So... this brought me to the end of the first day.
The second day started by importing the object with right UVs into Mudbox and refining the mesh. Mudbox 2009 has the skills to manage massive numbers of polys quite easily, so the pear was subdivided at around five million polys to get enough definition to generate a good 4K normal map.
Basically, apart from general deformations, the main details were the little bumps of the skin and the detail of the lips. Here you can see a "before" and an "after" of the process (Fig.07 & Fig.08).
It's often a good idea at this point to extract the normal and/or displacement maps, because sometimes, after texturing, the files are too heavy to do things easily and quickly.
To generate the normal map Mudbox is extremely easy. Basically I started by selecting the object I wanted (Fig.09).
Then I went to the upper menus, clicked on "Maps" then "Extract Texture Maps", and selected whatever was shown there (I'm afraid I can't be any more specific than that as Mudbox is refusing to open at the moment!)
Once there, I chose "Normal Map" because that's the only thing I wanted to create. I clicked on "Use Selected" in the "Target Model" and "Add Selected" in "Source Models" to indicate where the details should be gotten from. The value for "Search Distance" should be automatically displayed, but if not then you can click on "Best Guess" to generate it. Finally I selected the size of the map (4k for Mrs Pear as I knew the render was going to be quite big - 5000x3500) and pressed "Extract".
Here you can see a full list of the parameters that I used (Fig.10)
The extracted map was can be seen in Fig. 11.
The last step in this tutorial was to create the texture for Mrs Pear. I find that the easiest way to make textures without having to worry about seams, etc. is with the Projection tool in Mudbox. You only have to look for a nice image to be used as a "Stencil" and then just paint and paint! I made these two textures in Photoshop using that method (Fig.12 & Fig.13).
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