) to match the tyre's sidewall height.

Now add a Bend transform.

Add a Bend transform.
Add a Bend transform.

Select the bend gizmo, and the rotate tool and enter 90 into the Y co-ordinates box.

Select the bend gizmo, and the rotate tool and enter 90 into the Y co=ordinates box
Select the bend gizmo, and the rotate tool and enter 90 into the Y co-ordinates box.

Set the Bend axis to X, and enter 360 (one circle in degrees) in Angle.

Set the Bend axis to X, and enter 360 (one circle in degrees) in Angle.
Set the Bend axis to X, and enter 360 (one circle in degrees) in Angle.

Now adjust the width parameter of the box until your bent box matches the tyre.

Now adjust the width paremeter of the box until your bent box matches the tyre.
Now adjust the width parameter of the box until your bent box matches the tyre.

We will now use this as our template for creating the tyre bitmap.

Disable the Bend modifier.

Disable the Bend modifier.
Disable the Bend modifier.

Isolate the Box, and set the viewport to shaded. Screen grab this viewport.

Scren grab this viewport.
Screen grab this viewport.

The grabbed box gives us the length and height of our sidewall. Inside Photoshop, crop the Box and scale until the image has a height of 150 pixels (or as large as you would like, larger gives better resolution).

Inside Photoshop, crop the Box and scale until the image has a height of 150 pixels (or as large as you would like, larger gives better resolution)
Inside Photoshop, crop the Box and scale until the image has a height of 150 pixels (or as large as you would like, larger gives better resolution).

With the cropped Photoshop image we can now paint our tyre sidewall. Set the background colour as a mid grey. Anything in white will be raised, and anything in black will be recessed. Paint the style of tyre sidewall you wish. Remember that the top edge of the image will merge into your tyre tread, so leave an area unpainted (you can follow the next few steps to see how this looks, and then come back and adjust this template if required).

Paint the style of tyre sidewall you wish inside Photoshop.
Paint the style of tyre sidewall you wish inside Photoshop.

Back in 3ds Max, create a default Arch & Design material and set the reflectivity to 0.0.

create a default Arch & Design material and set the reflectivity to 0.0.
Create a default Arch & Design material and set the reflectivity to 0.0.

Add a bitmap to the diffuse slot, choose the bitmap we created in Photoshop and untick Use Real-World Scale.

Add a bitmap to the diffuse slot, choose the bitmap we created in Photoshop and untick Use Real-World Scale.
Add a bitmap to the diffuse slot, choose the bitmap we created in Photoshop and untick Use Real-World Scale.

Apply this texture to the box, and select Show Realistic Material in Viewport.

Apply this texture to the box, and select Show Realistic Material in Viewport.
Apply this texture to the box, and select Show Realistic Material in Viewport.

The box should now look like this.

The box should now look like this.
The box should now look like this.

Enable the bend modifier and rescale your viewport to enclose the box like this.

Enable the bend modifier and rescale your viewport to enclose the box like this.
Enable the bend modifier and rescale your viewport to enclose the box like this.

Using default lighting (or lighting that gives a flat light) and a dark grey background render this image at a large size. I chose 3500 pixels wide. Save this full sized image.

render this image at a large size.
Render this image at a large size.

From within Photoshop crop the image until the edges of fill the square image. Save this image, it is now your tyre bump map - A bitmap that matches your tyre perfectly.

From within Photoshop crop the image until the edges of fill the square image.
From within Photoshop crop the image until the edges of fill the square image.

Using this bitmap in the bump slot will now give the following image. You can also use this method to create blend maps to create bumped and textured tyres.

Using the above Tyre Sidewall Bump Bitmap gives this render using Mental Ray.
Using the above Tyre Sidewall Bump Bitmap gives this render using Mental Ray.
sing a blend Bump Bitmap to appply markings and a Bump map gives this render.
Using a blend Bump Bitmap to apply markings and a Bump map (not so visible at this angle and resolution) gives this render.