Since Ronaldo announced his retirement, I have been tempted to make a caricature of him. Brazilian people had plenty of great moments watching his performances in their national football team. Why not create this tribute to him? Sometimes a caricature can be closer to bullying than a tribute. I got into a lot of trouble in my childhood for using caricatures to play jokes on other kids. Flashbacks aside, humor can be a nice tribute and I think that this piece is no different. I tried to portray the awesome phase when he played in the 2002 World Cup, when he had his funny hair and big teeth.
I began with some sketches to design the style of the caricature. I did several roughs trying to understand and reflect Ronaldo's character. Defining his appearance was a tricky step. He has a kind of crafty, joker look that is mixed with a spontaneous smile. I wanted to include his famous number 9 shirt, and show him pointing his finger like he did when celebrating a goal. Fig.01 was my favorite among my roughs so I used it as the concept.
Modeling and Texturing
In ZBrush I started the modeling process using ZSpheres, which made things look funny from the beginning. ZSpheres are a nice way to create an initial mesh to work with, especially when modeling body parts. Using X axis symmetry I quickly created the upper body (Fig.02). At this stage I tried to improve the adaptive skin by adding some magnets to the hand (Alt + click in a ZSphere in Draw mode) (Fig.03).