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The Making of 'Stylish Killer'

By Alberto Casu
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 29th January 2014
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, V-Ray, ZBrush, Misc

Textures

For the face texture I used a pre-done face texture from 3d.sk and used the Smudge UV tool to move the UV into position. I opened the UV editor on one monitor and the viewport on the other and I moved the UV until the texture was perfectly matching the model. It is a very quick and dirty way, but if you don't need a very detailed skin texture it gets the job done very well! For a more realistic render I would have used projections in MARI or Mudbox.

For the rest I used a pretty standard approach based on tileable textures, done with Photoshop and projection/painting in Mudbox.

I made a custom brush for the sewing line of the dress. Once I got the color maps done I worked on the spec and bump.

1834_tid_step6.jpg
Tileable textures and custom brushes is the way to go!

Eyes

For the eyes I tend to model everything separately: cornea, sclera, iris and pupil.

I assigned a transparent high reflective shader to the cornea and an SSS shader (I started from the milk preset in V-Ray) for the sclera and iris. For the cornea I used a radial ramp for the transparency channel in order to stay clear of the iris and give a white patina on top. A small torus, opportunely placed, with visibility turned off, cast a soft shadow where the sclera and iris connect. Once I was happy with the effect, I imported the eye into the scene and ran a test to see if it worked as I planned.

1834_tid_step7.jpg
The most important part is to get a nice highlight; you can soften the transitions after

Hair

This was my first time trying Yeti. Once you get through the first steps (assign a yeti node, create a groom and import the groom...) it suddenly becomes very intuitive.

I usually create a groom for every major strand of hair so I can comb them separately. To get the look I want I use a combination of the Move and Sculpt brushes. I found it easier if you grow the hair as you comb to have a better control of the flow. I used the standard VrayHair 3 with a brown shiny preset.

1834_tid_step8.jpg
I would have never suspected brushing a doll's hair was so much fun!


Rendering

Over time I've built a library of shaders and materials so I can have a good starting point. Using Sunday Pipeline I was able to easily import them into the scene and test how they looked before I started editing them.

Once all the textures and shaders were ready, I ran the VRayMaterialIDOptimizer script, which assigns a V-Ray material ID for every shader and creates the necessary multi-matte passes.

At this point I used VrayRT to play with the lights and get the mood I wanted. First I chose the direction, then the sharpness of the shadow (smaller lights cast harder shadows, bigger lights cast softer shadows) and then I adjusted the intensity.

Once I was getting closer to where I wanted to be, I started rendering with higher quality until I was satisfied. For the final render I created the other passes (AO, rawGI, rawReflection and rawRefraction). The LookDev phase is one of my favorite.

1834_tid_step9.jpg
I love the power of multi-matte in NUKE

Final Comp

I imported all the passes to NUKE. I then used multi-matte to assign a Color Correct node to every shader to easily tweak the saturation, contrast, color gain, and so on. Once I was happy, I played with glow, sharpen, color aberration, noise and vignette until I could get rid of some of the CG feeling (being careful to not overkill the compositing).

I then saved the NUKE script. I eventually adjusted the textures (if I changed the color of some shader in post-production) or the light intensity and launched a HD render that would be reloaded in the script.

I rendered a TGA image out of NUKE and opened it in Photoshop, where I played with the Dodge and Burn brushes and tweaked other minor things.

At this point I'm already thinking about the next project. Hope you enjoyed!

1834_tid_step10.jpg
Taking the image to the next step

1834_tid_final_image.jpg
Ready for the next project...

Related links
Head over to Alberto Casu's website for more inspiration
Erika Tcogoeva's deviantart site




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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 247899, pid: 0) Jean-Christian-Gagnant on Wed, 29 January 2014 2:50pm
"Take a cube, extrude it, and bevel the edges until it looks like a gun, or a shoe" Best making of ever.
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