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Master MODO portraits: 'My Kiwi Friend'

By Bert Heynderickx (aka Alberto Ezzy)
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 20th November 2014
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Step 5: Combine the 2 models

Let's now combine the 2 models and give ‘My Kiwi Friend' her eyes and lashes. First I select the head on the body to halfway down the neck, and delete that part. Next I select the inverted part - from halfway down the neck - on the bust, and delete that too.

I have to make sure that the part where the 2 models ‘meet' is an appropriate place for a choker (necklace) that will mask the transition.

The 2 scanned models combined

Step 6: Eyes and lashes

The next task is to make the eyes. Human eyes are about 24mm in diameter. So I make 2 spheres of that size and position them. I also assign a Material to them by pressing ‘M' and assigning a unique name to the material.

The lashes represent only a small portion of the final image and take a disproportional amount of work, but they are a vital part of a convincing-looking character. After trying out different techniques, I simply end up placing, duplicating, rotating, and scaling them all manually, as I find that gives the most natural-looking result.

Well-made eyes and lashes are crucial for a convincing-looking portrait

Step 7: Create a choker

For the choker, I start with a simple cylinder that's a little bit larger in diameter than the underlying neck, and delete the top and bottom polygons. Now for a neat trick: I go to the Topo Tab, choose Smooth and just click in the viewport. The band of polygons will ‘snap' to the underlying neck geometry and will follow its curve flawlessly. The only thing then left to do is to Thicken this, and add some Edge Loops so it will hold when converted to a Subdivision
Surface (hit the Tab key).

As with most modeling tasks, I start with a simple primitive



Step 8: The making of the Maori carvings

I first of all searched for images of 2 Maori carvings that I think look visually pleasing. These were then loaded into MODO as a Backdrop Item, as a reference to start modeling.

I usually start with a Primitive and use classic box-style modeling. I also try to use quads-only as much as I can, so the geometry will convert nicely into a Subdivision Surface. The last operation is to apply the Subdivision Surfaces smoothing to the model by pressing the Tab key.

I adore the curves of these 2 important symbols in Maori art

The carvings without and with Subdivision Surfaces smoothing

Step 9: Retopologizing the dress

To create My Kiwi Friend's dress, I use a set of tools that are perfect for this kind of work: the Retopology tools. As the dress is quite tight-fitting, I can use the body as background geometry over which I then lay new polygons.

It is best to begin this task by placing some initial geometry using the Pen Tool while in Quads mode, as this is especially helpful when laying down strips of quadrangle polygons. I also use the Add Loop a lot to subdivide geometry and add extra detail. Once the basic contours are mapped out, you can activate the Topology Pen tool and begin to extend edges and adjust the geometry into the final surface.

MODO's intuitive Retopology tools are ideal to quickly lay out strips of polygons

Step 10: Sculpting cloth

With the geometry of the dress finished, I add folds by using MODO's Multi-Res Sculpting tool. There's a certain setup to follow: First, Multi-Res requires the Pixar Catmull-Clark Subdivision Surfaces geometry, so if your model has regular SubDs, then they must be converted to Pixar's Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces. This can be accomplished by selecting all the SubD surfaces, pressing Tab to disable SubD mode, and then pressing Shift+Tab to apply Pixars Catmull-Clark SubDs.

Next, you need to enable the Multi-Res checkbox in the mesh item properties. Additionally, you can introduce some additional Subdivision levels using the Subdivision Level option. After these requirements are met, simply grab a sculpting tool, and you can begin to sculpt!

The concept of MODO's Multi-Res Sculpting will feel familiar to ZBrush users

Pro tip: Free set of MatCap Shaders from 9b studios

Here we have another example of a great contribution to the fantastic MODO community. 9b studios offers a free set of MatCap materials for use in MODO 601 and higher.

Related links:

Download a free trial of MODO
Discover more free tutorials for MODO from The Foundry
Find out more about the AMD FirePro™ W9000
See Part 1 of The Fisherman tutorial series: Perfect the geometry of a male head
See Part 2 of The Fisherman tutorial series: Learn to paint convincing image maps
See Part 3 of The Fisherman series: Perfect the Skin Material and the Shader Tree
See Part 4 (includes video) of The Fisherman series: Learn Lighting, Rendering & Post-Processing

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