Before starting sculpting I created the UVs for all the objects with UV Layout.
In this part of the tutorial I will focus on head sculpting. I started using the ClayBuildup brush with an alpha 48 to do the main shapes and the Move brush with a rather large size to create the small asymmetries that make the physiology more natural.
When I got to the fourth or fifth subdivision I changed the brush alpha to a smaller and smoother one (like 45 or 44) and I started to increase the intensity of the folds and wrinkles. This is a very important stage because the character starts to gain his own expressiveness.
In this work I decided to emphasize the procerus muscle, the corrugator supercilii and the orbicularis of the eyes in order to achieve a more serious look. I also focused on the orbicularis of the mouth, adding the typical smoker's wrinkles. I paid specific attention to the neck to create the effect of old and sagging skin.
Around the sixth/ seventh subdivision I fixed the smaller details. I didn't use specific alphas apart from the areas where the pores are more visible and the skin is more oily (nose tip, procerus, cheeks and chin). Here I used a particular one that I made from a picture of an orange skin, which I modified in Photoshop.
Next I applied a low intensity surface noise to the whole face and then I started to make the wrinkles more definite with the Slash brush. In the end I used the Smoothpeaks brush to reduce the bumpy effect; eventually you can exaggerate a bit with the intemsity of the surface peaks because the VrayFastSSS 2 will tend to soften the effect. This is the final sculpt (Fig.05).
Once I was satisfied I exported Displacement, Normal and Cavity maps with the MultiMap exporter (I used the Cavity map as a mask in Mari, therefore my advice is to increase the Blur amount in the export setting).
For the hand I used a slightly different technique: for the sculpting I went up to the fourth subdivision, then created the texture with Mari, modified it with Photoshop, and used it as an alpha (after I subdivided the model up to the sixth/seventh subdivision) to create a fine displacement (Fig.06).
In this part of the tutorial I will focus on the face texture. In Mari I projected the pictures of my father that I'd taken previously, and with a little patience, and the intelligent use of the edge mask, I created a good base texture. At this point I added a few layers to the shader in Diffuse Blend or in Masked constant color to add a bit of red to the nose, chin, upper and lower eyelids, and a bit of purple to the eye circles. I then added a layer of veins with a very low opacity. I imported the ZBrush cavity and I used it as a mask to give a better emphasis to the displacement of the pores and wrinkles (with a soft red and a very low opacity)(Fig.07).
What I like most about digital lighting is the chance to create lighting links, and, in a certain way, fake the lighting to reach your own purpose. First of all I created a circular environment on which I projected a texture of a room similar to my background to perk up the reflection of the objects. Following the lighting mood of my background I chose a four-light setup: a main light from the left, a soft fill light from the right and two back lights (an intense one from the left and a weaker one from the right). This setup didn't give enough importance to the t-shirt (which I considered essential to represent the character), the cap or the objects in the jacket pocket; therefore I added a fill light and linked it only to those. The left back light was good for the face but not for the hand, so I decided to put in a separate light for the hand. I also added two lights close to the face to illuminate the geometry I created to simulate the moisture in the eyes. Afterwards I exported a pass for each light to have the best control during the compositing phase in Nuke (Fig.08).
The setup of the lights is as follows:
• Lights 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8: Main light and fill lights (Fig.09).
• Lights 3, 4 and 6: Back lights (Fig.10).