Since the new mesh now had better topology it was ready for further sculpting. Fig.04 illustrates my sculpting progression through the levels.
As I mentioned before, patience is one of the key ingredients when sculpting. For sculpting surfaces like skin pores andÂ roughnessÂ of the skin, I used a Standard brush with the stroke set to Spray and alpha 25 or alpha 07 fromÂ the ZBrushÂ alpha palette. YouÂ don't reallyÂ need fancyÂ alphasÂ taken from photos to make a sculpt look close to real because the ZBrush alpha palette holds everything you need if you understand how the surface of skin should look.Â
A close up of the face can be seen in Fig.05.
Texturing & Rendering
Now it was time to transfer some of the fine details toÂ renderableÂ texture maps, as well to add some color to them. ZBrushÂ can generate great looking normal maps, which canÂ alsoÂ be used as templates for layering a color map inside PhotoshopÂ and that's how I did the color map for this image.
IÂ foundÂ some niceÂ photographicÂ references at 3d.skÂ and used them to cover the whole head with skin color insideÂ Photoshop. I then went back to ZBrush to cover up some visible stitching with a little help from the Projection Master.
I wanted to keep myÂ workflowÂ as simple as possible, so color and normal maps were enough. I decided to useÂ ModoÂ 401 for rendering because it's lighting fast and real time progressive rendering was just what I needed to set up a fast and good looking skinÂ shader (Fig.05).
The Scattering distance parameter is closely related to size of your model and that's why I've shown the size of my bust in Fig.05, so that you can see the height to scattering distance ratio.
For the lighting I used an HDR image, which comes withÂ ModoÂ 404, set to Environment and I did not use any additional lights. Note that an HDRI should not really be used alone, but IÂ chose to break this rule because in this case it worked well. If you are going to follow this workflow then please note that Global Illumination is your main light generator, along with an HDRI Environment, so don't hesitate to experiment with different HDR images.
At the end I decided to give him a Starfleet Officer's uniform because I felt like this would fit with his warrior-like scarred face and besides that I am great fan of Star Trek!
Here's the final image (Fig.07).