This particular scene was used as the basis for two chapters in 3DCreative magazine, as part of a tutorial dedicated to post production techniques. The series focused on how Photoshop can be used to enhance 3D renders by way of compositing different passes as well as looking at the numerous image adjustments that are frequently used in the process.
During this tutorial we will focus on the advantages of using Composite maps to create a multi-layered level of detail and show how texture co-ordinates can be manipulated within the material editor to avoid unwrapping geometry.
Composite maps work in a similar way to the blending modes available in the Layers palette in Photoshop and enable various textures to be combined on a single surface. As we will see, they also incorporate the use of masks which can offer further control over how each map appears in relation to one another.
In this case we will be looking at how these are used in conjunction with 3ds Max, but these techniques and materials should be applicable in other 3D packages too.