Rigging, Posing & Animating
As previously planned, at this point I needed to setup the bones and the weight of the character, but I didn't want to use rigging that was too complex (Fig.16). Everything was simple as far as animating and posing went! Since my character didn't have too many polygons, it was easy to rig and animate him. As long as the rig is well organised, it will be fun to play with!
Rendering & Lighting
At this stage, I rendered my character in my favourite pose. Basically, I separated the renders into three passes: colour, occlusion and volumetric light. By separating these renders I could adjust the final compositing, either in After Effects or Photoshop.
The lighting technique itself was pretty simple. First of all I adjusted the key light, rim light and other light using a directional light, with the shadow only appearing on the key light (Fig.17). I also needed light to come from his weapon, as well as a flash light mounted onto his armour.
After my test renders and several adjustments, I had the final look of my character. I then took it into Photoshop for the final adjustments where I added the background, which I played with by experimenting with the colours and the mood. I love to create a stylish look, just like comic cover illustrations. I tried to search for free textures, like those from cgtextures.com, to achieve caustic dust effects on the background. After several adjustments and mixing layers, I finally achieved the end result (Fig.18).
Don't be afraid to play with colour style and materials! I always keep myself open to playing with the style of my work, as long as it looks natural, with a balanced composition, and is comfortable on the eyes.