Texture Painting and Look Development with Xuan Prada

Buy this course here.


The purpose of this course is to teach students how to texture a realistic asset from scratch.  Students will learn how to create different attributes on a variety of materials using the most current techniques for VFX projects.   Students will learn how to control the various texture channels and how to paint texture maps for each to get the desired effect.  This course will cover both hard-surface objects and more organic objects like the course provided human head.
Throughout the course Xuan will also explain how to set up a photo shoot to gather texture references.  Xuan will also describe how to create a daily template to showcase the work on either a demo reel or for review.Specific topics that will be covered:


  • Professional UV mapping based on multi UDIMs
  • Photo shooting to gather texture references
  • Linear workflow strategies
  • Introduction to 3D painting in Mari
  • Procedural bakes in Maya
  • Texture projections in Maya, Mari and Photoshop
  • Painting colour, specular, bump, displacement, sub surface scattering and isolation masks
  • Look-development strategies, from blocking to polishing
  • Neutral light rigs and natural light rigs based on HDRI
  • Dealing with 3D scans in Zbrush and Mari
    Digital doubles strategies for VFX
  • AOVs
  • Dailies templates and slap-comps to show the work
  • Differences between texturing for animation and texturing for VFX
  • Introduction to HDRI shooting for VFX

Xuan Prada is a Senior Texture Painter & Look-Development Artist at Double Negative in London. His film credits include projects like Iron ManGodzillaPrometheus,Maleficent, and World War Z. He started his professional career working as 3D Generalist for TV Commercials in Madrid. From there he moved to feature animation working on films like Planet 51 and Happy Feet. For the last several years Xuan has worked as a VFX Artist in London as well as a VFX Photographer all around the world. Currently, Xuan is working on the Ridley Scott’s new feature “The Book of Exodus”. Xuan holds a BFA in Arts&Design from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Each week a video tutorial created by our industry professionals will be uploaded covering that week’s topic. At the end of each lecture, the instructor will give the students a challenge to complete. The students will spend the rest of the week working on the challenge, posting updates to the forum-style site to be reviewed by the other students and the instructor. Along with these updates, the students can also post questions, not only about the specific challenges, but general questions as well. Then at the end of the week, students will submit his or her completed work for a final video critique conducted by the instructor.

For an example of a course lecture, the various critiques, and an example of the forum-style website click here.


(**course schedule subject to change)

  • Week 1 :: Introduction, Asset checker, UV mapping and Photo shooting
  • Week 2 :: Introduction to Mari and Projections
  • Week 3 :: Color Maps and Secondary Maps
  • Week 4 :: Look Development, Light Rigs, Render and Slap Comp
  • Week 5 :: Dealing wit 3D scans in Zbrush, clean up, retopology and 3D projections
  • Week 6 :: Colour maps
  • Week 7 :: Secondary maps and Look-Development
  • Week 8 :: Slap Comp and quick introduction to HDRI


A 3D software package (Maya recommended)
A 3D paint software (Mari HIGHLY recommended)
compositing package (Nuke recommended)