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Texture References

posted this on December 17, 2010 06:50

Stripping Texture Paths in 3ds Max

Stripping Texture Paths in Maya

When another artist opens your model, they expect all textures to be present, and to load without errors. They also expect textures and materials to have meaningful names. Production artists find it very frustrating to have to search for textures or to waste time figuring out which texture or material is which.

Meaningful Texture Names

Remember that your model will most likely be merged into a scene with other models. When the textures and materials are named correctly, it makes it easy to find, edit, and replace them if needed.

texturenames.png texturenames2.png
Which textures would you rather work with?

In addition to giving your textures and materials meaningful names, you should also strip out all map paths referenced within your application. Otherwise, error messages will appear when your scene is loaded, stating that your textures can't be found even if they're included with the model.

No Texture Paths

Your model should contain no references to texture paths. The ZIP or RAR file you upload should be set up with a "flat" file structure (no subfolders) so that by default, all the files will extract into a single folder.

The flat structure is necessary because customers don't like sifting through multiple subfolders for texture files, nor do they like an unfamiliar folder structure being created on their computer. It also confuses many customers when they see an unfamiliar folder path in texture references within the model. A customer who wants a separate folder for textures prefers to create the folder and move the textures there himself so he knows exactly where they are.

The video above shows how to create a ZIP or RAR file with a flat folder structure.

Textures and Materials Checklist

Make sure your textures and materials are set up as follows:

  • Texture maps do not reference subfolders (no texture paths)
  • Textures packaged in a ZIP or RAR file with each 3D file format
  • Texture maps have meaningful names
  • Materials have meaningful names
  • Materials that are not used in the scene are not referenced by the scene. For example, if you use 3ds Max, materials not used in the scene should not be present in the Material Editor.

Most 3D software applications have a tool for packaging textures with the model, ensuring all textures are present in the ZIP file. See your application's Help for information on how to do this.

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