The use of two-dimensional images to add color and detail to three-dimensional objects has been a big part of computer modeling and animation from the very start. This is known as texture mapping, and it is practically an art form all its own. A well-painted texture map can add an astonishing degree of realism, especially when combined with good lighting and a well-constructed 3D model. In this chapter, you'll see how to use texture mapping to create a photorealistic giraffe.
Texture mapping has many different levels. On one end, you add as much as you can to the map, light, reflections, and shadow. On the other end, you rely on shaders and rendering techniques and have maps that provide nothing more than shades of ...