Advanced Skinning/Upscaling Techniques in Photoshop Pt. 2

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Atton Sleeve Upscaling



Of course, the details between the edges are just as important as the sharp edges themselves. Let's take a look at my HD

re-texture of our beloved smuggler, Atton.




Boy, this part needs work! This section is both shoulders of Atton's ribbed jacket. As you can see, the resolution

reduction and compression got rid of much of the leather detail and aliased the edges. Here, I've already lightly filtered

this section using a Median filter and recolored it to remove some color splotches. Since the colors are mostly flat with

low detail, let's smear these suckers.



When smearing across multiple polygons, it's important to alter the selection to match both the original edge and the

topology of the model to avoid any crooked or bend edges.


Now let's add a bit of detail. Browsing through, a site full of useful and free textures, I found a

photograph of a crumpled piece of paper that looked pretty good. I decided it could serve as a bumpmap for this leather. I

placed it in the scene, desaturated it, and applied a high pass filter with a reasonable filter radius. However, the

raised edges of the jacket would look rather flat, so I had to incorporate my new edges into it. I filled the shape of the

raised edges with white on top of the paper texture and used the Lighting Effects filter to generate a raised texture.




And then, compositing as Soft Light...




Pretty good, but it was lacking something... maybe some leather cells? Or perhaps I could utilize a bubble texture!



Now THAT is a texture! Don't worry about the sloppy edges, as they're outside the bounds of the model.



Advanced Techniques



Sometimes it's helpful to use some real world material to enhance the realism, especially on human characters.




Yup, that is my actual thumb! All of my nail-bitten fingers made it in, front and back. Checking the wireframe guide, I

carefully distorted and stretched each finger to match each joint with the polygon edges. This section is a great example

of cylindrical textures, in which the texture is split along an edge to be unwrapped. Consider the map of the world, in

which going off one edge leads back to the other, while in 3D you cross a single edge. Same thing with textures. This can

cause unsightly seams where the edges meet, so it is important to keep both edges consistent, checking the model and

subtly painting the edges until they just nearly match. Sometimes, some details have to be distorted to allow the texture

to flow to an entirely different section across the map.


Occasionally, bad UV mapping creates seams that require slight manipulation to compensate for. Take Atton's pouch for




I say, what is with that ghastly thorn? I drew that in to compensate for an error in the UV mapping.




As you can see, the faces don't quite line up perfectly, so compensation was necessary.


Many times, some details will be so blurry you have no idea what they were supposed to look like. In this case, artistic

license is required.




The buttons and raised bumps were drawn entirely in the computer, as both were a jumble of blurry nonsense, heck each

button was only a pixel or two!




This shot demonstrates many of these techniques. Smearing was done on the border of the shirt and the flap while redrawing

enhanced the edge between the shirt layers. The curved, red shapes along the flap's edge allowed it to flow into the shirt

as they share a few edges. A cloth texture was placed and distorted across a few different pieces, and some real buttons

of mine were placed on the flap to replace the barely distinguishable dots that not only looked blurry but were also too

close to the edge of the polygon.


Well, that's our show folks! I hope you guys benefit from my knowledge. Feel free to add tips of your own in the comments!


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Much of this tutorial is depreciated, as I've found better tools. Namely: the Warp tool in GIMP, set to Shrink Area. This allows you to draw where you want the lines to sew together.

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