Before I send my finished design to the client I usually apply some post-processing effects to my image to make it pop and look more photorealistic. It doesn’t take very long using Photoshop, and if you’re working in film most directors will respond to something that looks close to its appearance on the big screen. I achieve this by adding some effects, so that it looks as if I had sat in front of my design and taken a photo of it.
A Boost the details in an image I’ll usually apply an Unsharp mask or a Smart Sharpen filter to an image, which bring all my details into focus. Each filter does roughly the same job, but I think the Unsharp mask has the edge.
B dial down the digital look The Paint Daubs filter helps to remove a lot of the digital quality of a render. This works well with ZBrush renders of my creature designs. The filter blends ZBrush’s crisp, clean layers, especially the light layer, and helps to simplify things.
C target the pa inting’s focal point Chromatic Aberration helps to enhance the focal point of an image by making it sharper and less distorted than the edges. I achieve this by either adjusting the red channel (be careful not to overdo this), or via the Chromatic Aberration section in the Lens Correction filter. The latter tool is ideal for creature portrait busts.