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Making Of 'The Basketball Player'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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The flat tones over the baked map rendered to scene. I will not use this method for our tutorial, as I want a much richer tone and texture. But this demonstrates how baked textures work.

Note: A novel technique used by some artists is to create a high poly model with all folds and seams modeled. This is similar to normal displacement maps- you might call it a cheaper technique. The scene is then lit and texture baked to a map. I will use this technique to do the number 34 on our player's jersey.

For our Basketball player, I will use the baked texture mainly for reference.

Our metal ball experiment will pay dividend now. We are simply replicating our metal ball methods. I started with the medium colour tone as base. With the use of the selection tool, I mark out darker tone areas (using the baked map as guide).

I use a large airbrush size to gently paint in the area. I tend to use very low brush opacity/pressure settings.


With carefully set wind blur I already have my shape. Sometimes, I shade only one side so I can duplicate the layer>horizontal flip the shift to the other-side. Set wind blur at an angle to simulate the natural shape of the torso. The opacity of the layer is lowered for a subtle touch.

I will now abandon the baked texture for my own little trick learnt from painting comic books for 2000AD. The shape of the underside of the breasts and ribcage selected. This creates a strong torso illusion. In real life, the torso does not do this unless a person lifts up their ribcage. Gently apply wind blur. This time set vertically at 90 degrees.

Remember, I am using the wind blur filter to achieve a level of consistency impossible manual blending.

Do not worry about any apparent artifacts or aliasing right now. This is only the first tone over the base colour.

For the back of the player, repeat the shading process performed on the front.

Now let us do some detail work. Note that though our textures appear simple, attention to minute detail is what will make our textures plausible. Exaggeration is an absolute requirement when texturing for games, the sum total of understated and exaggerated detail creates the whole.

Here, I will pick out folds from the underarm area and create bevels. Remember to set a wind blur angle that corresponds plausibly with natural folds. Attend to detail, gently highlight the parts were two clothes meet and fold.


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