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Creating Translucent Creature Skin

Painting Techniques with Gino Acevedo


Gino Acevedo, Creative Art Director at Weta Digital, shares his personal approach to “hand-painting” creature designs in Photoshop. Widely known in the industry for his special FX airbrushing techniques on blockbuster movie prosthetics and puppets, Gino reveals how he now uses traditional-inspired techniques — similar to those used on silicone models — to achieve the ultimate translucent skin for convincing creature designs.

Starting in Photoshop, the workshop begins with an introduction to the color palette Gino uses for painting flesh tones. He also explains the importance of his selections and what they’re used for when building up realistic skin tones. His lecture then moves into ZBrush for two chapters, allowing you to follow along as he sculpts his very own creature concept from scratch. Starting with a basic skull, he builds out a demon-like design while showing the timelapse of his complete sculpting process, with tips, tricks, favorite tools, and industry insights given along the way.

After rendering in KeyShot, the final render is taken back into Photoshop for the final painting work. Beginning with the ear as his starting point, Gino demonstrates how to effectively paint the many layers of translucent skin, using the previously established color palette. Paying close attention to details, the workshop showcases how to paint realistic freckles, veins, mottling effects, and much more. The final segment of the workshop covers the painting of the full creature head for a final illustration.

Duration: 1h 51m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Gino Acevedo

Creative Art Director, Weta Digital

Gino Acevedo originates from Phoenix, Arizona, where his love of monsters started at a very young age. At 18, he started working at a Halloween company in Phoenix called Imagineering, where he designed Halloween masks and taught himself makeup effects. In his early 20s, he ventured to Los Angeles to work in the film industry for the next 10 years. In 1998, he was invited to New Zealand to work at Weta Workshop for the challenging task of helping look after the makeup effects on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he took his vast experience to train and share with the team. Gino has subsequently worked on every major production to come out of New Zealand, and his role as Creative Art Director at Weta Digital continues his focus on cutting-edge design technologies. His credits include Alien 3, Death Becomes Her, Wolf, Men in Black, Independence Day, Godzilla, King Kong, The Hobbit, and the recent Planet of the Apes series.