I can’t wait to use Carrara, but even the luscious digital scenes of HowieFarkes cannot tempt me to go into the program without properly prepared digital people to inhabit the imaginary landscapes. Thus I have, indeed, been forced to wait, as I go through the laborious process of preparing digital me, digital Jareth, and digital Jennifer.
As I previously mentioned, my prep has taken a sharp detour into second skin clothing as a means of avoiding pokethrough. Second skin refers to clothing textures applied directly on the figure’s body that, with clever use of bump, displacement, and normal maps, as well as some morphs, can pass as semi-realistic outfits.
With no free or commercially available second skins out there for the V5 UVs, I started my own from scratch. Scanning my jeans and reconstructing them on the V5 UV seam guidelines bored the hell out of me, though, so I switched to working on the shirts. Once I found that approximating clothing is much more fun than faithfully reproducing, I abandoned my real-life jeans and headed into more improvisational realms.
I worked on Jareth’s outfit first. I began by matching as many clothing seams as possible to actual UV seams on the V5 textures. For example, the collar of his shirt matches the UV seam line between neck and shoulders, while the cuffs of his shorts match the UV seam line between thighs and legs. However, since the waist/hips UV seam is rather high on V5, I purposely dropped the waistline of the shirt. Displacement makes all these hems have depth in renders.
While I worked with some seams, I avoided, camouflaged, and/or omitted others. I didn’t add seams along the undersides of the sleeves and the inner and outer edges of the pants, as those digital seams would have crossed actual seam lines in the V5 UVs. While programs do exist that allow easy texturing across UV seams, I don’t have one, and I sure don’t want to make designs match across UV seams manually. Thus I decided to suggest clothing, rather than accurately replicate it.
Progress shots of Jareth’s and my second skin clothes are below.
Since I made these renders, I have improved both outfits. Jareth lost the nipple port holes and piercings, much to his dismay, and I further detailed my shirt and pants. [Jareth did, however, keep the crotch arrow. 😀 ]
I should point out that the progress shot of my second skin outfit illustrates my use of morphs to simulate clothing in conjunction with texturing. In creating the puffy, blousy sleeves that I love so much, I actually made a morph that inflated the appropriate area of the arm mesh itself. Go me!