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Making Of 'The Basketball Player'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Shirt Edges

I pointed out earlier on that attention to detail is the secret of convincing textures. The trick is to make it look simple and uncluttered. Adding an extra dark shade around the edges creates a more 3D feel to the cloth wrapped around our basketball player.

Using the textporter map, select the outer edges of the jersey. Select>modify>contract the selection, shade and blur slightly. Remember to use large airbrush sizes for consistency.



You may have noticed that I create folders for my layer sets. It makes it easier to organize those hundreds of layers. You will never have to go searching endlessly for that layer again.

Using the textporter map as my guide, I can create the shoe details. You can see above how making selections then reducing them, inverting them and making another larger inverted selection can create varied masks for painting.

I have used here more or less the same techniques in this tutorial to paint the shoes.


One of the trickiest elements to paint is skin. I will the baked map as guide for form. It will be useful for detailing the nose, eyes and ears. I do not use photographs for the base, as I want a none-realistic look.

As usually I start with a mid tone base colour. Using the baked map as a guide, I select my eyebrow and shade in. After you have burred it to soften the lines, copy the layer and horizontal flip the layer. Move into position and layer merge with the first eyebrow.

All my tones are done using masks and broad brushes. There are painted on one side, layer copied and flipped. This way, I have exact tones on both sides of the face.

Do not be tempted to add too many highlights, as the face will look made-up with face powder on the model. Tame the tones with motion blur filters at different angles on the on separate layers.

After merging the layers according to groups; mid tones, light tones, dark tones etc. I now add the final highlight. Again, I paint within masks with a large airbrush size.

I gently motion blur my layers adjusting opacity levels to get gentle tones with character. The character comes from using masks and wind blur filters.

I constantly check with my model the results of each stage of my process. Here is the final output. There is a specular map here which accounts for the yellow shine on his face.


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