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Mask_Salesman's 'Last of Us' Inspired Sumd00d & Tuts!

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Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
A fair few peeps have inquired about my workflows for this piece, So I thought I'd create a bunch of Tuts together in this thread.
I don't often make tutorials since like every artist I don't think I'm good enough yet haha, however given the amount of peeps having asked, I'll try and give some helpful advice as best I can :thumbup:

So Here's what I've been working on:

The Initial sculpt

Early Zbrush diffuse wip

Early Zbrush diffuse wip

The Finished Head in UDK

The Flat Diffuse (scaled down) Entirely Hand Painted

The First tut concerns colouring the facial hair stubble.
There were a few way's to approach stubble;

'A' In Photoshop via brush and filter.
'B' In Zbrush via mask sculpt stubble by smoothness+invert and polypaint.

And ofcourse 'C' just paint on RBG while sculpting the stubble initially, although very few people prefer working this way.


Although 'B' is the most useful certainly in Zbrush I prefer 'A' due to the flexibility it offers further down the line.
Also just to mention I used the stubble as a selection to delete the excess normal colour.

Next Tut is the eyes.
I used 3 meshes for the eyes, 1 the ball with a flat iris, 2 the lens with a convex dome over the iris and 3 a hemisphere mask. Add some lashes and a head and its good to go.


I made the eyeball a separate texture + the hemisphere mask. The lashes are part of the main head texture. Usually I place the eyeball at the top of the head texture in the gap between the ears but for modularity's sake I made it separate. The lens was purely a material + cubemap.
The iris had a concave normal map to give that feeling of depth.
The hemisphere mask allows for a constant AO that still allows the eyeball itself to rotate around.

The Other requests involve;
Zbrush matcap/lightcap setup,
Skin sculpting techniques,
Texturing techniques,
UDK Material,

which I will update this with soon :)

I hope these are helpful!


  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 10
    Yeah man this stuff is rad, thanks for the tutorial.
  • Leb
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    Leb polycounter lvl 6
    Really nice textures. Thanks a lot for the tutorials. Cool way of doing face stubble going to try those ways out for sure.
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Cheers guys :)

    Tut 3 Zbrush Matcaps/Lightcaps
    A couple people inquired about my matcaps for Zbrush;
    It's actually a Lightcap more than matcap, underneath its just one of the standards like 'Matcap Gray'.
    I usually stick atleast 3 lights; a soft front light large aperture, a strong small aperture for the spec, and a dim soft light slightly to the right.


    The textured shot was just a more complicated version of this.

    I've stuck this lightcap on dropbox already for some peeps so feel free to test it out and have a play with it yourself.

    Pretty simple stuff really.
  • Pabs
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    Pabs polycounter lvl 9
    hand painted? thats pretty badass
    thx for taking time out of your busy schedule to make these, i appreciate it
  • El Scorcho
    Awesome thanks for the tutorials man! I wonder if there is a way to do a similar mask by smoothness with the normal map in photoshop.
  • Straubulus
    thanks dude! was trying to figure out a good way to make an eye. thanks for sharing your workflow. very informative :)
  • Scythe
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    Scythe greentooth
    I love you and I thought you should know. Dig what you're doing with this guy, and many thanks for the tutorial.
    my noob question (yeah, it's really NOOB) I can't figure out how to Udk, do you know some help for character importing/setting material and textures ?
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    ILLMATICC polycounter lvl 6
    This is awesome dude, thanks for taking the time!! Look forward to the rest of the tuts :D
  • JamieRIOT
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    JamieRIOT polycounter lvl 6
    You seem good enough to do some tutorials, this will be really helpful for many people! Looking forward to any future tuts you might create :)
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Heh Thanks guys glad to hear their actually useful haha!

    El Scorcho that sounds hard lool, perhaps using curves or a gradient map on an AO to create a selection for them? I dunno o_0?

    Scythe I'd probably just be repeating google for the most part lol but I can go over some of the finer tricks within UDK in a later one of these.

    With Importing it's mainly just checking your compression settings for map types eg "TC_Default" "TC_Normalmap"

    And later on what mipmap settings are set to (content browser 'rightclick texture->properties->mip gen settings') if you wanna get real specific in how textures display. Which is useful if you set up a scene & camera for saving out large realtime shots. Even just setting them to 'nomipmaps' so they are full res all the time lol.

    Some of the things I enjoy the most in UDK over others is the wonderful alpha sorting when it comes to hair. If you import as a skeletal mesh, which I do anyway for folio junk even with just a single bone and a skin modifier slapped on haha, it offers you alot more useful options than just using a static mesh.

