Body study as seen from my perspective

Images of characters done with MakeHuman

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Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby Mindfront » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:18 pm

I thought of sharing how far I got in making my skin textures and material, a process I worked on from time to time for about two years. When I started I didn't know much about texture painting so it was much trial and error and lots of patience.

Here is a photo study of my base MakeHuman character Jennifer using only three textures, color, specular and normal map. On top of the textures is a slightly modified version of wolgade's "procedural female skin for cycles" viewtopic.php?f=14&t=14174
Some minor skin details are still needed to be added or changed but for now I am quite tired of skin texturing.

First some texture samples from the cheek area to show how the texture details look like.
Skin_Color_8192p_version.png
Color texture
Skin_Color_8192p_version.png (67.39 KiB) Viewed 10029 times

Skin_Specular_and_roughness_8192p_version.png
Specular and roughness
Skin_Specular_and_roughness_8192p_version.png (78.19 KiB) Viewed 10029 times

Skin_Normals_8192p_version.png
Normal map
Skin_Normals_8192p_version.png (101.73 KiB) Viewed 10029 times



A relatively simple material node setup using the Principled BSDF with some SSS "strength: 0.1" "Radius: R:0.1 - G:0.025 - B:0.025".

Six bone driven shape keys is added to make some minor deformation adjustments on the elbows, knees and chest. Then added the modifier "Corrective Smooth" "Factor: 0.5" - "Repeat: 60" - "Smooth Type: Simple" using a weight painted vertex group to avoid smoothing on the bone driven shape key parts. A formfitted scalp with a base hairdo for easy recycling.

For close ups I added some body hair and vellus, still on the experiment level, some more combing and length variation is needed.

This scene is lit with only one HDRi by "zbyg" license CC-BY from http://zbyg.deviantart.com/art/HDRi-Pack-1-97402522 .
The only post processing is adjusted the levels to make them brighter and the original resolution is scaled by half.

01_Jennifer_face.png
Face
The eyes misses the waterline but that have to wait until I got the time. (A hair strand goes through the head)

02_Jennifer_arm.png
Arm

03_Jennifer_hands.png
Hands
Some texture adjustments needed on the fingers.

04_Jennifer_feets.png
Feets
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby wolgade » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:56 pm

Wow, that's pretty close to reality. I must admit, that I'm quite proud to have contributed a little bit of inspiration. This is so cool! You share a little idea and a while later you see these breathtaking images. Sharing ideas pays off, that's for sure.
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby punkduck » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:20 pm

Mindfront wrote:
Here is a photo study of my base MakeHuman character Jennifer using only three textures, color, specular and normal map. On top of the textures is a slightly modified version of wolgade's "procedural female skin for cycles"
Some minor skin details are still needed to be added or changed but for now I am quite tired of skin texturing.

"only a color, specular and normal map" :shock:

There are not many people using more than the color-texture itself. 8192px * 8192px * 4 Bytes * 3 Maps means approx. 805 mByte for a skin (I guess the specular map internally is also presented as a 4 byte value) while rendering. The normal MH skin is 16 mByte. Typically, because I like this very much and I'm miles away from having this kind of texture I've some questions:

Is Wolgade's method (It looks like you leave out some of the dark spots for Jennifer) used by baking it on your texture or by adding the shader while rendering?

I always have problems where skin parts have a seam. Is this seam still in a way visible (when I look at the hands I'm not able to see it)?

Mindfront wrote:For close ups I added some body hair and vellus, still on the experiment level, some more combing and length variation is needed.

Do you use (at least for density of the vellus hair) a vertex group with weight painting?

Mindfront wrote:The eyes misses the waterline but that have to wait until I got the time. (A hair strand goes through the head)

Now that you mention THIS hair ... I also see it. At least there is always one hair doing things you don't expect. :lol:

The waterline is the only thing my girls have and a typical reason for fireflies. If you will do it in future be aware that the best way to make the waterline visible is to use the branched path tracing. Otherwise the water was in a way invisible because it was blurred (looks grey with a shadow) in a way ...

Mindfront wrote:Some texture adjustments needed on the fingers.

Really? The only thing I can imagine is that the natural finger-nails might be a little glossier compared to the skin. It is one of the most perfect pictures I ever saw in this forum. Same with the feet.

