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Making Of 'May Gift'

By Carlos Ortega
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(42 Votes)
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| 4 Comments
| Comments 4
Date Added: 18th April 2012
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, Mudbox, mental ray
1521_tid_May Gift.jpg

Concept

This image was created as a cover for a friend's magazine. The only guidelines I received from them was the phrase "Mother's Day" and the fact that it was the magazine's first anniversary; aside from that, they gave me complete creative freedom for the final image. Since it was a variety magazine and has a diverse range of readers, I wanted to create something that was appealing to men and women of different ages. I used birth as the main theme, which suited the given guidelines. I wanted a tender and peaceful image, so I went for a stylized pregnant female character in a fetal position, resembling a baby inside the womb, all in a cozy but ambiguous environment. I complemented that with flowing hair and clothes, so that it could be interpreted as if she is floating in water, the sky or outer space. After a quick and dirty sketch I was ready to move on to the 3D phase (Fig.01 - 02).

1521_tid_fig_001.jpg
Fig.01
1521_tid_fig_002.jpg
Fig.02

Modeling and Sculpting

I modeled a basic cartoony head in Maya and due to some time constraints I had to reuse a body base mesh from an old unfinished project (Fig.03). I did a very basic unwrap of the base mesh using the UV tools in Maya. Mudbox has awesome and very intuitive posing tools, but for this particular project, I felt more comfortable posing the character inside Maya, so I created a basic skeleton and did some quick skinning. I didn't care that much about joint weighting at this point because most of that was going to be fixed when sculpting so I exported the posed OBJ along with some clothes extracted from the body to Mudbox (Fig.04).

1521_tid_fig_003.jpg
Fig.03

1521_tid_fig_004.jpg
Fig.04


The first thing to do inside Mudbox was to define the topological axis to be able to sculpt with symmetry. From the beginning I knew I wanted a soft clay-sculpture look in the final image so almost all the sculpting was done using the Wax tool, while smoothing it constantly to clean rough areas. I started sculpting the mesh with two subdivisions, which was enough to define proportions and the basic face details. For areas like ears, nostrils and nails I had to subdivide the mesh up to level five to get nice smooth details, since I needed the final output render resolution pretty high and wanted to prevent any visible faceting on the final render (Fig.05 - 06).

1521_tid_fig_005.jpg
Fig.05

1521_tid_fig_006.jpg
Fig.06



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 158726, pid: 0) Me on Mon, 29 October 2012 11:34am
It will be better to attach a pdf next time. Nice tut buddy.
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(ID: 142075, pid: 0) Ann on Sun, 19 August 2012 6:56am
It's so great, thank for sharing the process....
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(ID: 112328, pid: 0) Roberto (Prehistor) on Sun, 29 April 2012 7:18am
Another Great tutorial, thank you very much Carlos!
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(ID: 108212, pid: 0) Gioracle on Wed, 18 April 2012 7:40pm
awesome!I like the way you started the project!
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