Adding Ink to your Skins
YAY…we have done our skins in the last tutorials…now we add our Tattoos
Assuming you already have my skin file templates downloaded from here . For whatever gender you want to place tattoos on…..and you have your skin looking the way you want them to….then we shall begin.
For this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS version 8.
You can add almost anything onto your skin…the ideas are endless.
What we are going to achieve in this tutorial is to make your Skin go from a plain skins in this left picture….to the tattooed skins….on the right..
There are 2 ways you can put tattoos onto a skin…..one is to use Photoshop Brushes and paint the picture straight on your skin file……the other way is to use a Picture image….
I will teach you both ways. They are the same for the male and the female skins….so for this tutorial..Ill use a male 50 deg Badboy skin. …but these tips can be used on any of the skintones in the files you downloaded from my site ….or your own skins you already have.
Using Photoshop Brushes
The only draw back to using brushes is that you work with one basic color….with each tattoo design…unless of course you want to spend time overlaying the brush to create a muti color look. But a lot of ink basically uses the color black….so this isn’t to bad.
Ok….lets make a start…..open your newly made male enhanced Body skin Photoshop file that you made in the Male enhancing tutorial….if u don’t have this…u can go back and do that…or you can use one of your own skins…whatever works for you.
First create a New Layer set in your Layers panel….this is where all your tatts will go….make sure you have it right up the top of your panel….so your tattoos will go over every other layer.
Once you have your new Layer set folder made… then you need to make a new layer….go up to layers tab…..select new and across to Layer….keep it a transparent layer. Now you are ready to add your tattoos using your Photoshop brushes.
Select your brush tool from your tools panel……then you need to look for a good tattoo brush that you want to use….if you haven’t already experienced downloading Photoshop brushes…now is a good time to start….there are a lot of good tattoo brushes out there.
Today we are going to go look for a cross brush to place onto the back of our skin….so lets go to the site…deviant .com I already put the search for crosses in there for you…..so browse the brush packs available…. select one you like and download it to your comp….if its a .zip file open it up in that same folder you downloaded it to….
We now need to install this into our Photoshop Program…..you can do this one of 2 ways….first way is to move file…and find your Photoshop directory in your C Drive…..here is what the path may look like…
Start menu / My computer / C Drive / Program Flies / Adobe / Photoshop / Presets / Brushes
This is the long way to do it…..the easy way….is to have your Photoshop open…select the brush drop down menu at the top. In that drop down…you will see a little arrow right up the right hand top side….this is where all your other brushes are kept….so click that little arrow….
Now in this panel you need to go down to Replace Brushes……this will then open up the same folder you spent ages finding in your CDrive……now all you need to do…is drag and drop the downloaded brushes you found from deviant.com….into this folder……and then double click on it…… it will then give you your new brushes to play with.
Now we have our new brushes….we can add a tattoo to our skin. The back tatts are the hardest to do…because the 2D layout wraps around and joins at the back of your skin…we need to turn on the mapping layer guide here…to make it easier to line up both sides of the back. Take a close look at your mapping guide….its the one that looks like a mesh all over the skin……this will show you what parts show up..and what parts are cut out when it wraps around the 3D avi. Have a look at the sides of the 2D layout..it is important here…to notice that each side has a one mill gap in between the edge of the picture….and where the mesh starts.
If you place a picture on either side right to the edge….it will over lap on your skin and cut out the middle of your tatt by 2 mill…. so you need to place your pic onto the skin one half…plus the one mill. so that you get your full picture.
Lets start painting on your cross. First select your cross that you wish to use…then find a good size…..hover over your skin image and you’ll see the mouse cursor has changed to the cross……line your cross up with the “mesh” line….with only half of the cross showing…then click….it will paint your cross straight onto that layer you created…….
Now make a new layer for your next half of the cross. Always make a new layer for each time you make a new tatt…..this way you can move each one around separately…and to match those back tatts up….this is important. ok….once we have the new layer made….paint on your next side…matching up the bottom of the tatt on the right as you did the left.
