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Making Of 'Shaved Bumblebee'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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A photo of a real elephant trunk provided additional detail.

The fur was rendered with 3ds max standard fur tool and needed a lot of editing to match the scene lighting, for example the manually added highlights on the upper right area of the fur.

The wings were replaced from an insect's photo. I had used the same photo before to create the texture, normal map and opacity map, but the 3D object just didn't want to behave like a real insects wing so I chose the Photoshop way.

The eyes were overworked with blur and colour enhancements and a painted white highlight. On the teeth I brushed thin white lines to make them glossy and more visible.

After the first rendering I went back to ZBrush and added more detail. I had memory difficulties to export the 4K-normal map I wanted, so I used ZBrush's 2.5D mode to add more detail and composed it all together in Photoshop.


In certain parts I painted glossy highlights, like here on the back of the shaved bumblebee.

Every Photoshop and compositing artist has his own way of arranging and working with layers. In this example the use of opacity masks was very important. Also the different transparency options of Photoshop like multiply, screen, negative multiply, light, darken, etc. are very important tools. For the correction of small rendering errors I like to add an empty layer and use the "smudge" tool with the option "use all layers" activated to create corrections only on the new empty layer and still be able to reverse every single step. As often the work in 16 Bit mode became important in this piece because of working with many colour and level corrections to avoid artefacts. Besides all of the detail tweaks the most important layers are in the layer set "overlay" which defines the overall mood of the picture.

Click to Enlarge

These screenshots show the actual proportions of the 3D scene. Several VRay lights and GI was used. For the hair lying on the tiles I manually arranged groups of cylindrical models and copied them next to each other.


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