So thank you for showing this as an example. I'm not sure if I can do something as natural as you have done. Compared to this my girls are really still a bunch of pixels ... :?
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby wolgade » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:16 pm

Well, this might have been explained somewhere. Anyway, could someone tell me what is a "waterline"?
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby punkduck » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:41 pm

wolgade wrote:Well, this might have been explained somewhere. Anyway, could someone tell me what is a "waterline"?


David Moratilla uses the term "tearline" (second to last picture on this site:
http://www.davidmoratilla.com/CloseUpPortraits_MakingOf5.html)
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby Mindfront » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:28 pm

wolgade wrote:Wow, that's pretty close to reality. I must admit, that I'm quite proud to have contributed a little bit of inspiration. This is so cool! You share a little idea and a while later you see these breathtaking images. Sharing ideas pays off, that's for sure.


And I am very, very grateful! As one can bake a good looking cake but without sugar it wont taste good, and you contributed the sugar.
An approximation is that your procedural skin node setup makes about 50-60% of this skin appearance.

I will soon prepared a blender-file with this (almost final) skin material, not all to different from my earlier published skin material but some minor changes is made and there is always room for improvements.

Some renders showing how important your procedural skin is:
Starting with the most important of them all the specular and roughness texture.
comparison_Skin_specular-roughness.png
Texture and Procedural specular


Then the normals of the normal texture and the normals of the procedural bump
comparison_Skin_normals.png
Normal texture and procedural bump


The color texture
comparison_Skin_color.png
Color texture and procedural color


Last a complete material render, lit by only a sun lamp
comparison_Skin_material.png
Complete render in only a sun lamp
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby Mindfront » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:20 pm

punkduck wrote:"only a color, specular and normal map" :shock:
(and a BW wet texture I forgot to mention but that is not important as it is for future expansion like making the character to sweat.
I have seen, looking around, that many seems to use a lot more when they making skin textures but I like to keep it as simple as possible.

punkduck wrote:There are not many people using more than the color-texture itself.
The specular texture is, have I learned, the most important part and should be in high contrast to give the skin its lustrous and to minimize the look of plastic, that was one part Wolgade indirectly helped me understand when I played with he's skin cell nodes.

After the specular is a good detailed normal map preferably with greater irregularities not only skin cells and pores.
Lastly important is the color texture because all of the above takes care of the details if they are made in at least 4096p.


punkduck wrote:Typically, because I like this very much and I'm miles away from having this kind of texture I've some questions:
You helped me, I help you :D I'm happy to help as much I can.

punkduck wrote:Is Wolgade's method (It looks like you leave out some of the dark spots for Jennifer) used by baking it on your texture or by adding the shader while rendering?
Added as procedural on top of the textures in the material (I soon will upload) while rendering. I have reduced the color influence but not all as its color shading make the skin more alive. Baking it to a texture would loose many of the benefits of a procedural texture. It takes little more to render but the result is worth every second.

punkduck wrote:I always have problems where skin parts have a seam. Is this seam still in a way visible (when I look at the hands I'm not able to see it)?
All seams have been carfully removed also between the toes at level 2 subsurf, using lower level may display some seams when extreme close ups. I will do an extreme close-up render after the one that is going on for now is finished.

---- edit 2018-01-08 Here is the extreme close-ups on some of the seam areas
Jennifer_UV-Seams_closeup_01.png
Seam area on one finger
At this level the skin lacks many details and looks unreal but you can see the procedural texture in full action.

Jennifer_UV-Seams_closeup_02.png
The heel
The heel has almost no visible uv-edges.

