1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya

Creating a Super Girl Character: Part 8

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What You'll Be Creating

1. Sculpting the High Poly for Normal Map

Step 1

Before you proceed to texturing, you have to sculpt the high poly for the suits. With the suits model selected, go to File > Export Selection > Export obj format.

Step 2

Open ZBrush, click on any project (DynaMesh_Sphere) to start, Import the suits model.

Step 3

Since the object is too large for zbrush default scene size, the brush will be very small to sculpt, we can increase the brush size from Preferences > Draw > Dynamic Brush Scale.

Then subdivide the model five times (Ctrl-D). We need a very high poly to sculpt small details.

Step 4

Visit TurboSquid to download the stitching brush. It's free to use. 

Step 5

Go to Stroke > LazyMouse > increase the number of LazyRadius and LazySmooth. This reduces hand shake problem and make a smoother line.

Step 6

Choose ryan_seam_simple brush and draw lines to differentiate the dark and light area of the suits.

Step 7

Use the same brush and draw the stitching seam line.

Step 8

Download the cloth fold brushes. 

Step 9

Choose the folds brushes, reduce the value of Z Intensity, drag and draw to create cloth wrinkles. Look for some references of soft leather wrinkles. 

You can make the appearance more obvious since it will look lesser after applying the texture.

Step 10

Export the high poly model. Back to Maya. Duplicate the whole group of the mesh, delete eyes models. Add _low to the naming of every objects. 

Ensure you have only one _ for each object name as Substance Painter is not able to read more than one _.

Step 11

Duplicate the clover_low group. Select all object from the duplicated group and then go to Modify > Search and Replace Name as shown in the following image.

Step 12

Type _low in Search for column, _high in Replace with column.

Step 13

The objects are now renamed to _high.

Step 14

Delete suits_high object, import the high poly suits that we exported from ZBrush just now. 

Rename it to suits_high and move into clover_high group. Click Soften Edge for this object.

Step 15

Select all object in clover_high group except suits_high > Mesh > Smooth. Select clover_low group, export selection as obj. Export clover_high group as obj too.

2. Texturing in Substance Painter

Step 1

Open the Substance Painter. Go to File > New, change template to PBR - Metallic Roughness, tick Create a texture set per UDIM tile, change Normal map format to OpenGL, resolution can be changed afterwards, then click on Select and select clover_low obj, click OK.

Step 2

Go to Texture Set List, you'll have 1001, 1002, 1003 in the list. 

When you unwrap the UV in Maya, you arrange the head UV into UV area 0.1~1.0, outfit UV into 1.1~2.0… which means 0.1~1.0 = 1001, 1.1~2.0 = 1002 and so on. 

This is called UDIM textures.

Step 3

Go to Texture Set Settings, click on Bake Mesh Maps to transfer mesh based information into textures such as normal map, ambient occlusion and so on.

Step 4

Click the button at High Definition Meshes, select clover_high obj. Increase the number of Max Rear Distance, and change Match to By Mesh Name. Then click on Bake all texture sets.

The reason why you rename every object name to _low and _high in Maya is to avoid mesh detection other than with specific meshes.

In Substance Painter, you must always bake mesh maps before you start texturing even though you don’t have any high poly mesh (tick Use Low Poly Mesh as High Poly Mesh).

If you did not bake mesh maps, you're not able to use smart materials, smart masks and some other functions correctly.

Step 5

After you're done baking maps, change to Orthographic view.

Step 6

Under the shelf, go to Smart materials, drag and drop Skin Human Simple material into the layers.

Step 7

Delete this Dots layer.

Step 8

Change the skin colour from Base layer, under the Properties – Fill > Base Color.

Step 9

Duplicate, Ctrl-D, the Base layer and drag it up, rename it as lips, change the base colour to lips colour, then Add black mask.

Step 10

Select the black mask, go to Properties – Paint, change Brush Size to No pressure while Brush Flow to Pen pressure.

Step 11

Paint on the lips at orthographic view. To erase the painting, you can either press X to invert the brush colour or press 2 for eraser. Then press 1 to back to Paint Brush.

Step 12

In the same layer, paint the blusher and some ear redness.

Hold Shift and Middle Mouse Button for turning the HDR lighting. Press C for maps viewing, Press M for material and lighting.

Step 13

Select the highest layer, create a fill layer, then create black mask.

You may also create a normal layer which is simpler, but it is hard to change the colour. Fill layer takes more steps but it is easier for changing colour, roughness, etc. It depends on your own choices.

Step 14

This layer will be worked as eyeliner. Change the colour to dark brown, turn off height, metal and nrm which are not required. Increase the value of roughness.

Step 15

Turn on Symmetry, go to black mask, paint the eyeliner.

Step 16

Create a new fill layer on the top of the lips layer, create black mask, change the base colour to brown, select the Dots brush from brush shelf.

Step 17

Paint some freckles on the cheeks and nose.

Step 18

Duplicate Base layer and change to Multiply, drag it to the top of freckles layer. Add black mask and rename as Shadow.

Step 19

Select black mask, paint on the shadow area to create more details.

Step 20

Duplicate the Base layer again and drag it on the top of Shadow layer, rename it as Highlight. Change it to Screen, and add a black mask.

Step 21

Select the black mask, paint on the highlight area.

Step 22

Select 1002 from Texture Set List.

Step 23

Drag and drop Leather Fine Aged material from smart material shelf to layers.

Step 24

Change suits colour from Leather color layer.

Step 25

Duplicate Ctrl-D the Leather Color layer and change to a darker red, add a black mask. Turn off everything except color.

Step 26

Paint on the darker area base on the reference.

Step 27

Duplicate Dark layer, change to a darker red. Add a black mask. To recover the painted mask to black mask. Press 4 and it will appear the model wire frames.

Step 28

Select the last icon, UV chunk fill, which is fill colour by UV shell, drag and fill colour for collar on the 2D view.

Step 29

Change to Height map, reduce the Leather Pattern layer visibility.

Step 30

Delete Dust and Edge Damages layers, add a new fill layer. Turn off everything except rough. Increase the number of roughness.

Step 31

Create a new fill layer, change the colour to dark blue, increase roughness and add a black mask.

Step 32

Right-click on black mask, select Add generator. Right-click on Generator and select Light. This action is to create a baked lighting in the texture, so that the shadows are more obvious. It helps to save some times on tweaking the light in Maya afterwards.

Step 33

Change the Horizontal and Vertical Angle to adjust the lighting, you may change to base colour channel by pressing C for simpler observation. Then change this layer to Multiply.

Step 34

Go to 1003 in Texture Set List. Drag and drop Steel Medieval Stylized from smart material shelf to layer. Change the base colour to lighter colour.

Step 35

Drag and drop SciFi PVC Plastic from material shelf to the top of the layer. Change to blue colour. Add a black mask and paint on the heart shape belt.


In this part of the tutorial series, you've used Substance Painter to create texture. In the next tutorial, you'll be working on texturing the eye in Photoshop and how to export the textures from Substance Painter.

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