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Interview with Jian Xu

By Richard Tilbury

Web: http://xjgd4321.cgsociety.org/gallery/ (will open in new window)
Email: [email protected]

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Date Added: 28th March 2012

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Eyes are a crucial feature in any form of portraiture and a focal point that viewers are repeatedly drawn to when looking at an image. How do you go about creating such convincing eyes and do you have any key tips?
Yeah, eyes are the most important feature! I developed a good habit when I worked on posters. Characters must look at the camera to make them feel powerful. I do a test on my characters, which is to cover their left eye to see if the right eye is looking at the camera. I then do the same to the right eye.

As for modeling the eyes, I don't make them totally circular, but instead a little elliptical. I will make two parts for the eye: one is the eyeball and the other is for reflection.

With regards to your female nude, did you create the texture and wrinkles once she was posed and what was the most difficult aspect to get right?

Yes, first of all I made the pose and then focused on the wrinkles and created UVs specifically for that pose. The most difficult part was choosing the best pose for my reference as I wanted to show a woman's beautiful shape.

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What type of lighting setup do you use to create such convincing renders and what have you found to be the best types of light to use if any?

I prefer to use area lights, which look more like real life. You can also use them to imitate reflections.

Do you render out a number of passes? How much post work do you do for the benefit of stills?

Actually I do not make many passes; sometimes I only render passes like hair, specular, Z-Depth and shadow.

Of all your portfolio pieces, which are you most proud of and why?

Oh it's hard to say! I am proud of every image, although maybe I'll be most proud of one I have not yet done.

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