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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
1922_tid_8.jpg

3D artist, Jeremy Celeste gives us a rundown of the key techniques he uses in the creation of his photorealistic frog image, Look at Me...


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First steps

Look At Me was a challenging project in many ways. I wanted to make a macro photography shot of a dark frog in a green environment, so I took many references to hone my choices for the design, aspects and environment I wanted for it. I also gathered some anatomy references and started to work in my favorite modeling software; .

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The modeling process at different stages

Rendering and shading

Once the modeling was done, I started on the layouts in Maya and began my favorite part of the process: rendering. Lighting for this project was done using a forest HDRI plus a Sun light. I started my Lookdev work with the frog and, once I was happy with lighting, I started to work on the shading.

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HDRI used for lighting in combination with the sun light

Creating a convincing texture

As a Lighting/Lookdev artist, my main concern was the sticky texture of the frog. This was important, not only in the overall aspect because it could easily look like plastic with a lack of detail, but also in depth using micro bump to break specular and add variation.

The tip was to add two speculars, one soft and another very tight. This creates a nice effect, but it only works if the model has enough detail, otherwise it will look too shiny/plastic.

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This image shows the micro bump used to break specular and add variation to the shader.
Credit: http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Research/Microgeometry/ for the base texture


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