Part 2: Texturing by Joe Beckley
Since this was being used as more of a concept piece I painted it all in Photoshop. Elements like color scheme, fabric scale, amount of sub surface scattering, and overall shader quality are much easier to block out and adjust in this phase. For simplicity I'm going to focus on Milton (Fig.06).
Based on Jason's three-point light render, I created vector masks for each separate item, like the clothing, skin, hair, etc. The reason I used vector shapes here is because of the flexibility of being able to adjust the shape if I need to later down the line (Fig.07).
Once the masks were created for each object, I used them to block out my color scheme. At this stage of the process, it's just used to block out the image for overall unity. Rather than trying to adjust a skin tone to something that's white, it's nice to have a surrounding local color to work with, although they'll change depending on surface type. I started using the layer-blending mode as Multiply (Fig.08).
My next step was to go back into each layer and start to apply layer effects. This is a very quick and easy way to get shape and surface quality in quickly. Taking the skin for example: by changing the adjustment layer to Overlay and adding an orange/red tinted inner glow layer style set to Linear Dodge at about 20% Opacity and 15px size you get a great sub surface look.
Once the layer effects were in, I went back and added finer detail and blemishes, freckles etc. For other areas with more specific texture definition (i.e. shirt, pants, tie etc) I created a specific base material and warped and painted the texture. I then created a vector clipping mask for the original mask shape. After the basic material was in place then dirt, scratches, rips and wear were added as a vector clipping mask-blended layer
After the basic shading and texturing was complete, I went back in and adjusted specific tones and did broader adjustments (Fig.09).Again, using the skin as an example, I added a warm pinkish/red tone on the cheeks and ears, and a cooler bluish/purple tone on the forehead and other shadowed surfaces to give it a more grounded feeling. Since Jason had provided me with an Occlusion pass, I applied it to the top of my file as a Multiply layer. To avoid the occlusion muddying up the image, I added a Gradient Map adjustment layer to it. This allowed me to do a subtle color bleed effect.
At this stage, the image was pretty close to final (Fig.10). The only thing left to do was to integrate the characters into the background, and add any last high res fine detail like stray fabric strands, eye glints, subtle environment bounce etc (Fig.11).