Turn off the mapping guide template and save your file as a png file…..because now we need to see what this looks like in the client so we know if the two halfs of the cross match up
Derive from any male skin….I use imvu’s male 000..found here ….so hit the derive open up your client and load in the new skin you just made….and see how well u matched up that back tatt…you can see in this pic I was a little off in my alignment of my left hand side….
so go back to your Photoshop file make sure the layer one is highlighted…..and you have your move tool selected in your tools panel..and instead of using your mouse use your arrow keys on your keyboard for moving the cross to where you want it..
Ahhhhh Much better all lined up nice and neat……Great….back tatt done…….now you can go ahead and put tatts anywhere you like…using all diff sorts of paintbrushes…you can create cuts and scratches using brushes….just use a dark red color…rather than black….or you can use lighter color brushes on darker skins….its all your own imagination…..
You can use almost any picture you find on the net for a tattoo…. However you need to remember that the quality of your tattoo always depends on the quality of the picture you use. Any picture you save off the net will be poor quality……because for the net most people use a jpeg or a gif……as these make for a faster download of your pages. Jpeg pictures always look good to the eye but have a low quality setting….so to get around this what I do…..is rather than save the picture to my comp…..I take a photo of that image using MWSnap and then save that image as a png file.
You also need to remember….that if you have to resize your image as soon as you do….it will loose quality of that image file…….maybe not to the eye…..but in the file itself the quality has halved. So again….when I have to resize a pic and make it smaller…..I first make it the right size needed…..Then I take a another pic using MWSnap of that resized image and again save it as a png file….and use that new file for my tattoo.
All these little things you do to save the quality of the pic you use is Very important to how pixilated your tatt will come out on your avi skin in the 3D chat program.
So…..look for a picture you would like to use as a tattoo……we want a picture with a white background on it. Go back to your Photoshop assuming you still have your skin open…open up that tattoo picture also…..hit file open and search for the tattoo pic you have found. Resize it or optimize it to the quality like I showed you above…..then have your move tool selected and just drag and drop this image onto your chest of your skin…..like this.
You will notice that it places a new layer automatically in your layer panel. Ok so now we have a tatt pic on our skin with an ugly white background….now here is the magic part ….I want you to double click on that new layer in your layer panel and it will open your layer styles box…..the first screen you come to is the one we need….it is the blending options. You will see a menu drop down button with “normal” written in it….we want to click that drop down menu and select the “mutiply”…..if you look at your tatt now….you will see the white background has dissapeared and your tattoo is now blended into the shadows of your skin…making it a smooth quality tattoo. Hit ok and the styles box will dissapear.
Color tatts can be made to look awesome using this mutiply blending…..the color itself will blend into your skintone….giving it that real tattoo look.
Now you can go ahead and tattoo anywhere you want to on your skin…..you will notice than in some areas the picture will come out looking blurry in your previewer……this can be caused by the polycount on your avi mesh…..take a good look at your mapping guide template…..you will see some areas have bigger square surfaces than others…..this make the surface area stretch your tattoo in those places……it can also twist your tattoo pic and make it look a little warped……Arms are a real problem area to tattoo onto skins…..because not only is the arm mesh warped…..but a lot of people add a muscle top over the skin…..making it even more warped….thus its hard to place a good clear tattoo image onto the arms….
That is the reason why you will notice most skins…only have a tribal pattern on the arms…
You can also add text to your skins….to make names…or words…..if you want the word on the back….you will have to halve it and match it up…..also…very small text…or pictures….will blur a lot…..so try to use a font that is clear and bold.
The Tattoo design….is totally up to you…..your creative skills will now come into play. Its all about trial and error…..try out a pic….throw it in the previewer to take a look at what it looks like…..if u don’t like it….start all over again…..
You can also tattoo the face…..or use a mix of pics and Photoshop brushes for eye makeup…..
Please drop me a message if you found this tutorial useful…..as feedback is always good to have….tutorials take time to make….and its nice to know people out there are using them…..you can send me a message straight from this site in contacts section…..