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Beginner here - I saw these art pieces on Instagram, and was very happy to see that it was indeed possible to make a 'light fingerprint/clay' texture on 3D models. Since I was hoping to create a similar look for a character model I'm working on, could anyone please tell me how to create such an effect on a Blender sculpt? enter image description here

enter image description here

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Is the shading of the groves (within the fingerprints) supposed to change with the light/camera orientation? If so, you'll want to use a texture to control the normal to the surface (bump/normal mapping). You can find some info here https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/blender_render/textures/properties/influence/bump_normal.html

For example, you could use the following material

enter image description here

which, when applied to a UV sphere would produce the following result.

enter image description here

Two textures are used in this example:

  • A grayscale texture, with the height map (fingerprint_large_blurred.jpg), which is feed to the bump node.
  • A color texture (pastel.jpg) to provide a base color to the Principal BSDF shader.

enter image description here enter image description here The size of the bumps (how deep the fingerprint grooves are), can be controlled with the Strength value of the bump node.

If you implement it like this, when the either the camera, light or object move, the shading on the grooves will be affected.

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I saw the happy globe on reddit:) You can get a goot fingerprint texture for free from Poliigon.com. https://www.poliigon.com/search?query=Fingerprints

You need to change the render engine to Cycles and create a material while you have an object selected.

Click the "use nodes" button and open the node editor (where the different modes can be chosen).

In the node editor press Shift+A and chose "Image Texture" from the menu. If you use the add-on "Node Wrangler", you can click on the image texture node and press Shift+T to get your mapping node.

You then choose the texture of the fingerprints in the image texture node. You got to create a bump node and plug in your image texture there and then plug the bump to the normal node of the shader you choose. I recommend the principled shader. You could also directly use the displacement node to plug in your image texture. In that case just put a math node in between them and choose the multiply function to control the strenght of the displacement. If you do that you can change to the experimental feature set in the render panel and then go to the Settings section of the material tab and change the material tab from bump to true.

Don't forget to unwrap the mesh object you want to apply the texture on. I hope this works for you as an explanation. It's a very broad question.

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    $\begingroup$ ..Or you could go down to the local stationery shop, buy an inkpad, and have some fun covering a piece of paper with your own fingerprints:).. photograph/scan it, and make it high contrast and tileable in Gimp/other. I couldn't resist. Perhaps to make your answer complete, you should add that the texture needs to be plugged into a bump component somewhere, or even show an example. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Apr 26 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, images would be nice. $\endgroup$ – metaphor_set Apr 27 at 16:47
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If you want the exact results, for $10 you can get the same shader that he used: https://blendermarket.com/products/claydoh

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