Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Coco Palm Tree Top Textures - Work In Progress

First Draft Custom Leaves For DAZ Prop
I know Palm Tree textures in Second Life are highly sought after and the full versions (with the trunk) are less appealing these days, than the sculpted trunk and textured full top versions.

You can buy ready made sculpted versions with textured frond tops from gifted botanical merchants who make their own textures and models.

But they are for personal use only.

There really isn’t too much in the way of a merchant resource for botanical merchants who perhaps dont own or know how to work in 2D and 3D software to be able to make and sell their own sculpted palm trees.

And that is, after all, what Second Life texture stores are for.

I have been asked many times if I had the palm tree tops only and whilst I can easily purchase and render pre made kits with ready made texture maps,  remove the trunk and sell the renders “as is” (and in accordance with the user license they are sold with) it feels lame and kind of a cheat.

I know there are a few collections in Second Life were the merchants have done just that, bought a "ready to render" pack, rendered them in some 3D software and exported the renders as a PNG textures which they then sell.
Basically, a financial investment, much like buying full perm sculpted boots in SL and selling them on to people who don’t know any better.

I want my work to be well, mine.

I want people to feel they are getting something unique that looks like some time and work went into to it and that work and time came from the person they are purchasing the textures from.

I have to admit, my first idea was to try and make some palm fronds with Photoshop brushes but all I could find were painted leaves on stock websites for $10.00 each
Plus like 95% of stock images, to use them for electronic distribution would mean I would have to purchase an extended license which in most cases comes to around $99 per image.

I figure I will need around 6 fronds in order to avoid making the palm tops look “mirrored” or obviously repetitive so when you add all that up you’re looking at $660 just for the 6 leaves and the appropriate license to use them in 3D renders....(!)

So reluctantly, I started to make my own.

I say reluctantly because I had looked at those for sale on the stock sites, noticing how each separate blade differs from the others and kind of dreaded the task.

Anyway, this is my first attempt and whilst I have no idea as this stage how it will look when applied to the mesh, I am fairly pleased with the result.

It took me 30 minutes. No photo, no brushes, nothing “ready made” I have made it from scratch which pleases my ego lol

I will be adding more shadow and light down the center to give it some “depth”
The light to replicate what you might expect the sun would look like on palm trees in a realistic lighting environment.
I won’t know exactly what tweaking I will need to make until I have created the alpha channels, bump maps and applied it to the mesh in DAZ studio.

I may well sell the collection of leaves as a separate collection because as I say, I could not find anything for sale for commercial use that didn’t cost less than $110.00 per texture, so I figure there’s a gap in the market for a reasonably priced collection with license for commercial use and distribution.

It was a relief to discover the task was not as painful and slow as I thought it would have been...

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