Jennifer_UV-Seams_closeup_03.png
The neck have many UV-seams but no one are visible
The neck is one part I need to add some more details at, when I have the time. The hair looks a bit unreal but nothing that bothers me enough to do something about it.
---end edit 2018-01-08

punkduck wrote:Do you use (at least for density of the vellus hair) a vertex group with weight painting?
two vertex groups, one for density and one for length, just improvised weighing.
Body_Hair_Density.png
Body hair density

Body_Hair_Length.png
Body hair length

Sorry about to forget hiding the skeleton it these screenshots.
But if you are interested I can make a blend-file with the whole hair system. It is always easy to mute when not needed.


punkduck wrote:Now that you mention THIS hair ... I also see it. At least there is always one hair doing things you don't expect. :lol:
:lol: The hair goes everywhere, I could have edit it in Photoshop but decided not and present the raw renders without any post editing at all other than adjusting the levels a bit.

punkduck wrote:The waterline is the only thing my girls have and a typical reason for fireflies. If you will do it in future be aware that the best way to make the waterline visible is to use the branched path tracing. Otherwise the water was in a way invisible because it was blurred (looks grey with a shadow) in a way ...
Next step when I have the time is to try making the eyes look a bit more real and to try branched path tracing is on my agenda.

punkduck wrote:
Mindfront wrote:Some texture adjustments needed on the fingers.

Really? The only thing I can imagine is that the natural finger-nails might be a little glossier compared to the skin. It is one of the most perfect pictures I ever saw in this forum. Same with the feet.
Thanks! I think the fold of the skin on the knuckle-joints is a bit to large but thats only a minor problem and can wait. The nail material needs some more adjustments and is on top of the list.

punkduck wrote:So thank you for showing this as an example. I'm not sure if I can do something as natural as you have done. Compared to this my girls are really still a bunch of pixels ... :?
These renders is made mostly to look for errors and for fun, I am about to do alot of them and will share them along the way.

I always felt MakeHuman have great potential and want to show that it is possible to make a decent looking 3D character with a small budget, if any budget at all. In this case I bought this high resolution images to create this skin but I could also have used myself as texture, but when this project started I had no camera. :roll:
Last edited by Mindfront on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby wolgade » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:25 pm

First of all thanks for the detailed description on what you did and why you did it. I learned a lot of things I never would have thought of.
Mindfront wrote:I will soon prepared a blender-file with this (almost final) skin material,

Great. I'm very curious to see the node setup.
Mindfront wrote:Starting with the most important of them all the specular and roughness texture.

This is a surprise. I never thought of a specular map to have details. I used roughness maps to make lips with lipstick more glossy and a face with make-up (powder) less glossy. It wouldn't have come to my mind in a million years that it's important to modulate this general low-resolution glossyness with skin details. Thanks for telling me this.
Mindfront wrote:The specular texture is, have I learned, the most important part and should be in high contrast to give the skin its lustrous and to minimize the look of plastic, that was one part Wolgade indirectly helped me understand when I played with he's skin cell nodes.

Well, I didn't manipulate specularity with my procedural node setup. I wasn't even aware that this might be a good idea.
Mindfront wrote:make a decent looking 3D character

2018 just started, but I shall propose these words for the Understatement Of The Year Award. The character itself is beautiful and level of detail and realism simply blew me away.
Mindfront wrote:I could also have used myself as texture, but when this project started I had no camera.

Well, I guess it takes more than just a camera to create reference images for textures. You need to light your model very evenly to avoid shadows. The cheapest way to get this kind of light is to shoot outdoors on a cloudy day.
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby Mindfront » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:06 pm

wolgade wrote:This is a surprise. I never thought of a specular map to have details. I used roughness maps to make lips with lipstick more glossy and a face with make-up (powder) less glossy. It wouldn't have come to my mind in a million years that it's important to modulate this general low-resolution glossyness with skin details. Thanks for telling me this.

wolgade wrote:Well, I didn't manipulate specularity with my procedural node setup. I wasn't even aware that this might be a good idea.

(This is kind of a long reply, sorry, but I think it can be useful)
I have long known that a specular texture is important but not how important and I will try to tell how I came to this conclusion. This has been an on going process and all thing got together when Blender 2.79 came with the Principled shader.

First i made my skin material the old way, a specular texture was to control the mix factor between diffuse and glossy. Then I found a skin material node setup wish used the Fresnel node as mixfactor and that made the skin to look better but the rest of the skin material node tree was a big mess and (at that time) almost impossible to understand.

Then came Blender Guru with the PBR node setting and I redid the skin material and now it begun to look better but not enough. Then came you with the procedural skin, I added it into my new PBR skin material, there I first added the cells as small bumps on top of my normal map, the same cells got on top of my specular map and the colors gave my skin texture some more life. That started to make the skin look really okay as your procedural texture made even the lowest resolution 2048p of my textures to look almost like hires and the skin have suddenly got some nice structure in the specular, but still something was missing, the skin looked like plastic in some lighting, like only a sun lamp. That was highly irritating.

