Using stencils II

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In this second part of Using stencil I will study the way Cyan uses stencils. You might be surprised that Cyan doesn't use complex stencils. They actually use very simple lineair blend stencils.

Studying the Great, learning from the Masters

While I studied the textures Cyan uses I came across a small image, that was embedded in every single Age. The image looks something like the image below. A small linear blend with one side fading to 100% transparent.

Since I couldn't figure out how they blended textures by looking at the textures alone, I started importing several ages in Blender and studying the geometry. In some Ages patches of terrain (or other models) overlapped. It became clear that in those cases the blending was done in the overlapping regions. Studying the materials used I again found that little linear blend image.

In other cases instead of overlapping regions I found separate meshes dedicated to blending. Have a look at the schematic below to understand what I mean. Imagine one of the Cyan modellers wanting to blend Tex A to Tex B. To do so the modeller models in such a way that there is a sort of border in-between the two parts that are about to be blended. This border is generally about one face thick. Blending occurs within these borders.

Schematic 1 here

By know you won't be surprised that Cyan uses the small image I encountered to blend, instead of using for instance vertex painting. Before I'll show you how to do this yourself, let's have a look at how the texturing and stenciling is done.

Schematic 2 here

Another little project

Just like I did in the first part of our stencil adventure, I will use a small model to demonstrate this method. This model will be a bit larger than the previous one. But don't get too excited. There won't be more space to walk. Instead I made the model higher by including a piece of rock wall. Imagine this being a segment of a Eder. It's actually inspired by Kemo.

Image of model here

Have a look at the model and especially the faces I marked pink. I modelled this terrain with blending in mind. The pink faces are the borders I talked about earlier. It's very important to think ahead when modelling and plan your designs. Not just for this method, put this method in particular benefits from doing so.

I will be doing three types of stencil blends. One blend I will call a Loop blend. The second one a Straight blend. Finally I will do an overlapping blend simular to the one in Aloys' tutorial. Instead of using vertex painting like he did, I will use stencils. More specifically I will only use that small linear gradient image I showed you before.

Btw You can forget these names after I'm done. They just give me something to refer to during this tutorial.

Blend type 1: Loop blend

Blend type 2: Straight blend

Blend type 3: Overlap blend

Wrapping up again