Realistic looking skin in DAZ - FAQSo many times I am asked about the skins I make for my characters and how I get those to look realistic, especially for the fantasy races. I am a lazy person and don´t want to write the same answers again and again , so I might as well write a little journal about it. This is no tutorial and does not claim to be a complete collection of all the useful things when creating skin for DAZ... but it might help a few people to get the extra little something into their skin maps and shaders.
Look around when you are among people!
Yup, this is where it all starts. Look at people, look at different skin colors around you, look at all the details, look at reference pictures and close ups of peoples skin. Like this you can get an idea of what you want to achieve. I ALWAYS look at peoples skin (and hair) so I can learn what happens with different lights, where there is bumbs and color differences. Haha, I bet people think I am a scary weird lady who stares at
Displacement MappingSickleYield writes wonderful little journals where she explains things to the 3D world and tells stuff she has just learned to the people who watch her. I love that she does that, so why shouldn´t I try to do the same... because this is how we all grow, yes? Learning from each other is very important and I myself had wonderful teachers. So...
Here is a little crash course about displacement mapping or better - how those are made and set up in Photoshop / Gimp and DAZ.
In Daz Studio, displacement maps work pretty much like bump maps. Light areas render as positive while dark areas render as negative. To make a map for veins on arms, for example, I load the limbs texture into Photoshop as a guide layer, create a transparent layer above it, and simply airbrush the veins (white) using the texture as a guide. Some textures have veins that are visible and very easy to follow, while others do not and you just have to kinda wing it. It always helps to look at photos of very defined