06
Oct
08

Dirty Avatars, the art of the Realistic Skin Texturing in iClone3

Dirty Cavemen textures created with advanced image editing techniques

Dirty Cavemen textures created with advanced image editing techniques

Do you ever get that unclean feeling…when you look at your virtual actors? Well, you should. Often times avatars appear too clean, too…picture perfect. But real folks aren’t like that at all in real life, real people have scars and age marks. Real hands that have put in a hard days work have dirt and grime on them, and sometimes even open wounds and blisters. Bare feet that have tromped around outside should have a solid layer of nastiness on the bottoms. Don’t believe me? Well, just ask the next hippie or cave-man you meet if you can get a close personal look at his hands or feet. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the amount of real-world ewwwh that you will find. It’s gross I know but it’s a dirty world and your character design should reflect that in your productions when striving for that natural look with your animated movies. That’s why todays tip focuses on Dirty Avatars, the art of the Realistic Skin Texturing. I’m sure most of you are familiar with CloneCloth and the wonders that lie with-in, the versatile texturing abilities it gives you for the clothes and costumes your actors are meant to wear. However, did you know that you can edit the Skin Diffuse maps for each and every avatar? It’s true, some of you may remember a tutorial I produced for iClone 2.5 that shows this technique in relation to adding tattoos to your characters, but in this tip I showcase how simply adding some filth to your avatars can make a decent character design into an aged and detailed actor. For this example I have created a couple different prehistoric cave dwellers, 1 female and 1adult male. These were created using the G2 Natural HumanBase content pack and an external image editor where additional detail is created and applied. To do this for yourself and for your actors follow the simple steps below or watch the high-speed video build provided.

  • Go to Actor
  • Click the Avatar Tab
  • Click the Template button
  • Locate the G2 Natural Human Base folder, if you don’t have these avatars you can purchase them at the content store at http://www.Reallusion.com
  • Load the Moe Base into the scene for this example
  • Select the Skin button
  • Locate the Material and Texture settings portion of the Modify Panel,
  • Select the Upper from the Select Material field
  • Click the Launch button to open the avatars Upper Skin texture into an external image editor, for this example I am using Photoshop
  • Use the Brush tool, with a dark brown color and low Flow settings to begin to paint Dirt
  • Continue to paint in details until you are pleased with the overall dirty level
  • Save and Name the edited file over the temporary JPG file
  • Return to iClone
  • Click the Update button to apply the edited Diffuse map
  • Return to the Material and Texture settings portion of the Modify Panel,
  • Select the remaining areas, Lower, Hands, Face, and Shoes from the Select Material field
  • To refine the other areas, after selecting again click Launch
  • Edit the image once again
  • Save the JPG
  • Repeat until you are pleased with the overall look of the Realistic Dirty Skin Textures

I know this is 2 texturing tips in a row and you maybe asking yourself, why would I need to know how to do basically the same thing twice? Well, when retouching and creating Realistic Dirty Skin Textures you must make sure you do a couple of things that you would not normally do for just any other prop or object. You lust know how to access the Skin textures first which is something that is overlooked from time to time. And you must isolate each body area and texture them individually. This level of detail in your characters will help to ensure that your next Machinima production looks just as good as some of the output coming out of gaming consoles and other real-time production tools, with enough time and effort, maybe even better. Below is a high-speed video example of how to access, load and edit the G2 Natural Human Base Skin textures. Also a rare glimpse into the virtual history as I showcase a couple my great, great, great, great, great, great, great ancestors. Enjoy!

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