Creators Info: How to texture an AO Map
So you recently purchased a mesh and now you are wondering how to texture things, especially how to texture different areas of the mesh differently. Like say you had a ruffle dress and you wanted the ruffle to be a different color or pattern than the dress part. That is what the map is for. You can do anything. Grab the AO map from your mesh model file and save it to desktop. Open it in Gimp or Photoshop. I will show you basics on how to work with it in Photoshop. Gimp is very similar though. In this way you can basically “create faces” as many as you like on any mesh.
You opened your AO map in Photoshop. If it is a complex map, we have to figure out what is what first. Try not touching any shoe maps if you just started out, they are quite “suicidal” to work with 😀 This here is a shirt map from the TyMesh blouse, thankies to TyMesh for allowing me to use it for this tiny tutorial.
First thing I do is just use color on the pieces to see what is what. Load it into local texture edit mode in SL and see what happens. This map is easy but some maps have so many different parts that this is a helpful little process to do.
So now you know where you wanna do what. What I wanna do is to use a pattern and to use a different one on the front than on the back of the shirt. To do that I have to separate the parts. What I want is one layer to be the front of the shirt. And the other layer to have the back. I use rectangular marquee tool and select the area I want to separate from the rest of the map. Then I right click on the selection and CUT. Voila, I have 2 layers one for the front and one for the back.
Now I can work both parts differently if I like. To either color or pattern them. I want to use a polka pattern. I select the little fx button and use pattern overlay. In there I select my pattern, use it on multiply to only cover the shirt area, and scale it as I like it.
Now the front of the shirt is pink polka. See where it says pattern overlay? If you dont wanna use a pattern and use only color, you choose color overlay instead. Save it and load it again into local texture edit mode to see results. Keep working it and you got yourself a unique design to your taste.
Important note: You have maybe purchased textures / fabrics and dont know how to load them into Photoshop? No problem. Simply open the fabrics in Photoshop. Then go to EDIT and DEFINE PATTERN. That texture will now appear in the handy window shown above for selection. And if you have done so with lots of textures you may wanna save them so you dont have to manually reload them in the future. To save go to EDIT , PRESETS, PRESET MANAGER, Select with shift hold clicks the patterns you would like to save and click on save set.