This is a multi-part tutorial on creating a Demon-like 'Lok Warrior' with realistic muscle anatomy. On the first day of this tutorial we created a base mesh for our character using poly modeling. On the second day, we took the mesh into ZBrush and sculpted the intricate muscle anatomy. Now today we will texture the creature and add the finishing touches to the artwork.
Let's begin day 3 of this tutorial.
Final Effect Preview
First of all, open your base mesh in 3ds Max and go to the "Unwrap UVW" -> "Edit" window, and open the "Tools" menu. Click "Render UVW Template", and set both the width and height to 2048. Click "Render UV Template", and save the image as a .png file.
You need rough base for your texturing, and the method I recommend is a very easy one . Just put some lights in your scene with or without GI, and give a simple skin color to the character. Render it using "Render to Texture ", by clicking the "Rendering" tab.
Bake the texture and save it as a base for the texturing process. Select the character mesh, and click "Add" in "Output" drop down menu. Select "Complete Map", and "Diffuse Color" for the "Target Map Slot". Use the same width and height as you did before, in this case it's 2048. Click "Render"...and wait for a while:)
Save the baked textures out. Open Photoshop, and load both the UV template and baked textures.
Drag and drop the UV template into the baked render window, and place it in the right position. Make sure it is the top layer by pressing "F7" to open up the "Layers" window.
Find a good skin texture for your character, create a new layer, and drag the skin texture onto it.
Tile the skin texture using "alt" + drag. Select all of the tiles in the "Layers" window, and merge them by using "ctrl" + "e". Set the layer to "Linear Light" at 60%.
Turn the skin layer off for now. Create a new layer, and start adding some details. You can use real photos for a more realistic look and feel. Don't forget to erase any dark areas of your baked texture to make it like the image below.
Add details to the face, using the "Burn" and "Dodge" tools.
Add some stomach muscles using the "Burn" tool. Refine the face by painting in the small details. Use the "Burn" tool on the knees as well.
Create a new layer. Use the "Polygonal Lasso" tool, and select the area all around the feet and fingernails. Fill them with a dark yellow color. Add details to them by using the "Burn" and "Dodge" tools.
Try to add the finer detail around the eyes and neck by using the "Burn" tool.
Please note that it's very important to use the same color and texture along the UV seams. For example, you need to use or create the same color as seam A on seam B. This will result in the texture of the character appearing seamless.
Click "Filters" -> "Sharpen" -> "Unsharp Mask". With this filter we can sharpen our texture layers, and have sharp edges on the details and skin.
Turn on your skin layers now, and apply "Unsharp Mask" again. You can play with the opacity of its layer, as well as "Brightness and Contrast" in the "Image" -> "Adjustments" menu.
If you modeled the eyes for your character, and they are already in your UV template, it's time to paint the eye texture. For this particular character, I have created some strange alien eyes.
Click on "Image" -> "Adjustments" -> "Hue/Saturation. Change the settings as shown below. You can use this feature to change the skin color. Before you do this, make sure you have selected the main baked texture layer.
Turn your UV template layer on, select the horn polygon areas, create a new layer, and paint in the specific yellow color displayed below. When you're finished, drag and drop your horn color layer underneath the skin layer.
Burn around the seam areas of the neck and head.
Merge all layers by pressing "ctrl" + "alt" + "e". Use the "Burn" tool with a different brush size to add the final details, and darker areas. Save your texture, and apply it to your character in 3ds Max. Make sure you have an un-collapsed version saved for future changes.