Texturing guide

Tonight we’re going to talk about texturing you items, finally.



So we’re going to start from the documentation Valve wrote about texturing your models. Check it out here.

It is very important to imitate the process, not the result if you want to create textures similar to the original Dota 2 style. As you can see, half the work is done via baking the maps. There are many ways to do that, i use xNormal and Crazybump as i wrote in previous guides. You can bake almost everything you need from them and the process is very simple, you just drop your high and low models and it does the rest.

After you baked your maps you can start building your texture.

First we’ll drop our AO bake with 80% multiply mode


Then we’ll drop green channel from bent_normal map as 100% soft light. This will shape our texture a bit.


Now we’re going to add spec bake we get from the Crazybump in 100% Overlay mode


And after that, displacement map in 30% Overlay mode.tex04And i’ll add front-back gradient to accentuate the hero and even out our texture later.


This is how it looks with just those. Pretty cool, huh?


Now it’s time to add colors! Open up your texture file in your editing software of choice and start adding the colors you picked for your model. We’re going to drop some colors, sampling from the original Batrider cape.


And after that we’re going to blend em in some more. It’s important to bring in more different hues and values to add more natural look to your texture. We’ll get back to this at the later stage.


Now that we’ve got our basic colors blocked out we’re going to get rid of pure black stiches by applying Gradient Map over our mapstex09

And it’s time for testing! Looking good! Now we just need to tone it down a bit and add more detailing.tex10

We’re going to tone down the texture by dropping muddy yellow (that i sampled from the original bats cape) on top of everything in Hard Light mode.


And note the difference! Now color are more in line with the rest of the model.tex12

Never worry about darkening your texture, because it’ll probably help and you’ve got specular and ambient lighting to show off your normal map.

Now we’re going to get back to our painting. We’re going to add more detailing, some folds that we could’ve sculpted in, but at the moment that seemed unnecessary and more shape defining.

You do this by adding lighter and darker strokes and then blending them in, don’t fret to use different colours entirely, this will help with the feel of real wear.


Go from big, shape-defining strokes to smaller ones and blending. Note that I’m doing this on separate screen and multiply layers, which gives a lot more room for error and experimentation.


I’ve added some different colors, increased the size of holes and added some folds. It’s important to zoom out frequently to review you work. or you can import it ingame and check it there.tex14

I see the left crease looks out of place and i’m going to redo it. It’s easy, because shadow and highlight are on a different layers.


Now if you’ll look at the original cape you’ll see that the shadow are way brighter over there, so we’re just going to reduce the opacity of our Multiply layer and weaken our shadows. We’re also going to add another layer of highlights.


Looking good! What’s next? We’re going to add some dirt and grease, because Batrider loves his sticky stuff and sometimes spills it around.


These are done via Multiply layer and you can edit the opacity later. And we’re done with our base texture!


Check out the submission by clicking the image below. Note that adjusting the masks allows us to make oil a bit shiny.



  • AstraZeroZak

    [Now that we’ve got our basic colors blocked out we’re going to get rid of pure black –stiches by applying Gradient Map over our maps]

    Here it isn’t absolutely clear. What colors we have to use for a gradient.
    And what properties this layer possesses?

    • Vladimir_the_implyer

      Use any color you like, preferably the mix of the ambient and your base color.

      This is the spec layer and it’s in overlay mode.

      • astrazerozak

        You couldn’t lay out initial files for descriptive reasons?

  • disqus_nFe8srCeyn

    I know how to export an AO and all, but how did you get the stitches and cloth ripples there in the first place? Were they modelled in? I haven’t seen anything showing me how to get this first textured part.