How to Make Realistic Skin Using Gimp

Written by carol adams
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How to Make Realistic Skin Using Gimp
Skin is one of the most difficult things to simulate in a 3D model. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

3D models have many aspects to them, from the underlying mesh to the UVmapping. One very important aspect of a 3D model is the skin texture you will apply. While you can create a texture in which every detail is painted on, another approach is to create a realistic parametric skin texture. This seamless texture is then applied across the model. A good program for creating this sort of texture is the freeware application GIMP.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Load a close-up photo of skin onto your computer. It should be as uniform as possible, meaning there should be no pimples, birthmarks or other distinguishing features. It also should be square.

  2. 2

    Start GIMP. Select "File" from the menu and choose "New." In the dialogue that opens, enter the width and height for your texture. The usual size is 1024x1024, but it should at least be square.

  3. 3

    Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open as Layers." In the dialogue, browse to your image and open it.

  4. 4

    Use the "Scale" tool to fit the image into the upper left corner of the canvas. It should take up one-quarter of the canvas.

  5. 5

    Go to the "Layers" panel and right click on the image layer. Choose "Duplicate Layer." Use the "Move" tool to move the copy to the right, placing it against the right side of the first copy.

  6. 6

    Select the "Flip" tool and choose "Horizontal." Click on the copy to flip it. Then right click on the layer and choose "Merge Visible Layers."

  7. 7

    Go to the "Layers" panel and right click on the image layer. Choose "Duplicate Layer." Use the "Move" tool to move the copy to the bottom. Flip this copy as well, choosing "Vertical."

  8. 8

    Select the "Clone" tool from the toolbar, choosing one of the "Fuzzy" brushes. Hold down the "Ctrl" key and click near the cross hairlike seam in the image. Use the tool to paint over this seam. Do not go near the edges of the canvas. Save your work.

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