When I was almost done with the sculpt it was time to redo the topology. I always do this right before the last detail pass since there is a chance you will lose some detail in the process. Working in ZBrush I started by drawing out the imagined topo grid all over the sculpt using Polypaint to eliminate any guess work. All that was left was just to follow the texture map and voila, I had new topology!
All the texturing was done inside ZBrush as well, using the mottling techniques described by Scott Spencer (ZBrush Character Creation). This involves blending different temperature zones into one, providing a very rich surface. By painting all the textures by hand, I got a more stylized feel which I thought would fit the final image.
Next up was getting some nice matcaps to make the sculpt pop! (Fig.05). I ended up tweaking most of them, changing the color, cavity and glossiness to my liking. Since I wanted to stay inside ZBrush there was no needs for UVs. Instead I made use of the Adaptive UVTiles. This way I did not have to bother about hiding any texture seams, which can usually be a headache.
Like I mentioned before, I wanted to stay inside ZBrush as much as possible. This gave me the opportunity to test out the renderer provided (ZBrush 3.5 Best Render). It had a lot of issues when trying to render in high resolution, but in the end I was quite happy with the result.
Three of the biggest issues I encountered were:
The shading/light rays didn’t match up between the high and low res render of the same view, which made it very hard to make test renders in low res and then expect the same result in high res.
Backlight artifacts, probably caused by scaling issues in the render.
ZBrush crashing all the time!
To get the most out the image I chose to render out in passes. The best way to do this is to first store your chosen camera angle in ZApplink and then just go crazy with different matcaps and materials, rendering them out one by one.
Fig.06 shows some of the different passes I used together with which Matcap/material. This is, of course, an old technique now that ZBrush 4 has been released with its multimap export and SSS render capabilities, but the same use of passes still applies.
It was now just a matter of putting all the pieces together and creating an environment for the image. Like always when I comp passes together, it was all about experimentation to see what looked good. But I like my work files to be well organized and named properly to speed up the workflow. As you can see in Fig.07 I divided the layers into three sections: Foreground, Specular and Background.
I learned a lot of small techniques that I will love to test out in the future[img]http://www.cuinsurance.org/mating1.jpg[/img' target='_blank'> URL Link [img]http://www.cuinsurance.org/mating2.jpg[/img' target='_blank'> URL Link [img]http://www.cuinsurance.org/mating3.jpg[/img]