Yuo Tengara gives us a rundown of the lighting and texturing techniques behind her beautiful image 'Alice in Wonderland'
Alice in Wonderland is based on Julia Sarda's illustration from her Alice in Wonderland series. I decided to recreate her beautiful illustration in 3D, because it was different from the style I normally work with and I felt it would be a nice challenge.
Blocking in the scene
In order to make the scene appear as flat as possible, I set the focal length of my camera to 100. I used ZBrush's
ZSphere to create the base geo for the characters and imported the mesh into Maya
to adjust the scale. This was to get a better idea of the scale for each object and the depth of the scene.
Once the scales of the characters were finalized, I started blocking in the environment in Maya. I began by using primitive shapes and nudging the vertices to match the placement. The geo for the grass was added later and I used the spPaint tool to place it on the ground plane.
Showing the progress of the modeling
Sculpting in ZBrush
For the characters, I used ZBrush to add a bit more detail but kept the sculpt fairly simple to avoid it becoming realistic looking. ZBrush has a nice option where you can adjust the opacity of the UI (located top-right, labeled ‘See-through'). I had the concept open in the background and lowered the Opacity of the UI, then positioned the model to match the concept as best I could.
I also played around with the angle of view in ZBrush to match the focal length in Maya's camera. I used the value written here
as a starting point. The rest was just nudging the model around to match the look and the volume of the characters in the concept.
Using the Move, Dam Standard, and Standard brush to sculpt
Retopo and UV
After sculpting a bit in ZBrush, I decided to retopo to make it easier to unwrap the UVs. It wasn't necessary to do so because these characters weren't going to be animated but I just did it to get into a good habit.
I usually use NEX for retopoing but I used the ZRemesher option in ZBrush to speed up the process. For UVing, I mostly use Maya, but sometimes I use Headus
if I can't get a good result. I try to put anything that might share the same quality of material onto one map so I can use the same shader.
The UVs of Alice: the skin, hair, clothes and skirt