    But back to the alpha sorting, it gives you alot of auto sorting options, radial etc. And custom sorting where you can select the individual planes and sort them infront or behind by just pressing 'F' & 'B'.
    Max gives me more hassle with this than UDK haha.
    UDN is a treasure trove^^.

    If you can't find a youtube vid on a specific thing then you'l still definitely find anything you want to know in there.

    With materials it's always more convenient to set up a master with param texture slots and param scalars so you can tweak things easier on the fly in a material Instance while viewing the mesh. Editing and committing a master all the time can take increasingly lengthy save times by comparison lol.

    Also with importing meshes the only things to pay attention to are 'Import tangents' most of the time. useful with edited normals like on tree foliage etc.

    And if your using the wonderful handplane for hard surface stuff these settings need to be changed:

    Import Tangents: NO
    Explicit Normals: YES
    Remove Degenerates: NO

    Although all of this is still just imo, so don't take it as law because I can be wrong haha and talking bollocks :D
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    this is brilliant, seriously I love the SSS especially and the simple yet effective eye setup!
  • Iciban
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    Iciban polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks for the tutorial! u definitely need to make more in the future.
    How did you create your skin texture? handpainted or a mix of handpaint and images?
  • ysalex
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    ysalex interpolator
    Great information, thanks for putting it all together. I especially appreciate the stubble tutorial.
  • jonincgi
    Agreed, amazing work. Loving the info. Good Job!
  • Scythe
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    Scythe greentooth
    Man, thanks a whole lot :) can't wait to try it out
  • garriola83
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    garriola83 greentooth
    great stuff here man!
  • Luke_Starkie
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    Luke_Starkie polycounter lvl 8
    Really helpful, thanks a lot man!
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Cheers guys :)

    Iciban this fella is purely handpainted, I did 70% in Zbrush with polypaint using lots of alpha's set to spray and colour spray. And the rest in photoshop with custom brushes.

    Which did result in a fairly stylized texture being handpainted compared to say my self portrait which used photo sourcing.

    I'm actually struggling to think of what to put in that tut since everyone who asked was pretty vague and it's not like I'm doing anything revolutionary hahaha. So if you guys have anything specific you wanna know ask. Otherwise I'll probably just throw Vertex or some of Ben Regimbal's work at you lol.

    Tutorial Request 4# Skin Sculpting Techniques, Crease Flow.

    While the 'how' is pretty simple, alphas brushes etc, The 'why' may actually be fairly useful.

    Only using a surface noise for pores will only result in a generic overall pore type, when in reality pores are unique per area and creases and affected by the skins local deformation, which sounds pretty obvious but I know I didn't pick up on it for ages lol.

  • TheMachine
  • joesolo
    Agreed. Great Tutorials!
  • Dan!
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    Dan! polycounter lvl 6
    great info- thanks for sharing!
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Thanks fellas! :)

    Now to turn this spur of the moment head into a character, I've made a rough body to throw some clothes on, so no detailing.
    And some trousers, I've been planning the crease work and would love some advice on whether they folding right or not before I start detailing them. :)


    Also scribbled a quick idea for the outfit. Messy but informative lol.

  • SA_22
    that pipe cat.......... :D genius!!!!

    not to sure about the new dante hair style you have going on in the sketch, and the scissors kinda make him look all freddy Krueger... but apart from that this is looking dope

    and nice tut's :P
  • s6
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    s6 polycounter lvl 9
    :D!Pipe cat

    Almost fell out of my chair
  • El Scorcho
    Looking awesome man, Last of Us was quite the inspiring game!

    I agree his body does not match his head right now, needs more beef. He tapers to much towards the hips.

    Overall it looks like you started the folds symmetrically and then went back and added asymmetrical details. So some more definate asym differences would help. As well as more unique changes in the depth of the silleoutte. The pants are too tight around the hips compared to the legs. Loosen it up and add some folds to the bottom of his buttcrack. The interaction with the open boot looks floaty. Tucking it in, wrapping it out or some sort of mix will fix that.

    I'm also working on a sorta Last of Us inspired character sorta. Could you go more in depth of how you achieved the skin detail on his face? It was very well done especially the small wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. What alphas did you use?
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Thanks guys I really appreciate the feedback, I definitely need it with these trousers lol. The Pipe cat stays hahaha :thumbup:

    DKK your totally right about the proportions, I've bulked him up considerably, he was indeed too youthfully skinny lol.
    I quite like the clenched jaw look but I will tone it down.

    El Scorcho gahh your right I definitely need too loosen it up around his butt and hips lol. I did rework the creases more assymetrically. A friend also mentioned his trousers would be several sizes too long uncreased aswell. I'm building up a long fix list for those trousers thanks to you guys!! If the bunched leg is still looking floaty I may try tucking it in instead of hanging over.

