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Concept Art MasterClass #6: Costume Variation and Texture Modification


Gnomon Instructor and Senior Concept Artist Kyle Brown shares a groundbreaking workflow

Kyle Brown, a veteran of the CG world, Kyle has worked within the field since 2015 and has had his hand in a number of projects throughout the film and television industry. He also currently is an instructor at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects where he is able to share his expertise with others.

This Master Class comes in 7 parts, each carries its own tutorial video to guide you through the entire process of how Kyle incorporates Character Creator, Photoshop, ZBrush and other tools to create the concept art. You can find links to the other 6 tutorials below.

Part #6: Costume Variation and Texture Modification

When you spend all the upfront time getting your avatar set up, posed, lit and positioned in frame the way you want, you’ve done all of the heavy lifting. With Character Creator 3’s incredible library of assets that can be applied to nearly any character, you can mix and match these incredible assets to get all new looks for your design. With concept it is all about exploring a variation and possibility so being able to change bits and bobs to get new looks is crucial which makes CC3 such an exciting and efficient new tool to be added to the toolbox.

With custom clothing and accessories, it might require some tweaks to make sure pieces don’t interpenetrate and overlap incorrectly. Luckily, we can tackle these issues right inside of the CC3 Modify tab. Hitting conform will give you options to adjust the clothing as a whole where the Vertex modifiers will allow you to use different tools, including options like sculpting to select and move specific vertices, a really handy tool to keep the whole process simple and efficient.

This is a preview of the conform options which will place your model back in T pose allowing you to see the fit as a whole. Like most 3D packages of your choosing, you can use soft selections to make gradual adjustments to areas without distorting the mesh too much.

My first version had the visor up as it did in the initial sketches, but on each iteration I like to change up as much as possible so I easily move the visor down to see it in action.

You can generate a whole library of clothing and accessories that fit within a genre so you can pick and choose elements to get brand new looks with a few clicks and quick adjustments.

I decided that I want some options on the character herself. I elected to remove the cut lines that I had created earlier and opted to create something else that will still evoke the cyber punk feeling while hopefully feeling fresh and interesting. 

I grabbed the same texture from the cut lines that were directing the glow effect and once again took advantage of the Texture editor that sent it over to Photoshop. I used the texture reference in tandem with the original cutline glow to figure out where I wanted the new glow to be, I really enjoy hand painting these maps, giving me a very fluid workflow that can help create options on the fly. 

With mixing and matching, I am able to set up three unique renders that I can now take into photoshop to finish off with some paint and photo texture to get that last little bit of the way to the finish line!

*Note: You can Right click on your color map in the modify tab to pull up the option to Adjust color. This allowed me to desaturate the texture of some clothing I had that didn’t quite work with what I had established. This gives me a great base to work with in Photoshop.

Follow the other 6 tutorials in this series:

Part #1: Getting Started and Sketches

Part #2: Costume & Asset Creation in ZBrush

Part #3: Refining and Adding Details in ZBrush

Part #4: Generating Textures and Importing into Character Creator 3

Part #5: Lighting and Posing a Character in Character Creator 3

Part #7: Comping Renders, Paint, and Finish

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