(I'm redesigning, modeling, and rigging Gilbert Shelton's classic cartoon character, "Wonder Wart-Hog.")This stage is for seeing how the texture maps, fur, and lighting affect the head model, and if the mesh will need to be altered to compensate. This is another design stage to work out the kinks. Perfection is not the goal at this time, so there's going to be some sloppiness.
Above are the skin maps, seen combined in the renderings below. The color map determines the color variation throughout the surface. The displacement map subdivides the low-poly mesh to add rough detail. The normal map creates finer textural detail like pores, wrinkles, bumps, and blemishes.
When fur is added to a mesh, it begins as white rods that jut straight up from the entire surface. Then it must be styled (combed, trimmed, colored) using painting tools.
These are a few attribute maps: hair density, direction, inclination, and length. Light-colored areas create more of an attribute (e.g., long or thick hair), whereas dark areas create less of an attribute (e.g., short or sparse hair). The final head will require maps for additional attributes, including color variation, curliness, and strand thickness.
I eventually arrive at a point where I can't justify further hair work on a practice head. Based on this, I have a pretty good idea of what alterations I'll make for the final head.
next: costume design