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Should I model a stitch or "texture it in???

eclark1894

Seasoned
Yeah, I suck at texturing remember? At this point although I've never done it, I have more faith in my modeling abilities than texturing. Also, if you suggest the texturing a stitch, got any instructions on how to do it?
 

Glitterati3D

Dances with Bees
Modeling in stitches makes the poly count go through the roof. Yeah, you can make them a little lower poly, but they will look awful.

The only realistic option is to texture them; OR

Add them to the normal map using a sculpting program and stitch brush.

The only problem is that you cannot get contrasting stitches when using the normal map to create them. However, some garments really shouldn't have contrasting stitches (like the Dusk tuxedo I created).

You do have options, but ifyou want contrasting, decorative stitching you have no option but to paint them on your textures.

When creating texture stitching, I select the UV map borders, Selection>Modify>Contract (in the neighborhood of 10 px depending on the look). Then convert the selection to a path and stroke the path with a stitch brush. I find it easier to add stitching this way and then erase what I don't want than to painstakingly using the point tool to draw the path.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Actually, I have a number of sets from Sveva over at Renderosity that are 2D Photoshop brushes of stitching. I haven't used them in a while, but I remember liking them. Let me check to see if she still has them in her store.

Edited to Add: OK, they're called Stitch Kit, Stitch Kit 2, as well as Stitching Made Easy, which also has brushes and styles, plus a PDF on how to use them.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
There are a lot of different styles of stitches, but there are some regular plain stitches like you'd find in a seam, so I think you might find something suitable. Oh, and they're all on sale for the next week.
 

kobaltkween

Brilliant
Contributing Artist
Stitches should pretty much always be textured unless they're on the order of centimeters per stitch. How you texture them depends on what you're talking about stitching.

The power of Substance Painter is that you can work in multiple maps at once. But if you don't have that, you probably need texture details to work in multiple maps in general. I find that even stitches that are supposed to match the fabric color should probably have slightly different spec/roughness, some AO burned in, and possibly some holes for where the stitch goes in. That said, looking at the shirt I'm wearing now, you could probably get away with just a bump or normal map on something modern and machine stitched. I've found I've absolutely needed to make my own stitch brushes, even though I've bought a few sets over the years. I also tend to use layer styles for bump and color maps to give stitching some burned in AO. I also use bezier curve paths to place my stitches.

IMHO, the biggest difficulty of texturing is deciding on a reasonable maximum closeup distance. For instance, while I _love_ Stonemason's work, his stuff often needs re-texturing if you want it as a close backdrop for a facial or half-body portrait. Conversely, I often find myself both modeling and texturing detailed bits I end up having to replace because they turn to noise at regular full-body portrait distance. My suggestion is to design around an average render distance (for instance, full body portrait) for main work, then test at a sort of maximum reasonable zoom distance (for instance, face portrait) for testing detail.
 

HaiGan

Energetic
Contributing Artist
Depends? If it's 'feature' stitching and you'd like to increase your product appeal to those who use toon shaders then maybe have the stitching as a different material zone if the poly count wouldn't be increased too much (could even be purely a texture zone on an otherwise flat surface). If you're supporting Superfly then using normal or displacement maps can be harder than just modelling the slightly-sticky-out bits (or at least, I don't know how to do it successfully without cranking the poly count right up anyway). If nobody's ever going to want a closeup, just use texture mapping. Or, y'know, listen to the poster above who knows way more than I do!
 

Glitterati3D

Dances with Bees
Actually, I have a number of sets from Sveva over at Renderosity that are 2D Photoshop brushes of stitching. I haven't used them in a while, but I remember liking them. Let me check to see if she still has them in her store.

Edited to Add: OK, they're called Stitch Kit, Stitch Kit 2, as well as Stitching Made Easy, which also has brushes and styles, plus a PDF on how to use them.

Sveva's brushes are nice as they are dynamic brushes (they will turn corners smoothly, and follow a rounded path) unlike some of the brushes available. If you're just beginning to use stitch brushes, Sveva's are some of the best and, I believe, come with basic tutorials.
 

Faery_Light

Dances with Bees
Contributing Artist
Actually, I have a number of sets from Sveva over at Renderosity that are 2D Photoshop brushes of stitching. I haven't used them in a while, but I remember liking them. Let me check to see if she still has them in her store.

Edited to Add: OK, they're called Stitch Kit, Stitch Kit 2, as well as Stitching Made Easy, which also has brushes and styles, plus a PDF on how to use them.

Wow, I put all in my Wish List!
 
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