Then came Blender 2.79 and once again I had to redo my skin material, this time it was relatively easy as the most of the settings already was adapted to PBR. (The new thing was to making an own Principled SSS and I think I got it looking relatively okay.)
The skin still looked like plastic in the sun lamp but overall okay. I took a longer pause and made some MakeHuman clothes...

Making textures for clothes is the same as for skin, and there I also had problem with the plasic look on the fabric. And how much I tried to adjust the specular texture it did not look like real fabric.

I begun to look closer at the Principled shader and decided to try my specular texture as both input roughness and specular and yes!!!. The fabric got structure. As roughness still give some shading even on full the specular controls the strengt and black means no specular at all and the fabric finally had those visible fine structure I wanted and looked alot better in almost every kind of lighting. With some color ramps I could controll the specular level and roughness one for each with only one texture. (The Cycles material I have uploaded for my latest three dresses is some examples)

And that made me to try the same on my skin material. I used a color ramp to give your skincells more contrast and added it also to the Principled specular input, the skin begun to look almost okay as your tiny cells gave the specular some shimering and the plastic feeling begun to fade.

Last part :roll: As my first skin specular texture was a strait BW of the color texture I decided to do an High Pass on it to even out the light vs dark areas and keep the fine details and enhanced the contrast. After some fiddeling trying out which shall be the whitest color and blackest color to get the skin not to glossy and not to dull I found an aproximate working level (for this skin). There are still some areas that must be adjusted but I leave for the time being.

So therefore your tiny, tiny skin cells made wonders when used as bump and color, but made almost the whole thing when added as specular and roughness. These tiny details give some longer render times but I dont care as my goal is to do still images even though it would be fun to se my characters in motion.

If I had started today, texturing a whole character from scratch, with all new knowledge I think it would take about a month, if only using free time. As the material is almost finished I dont need to think about that part any more.


wolgade wrote:2018 just started, but I shall propose these words for the Understatement Of The Year Award. The character itself is beautiful and level of detail and realism simply blew me away.
:lol: :D Thank you!!! Ok, I admit this character looks good and I am quite proud of the result, and I am very happy I joined this great community without it this would have taken a lot longer to achive, without MakeHuman impossible.

The actual texturing was finished some week before I joined this community, I only did some minor adjustments after that. Most of the time got at working out a decent looking one size fits almost all skin material enough to look decent in most light condition. And I could not find a solution until a solution was available, the Principled shader with a good specular and roughness texture.


wolgade wrote:Well, I guess it takes more than just a camera to create reference images for textures. You need to light your model very evenly to avoid shadows. The cheapest way to get this kind of light is to shoot outdoors on a cloudy day.
That I discovered when I started texturing with this photos, the photographer missed, like many do, to make the model evenly lighted so I spent most of the time texturing to make toning and color corrections.
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Re: Body study as seen from my perspective

Postby Mindfront » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:12 pm

Here is my (almost final) Blender Cycles skin material. With a right balanced specular/roughness texture it should look decent right out the box, but if needed I have left some muted Color ramps to adjust the specular, roughness (specular and roughnes is the same texture) and skin color. Important to know is that this material and settings is in scale 1:1 metric.

(As this skin material is special made to work with my tre textures (not included), four with the wet texture mask (inkluded in the blender-file). I add it here instead of in the user contributed area to not confuse anyone this material work without some effort making at least one 4096 detailed specular texture and preferable a normal map.
The specular texture should be made the old way, black means no specular max roughness and white full specular and mirror.)

Mindfront_Skin_Material_Blender_Cycles.blend
Blender Cycles Principled skin material
(2.84 MiB) Downloaded 744 times


Edit 2018-02-01
As I promised ivmeneze in viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15599&start=20 I prepared an empty blender file with the basic cycles render settings I use for all my renders (so far).
Basic_Cycles_render_setup.blend
Basic Cycles render setup
(596.07 KiB) Downloaded 492 times

End edit
Last edited by Mindfront on Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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