Rigging and visualization
Since the deadline was drawing near, I decided to use the regular 3ds Max biped as a skeleton. After that, I configured a simplistic skin only using the Envelopes, chose the character's stance and adjusted the skin accordingly.
I rendered with the Marmoset Toolbag 2
. I had only used it as a model viewer before, and I was eager to learn more about its possibilities. This program is quite easy and intuitive, and generally is a great interactive render, somewhat resembling a game engine. So, after placing my character into a certain stance and loading the model into Marmoset, I started configuring the lighting and materials. By my design, the character is shown at the moment of take-off, grasping the ignition handle – backpack engines are warmed-up and ready to start.
The lighting had a cold and warm contrast. The scene featured 3 lighting sources and HDRI: 1 cold filling light with casting shadows (moonlight) and 2 and 3 were the bright, warm light sources: the backpack nozzles and working engine. HDRI was used as a counter source.
Here you can see the positions of the lighting sources and material settings. All materials settings were basically identical
The fire and the smoke were a montage from images from the internet, further retouched with several Photoshop brushes.
I used the Overlay, Multiply and Color correction layers to finish the character. Using a brush, I adjusted some light and shadows and strengthened the rocket backpack engine heat reflexes.
Here you can see the post-processing stages
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