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Making of 'The Guards'

By Alexey Kashpersky
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, mental ray, ZBrush
Here I started to work on the protective leather straps on the body by creating new Subtools. For this purpose it was necessary to mask the areas of the surface which I wanted to extrude (Fig.07 - 08).

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Fig. 07
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Fig. 08

By the way, I was asked a question: What is the growth protruding from his back? Well, it's a light, such as some fish have in the deep sea (Fig.09).

Here I made some time to incorporate a horseman and detail his clothing. Taking advantage of the Transpose tool, I gave the man a suitable pose and approximately set where the fabric of his garment would hang on him (Fig.10).  

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Fig. 09
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Fig. 10

Whilst creating the fabric, I decided to stop detailing it; I had it exactly where I needed it, covering the man's torso, flowing in the wind. I make a few trial sketches of the fabric in ZBrush and realised that something was missing ... it didn't look vivid enough. To fix this, I exported the low poly model of the man into 3ds Max and used the SimCloth plugin, simply putting the fabric on a low poly "doll". The result was already much better, it was still not quite what I needed. I then made an attempt to make the fabric more dynamic, and I created a short animation of the doll, turning him clockwise and a slightly sideways. To reflect the flow of the wind on the fabric I created a few animated objects; I tried playing with the variants of their motion, but the final result didn't really satisfy my needs (Fig.11). The only option was to complete the desired effect in ZBrush.

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Fig. 11

I applied a Shell modifier to the designed piece of fabric which gave the material its thickness. I then took it back into ZBrush where I smoothed out any excessive unevenness, and continued with the detailing. Here's how it turned out for me in the end (Fig.12).

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Fig. 12

When the design was finished, the most labour intensive process came: retopologising, starting with the stone, making make sure that the textures would all fit properly and to avoid the texturing process becoming too complex (Fig.13). With the stone retopologised, I did the same for all the other objects in the scene (Fig.14).

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Fig. 13
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Fig. 14

I used the programme Unfold3d to generate the UV maps, and then loaded the unfolded objects back into ZBrush (Fig.15).

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Fig. 15

Fig.16 shows the stage with all objects combined.

The time then came to start incorporating the textures. First and foremost, I took everything apart in local colours, making it easier to do the work (Fig.17).

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Fig. 16
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Fig. 17


I created a luminescence map, which was pretty easy to do so I didn't waste any time with it (Fig.18).

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Fig. 18

I then created a basic colour map, and from there I went on to make the epidermis map (Fig.19 - 21). An epidermis map is approximately what you would see with a living creature if you were to tear off the outer layer of its skin.

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Fig. 19
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Fig. 20



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