    Cool I look forward to seeing it! hmm it's mostly alpha 58, slash3 brush, occasionally damn standard. It's really all down to just following the wrinkle flow around the face, it guides you through each area. I guess I could do something like this polypaint breakdown. Make a thread dude, I will try and suggest some crits if I can help :poly136: :thumbup:

    Speaking of which I finally attempted a skin polypainting breakdown, although it's not great skin but it's pretty much what I did.


    And here's a recent chunked up wip, I've got alot still to fix on him: I need to loosen up trousers at hips, butt, rework crease length/depth, bunched leg etc.

  • Coridium
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    Coridium polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks for taking the time to create a texturing breakdown. Really cool to see how you approached this.
  • Laze
    Thanks, especially on the eye tutorial bit. Can't believe those shots from UDK, looks amazing. And pipe cat, you've gotta follow through with that lmfao.
  • Pabs
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    Pabs polycounter lvl 9
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 14
    nice work on the body so far and the jeans look great too, although the silhouette of the jeans looks a little too conformed to the legs around the middle of the legs.
    also, i hope the boots are super block-in shapes only because right now i cant tell left foot from right foot.
  • Xavier777787
    Hey thanks for the tutorials! Though your lighting setup seemed simple for ZBrush, it was really helpful! I've been trying to get a nice rim light for a while.
  • crazyfool
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    crazyfool polycounter lvl 8
    Looking great Chris :) thought I would annoy you with some cloth stuff hehe

    Basically I think its a bit too busy and looks like you have jumped up subdivisions possibly a tad too quickly. Ive attached a paintover of a few things I like to do that may help you and an explaination below, take with a pinch of salt though :)


    first off I do alot of cloth and love it to pieces haha, none of which anybody gets to see haha, so sorry if Ive gone off on one

    so firstly is silhouette, I like to follow the curves of the leg quite alot and you will also notice Ive pulled in the ankles alot, although there would be slight inflation due to the compression you have to think of the trousers as a tube and that sort of compression would not expand the cloth and make for tighter folds. The last of us sculpts of trousers are really good but they do look a bit like tree trunks which real cloth would follow the underlying anatomy somewhat, making for a nicer silhouette, thats art style stuff though so upto you :)

    cloth you have to think of in a design way aswell, you have to let the eye rest and so simplifying some of the folds with trimdynamic may help. Also you have to keep in mind where the legs are the fullest and fill out the cloth, which means some areas have very little folds, such as the thigh and calf areas. Keeping the folds in animation rich positions is always good, like you have pretty much done already

    The cut of the trousers at the top shouldnt bellow down but actually be quite straight and only angle slightly up in profile.

    The hardest thing to get right is the flow of cloth, if you push cloth in somewhere then the excess needs to go somewhere aswell and then that starts a chain reaction that needs to settle. If you look at the front view example you will see the ankle stuff flows nicely and balances the forms, theres calculation going on there which makes it feel solid. Edge definition and even where the cloth goes in on the compression folds have a bit of form, hitting the actual leg underneath which helps shape it. that may sound like BS haha

    WILLY, hes got no nads haha, an ever so slight bulge adds to the realism

    in profile you might notice cloth fold direction on the side of the thigh, this is visible in most trousers as when you stand straight you pull the cloth back and also adds gravity to the cloth

    legs should slightly touch or atleast be very close around the gooch area

    tertiary folds and memory folds are best left until the final stages of the sculpt, once seams are in etc.

    main thing is to keep the cloth low, stay as low in subdivs as possible so to avoid blobby folds and going too crazy with the folds.

    other things I would say is make sure your butt pockets are seperate subtools, seams go on second to last before distressing/wear to avoid blobbiness and always put these in layers. you probably know all this haha.

    check out this for types of folds http://www.mightyartdemos.com/mightyartdemos-bradley.html

    and maybe look up some 3d scans for a deeper understanding of it all, ten24 is probably the best ;)

    fantastic stuff though dude, hope you dont mind :)
  • Jonnyboy0121
    Thank you for sharing! Can't wait to try out my own character using your workflow!
  • NegevPro
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    NegevPro polycounter lvl 4
    Pipe cat gave me a good laugh but to be honest I don't think it'd be a great idea for several reasons. The biggest would probably be the fact that it would be impractical to attach a cat to a pipe to use as a weapon. If you hit somebody with it, they'd feel the soft cat and not the metal (at least I think that's what would happen, I've never tried hitting anybody with a pipe cat before lol).

    If you want to include a cat, I'd imagine it would look more realistic if the guy had a tough cat on his shoulder or something. If you want to make it look more like "The Last of Us" then you'd probably want the cat to be used as a piece of clothing or something like that considering how cruel/desperate people are in the game.

