Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making a male skin - Starlight step 3

I'm back!

In the previous post we worked very hard making adjustments to the starlight upper texture and adding the necessary layers to allow it to be used in a male skin.  So now we'll work on the adjustments ( no additions) to the other two textures, the lower and the face. This will not be nearly as long or as arduous as the upper texture was, and you have gained valuable experience which should make this a piece of cake.

starlight_lower m yymmdd.xcf - buffed up and final adjustments

After all the work we did on the upper layer, this is going to be pretty anti-climatic.  There are really just two layers to work on to buff up the legs a bit.  Both layers involved the thigh muscle on the front of each leg.  As before the problem is that the highlight is a bit too smooth and we need to make it just a bit more lumpy. 

Before you get started do a google image search for male body models to get an idea of how this should look.  Here's what I did for my layer mask::
  • Turn on the grid for the cmff base layer as we have done before on the upper texture 
  • Turn off the 'front highlight thigh' layer.
  • Select the 'front.shift.thigh' layer, right click and choose 'add layer mask' as we have done before.  And make it white.
  • Select the Airbrush tool and make the foreground color black.  Make the scale about 6.
  • Now paint the area just above the knee to reduce the highlighting there.  I also reduced it a little bit toward the outside of each thigh slightly above the knee.  
  • As we always do, switch the color to white and touch up what you may have overdone, changing the size of the paintbrush as you need
  • and repeat the last two steps until you are satisfied.
Then, as we did before, find the 'front light thigh' layer, turn it back on and do the same thing we just did to the 'front shift thigh' layer..  Here's a picture of the layer mask I created.

That's it!  We're done with the fancy airbrushing and layer masks!  Take a break, walk around the room and SAVE YOUR FILE!

Now its time to make some adjustments to the intensity of the highlights.  This is subjective so if you decide you want more highlights than I do, or less, that's ok.  The important thing is that what you do for the upper highlights must be matched by what you do in the lower highlights.  (we won't be changing the shadows at all)  So immediately after making adjustments on the lower layer, we'll move to the upper and finally to the face, making adjustments to the layers there too.  All of these adjustments will just be to the opacity of the layers, we won't change the mode or do any more fancy airbrushing.

I'll go through a list of layers for the lower texture now and share the values for the opacity that I have used for this male skin... starting at the top and working our way down:
  • front.light.abs = 66
  • front light abdomen = 66
  • front light thigh = 66
  • front light knee = 66
  • front light shin = 66
  • front shift thigh = 100
  • back light buttock 1 = 66
  • back light buttock 2 = 66
When I change the opacity of a layer I usually make some note of it by adding something to the name of the layer.  It might be the number that I changed it to ... or it might be just some signal like "*" or "<<".  You might want to do the same.  You can feel free to adjust these values in the future to something more to your liking, but for now it's probably best to start with these.

starlight_upper m yymmdd.xcf ... final adjustments

Now here's the list of layers in the upper texture on which I have changed the opacity:
  • navel upper light = 66
  • navel bottom light = 66
  • breastB.chest light = 66
  • breast highlight male lower = 55
  • breast highlight male upper = 33
  • breastB.breast upper 66
  • breastB breast shade 1 = 100
  • collarbone = 44
  • abs highlight = 66
  • abs side = 66
  • abs shift = 100
  • arm lower light = 33
  • arm bicep light male = 55
  • arm upper light = 33
  • arm lower light = 33
As I said on the lower texture file, feel free to adjust these values to your liking sometime in the future.  But for now, I'd suggest that you use these.

starlight_face m yymmdd.xcf final adjustments

The main thing I did with face texture was to be sure the makeup is off, including lipstick, eye shadow and eye liner.  And then adjust the lip color to something that I liked.  To do this I set these layers as shown below:
  • lipsA base darker = 22, multiply
  • lipsA base lighter = off
  • lipsA base = off
And I then adjusted the facial highlights to match the highlights of the upper texture:
  • cheek corner light = 66
  • check light = 66
  • chin light = 66
  • eye bottom light = 66
  • forehead light = 66
  • ears light = 66
Also remember to experiment with the different choices of noses, lips and eyes. 

Ok!  We're done!  Yay!

Checking your work

The most awful thing that can occur in modifying one of Eloh's startlight skin is that the seams between textures and within the texture become visible.  The open source skin's Eloh provides us as starting points do NOT have visible seams, so if any show up they are simply our fault.

So.. it's time to check your work.  Load the latest versions of each of the textures you have been working on into GIMP.  For the upper and lower textures, save them as jpg files, for the face texture, save it as a png file.

Now we'll upload them into Second Life.  I recommend that you use a viewer that can upload temporary textures to do this because uploading temporary textures is free.  My current favorite to do this is Firestorm.  To upload a temporary texture you use Build->Upload->Texture, choose the texture when it shows you the folders and then tick the 'temporary' box when the viewer shows you the file you've selected, and click Upload.

Once you're logged in and have your textures uploaded its time to try them on.  You'll need to be somewhere where nudity is permitted, like an Adult Sandbox, or if you are not adult verified, find a place that is sparsely populated (use ctl-shift-1 and look at the Main Agents, that tells you the number of people in the Sim).   I'll be using Firestorm as my point of reference here so you'll have to interpret if you're using something else....
  • Press the inventory button and find the second inventory button at the bottom of the inventory window to open up a second inventory window. 
  • Make a copy of one of the skins in the Library and put it in a folder named 'body', then name the skin 'my skin yymmdd' and double click it to wear it.
  • Now right click your avatar and choose Appearance->edit outfit->body parts->(your skin name here)  (there's a little screw driver and wrench icon to click)
  • You will now see three small window-ish things at top labeled 'head tatto', 'upper tatto' and 'lower tatto'  (yes, I know its spelled 'tattoo').  That's where you will put the textures you have uploaded.
  • Open the textures folder in the left inventory window and drag each of the textures you have uploaded to the appropriate window on the right.
  • Press "Save" and then "X" to exit.
Now use your 'cam-ing skills' to closely inspect the seams of the skin you have just made.  Check each of these in turn
  • Upper/lower seam at the waist, front and back
  • Upper/face seam at the neck, front and back
  • Shoulder seam in the upper texture, front and back
  • Arm seam in the upper texture, down the bicep and in the back, along the tricep
  • leg seams in the lower texture - the outside of the leg and the inner leg
  • There are seams in the face texture too - but these usually don't seem to cause a problem, or are often covered by hair.
If you can actually SEE any of these seams, if you see a line of sorts in these places.... you have a problem that needs to be corrected.  There's no absolute prescription on how to do the correction, sometimes its a simple matter of finding the error and fixing it.  Sometimes you just have to begin again.

I tried to show you a way of doing the male skin here that would have a minimum of seam problems, so lets go on and look at what we've done.    Look at the male pects, lighting and shadow.  You may decide you need a little more or less of one or the other.  That's fine.  Once you have verified that you have no seams in your skin, you can go ahead and make changes to personalize it to the way you want to look.  Likewise inspect the abs... too much?  too little?  All of this is totally subjective and up to you.  Just be sure, as you make changes, to keep inspecting for the dreaded seams.... and provide yourself a way to backup to a previous level if you find you've introduced one.

And Finally.......

Once you're happy with the results of your hairless male skin, we can move on to the final step - making hair!  That's in the next post.


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