01:32:00 am , Categories: Tutorials, Poser Tutorials

Creating Character Skin for Beginners

Creating Character Skin for Beginners
Author: Rebelmommy

Tools Needed

* Poser 5 or above
* Paint Shop Pro (or paint program of choice)

Step 1 - Getting started

Open up your paint program (this Tutorial is done in Paint Shop Pro but you could easily convert it to Photoshop if you have a working knowledge of Photoshop or to any other paint program)

Once your Paint program is open find a nice seamless Merchant resource base that you like. Open it up. We are going to use the base as guide and to ensure that your character will have no seams when you're finished. (In this example I am using my own Bethany for V4 head texture)

Step 2

Find the seam guide for that particular base (For my examples I am using DAZ's V4)Generally you can find the texture Templates for all of DAZ's figures on the lower portion of that figures page within the DAZ's store. Make sure it is sized to match the base your working on and copy and paste it in top of the base. Now you have 2 helpers, the base your working with AND the seam guide! Set the seam guide's layer opacity to around 50%

Step 3

Now for this part you will need pictures that depict at least a front view, side view and 3/4 view of a face (of course for doing a body you will need to have pictures of all applicable parts)Find your front face image. Open it up in PSP.

Now you will want to use your lasso tool with a feather setting of 3 and circle her face. You don't have to be perfect as we will be blending later  :)

Copy that selection of her face and paste it on your Base/Seam guide as a new layer.

It does not matter if it is too big or to small as we are going to tweak it to fit in a few minutes. You should however attempt to size the eyes so they are the same size or close to the template/base size as that is what we are going to work on first  :)

Step 4

Now is a good time to open your poser Program as well. Do NOT close your paint program simply minimize it and open Poser. The key to making a great skin is to render.. tweak.. re-render..re-tweak

It is a long process but worth it in the end to have something that is uniquely yours and it really will make your character stand out!

Now with your poser open and your character your creating for loaded into it, it is time to head back to your PSP.

You want to line up your eye on your base/seam guide as best as you can at this point and save as a PSD file (this way you keep the working layers intact and Poser 5 and above can read the PSD)

Don't close your paint program .. simply open up your poser window and go to the material room and change the material on your characters head to be the image you just saved. After that give a quick render.. see how your texture fits. Odds are it needs a bit of tweaking.

Step 5

Open your Paint Shop Pro window again and begin to “tweak” your eye. You can do this in 1 of 2 ways.

You can, if it is off by just a bit, take your warp brush tool and use it to move the texture around and fit it to the template (I use this method most often and have had excellent results) or you can simply lay a new layer over the one you have and blend the two together using a soft eraser brush..

After you tweak a bit and feel that you may have the eye into the proper position resave the image in PSD and re render.. see what needs to be tweaked.

Don't be discouraged if you spend a bit of time tweaking and rendering and tweaking and rendering just to get 1 eye done. Creating skin does take a bit of time and effort but with practice you will find that with each character you do it will become easier and will take less time than the previous one.

When you get the eyes done you can simply erase all the unneeded parts of her face you have from the layer. Do leave some skin above and below the eyes for blending with other layers later on.

Step 6

Once you have the eye done take your front face image again and circle the whole face again and copy and paste as a new layer on your working texture. Now we are going to line up the nose.. same principal as they eye.. paste the layer and see how it fits..I recommend concentrating on lining up the sides of the nostrils with the template as opposed to the nostrils as you can color those later. I also recommend using your clone brush and cloning the nose skin right over the nostrils on your noses I said you can always color them in later. Resize as needed and then render.. obviously this will need some tweaking as well. Most of the work you will be doing will be tweaking, resizing and rendering over and over again.

