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With this technique I had more control than using the original shader. I could quickly adjust the percentages of each skin layer, and change colors, contrast and levels for each layer.

I made a mask for the reflection pass. I only wanted that reflection on the lips and this mask was okay because I was going to create still images. If it were for animation, I would have painted the weight of the textures before rendering the passes.


The eyebrows and eyelashes are polygon cones with different sizes. All were manually placed; it was simple but tedious work here (Fig.18).

Fig. 18


The eyes are three meshes: exterior, iris and a back cover (pupil) (Fig.19).

Fig. 19

The "exterior" mesh uses a blinn shader with transparency in the center that allows us to see the other parts. The transparency map is a Maya circular ramp.

Here is a render without textures, only with the transparency (Fig.20).

Fig. 20

I took photos of my own eyes to create the textures (Fig.21).

Fig. 21

Here are the shader values that I used. As a special thing, I also used a bit of translucence (Fig.22).

Fig. 22

For the reflections of the eyes, I mapped a HDR texture on a sphere and deleted the faces that didn't have the light source. I placed it where the light was to simulate that the light comes from a window (Fig.23 - 24).

Fig. 23

Fig. 24

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 161206, pid: 0) Mouslim on Fri, 09 November 2012 7:13pm
David, Please make a dvd of it. Everybody will buy it
(ID: 85760, pid: 0) Alix on Sat, 11 February 2012 9:28am
I think adding noise to the final image was unnecessary. Awesome tutorial none the less, I learnt something!
(ID: 54020, pid: 0) Jeremy Schichtel on Wed, 19 October 2011 8:50pm
I was so glad to see this tutorial. My coworkers and I marveled at these images. You had lots of us second guessing if it was cg
(ID: 48720, pid: 0) Khanh Pham on Wed, 24 August 2011 2:49am
great tutorial. Thanks
(ID: 48404, pid: 0) Thomas on Fri, 19 August 2011 1:06pm
Incredible work man, just amazing. I would kill to see a video tutorial for something like this.
(ID: 48354, pid: 0) Mohammadyashar on Thu, 18 August 2011 5:33pm
stunning!! working with max's hair and fur is so painful. but you did it in the best way. I don't know what to do with a frizzle hair.
(ID: 48336, pid: 0) Nico on Thu, 18 August 2011 12:49pm
Nice work, but will have one problem with the teeth, they are not oriented in relation to the lips, I think. Bye Nico
(ID: 48298, pid: 0) David on Wed, 17 August 2011 11:02pm
Thank you very much, guys!
(ID: 48287, pid: 0) Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:15pm
Never mind my previous question about the cavity map... I just noticed that you used it as a specular map :)
(ID: 48286, pid: 0) Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:12pm
Thanks for the tutorial! I just have one question about it: how are you using the cavity map? As a bump map? I've always wondered how to get a nice bump map out of ZBrush...
(ID: 48132, pid: 0) MoteOne on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:38pm
Hey there, one of the most realistic renders i had ever seen in my live :D very nice
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(ID: 48131, pid: 870207) Pak3dark (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:15pm
The boos The work is incredible, modeling, texturing, lighting and postpro ...... is total, I particularly liked the effect of facial hair and the detail of the eye, David is a work of 10, congratulations ...........and go to work ....jiji....
(ID: 48129, pid: 0) Vince on Mon, 15 August 2011 5:50pm
Love the images and tutorial...! Great inspiration for many artists out there no doubt! Keep it up ! Love your site too !
(ID: 48116, pid: 0) Luis F�bregas on Mon, 15 August 2011 1:06pm
Nice tutorial David, thanks for sharing.
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(ID: 48114, pid: 870176) Perversonality (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 12:55pm
Love the attention to detail on this one, especially the facial hairs. Nice write-up too :)
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