' Tara Donovan - Animator: Texturing project: Fire Hydrant

Texturing project: Fire Hydrant


This Fall I've been teaching Texturing in 3DS Max at George Brown College. My class has some introductory Photoshop painting and 3D modeling skills, but so far their experience with texturing has mostly been the application of photographic or procedural textures to their models. I'm aiming for something a bit more ambitious for them for this course. For me, texturing is all about showing the effects of time, use, and weather, i.e., 'entropy'. I believe we learn best by doing, and by doing I don't mean clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard, although that does come into play later. I mean by actually walking around outdoors observing how things really work.  I had my class bring cameras out into the field and shoot photo reference of urban decay

I created a prop texturing assignment that would allow students to apply what they'd observed - the wear and tear that comes from heavy use and being exposed to the elements. The prop I chose was a 98-year-old fire hydrant in the City of Toronto. I did a fair amount of research in order to frame the assignment properly. The corner where this hydrant has sat for almost a century is near the site of 2 major Toronto fires and has clearly been painted maybe dozens of times.
1914 Toronto Water Works hydrant at King and Jarvis
Here's the hydrant I textured. It was modelled for me by  my multi-talented husband, Phil Bonner.

I didn't try to copy the hydrant's markings exactly. I tried to weather the paint on my hydrant and add markings such as rust and graffiti to make it look as old and well-used as the original.
My textured 3D hydrant

details at high and low res

diffuse, normal, and spec maps for my 2048 texture