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Making Of 'Close-up Portrait'

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Date Added: 15th August 2011
Software used:
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.

Basic Modeling

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).

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).

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).

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).

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).

Fig. 05

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Mouslim on Fri, 09 November 2012 7:13pm
David, Please make a dvd of it. Everybody will buy it
Alix on Sat, 11 February 2012 9:28am
I think adding noise to the final image was unnecessary. Awesome tutorial none the less, I learnt something!
Jeremy Schichtel on Wed, 19 October 2011 8:50pm
I was so glad to see this tutorial. My coworkers and I marveled at these images. You had lots of us second guessing if it was cg
Khanh Pham on Wed, 24 August 2011 2:49am
great tutorial. Thanks
Thomas on Fri, 19 August 2011 1:06pm
Incredible work man, just amazing. I would kill to see a video tutorial for something like this.
Mohammadyashar on Thu, 18 August 2011 5:33pm
stunning!! working with max's hair and fur is so painful. but you did it in the best way. I don't know what to do with a frizzle hair.
Nico on Thu, 18 August 2011 12:49pm
Nice work, but will have one problem with the teeth, they are not oriented in relation to the lips, I think. Bye Nico
David on Wed, 17 August 2011 11:02pm
Thank you very much, guys!
Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:15pm
Never mind my previous question about the cavity map... I just noticed that you used it as a specular map :)
Esteban on Wed, 17 August 2011 5:12pm
Thanks for the tutorial! I just have one question about it: how are you using the cavity map? As a bump map? I've always wondered how to get a nice bump map out of ZBrush...
MoteOne on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:38pm
Hey there, one of the most realistic renders i had ever seen in my live :D very nice
Munkybutt's Avatar
Pak3dark (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 7:15pm
The boos The work is incredible, modeling, texturing, lighting and postpro ...... is total, I particularly liked the effect of facial hair and the detail of the eye, David is a work of 10, congratulations ...........and go to work ....jiji....
Vince on Mon, 15 August 2011 5:50pm
Love the images and tutorial...! Great inspiration for many artists out there no doubt! Keep it up ! Love your site too !
Luis F�bregas on Mon, 15 August 2011 1:06pm
Nice tutorial David, thanks for sharing.
Munkybutt's Avatar
Perversonality (Forums) on Mon, 15 August 2011 12:55pm
Love the attention to detail on this one, especially the facial hairs. Nice write-up too :)
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