Written by Helen Jackson.
How do we get from the computer model on the left to the airport lounge on the right?
Regular readers will know the answer has to do with “textures” and lighting. Let’s start with textures. Every object in the computer model has to have a material, or texture, applied to it.
The easiest objects to deal with are those that are one solid colour. Anything that isn’t a single colour needs a texture map of some sort. Texture maps can add colours, patterns, transparency, depth, shininess, or any number of other properties.
There aren’t very many objects in the airport, so we can look at the texture maps for them all. Kyle is the most complicated – he has to be unwrapped, giving a flat image file that can be edited. Weird, isn't it?!
The plane is mostly white, but it needs a texture map for the branding and the windows. The glass is similar – mostly transparent, but with a texture map to make the translucent lettering (by the way, the real-life airport at Cedar Rapids is called the "Eastern" Iowa Airport, but “Easter” seemed more appropriate for this time of year!). The seats have perforations.
Are you interested in this technical “making of…” stuff? I’m planning to do a fair bit of it this week – we’re spending a lot of time working on these details, so it seems only fair to tell you about it. You're part of the team, after all.
But, I don’t want to bore you to death. Let me know if you’re fascinated, or if you’re losing the will to live.