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Master MODO portraits: Lighting, render outputs and post work

By Bert Heynderickx (aka Alberto Ezzy)
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 12th December 2014
Software used:
Photoshop, MODO


Step 6: Render Output - Illumination (Direct)

There is an important Render Output found under Add Layer > Render Outputs > Lighting > Illumination (Direct). It generates a channel exclusive to the illumination in a scene from all direct light items, such as the Area lights in this scene, independent of all other illumination types and surfacing attributes. I like to use it with Soft Light blending mode on top of my Final Color Output.

This Direct Illumination Render Output is great for enriching the Final Color Output

Step 7: Render Output - Illumination (Indirect)

This Render Output is found directly under the previous one. Its output generates an image exclusive to the illumination in a scene from all indirect sources, such as image-based lighting and luminous polygons, independent of all other illumination types and surfacing attributes. Next I will show you how I use these Render Outputs in the final Photoshop composition.

It looks like there is some voodoo going on here, but it's just another Render Output from MODO!

Step 8: Post-production - Part 1

We begin the post-production with the Final Color Output. Take it into Photoshop now for some fine-tuning...

Before I evaluate the final result, I always try to take some time away from a project, so as to approach any post work with a clear mind

First of all, I find the cloth fabric has come out a bit too light, so I'm going to darken it here. This is where the Surface ID comes in handy. I select a little piece of the color of the cloth part and then choose Select > Similar. Then I select my base render layer and hit Ctrl/Command and the J shortcut key. This creates a new layer on top with a copy of this selection. I give this layer a Soft Light blending mode.

Next, I address the color difference between the face skin and body skin. Again, I use the Surface ID render output to select the body skin part and use that as a mask for a Color Balance layer.

I then realize that /My Kiwi Friend/'s lips should be a touch shinier. So I do a quick Region render in MODO of only the lips region with a higher specular amount setting, and lay that on top in Photoshop.

The Surface ID output is great for isolating areas and then creating masks

Step 9: Post-production - Part 1

Next I use my other Render Outputs to take this image to the next level. First, the Ambient Occlusion is applied at 33%, set to Multiply. Then I mask out the parts of the face that I find a bit too dark.

I then apply the AO again, but only where the cloth meets the skin, which is also done with a mask. Next the two illumination outputs (direct and indirect) are applied at 22% with a Soft Light blending mode. This technique gives the image an attractive richness when it comes to the lighting.

I just love this part… everything comes together

Step 10: Post-production - Part 1

I apply a subtle depth-of-field (DOF) effect by using my Depth render output with the Lens Blur filter. I then jump to Magic Bullet Looks to apply a subtle Chromatic Aberration effect.

Finally, I like to add a Max Diffusion filter, which is a combination of Contrast/Saturation/Curves/Diffusion effects. This output from Magic Bullet Looks is quite extreme, so I apply it at only 10% with the Soft Light blending mode, but it does give a beautiful warmth to the final image.

Magic Bullet Looks has a great set of Presets, but you're free to create your own Looks from scratch with a wide range of controls!

Subtlety is key in post work. A layer opacity of 10% might seem low, but here it does the trick

Top Tip: HDR Light Studio - Revolutionize your lighting

Using HDR Light Studio, you can light your shots by placing light and reflections directly onto the 3D view – with a dynamic HDRI map generated on the fly. This revolutionary lighting technique allows 3D artists to light their shots faster, and produces stunning final renders.

To complete this tutorial series, here is a video covering all the stages we have looked at over the last 4 tutorials. My Kiwi Friend has been created entirely using an AMD FirePro™ W9000 graphics card.

Download a free trial of MODO
Download a free trial of MARI
Discover more free tutorials for MODO from The Foundry
Find out more about the AMD FirePro™ W9000
See Part 1 of the My Kiwi Friend tutorial series: Improve your geometry in MODO
See Part 2 of the My Kiwi Friend tutorial series: Create perfect image maps with MARI
See Part 3 of the My Kiwi Friend tutorial series: Master skin, hair and fur
See the full tutorial series for The Fisherman 3D character portrait

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 313623, pid: 0) Willow on Sat, 13 December 2014 10:07am
Just to make sure, you're using the AMD FirePro Card right? Just want to be sure;)
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