In this Making Of I will try to explain the way in which I created my "close-up portraits". I am going to mainly focus on the texturing/shading part.
I reused the geometry of an old nurbs body that I made years ago. I converted it to polygons in Maya and then deleted the faces that were not going to be visible. I took care to make sure that almost all the polys were four-sided for a better subdivision later.
Then, in ZBrush, I adjusted the proportions - it's easier to do this by using the Move and Standard brushes (Fig.01).
I created the UVs in Maya. This resolution was enough to create the UVs and making them later with more subdivisions would be more difficult.
I decided to create two different UV shells/textures to get more texture resolution, one for the just the face and then other for the rest of the head. I tried to place the seams in a hidden part (Fig.02).
Once I had finished the UVs I started creating the texture. I used photographs from the Ballistic DVD "ESSENCE: The Face" as the source for the textures of the skin. This DVD comes with hi-res photos of a woman (Fig.03).
I created the texture by switching between Bodypaint and Photoshop. I made several projections of the photos on the geometry and then merged the all together in the final texture.
Here's a little more detail (Fig.04).
In Bodypaint, I started by first assigning a white 4096px texture to the geometry. Then I chose a photo to project on the geometry and rotated the 3D view in a similar way. Now it was on to projection painting. This created a projection layer.
Then "Freeze3Dview". This created a snapshot of the current 3D view placed in the projection layer. (I chose 4096 pixel resolution, as with that I didn't lose resolution when it was re-projected).
I saved this image as a PSD file. Then, in Photoshop, I modified the original photo to match the geometry in the areas. I made different layers to have more control in specific areas (Fig.05).