Check out our interview with character artist Masayoshi Shinohara, where he explains the workflow behind his realistic 3D portrait created with ZBrush and Maya...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi, my name is Masayoshi Shinohara. I'm a freelance 3D artist from Tokyo, Japan. I began learning 3D modeling when anime (Japanese cartoon animation) went 3D. I'm interested in both realistic 3D and anime style 3D. I especially like character modeling. Last year, I worked as a freelance character artist for SQUARE ENIX.
3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
I was challenged to make an existing person as close to perfect as possible. I had to make the 3D model look as much like the existing person as I could – I think this is good training for improving your modeling skills.
3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
I always start with ZBrush, where I complete all the modeling and base details. For hair I used GeoMayaHair. It's easy to use this hair plugin in Maya. The textures were hand painted in MARI, while I made the HDRI with HDR Light Studio. After, it was rendered within Maya using Arnold (alShader).
When making an existing person, it is easy to experience severe criticism, as the likeness needs to be accurate. I had trouble getting a high degree of perfection, but I was able to collect a lot of reference and I did anatomical research. As a result, it had a good reception.
Poly plane convert to Hair with GeoMayaHair
3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
Usually, I also use 3ds Max with V-Ray. "Portrait of Nozomi Sasaki" was a challenge though, to use a new workflow with Maya with Arnold renderer. Other tools I use for work are; Photoshop, Unreal Engine, Unity, MarmosetToolbag, MarvelousDesigner, and SubstanceDesigner/Painter.
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions? Who inspires you?
I want to study more, and create more, so that more people can see my artwork. For inspiration, my favorite artist is Kazuhiro Tsuji. He is special effects makeup artist in Hollywood.
He makes hyper realistic sculptures which are so awesome!
For now, I will just keep studying hyper realistic and beautiful 3D, and I have already started a new personal project. You can see it in the near future.
Masayoshi Shinohara's website
Masayoshi on ArtStation
Masayoshi on Twitter
Masayoshi on Facebook
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya