Red Chases Blue – Texturing the Beast

When it came to texturing the beast I encountered an issue that always come with using Dynamesh in Zbrush – your 3D model’s geometry is beyond messed up.

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To get around this issue I used the Zremesher on a duplicate of the original model. This greatly improved the mesh and halved the ploycount to just above 350,000 squares. However as one would expect I did lose some the smaller details on the scales, to fix this I used the Project Details function in Zbrush to transfer the details from the original model to the one with the clean mesh.

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Now that I had a (sort of) clean mesh I imported my model into 3D Coat, where I used the software to automatically unwrap and slice the model. It far from perfect and efficient, however due to the time span of the project it was sufficient. Although some issues might arise from having this many seams on an organic model – my texturing workflow has never been impacted by this.

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No that I was all set up it was time to start texturing. My initial attempt was entirely in Zbrush. To achieve this result I used the different masking options in terms of cavity maps, smoothness maps and occlusions maps with Polypaint. This allowed me to easily enhance details on the scales that I sculpted in earlier by allowing me to paint on them as a separate layer while also being able to pain in the dirt and skin between the scales while also following the wrinkles and other minor details.

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However at this stage my Red character simply looked… too red. For my next step I decided to import my model into MARI for some texture projection from photos.
For this I hunted down some reference photos from the internet. I started out with the white spots that some asian elephants as means to add some variation to the red, this however evolved into looking at images of Black Vultures and Horn-bill birds for the forehead of the beast and turtle shells for some of the keratin growths.b4

This is the end result

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This was later imported into Zbrush again where I added some paint on the creature. In order to add some more details from the textures that I just did I imported my diffuse map as a displacement map in Zbrush. The feathers that were done in Fibermesh were unwrapped using FiberUV and painted in Polypaint

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Here is the final render of the Beast. While the results were good, given more time I would love to improve the texturing, by adding details like dry skin and using higher quality displacement alphas.

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