Tutorial : "Making of Skullhead Mobster"
by Harsh Borah, Vancouver, Canada


Once happy with detailing, now comes the texturing part. I love it and always been beaten up by mom for messing up my home walls. Also I cannott stress more on how much real life references are useful for texturing. Always refer to real life objects, their surfaces and how they react to light and environment.

So as Uv's are already laid out properly, I apply shader and start painting in Photoshop part by part. Mostly I hand paint all the textures from scratch in Photoshop. Started with the base color, made some custom brushes to add layers of dirt and weathering on objects. Then desaturated the color map and tweaked it to be used as bump and specular maps. Try not to paint too much of darker and highlights in color map, and let the light do that. Pay attention to finer details.


1. It's a good habit to bake your mesh's shadows from Maya and export it in Photoshop and used it as shadow base for painting darker parts.

2. Try to paint as big texture as your pc can handle, as you can always go smaller for texture size, but if needed to show more details can never stretch it out bigger. For my highpoly models I usually paint at least of 4k - 6k maps.


For shading I used a basic Blinn shader with color, bump and specular map attached to it. For leather jacket I used Maya's procedural leather texture in bump slot. Though the texture was handpainted and when mixed with procedural bump, it worked well. When ambient occlusion was not included in Maya, I used dirtmap plugin for every shader. It gives softer shadows and gives more depth to scene. Though it's a bit expensive in terms of rendering. Also i use Facing ratio for most of my surfaces. As it gives a little highlight on the edges of your model, which makes your shaders look more real.


I always keep light setup very simple. One main source light, one fill light and one rim light sometimes. If there are other objects in the scene, I try to put one bounce light for each object. Cause all my soft shadows are generated by Ambient Occlusion/Dirtmap shaders itself, I don't need to put extra lights to cast softer shadows. I use mental ray for calculation as its really good renderer, though takes a bit more time.

Here are the final renders. Added smoke,beard and bg in Photoshop with some color corrections and post effects. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

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