Adding Emissions to Custom Textures

In my previous article, we talked about how to edit the textures of material.
Today we will deal with something very similar; we will add an emissive map to our material. I remind you that this is not my primary field, and several methods exist to achieve this.
The ultimate goal is to create a texture from our initial textures that indicate which elements should be emissive. This is achieved by highlighting in white on a black texture.

We can proceed in two ways, modify the texture with a program such as Photoshop, Gimp, or Affinity, as I did in the previous article. Or using a 3D modeling software like Maya, Blender, or Cinema4D.

Using Photoshop:
The process is simple when we are clear about which part of our texture should be the bright part.
Let’s take our texture and identify which transparent parts are to be emissive.

The layers I created I renamed to help.

First, we create a new layer and color it entirely black. This will be the base of the emissive texture.
We also create a second layer that we will need later.

Let’s reverse the order of the layers to see the transparent parts.

Invert the background with the black layer to find the transparent parts

And let’s select them with the tool we prefer and place them on the last layer we created. Let’s color it white.

Let’s put the layers back in the correct order, and we should get a result like this.

emissive map

This method is effective when we have easily distinguishable objects in the base texture. And above all, we have well-defined transparencies, in case this is not possible we have to use a 3D modeling software, the choice is yours. I used Blender because it is free, and an artist friend helped me in this process. I know my limitations.

I won’t go into detail, but by using software like Blender, Maya, etc., we can directly select the faces of our 3D model because, in the Unity project, we have the 3D model in its FBX format. So taking the 3D model and its texture, we can immediately see the correspondence between the face and texture part and create a new one for our emissive details.

When I get more comfortable with Blender, I will probably bring a guide about this.

Now that you have created an emissive map, you must add it to the material.
It is necessary that the flag is active and the texture is inserted in its space.

This is my final result

I hope this reading has been helpful. See you in the next article.

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Andrea Alicino

Andrea Alicino

Unity developer and C# programmer. Currently looking for games industry employment.