This character was modelled in Maya, using the low polygon modelling process. Firstly, I modelled a standard human body, spending much time on his topology structure because I will need him to pose a highly difficult gesture at the end. The teeth, eyes and hair, all require great patience.
The blue arrows indicate where you need to be careful when modelling.
Following all this, it's time for the aircrafts and the details in the foreground. I must say something regarding the city; because I will use matte painting to do it, I don't need to model it too seriously, just like a real city.
This character was made for an illustration, so I didn't set UV according to the normal method. I simply let the parts which can be seen take up more UV space. The UV of the other things are nothing fancy.
Someone once asked me how to connect Mental Ray 'Fast Skin Shade'. Everyone has his own way. On the whole, in my opinion, I think it's best to control every parameter as best as you possibly can. Therefore, I used about 10 maps to control the more important parameters (such as Diffuse Colour, Epidermal Scatter Colour, Subdermal Scatter Colour, Primary Weight, Secondary Weight, and so on). My own experience is that the 'sss' effect of some places, like ears, can't be too high - that is, not being too reddish - because a real man wouldn't be like that. We need the feeling of the skin to be between plastic and wax. Because I used the HDR to illuminate, I must click 'Include Indirect Lighting' in the light map node.
For this image, painting the texture is a complicated process. Basically, most textures of this character are 4096x4096 in size. First of all, I did the colour map by hand-painting and using some photos, then desaturated the colour and made the bump map and specular map afterwards. I changed the tone and details of the colour map, as the Epidermal Scatter Colour, Subdermal Scatter Colour, then changed the specular map as the reflection map. I got a very detailed normal map in Mudbox, by a high-resolution model which included about 5-million polygons. I wanted to let the scene look worn and real. Then I used body paint to remove texture seams and added more bloodstains and dirt - I like all the small details.
The following images show the colour, bump and specular maps.