Car Wheel

Tire Texturing - Page 2

Tire Wall Text

To add more detail to the tire wall, I have decided to include some 'brand' identification. However, in the interest of not promoting any specific tire companies, I've decided to make my tire wall an advertisement for the software I'm using! Also, I've slipped in a little 'signature' of sorts... sorry, if you're using the textures or scenefile I provide, it's up to YOU to eliminate all traces of my name! Ha ha HA!!! :-)

Here I am creating a new texture, simply called 'Maxon' as I am putting their logo on the side of the tire... I hope they don't mind!!! The color channel and the specularity channel as shown above really aren't too heavily considered. I made the color to appear slightly on the light gray to white side, and the specularity shallow and wide, and utterly nondescript.


The bump channel gets a little more complicated. I used another of my favorite programs, Rhino, to make the Maxon and Cinema 4DXL logos print along a circular path. Most of you may use something like Illustrator or Freehand to do essentially the same thing with your own choice of tire brand.

This map makes my 'signature' solid, and makes the Maxon and Cinema logos hollow but raised on the edges.

Have a look at the map here.


The alpha channel utilizes the same map as the bump channel. The thinking behind this is to ensure that the bump channel only affect the exact area the alpha permits it to. Also the text is like a 'decal' and the alpha channel specifies what part of the material is to even show up.

I like to have the extra control when dealing with detailed maps involving things like text etc.

Also, I haven't told you yet, but the text on the side of the tire is being made up of two layered materials that relies on the alpha of each being precise!


This material is then applied to the tire object in much the same manner as the whitewall texture was. Using Flat projection, restricted to the TireWall selection set. The heading had to be rotated 90 degrees again to get the projection facing the proper direction, but this is consistent with the whitewall material.

Also, The Size of the material had to be increased, as when it was applied at default size of 100 m, the text was too close to the center of the tire. By increasing all sizes, the text moved away from the center of the tire uniformly, and it was just a matter of adjusting to where I wanted it.

Now that part of the text is done, you could theoretically stop at this point. I like the effect that I get with adding the next material to the tire wall, so I'll run through it in case you're interested!


The second part of the tire text material begins innocently enough. The color is a little brighter gray (by brighter I mean 'closer to white'), and the specularity is sharper and narrower than the other materials so far. This material is for the 'inner' portion of our Maxon and Cinema logo text, so I want it to have a brighter color and more "punch". It should stand out from the outline of the text.


Now the alpha map is based on the alpha map for the previous material, but limits the material to the inner area of the outlined text. When the maps for layered textures are made, care should be taken to make sure that all aspects line up correctly or overlay correctly. That way, when the material is applied in C4D, it should be able to be applied with the exact same settings as the material it is layering over.

Here is the alpha map.

There is no bump channel in this material.


Case in point. The material maps accurately with exactly the same settings as we used for our other text material. This one too is Flat projection, restricted to TireWall selection set, and rotated 90 degrees on the heading to project on the correct side of the tire object.

The size that the texture is applied at is identical, and when rendered the two elements line up perfectly.

Above, you can see the real time texture preview indicates our texture as applied looks to be in about the correct position... A render then verifies that it is, as well as shows us how well the texture layering worked.
A look at the tire hierarchy thus far shows how the textures are ordered to work correctly. From left to right the tag icons are Smoothing, UV coordinates, then the base texture, the whitewall texture, the TireWall selection set, the first tire text material (outlined letters with bump map) and the second tire text material (overlayed color material for within the established text outlines), then finally the Tread selection set.

So now we've got some detail added to the tire wall. The text and whitewall look pretty good, if not a little on the new side...

One thing's for certain though, we can't count on a car holding the road too well with tires THAT bald... and if we were to hit an icy patch, well, we'd be doomed.

It's time to give these babies some tread...