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Making Of 'Joker - Undead Version'

By Vit Budin
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, ZBrush

Here are the default diffuse textures from ZBrush (Fig.05a - b): examples of where details were added in Photoshop (Fig.05a); Ambient Occlusion from xNormal (Fig.05b - top right); final diffuse texture (Fig.05b - bottom left), e) final ZBrush Normal map on third subdivision level (Fig.05b - second from left, bottom row) (the Joker mesh has four levels, but I baked it on the third because, from my point of view, it has more depth); example of the normal map detailed in Photoshop and heavily used parts from the diffuse map (Fig.05b - third from left, bottom row) (I used the NVIDIA Normal Map Filter for this and blended them with Overlay on the original ZBrush normal map; and the brush setup used for the threads of the vest (Fig.05b - bottom right).

1147_tid_fig_5b.jpg
Fig. 05b

ZBrush Texturing Pipeline

(Fig.05c) I had two options here, the first of which was the Projection Master, and the second was direct surface painting and then baking it to a texture. I'm going to describe the second way, as this method was better for me:
1. Switch on MRGB, switch off Zadd and Zsub and setup the brush
2. Turn the texture off
3. Choose a white (or another) colour and press Fill Object
4. Choose Brush and Alpha
5. If there's a need for a larger texture than 1024x1024, create the resolution you want and then press New
6. In the Texture menu press Col > Tex, and voila! - you have a diffuse texture baked from the surface materials! (Thanks Maxko!)

1147_tid_fig_5c.jpg
Fig. 05c

Shader Setup

For the Joker's skin I used the Brazil 1.2 skin shader - it's very simple and looks superb! I'd like to share a few points for the raytrace material which I used on the trousers; using 3ds Max 8 there was a problem, as I couldn't use a normal map in a Bump Map slot in the raytrace material, so I used bump only. For the final tuning of all maps in shaders, I used the sliders in the texture Output options. This was easier than going back to Photoshop and levelling. And for rendering, it went smoothly without any problems! (Fig.06)

1147_tid_fig_6.jpg
Fig. 06

Rendering and Lighting

The lighting setup used in the scene has been described in Fig.07. The lights were default Spots with Shadows turned on, with slight colour differences, 2048 Shadow Maps, and a Bias value of 0, 01. For rendering I used the 3ds Max default renderer, because I'm not so familiar with third party renderers and, after all, Scanline is really fast! You can see a few white boxes here; these were for the reflections on the latex trousers, and for extreme highlighted speculars on the jaw and on the spit. The special material setup for this has been described in Fig.07. (Fig.07)

1147_tid_fig_7.jpg
Fig. 07


Final Render and Post-Production

(Fig.08) I decided here that describing all of the compositing process would take too long, and I figured it would be better if you could see it for yourself. I'm giving you the ability to open the final PSD directly and see how it works! Download here!

In the end, the ideal resolution of the image was 2800 x 3805 pixels, and I chose this because it's the resolution of an A4 page at high resolution.

I hope to see you again in a future Making Of! Thanks!

Vit "Diablo" Budin

1147_tid_final.jpg
Fig.08 - Click image to download





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