Character Texturing for Games

by Aug 9, 2016Textures

Character Texturing for Games and VFX

After finding a good Skin Shader to use for our realistic 3D Characters, we get to the texturing bit. This requires us to use more than one map to create realistic Character texturing results for Games and VFX.

The first map and of the most essential ones for texturing purposes is an Skin Opacity map. This is when one of our artists will define where skin is thick, like in the scull, and where it is more opaque and translucent, like in the case of earlobes or the nose.

Sometimes it is important to also define other areas of opaqueness like in fingers to create the desired effect, but it is also easy to overdo it.


Character Texturing for Production

Skin Roughness Texture

The next important texture map to consider adding to your character is the skin roughness map.

The reason for this map is that it determines where the skin is more oily and where the skin is more dry. For example, eyelid areas, nose and even more so under the nose and ears are the most common areas to add more wetness to. Not only that, it is also stretched areas that must also get more shine due to all micro bumps being stretched or sparsely distributed.

The skin oiliness is also very easy to overdo and most of the time it is safer to give this texture a small degree of effect, but just enough to break up that CG look and improve character texturing.


<iframe width="530" height="298" src="" frameborder="0" allowvr allowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" onmousewheel=""></iframe>

Texturing with Micro Detail

Very often to achieve the realistic look of digital human skin we need to layer effects one on top of another to add to your character another dimension of realism.

If you look closely at skin, you will notice that skin is way more complex than what a 24k texture can provide you with. So, what we have to do is add yet another layer of micro detail and mask areas of stretched skin out. Nose, lips, ears, eyelids, and perhaps cheeks and fingers must also be masked out.

This effect will contribute even more to the whole complexity of the look of your Digital Double.


If you have any wishes, suggestions or feel this article could be improved, please, do not hesitate to leave us your comments in the section below.

Best Regards,

Ruslan Vasylev

Ruslan Vasylev



Professional 3D Modeler with 17 years of combined VFX and Games experience, managing Vancouver-based 3D Scanning Studio,

Servicing Visual Effects for Film, Television, Games and Virtual Reality production studios.