Step 7

Now that you have your nose and eye pieces on and lined up (as you have rendered and checked to see that they are in the right position) you may notice that they have a bit of overlap (or you may not..either way is perfectly fine) If you do indeed have overlap now is the best time to take care of it. You can do this simply by taking a soft eraser brush and erasing along the edge of the top piece. I recommend using a small circular brush with the hardness set to about 50 and the opacity at 65-70%

Step 8

Now that you have your nose and eye layer in place and blended you will want to add some cheek skin. You may have noticed that I have been working on one side of the face only. This is because it is easier for a beginner to do one side and them merge it and then duplicate it and mirror it and adjust for the other side.

Once you become more comfortable with your skin texturing abilities you can do both sides separately. Find a picture with some cheek skin showing (a front) image is still best for what we are looking to do at this point). Copy the cheek part and paste it on your work and resize as needed. Of course you know the rest.. render, tweak, render, tweak..

After you find it is in the right position you will erase any parts you don't need (like the white I have here) and blend together like you did the eye and nose.

Step 9

Now we want to do the area around the mouth.. not the lips per se but the skin that leads up to them. So find an image with the mouth and skin around it.

Highlight it and copy and paste. You will want to resize as needed but mostly what you should concentrate on is getting the corner of the mouth from your picture and lining it up with the corner of the template mouth. Don't worry if the lips are all over.. we aren't really concerned with them at the moment.

After rendering and tweaking it to fit you can erase any unneeded parts like the lips.. and blend it with your other layers.

You may find that you have gaps or spaces between your pieces where the white template shows. Don't worry about this, as the merchant resource base is under it and when we are all done we will attempt to color match them all. Or if you feel a bit ambitious you can take small pieces of skin from your photos and attempt to blend them in over the spots.

Step 10

Now you will want to start on the side of the face and for this you will need a side profile picture. I recommend having at least one that is at a 45 degree angle and one at a 90 degree angle. You will want to start with the 45 degree one if you have it and highlight the side of the face. Copy and paste.. resize as needed.. tweak, render, and then blend as needed.

You will want to do that same thing with the skin along the side of the eye (if you want at this point you can clone out the eyebrows unless you have gotten them to match well when you first arranged your eye.. (generally I add eyebrows and lips last and separately) and along the chin and forehead. Once you have those done you should pretty much have a whole half a face with the exception of lips and eyebrows. You will want to make your base layer and your seam guide invisible and them merge all the visible layers.

Once you have done that you will want to duplicate the layer and mirror and line up on the other side. You will want to erase anything that covers the original half of face you made generally from mid nose over. Now you can make your seam guide visible again.. lay it on TOP of your 2 face layers and find some eyebrows and lips.

Step 11

The easiest way to do lips is to find a nice big mouth picture, then highlight the lip area on your seam guide and copy it.. paste it as a completely NEW image.. now take your mouth picture and paste it onto of the new lip template you just made. Resize the picture concentrating on just matching up the lower lip at first. once you have that lined up you can use the magic wand tool to highlight the lip template and then select the layer with the picture on it and cut.. this will cut everything outside the template off) now do the same thing and make a top lip.

Erase any part of the top lip that may go onto what the template designates as the lower lip section, then merge together your two layers (be sure not to merge your template in there as well) and copy and paste your new lips on your face. Now simply find some eyebrows.. cut around them.. paste and resize to fit and erase around them to blend in with your face. Now all that is left to do is make sure your face matches the Merchant resource base underneath. You can simply color/hue change the base (or your face) to match the face and then erase the edges of your face to blend, again with a soft brush with opacity set to around 65-70%.

Of course there are numerous merchant resources that have eyebrows and lips and you could simply choose from any of those you may have to find something that works for your character!

Now simply save your new characters head map with whatever name you wish and you are ready to start making your unique characters!

Rebelmommy has graciously given me permission to post her tutorial on creating character textures. Unfortunately we do not have the images since the original was on Daz3D's Artzone Wiki and although it is somewhat accessible, it is without the ability to  view the images, and she has long since lost them.

This tutorial is needed for all merchant and merchant to be's as a reference tool.

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