@Sean Riesch: I need a basic texturing tutorial for texturing a Genesis figure with a realistic skin patterns making sure my seams match and little tricks to do and snags to look out for type thingee. I need it as simple as possible.
Even saying you want to create a realistic skin for Genesis leaves a lot of room for decisions, which are bound to make the directions more complicated… Or possibly too general to be useful. But here are a few suggestions:
- As Patience55 says, start with a seam guide. What I usually do when texturing a new model is apply the seam guide as a diffuse texture, so I can see where the different parts go. I like to generate my seam guides with Stitch Witch, which lets me quickly and easily create guides that fill in different mat zones, groups, or combinations of the two in different colors. (Genesis doesn’t have groups the way legacy Poser models do, but showing the mat zones can be very helpful.)
- Also, for reference only, look at the texture files and settings for a character you admire. If you’re working in DS, you’ll probably want to use the Human Surface Shader (HSS). In Poser, most texture artists seem to make their own Materials to provide the equivalent features, like secularity effects or sub-surface scattering. I assume Carrara users have their own methods of supporting these features in their Materials tools, ditto for Bryce, etc. Either way, get familiar with the options of the program(s) you intend to render in. The different programs actually use different rendering engines with different options and features, so for the top level of quality, the same skin has to be configured separately for each.
- You are probably going to be making at least three image maps per surface, possibly more.
- Diffuse is the color the skin starts as. Think of it as the “paint” layer. In addition to the obvious color differences for eyes, lips, etc., remember that the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are usually a lighter color than the rest. Arms and faces are often more tanned (and weathered) than the rest of the body. Don’t forget that bodies are not symmetrical if you add moles, freckles, etc.
- You will probably want a displacement map for moles, wrinkles, scars, etc. this must be hand-made—you can use the diffuse as a guide for positioning elements, but moles, for example, would be dark on the skin diffuse but light on the displacement map (for DS). Freckles would not have any displacement.
- You should create a specularity strength map, especially for the face. An airbrushed light gray on neutral or darker gray will work well for the “T” zone of brows, nose, and chin, which tend to be oilier and more reflective than the rest of the skin. You may also want a specularity color map. Take a look at the specularity colors used in characters you like.
- I like a slight, fine-grained noise pattern for a bump map for most skin areas, with less noise on the palms of the hands and other smoother areas, and a bit more noise for more weathered parts of the skin. It just adds the effect of a bit of roughness on ordinary skin surfaces. Major surface features should be created through displacement.
- If your rendering software supports it, you’ll probably want to use subsurface scattering (SSS). Again, look at existing textures. Most artists seem to give the diffuse a slightly blue cast and set the SSS to pale red. This will vary a lot depending on ethnicity, which can alter the amount and type of pigment in the skin (diffuse). If you’re trying to render Mr. Spock, you’ll want blue-green for the SSS color.
- Sometimes people will add a bit of ambient to eye whites to make them stand out more. I do this with anime characters, but not realistic characters.
You will likely use a higher resolution map for the face than most other parts of the body, depending on the final image you have in mind.
Does any of that help?