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Sculpt photoreal amphibians

By Jeremy Celeste
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 18th September 2014
Software used:
mental ray, ZBrush

Refining the texture

The second part of the shading work was to add sub-surface scattering (SSS) with a front and back scatter layer to make the skin soft and add some depth variation.

Once I was happy with the shader, I made some render tests both close to the frog and further away to see the overall quality of my model and shader.

The trick to get wet-effect eyes was to build a liquid shape around the eyes and assign a water-like shader to it. This added the tiny but very important specular which made the head and eye fit together realistically.

1922_tid_5.jpg
Refining the textures and shaders to create a realistic effect

The background

The next step was to manually place a few planes on the ground, which, using a cutout map, became leaves.

The trick to creating realistic leaves is to use a double-sided material, and make the front opaque and the back translucent. Using translucency on the back-face gives the look of a real leaf and is very cheap and easy to setup.

1922_tid_6.jpg
Leaf textures from www.cgtextures.com

Adding the detail

After the overall scene was done, I added hundreds of mud/rock-like shapes on top of the ground and leaves. By using this technique, we give the impression that this frog is in a real place. You'll find that more detail in a scene makes the atmosphere more believable.

I also added some flies around the frog. These are motion-blurred at the end to give an impression of movement, which is very important for dynamic.

1922_tid_7.jpg
This image shows the finished layout, with all the geometry

Finishing touches

Finally, I added more effects on the scene, such as grain and other cool stuff, to finish this image. I also focused on the grading – in other words, adding color variation/mood to the scene from the raw image.

I only used the beauty render for the compositing. DOF and motion blur were rendered directly in order to be as accurate as possible.

1922_tid_8.jpg
The final render

Related links

See more of Jeremy's work on his site
Download ZBrush and Maya
Try our ZBrush and Maya eBooks



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