Texture Painting: Fundamentals

Photorealistic Texturing with Paul Campion

Chapter List


In this title, Paul Campion explains the essentials of texture painting with Adobe Photoshop®, discussing how observation and an understanding of the original object's surface qualities are the skills necessary to create photorealistic textures. Starting with reference captured using a standard flatbed scanner, he demonstrates how to create color, bump and specular maps for a prehistoric shark tooth, explaining how each type of map affects the surface qualities of the CG model, and how these three basic maps work together to create a photorealistic surface. In addition, this demonstration covers the human face, one of the most difficult areas of a human to texture. This demonstration shows some of the basic principles involved in texturing a human head, relying on the use of good reference and observation skills. Paul also demonstrates how Maya can be effect- ively used as a 3D paint package, using Perspective Camera Projection and texture baking to generate complex UV maps, which are then combined in Adobe Photoshop® to create detailed realistic head textures.

Duration: 295 minutes

Format: SD 1024x768

Chapter List

  • 00. Preview
  • 01. Introduction
  • 02. Preparing Reference
  • 03. Studying Surface Qualities
  • 04. Set-Up of the Maya Workspace
  • 05. UV Mapping Essentials
  • 06. Bump Mapping Essentials
  • 07. Specular Mapping Essentials
  • 08. Creating UV Snapshots
  • 09. 10 Minute Textures
  • 10. Painting the Color Map
  • 11. Painting the Bump and Specular Maps
  • 12. Applying and Refining the Final Maps
  • 13. Summary
  • 14. Photographic Reference Study
  • 15. Setting up and Painting Projections
  • 16. Assembling the Color Map
  • 17. Painting the Bump and Specular Map
  • 18. Painting the Eyes


  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals
  • Texture Painting: Fundamentals

Paul Campion

Texture painter

Paul Campion began his career as a traditionally trained technical illustrator. He worked for 10 years as a freelance airbrush artist, painting horror and fantasy illustrations for books and computer game covers. He completed a Masters Degree in Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, England, where he specialized in photorealistic texturing. He then moved to New Zealand to work on the Oscar winning effects for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, eventually becoming a Lead Texture Painter for The Return of the King. While working at Weta Digital, he painted textures for creatures such as The Balrog, Mumakil, Fellbeast and Shelob. Recently he has helped to create the Hell sequences for Constantine and the all digital environments for Robert Rodriguez's film version of Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels.

  • "On Lord of the Rings, Paul Campion was one of the texture painters from Weta Digital who helped me make the transition from airbrushing and physical makeup effects to the world of digital texture painting. His assistance and training has been invaluable, without it I would not be art directing and texture painting CG creatures."

    - Gino Acevedo
    Prosthetics and Visual Creature Effects Art Director Weta Workshop/ Weta Digital