I added some hair to the model, using the hair from the old man picture, and set it on a normal layer with 80% opacity. The most important stage was next, where I painted on a blank layer set the Soft Light. On this layer I painted shadows and lights - with a simple, standard brush with 50% hardness - in order to blend all the pictures together, primarily using pure black and white. On this layer I had the opportunity to relight the model and also paint some fine details (Fig.07).
After the painting stage, I integrated some more textures from the hippopotamus picture, such as the mustache, and again set the pictures on a Soft Light layer. Then I used the picture of a tumorous eye on a Soft Light layer, in order to obtain some interesting shade and specular on the eyes of my sculpt (Fig.08).
In the final stage I just painted a cold light coming from the left, on another blank layer set on Soft Light, this time using a really soft standard brush. I also painted some smoke on the right bottom corner in order to light that black area a little bit. As a final touch I used a Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp mask to tighten the image and the brush strokes, and I used also a Blur > Lens Blur on a mask layer in order to blur just the contour of the model together with the background (Fig.09).
And with that the image was complete (Fig.10). I really had lots of fun doing this creature and I think that the result is really tight. This technique of painting the details in Photoshop is much quicker for me than sculpting everything in ZBrush. It took me just one day of work to complete it. I hope you've learned something useful from this Making Of, and that you liked it! Thank you.
To see more by Luca Nemolato, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 8