    Anyway, I love the progress so far, good luck in continuing it!

    I was just wondering, where can I obtain a pipe cat to call my very own?
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Holy-Crazy-Crits Batman!

    Thanks MM :poly136:! Very right about the boots, tho they are indeed blocktastic they are still in need of that definitive L/R shape. >_<;

    Crazyfool! You lovely legend you! Thanks for that fantastic crit! So right and so helpful, I pretty much erased the previous creasework and started over cleaner following the crits and tuts.
    Things make so much more sense after looking at that drawing tut. And the ten24 scanstore previews are immensely useful reference. I noticed my creases were very deep and visually noisy.

    I've tried to keep this version more clean, staving off the tertiary creases for now. I've pulled the cloth in more, closer to the legs, putting abit more emphasis on the form. The last of us leg sculpts are very trunked out now you mention it lol. You're bang on about the design visual busyness aswell, I've spaced the details out to hip, knee, ankle.
    I fattened up the inner thigh's altho no quite so much that they touch. Heh added slight buldge, I never model in genitals so I often forget to add a buldge, just absentmindedly following the underlining body mesh lool.

    I feel there's still alot more to learn and improve upon my new current creases but I'm definitely aware how disastrous the previous creasework looked now :D
    Especially the side view, it appears I had no idea what was going on buahaha.

    Heh Cheers dude I owe you a couple beefy crits by now, best get posting so I can repay yo! :D


    Negevpro, heh they'd probably just eat a cat tbh. But I have a solution which still allows for a catpipe; The cat's infected. It's like a pseudo shield, you wave that around in a melee fight and the other guy is gonna avoid it like hell, one tiny scratch and your doomed lol.

    Or atleast that's the excuse I'll use. Really it's just something odd people can memorably differentiate mine with from the inevitable sea of survivor characters that the last of us will spawn :D!
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Almost ready to start detailing these;


    Started on the Jacket aswell but needs alot of creasework before anythings worth critting lol.
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    ILLMATICC polycounter lvl 6
    Looking good man! Loving the slight tuck in the shirt. One thing i noticed though, and feel free to ignore, is that the boots look really small compared to the rest of his body. I feel like they should be a lot wider, and the toe of the boot much further out.
  • Tits
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    Tits mod
    Haha i'm gonna be one of those, I really like your matcap, mind to share :)? or tell me the name/where i can find it?
    Btw, this is pretty sexy, and those fold are super cool
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Gah Yeah dang your right ILLMATICC the boots are tiny! I'm gonna scrap the boot base I think, get some ref and make some proper boots. :)

    Hey Tits lol, here's the darkblue matcap I made for those shots:

    I stuck this in the Waywo but forgot to post it here aswell.


    I've also been messing around with lightcaps some more, I didn't end up with what I originally intended lol but it was interesting none the less lol.


    Lightcap: (for anyone who wants to continue messing around with it lol): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/44366809/Wips/Polycomps/MaskskinLightCap04.ZLD

    And just the Matcap version: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/44366809/Wips/Polycomps/Mask_salesman__MatCap4.ZMT

    It comes in that colour :)
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 13
    great work man, i like all the little tutorial bits
    thanks for those :)
  • Tits
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    Tits mod
    Thanks for the matcaps dude.
    and amazing work on that character so far :)
  • arun nagar
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    arun nagar polycounter lvl 8
    Nice progress man, would keep eyes on progress. good job!
  • Iciban
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    Iciban polycounter lvl 10
    pretty sure its a nooby question, but the ripped parts on the shirt. I'm guessing some of them is ripped through. How do you achieve the look? Do you use insert tool to create a hole and work from there?
  • solar
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    solar polycounter lvl 14
    Thanks for the detailed breakdowns! Nice work on the full body so far.
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Re-Render old shit so it looks like New? ABSOLUTELY!

  • peanut™
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    peanut™ polycounter lvl 13
    Great work mate, i specially like the first few shots.
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Yikes thanks ProjectEagleeye, your totally right now I see that, guess I got carried away with one too many overlays heh.

    I did put it in Marmoset aswell.

  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    I couldn't help myself but try again with flatter skin lighting and some sss, I hope I haven't gone blind to zbrush render stuff again with this one.

  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    Always enjoy this thread! thanks for the tuts! I think it looks more natural now, the lighting is a bit odd, one eye has a shadow around the socket giving good depth while the other one doesnt and seems flatter, maybe something more can be done with lighting.
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Well this one's in Zbrush not marmo, I suppose I could take the scene env image and stick that in there, create a capture a lightcap from that image maybe hmm.

    Guh I really wanna make a nice Zbrush skin render that I can use for future, So I've kept at it. And tried changing the lighting slightly, sort the eye junk hopefully.

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