Second Time Texturing a Reptile. Any Tips on Materials or Lighting?

I’m trying to learn how to make realistic creatures. I think I’ve hacked texture painting (I edited the ambient occlusion map to be a mask so that I can paint the cavities separately) so now I’m thinking about materials and rendering my big guy nicely, cuz you know I’m making a dinosaur next and I want him to look good!

(now that I’m seeing the guy rendered I’ve just noticed how merged the head and jaw is. I didn’t make a mouth interior. I just wanted to focus on scales but now I’m think of I should have extruded inward to fool the Subdivision modifier or something. NOTED!)


The modeling/texture/eye material all look great to me. I really like the texture color variation and proportions of your model.

The only problem I can see is that your reptile’s skin seems a bit too flat. I especially notice this in the third image (the head zoom). The scales don’t seem to have volume.

I’m not sure if your model already has some kind of bump map or some other way to add volume to these small details.

If it dose, I would try exaggerating it a bit to make the scales appear a bit more 3d.

You could also try making a displacement map based on your existing texture.

Looking forward to your future dinosaur! :sauropod:

Substance painter also has some great features like curvature maps that make scales/cavities easier.

2D: image texture looks good.
3D: the skin is flat and dusty.

If I may be utterly frank … “nope, my eye ain’t buyin’ any of this.”

So, here’s what I’d suggest: “texture painting.” You’ve got some nice ideas for the body and – quite separately – other nice ideas for the head. But, in the real world of nature, those things naturally blend. So, I suggest that you put both of these separate ideas into your texture-painting palette and put on your creative hat.