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BPR Rendering Workflow in ZBrush 4 R2

By Daniel Bystedt
Web: Open Site
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| 4 Comments
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Date Added: 18th May 2012
Software used:
Photoshop, ZBrush

Unsharp Mask

In order to make the image "pop" I usually add a sharpening effect in order to bring out the details and make the image easier to read. I usually use an unsharp mask, but it is possible that other sharpening filters are better. It's all up to you.

Combine: Create a new layer on top of the entire stack and press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to merge all visible layers into the active layer.

Apply an unsharp mask: Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. I usually set amount quite high and later control the amount with the layer opacity. Radius should be below one pixel in my opinion (Fig.42 - 43).

1534_tid_Fig 42.jpg
Fig. 42

1534_tid_Fig 43.jpg
Fig. 43

Fig.44 - 45 show the before and after shots.

1534_tid_Fig 44.jpg
Fig.44
1534_tid_Fig 45.jpg
Fig.45

Grading and Noise

After applying all the light passes it is always good to do a final grading. It's like the last tuning of the colors and intensity of the image. Adding noise to the image adds to the realism as well.

Add noise: Create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray. Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Set that layer's blending mode to Overlay. Play with opacity and make it subtle (Fig.46).

1534_tid_Fig 46.jpg
Fig. 46


Add grading/adjustment layers: Add a Curves adjustment layer (Fig.47) and then edit the curves as follows:

• Curve 1: Blending mode = Normal. This curve generally brightens the image.

• Curve 2: Blending mode = Normal. Here I decided I wanted more brightness. It could have been done in Curve 1, but I thought I would have more control with a second curve.

• Curve 3: Blending mode = Color. This curve is where a lot of magic happens, in my opinion. I adjusted it so blue and green is added to the darker parts of the image, and blue and green is removed from the brighter parts. The effect is that you get a really dynamic color spectrum to the image and somehow it does not look so "flat" anymore (Fig.48 - 49).

1534_tid_Fig 47.jpg
Fig. 47

1534_tid_Fig 48.jpg
Fig. 48

1534_tid_Fig 49.jpg
Fig. 49

Fig.50 - 51 show the before and after shots.

1534_tid_Fig 50.jpg
Fig.50
1534_tid_Fig 51.jpg
Fig.51




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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 222985, pid: 0) Piotr on Sun, 06 October 2013 4:49am
This was exactly what I have been looking for since couple of years ago. Thank you
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(ID: 199980, pid: 0) Vlad on Tue, 28 May 2013 11:42pm
Unbelievable amount of work! Really great job! and thx a lot for the walkthrough.
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(ID: 185977, pid: 0) Luis B on Mon, 11 March 2013 8:04am
Thanks a lot for the effort in making this tutorial. I love the character design and the final result is great. Truly good stuff.
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(ID: 153180, pid: 0) Naky on Sun, 30 September 2012 12:31pm
Thank you for showcasing your process in Lighting & Rendering... Just one question i have been facing since i started using Z brush is when you use BPR how can i export the image with a mask on the creature or the sculpt?... I mean creature separate & BG separate !
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