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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
1975_tid_amd-foundry-sponsor.jpg
1975_tid_zzzartist_profile.jpg
In this part of the tutorial series, we'll take a look at the lighting, Render Outputs and post work to finalize a 3D portrait

3D Artist Bert Heynderickx - aka Alberto Ezzy - discusses the lighting setup of this stunning 3D female portrait, as well as how different Render Outputs can be applied in post-production


1975_tid_my_kiwi_friend.jpg

Part 1: Improve your geometry in MODO
Part 2: Create perfect image maps with MARI
Part 3: Master skin, hair and fur

In the first part of this mini-series, we began with a look at the creation of a female portrait, 'My Kiwi Friend', in MODO. We then went on to discover how to create the various image maps needed to texture the female model, using MARI for the most part, with a little Photoshop as well. Then in the third part we looked at how to import those previously made image maps into MODO's Shader Tree, as well as the Hair and Fur settings.

So in this instalment, we're going to take a look at the scene setup now, lighting by Area lights, as well as using a custom HDRI map. We'll also see how different Render Outputs from MODO can come in handy in Photoshop. As with all the previous parts, I am using an AMD FirePro™ W9000 for the workflow featured, which I personally find to be a great solution for high-res character creation.

You can download a free trial of MODO to follow along with this tutorial.

1975_tid_kiwi_friend_homepage.jpg

Step 1: Scene setup

In this scene I'm using both direct and indirect lighting. As I'm working with a studio shot, there's no sunlight or physically based daylight involved. The direct lighting is instead done with two Area lights, and the indirect lighting is done with an HDRI map that I have created using HDR Light Studio.

I'm using a camera with a focal length of 80mm. Let's have a look at the simple scene setup:

1975_tid_1_scene_setup.jpg
This setup seems deceptively simple, but there's a lot more lighting going on by the custom HDRI!

Step 2: Area lights

My main Area Light on the left has a radiance of 3.0 W/srm2. The fill Area light on the right (and closer to the top) is set to 0.6 W/srm2. The Area light type is similar to a studio soft box style light, often used in professional photography because of the soft shadows they produce. These are excellent for creating photorealistic lighting effects, as they create a very natural light emission and smooth shading.

Let's isolate these two lights and see how they contribute to the lighting of this scene:

1975_tid_2_area_lights_only.jpg
I chose Area Lights as the Direct Light Types because of their natural light emission and smooth shading

Step 3: Reflection in the eyes

I had a specific point in mind for the highlights of the eyes. A great tool to handle this job effortlessly was the HDR Light Studio software (please see my Top Tip at the end of this tutorial). In Reflection LightPaint Mode, it lets you click on your 3D model in the MODO viewport to move the active light to a new location that will be reflected in that part of your 3D model. Amazing stuff! It's mostly used for product and automotive shots, but I also like to use it in this kind of portrait shot, too.

1975_tid_3_reflection_eyes.jpg
Reflections at a specific point is literally one click away with HDR Light Studio

Step 4: Painting light

Now in Illumination LightPaint Mode, I place some soft boxes that will nicely light the left arm and bring out the anatomy of the upper body. Visually, I also like to play with a very subtle warm side, and an opposing cold side in the image, so I place two colored lights (blue and yellow) accordingly. HDR Light Studio helped me to place these - I simply clicked in the viewport where I wanted the illumination to be.

1975_tid_4_hdr_map.jpg
Create or edit HDRI maps in real time for a quick way to edit image-based lighting effects within a MODO scene

Step 5: Render Output - Depth pass

The Depth output is useful for calculating depth of field in an external application. When Remap Pixel Values is enabled, users can alternately define a Maximum Depth distance. I enabled this feature and entered a distance of 1.55m. This gives me a nice map that I will use in Photoshop to create a subtle depth-of-field effect.

1975_tid_5_depth_map.jpg
This map will serve as the source for the Lens Blur filter in Photoshop



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(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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