A few days after posting my previous post of my Gaur character concept, I decided that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the overall appearance. I concluded that the previous version of Guar, that his skin was just too… craggly. The skin just looked to dry, taut, and just enhanced the wrinkles a little too much. The brief I wrote for this character was that he was to be a human/alien hybrid (which I think I achieved in the sculpt). The texture from the previous image appeared way too alien. So I decided I wanted the skin to appear more human.
I did a little more research, and I devised a method to help me achieve a smoother, more human, skin goal. Based on my research here is what I did:
In Adobe Photoshop, I took the albeido map, and split it into four layers.
I began by taking the texture map from the previous image, and using the Hue/Saturation dialog in Photoshop created a blood red subdermal layer image. In the original texture map, I had painted in some blues, reds, and yellows to show skin density. I had also added a cavity map that enhanced the pores and wrinkles in the skin. While using the Hue/Saturation dialog, I colorized it to all red, added more saturation and lessened the light value to achieve this dark blood red. I also used this map as my Subsurface Scattering map in Marmoset Toolbag.
In ZBrush, I painted an epidermal layer. I began with a pink base, then added red, blue and yellow to show differing skin densities to bone. I added a dark blue around the eyes and on the under-eye bags and along the jawline to show blood accumulation on the face. Red was also painted onto the nose, cheeks, brows, and ear tops to add a little “rosiness” to the final skin. The red shows more density of skin against the bone. I then added yellow to the ear lobs, along the brow ridges on the top of the skull, and on the edges of the nostril. The yellow shows less density of skin. Finally, I painted in dark reds into the scars to enhance the depth of the scars, and painted yellow on the skin blemmishes to help them “pop out” a bit on the final skin. I created a new texture map in ZBrush, then created a second layer with that map over the subdermal image in Photoshop. I set the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light with an opacity of 100 percent to achieve the image on the left.
Again in ZBrush, I painted a skin onto the model using a Skin image I have in my library. I created a new texture map, and added that map as a new layer into my Photoshop file. I kept this layer blend mode to Normal and set the Opacity to 87 percent. With this setting, I was able to allow the lower layer to show through the “skin” helping to achieve the human skin appearance I was looking to have for this character.
Finally, I created a new cavity map in ZBrush, and added that as a new layer into my Photoshop file. In this case, I set the layer Blend Mode to Multiply with an Opacity of 100 percent. This cavity map helps to enhance the pores, blemishes and scars.
After saving the Photoshop file, I applied it to a material in Marmoset. While in Marmoset Toolbag, I made adjustments to the Subsurface Scattering setting, as well as added some gloss to the lips and around the eyes, and added just a little bit of Specular to show some of the “oils” in the skin.
This image is the final “textured” model. I took this image into Photoshop for some post production, including painting in the hair.
Let me know what you think.