Fish Monster Texturing - Iterative Texture Design

Making Of / 25 November 2020

Over the past 10 weeks I have been making a Fish Monster for a short film production. My responsibilities were to design, sculpt, retopologise and texture the Monster. Taking on board the feedback of both my team and other teams I have iterated and improved on the design. 

The First Pass - Rushing, Uniformity, Smart Masks

For the first pass I rushed through and didn't come up with a proper design or colour scheme before texturing. As was pointed out to me, the uniformity of the scales and lack of apparent colour scheme are unappealing and lack inspiration. The fleshy parts around the face are too red and saturated and the scales are unreadable from far away. I took this feedback onboard and started my second design, keeping those design aspects in mind I attempted my second pass. 

The Second Pass - A Colour Scheme and Readability

This design was received better than the previous one, I focused only on the torso to limit what I had to pay attention to, and focus on getting one UDIM tile perfect. A well thought out colour scheme on the body and the increase in scale size. Feedback I got for this pass was that the scales were still too small and uniform and that the skin could use more of a colour breakup.

The Third Pass - Refinement and more UDIM tiles

The Fourth Pass - Scales, Transitions and Scattering

After completing the final texture of the body scales I got feedback that the transition from hard scales to soft flesh was too abrupt and that a transition material could be a thing to try. I based this transitionary material off of rough Shark Leather. I used the Thickness Map I baked out of Marmoset as a base for the Scattering, I then clamped down the values and handpainted elements to help with the transition across UDIMS. 

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The Final Render

Overall I am happy with the final product and the amount of work I put in to get it there. The last bit is tweaking the Sub-Surface Scattering inside of Renderman to get a more realistic look.