In the case of the textures, I took the mesh and applied a multi / subobject material. In this way, all the mesh was subdivided into zones, which were then mapped to the texture. Subdividing the mesh into several zones gave me more controllability and flexibility, I mean, I was able to map different areas of the mesh into the area of the texture that I wanted, and it permitted me to avoid some areas of the textures which I didn't wanted to show up on the final model. Photorealistic textures are very important to produce photorealistic characters. If you have a digital camera, you may take a picture of a real person and then adjust that picture in a 2d program like photoshop, or, if you are advanced in photoshop or corel or something similar, you may draw all the texture, layer by layer, and then use it in max; in this way you have more control and you can produce the effect that you want (a more clean or dirty texture, etc). In my case I had a texture to a high resolution, about 3000 x 3000 pixels. It is shown below (the diffuse map and the bump map):
I have tried different values for the bump map and make render tests to see what happens. Like I said, when you draw your texture 100% in photoshop, you may draw what you want, in fact you may create the skin how you want, more clean or more dirty, with more or less wrinkles, you may give it the color that you want, so, if you are good in photoshop, that's the way to do it.
I wanted this character to have a clean face, and combined with that perfect trim beard to look very fresh. But as you see, my texture was not very clean, it look like he shaved 2 days ago. But I found the solution to avoid that. I cropped the mesh in zones, and I assigned different material id's to them. Then I assigned to the head a multi / subobject material. After that, I have selected the zones by their id's (using Poly Select modifier) and apply to them a UVW planar map. After all the zones had mapping coordinates applied, I have collapsed the stack. Then I have applied Unwrap UVW and adjust the points on the texture. Having different material id's, I could map a zone where I wanted, I mean I put them in the clean area of the texture and this way I avoided the areas with beard. That's the process with all the zones. In the pictures below I put an example with two zones. For the lips, it's the same thing .
The eye texturing now...
Like I explain earlier, the eye ball is composed of two spheres, for the outer sphere I used a transparent material with a high specular level. I applied textures only to one sphere. See below, the two spheres. I have erased some parts of the spheres because I don't need them, they are not visible anyway.
I have assigned to the first sphere which holds the iris and the pupil 2 zones, with id2 and id3. To those areas, I have applied UVW map (planar mapping) and then Unwrap UVW to adjust the texture. The textures I had were at higher resolution and contained veins. I didn't make the bump parts of the eye, because they weren't very visible at the final render. But if you want, you can do a bump map and assign it to the material.
The first texture was assigned to the id2 and the second to the id3. Also, the area with id3 (the iris), has that little light which we can see in the eyes of someone. This is a HDRI image assigned in the reflection slot. When I assigned it, the light wasn't in the position that I wanted, so I had to modify the controls of tiling, offset and angle. In this way I could control the position where the light appears on the eye surface.
For the lighting, I used several omni lights having little intensity (about 0.2) and a lot of GI. The position of the lights is shown below:
In fact, the lighting is not done by those lights, they are only there for making some shadows and for some effects, the lighting is global illumination. The renderer is Brazil v 1.2.21 and the render time was about 45 min.
Well, that's all about this project...I hope it helped you.
Like I said, it's my first tutorial and I tried to make it as explicit as I could. In fact, I consider it a presentation
of the way and the techniques that I used to make this character. Hope you like it!