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Envisioning epic characters

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Date Added: 30th December 2014
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Discover how Anders Ehrenborg perfected the exceptional photo-realistic textures on his Bear King model


Texturing I

If your aim is realism, it's important to start off with high quality photos. I got mine from for this project. I decided to use two sets of photos of different men and combine them into one texture to get the look I was after. One was used for the skin texture and the other for beard and brows.

I used a mix of these two heads from to create the color map

Texturing II

I unwrapped both faces in Photoshop, starting with the front-view and working my way around the head. Using layer masks in Photoshop to mask out unwanted parts of the photos makes it easy to go back and forth.

Once the photos were unwrapped, I applied it to the 3D model. If both the texture and UVs are correctly unwrapped they'll usually match up pretty well. All that was needed in this case was a slight tweak to the UV borders, relaxing the UVs and then spending 15 minutes tweaking the UVs with Soft Selection to get the texture perfectly aligned to the model. I used to tweak the texture to match the UVs, but personally find this other technique faster and cleaner.

Next up, I removed shadows and highlights. A great start to solving this problem is by using Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights in Photoshop. Play with the parameters as they will vary between projects. This serves as a good start, but won't solve all your problems. To get rid of the remaining highlights I add a soft-light layer at the top of the stack. Pick a skin-tone color and paint over the small highlights. Play with colors and opacity and don't be afraid to create more than one layer to get rid of the highlights.

Unwrapping faces in Photoshop, ready to apply to the 3D model

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Bruno on Sun, 18 January 2015 5:39pm
Awesome. I am a beginner looking for inspiration and this is really impressive. Congrats.
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