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Digital Art Masters: V7 - Sample Making Of 'General'

By Bruno Jiménez

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Date Added: 25th September 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, ZBrush

Texturing and Shading

Since I just wanted a still image, I didn't waste time organizing the topology of the head and hair. After deleting my three lower subdivision levels, I created the UVs using the incredible UV Master in ZBrush. Then I decimated the meshes to export them into 3ds Max with a Cavity map for each mesh.

I was aiming for a handmade and stylized look for the face and hair, and in this instance used the Barontieri set of brushes. I tried to keep it fast and loose, making strokes and spots visible in the final texture (Fig.07). I then used an SSS2 V-Ray shader with the brown skin preset.

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_fig07a-07b.jpg
Fig.07

I wanted to create a contrast between the face and all the accessories, so I decided to texture and shade them in a more realistic way. For the jacket I used a VrayMtl shader with a wide falloff in the diffuse slot. I then placed my Diffuse map in each falloff slot. Using color correction in Photoshop I created a desaturated and brighter version of the Diffuse map, which I then put in the second slot. I customized the falloff curve to give the jacket a very soft look (Fig.08).

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_fig08.jpg
Fig. 08

For the accessories I made some quick textures with color, brightness and contrast variations to create a more interesting look (Fig.09).

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_fig09.jpg
Fig.09

Lighting and Rendering

I wanted the lighting of the scene to accentuate the character's severe and harsh appearance, so I opted for something resembling candlelight rather than strong, harsh studio lighting. To create this I used a small light source with high directional values and gave it a slightly orange tint. I used a common three-point lighting set up for the character and then added one extra light for the background (Fig.10).

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_fig10.jpg
Fig. 10

An HDRI map was added directly to the environment slot in the shaders to achieve the reflections. It's funny to think that I spent a lot of time doing the lighting, when it's actually very simple. Whilst setting up the lighting I was inspired by some of Rembrandt's portraits.

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_fig11.jpg
Fig.11

Post-production

I always save most of the render passes and then select those that I consider useful. For this project I used a shadow, specular, reflection, AO, falloff, Z-Depth and wire color pass to allow more control. The reflection, specular and AO passes were mainly used for metallic objects. After adjusting the Levels and making some color corrections I added some volumetric lighting, vignetting and a bit of blur courtesy of the Z-Depth pass and Lens Blur filter in Photoshop. And with that, the image was finished.

1786_tid_bruno_jim_nez_final.jpg

Conclusion

This piece was an exercise and a way to find my own style. After receiving lots of nice comments from the CG community in different forums, I feel very encouraged to continue creating my own designs and ideas. I dedicate this image to all of the artists that have inspired me since I started learning CG, especially Marek Denko and Krishnamurti M. Costa (aka Antropus).






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