Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Making Of 'Close-up Portrait'

By David Moratilla
| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
(76 Votes)
| Comments 15
Date Added: 15th August 2011
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Misc


I wanted soft and lateral lighting; it is called "low key" lightning. I think this kind of lightning gives great result for portraits. It also highlights the skin texture. Here is a little sample of all the reference pictures/inspiration photos that I used (Fig.12).

Fig. 12

Before deciding on the lighting, I created a quick skeleton to create different poses. I made some render tests with a lambert and geometry hair that would give me a rough idea. For each one I made different lighting set ups (Fig.13).

Fig. 13

I wasn't sure which one was the best, so I chose several configurations and went ahead with those. I put each configuration in a different frame, so it was easy to change from one to another. For all the configurations, I used only one area light that changed its position (Fig.14).

Fig. 14

Skin Shader

I used an SSS mental ray shaders with the textures. The epidermal and subdermal textures are variations of the original one (Fig.15).

Fig. 15

I broke down the shader and composed all the layers in Photoshop, so the weight values shown here are not important.

To break down the shader, I duplicated the original, made one for each layer and changed the values of the weights for each. For example, for the diffuse pass, the weight of diffuse is 1 and epidermal, subdermal, specular, etc is 0. I only changed the weight values; all the other values were the same for all.

I used Final Gather and I made this layer (Fig.16).

Fig. 16

Then in Photoshop, I used this blending mode to create the final skin (Fig.17).

Fig. 17

< previous page next page >

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Related Tutorials


Gallery Image.

Keywords: ZBrush, Sci-Fi, Female, Character

Go to tutorial
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half (12)
Comments 1 Views 18244


Gallery Image.

Keywords: Tutorial, Making of, Female, Character, Model, ZBrush, Maya, MARI, Photoshop, V-Ray

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
Comments 2 Views 90224


Gallery Image.

Keywords: Making Of, Pin-up, Blender, Photoshop, Female

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
Comments 4 Views 48158


Gallery Image.

Keywords: 3ds Max, Interface, Tutorial, Workflow, Animation

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star nonerating star nonerating star none
Comments 0 Views 14485
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 161206, pid: 0) Mouslim on Fri, 09 November 2012 7:13pm
David, Please make a dvd of it. Everybody will buy it
(ID: 85760, pid: 0) Alix on Sat, 11 February 2012 9:28am
I think adding noise to the final image was unnecessary. Awesome tutorial none the less, I learnt something!
(ID: 54020, pid: 0) Jeremy Schichtel on Wed, 19 October 2011 8:50pm
I was so glad to see this tutorial. My coworkers and I marveled at these images. You had lots of us second guessing if it was cg
(ID: 48720, pid: 0) Khanh Pham on Wed, 24 August 2011 2:49am
great tutorial. Thanks
(ID: 48404, pid: 0) Thomas on Fri, 19 August 2011 1:06pm
Incredible work man, just amazing. I would kill to see a video tutorial for something like this.
(ID: 48354, pid: 0) Mohammadyashar on Thu, 18 August 2011 5:33pm
stunning!! working with max's hair and fur is so painful. but you did it in the best way. I don't know what to do with a frizzle hair.
(ID: 48336, pid: 0) Nico on Thu, 18 August 2011 12:49pm
Nice work, but will have one problem with the teeth, they are not oriented in relation to the lips, I think. Bye Nico
(ID: 48298, pid: 0) David on Wed, 17 August 2011 11:02pm
Thank you very much, guys!
(ID: 48287, pid: 0) Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:15pm
Never mind my previous question about the cavity map... I just noticed that you used it as a specular map :)
(ID: 48286, pid: 0) Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:12pm
Thanks for the tutorial! I just have one question about it: how are you using the cavity map? As a bump map? I've always wondered how to get a nice bump map out of ZBrush...
(ID: 48132, pid: 0) MoteOne on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:38pm
Hey there, one of the most realistic renders i had ever seen in my live :D very nice
Munkybutt's Avatar
(ID: 48131, pid: 870207) Pak3dark (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:15pm
The boos The work is incredible, modeling, texturing, lighting and postpro ...... is total, I particularly liked the effect of facial hair and the detail of the eye, David is a work of 10, congratulations ...........and go to work ....jiji....
(ID: 48129, pid: 0) Vince on Mon, 15 August 2011 5:50pm
Love the images and tutorial...! Great inspiration for many artists out there no doubt! Keep it up ! Love your site too !
(ID: 48116, pid: 0) Luis F�bregas on Mon, 15 August 2011 1:06pm
Nice tutorial David, thanks for sharing.
Munkybutt's Avatar
(ID: 48114, pid: 870176) Perversonality (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 12:55pm
Love the attention to detail on this one, especially the facial hairs. Nice write-up too :)
Add Your Comment