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Making Of 'Wasp Woman Returns'

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Date Added: 20th December 2011
Software used:
Click here to download the brushes used in this tutorial

Hello to those who are staring at the monitor at the moment. It's a beautiful day outside right? Before we start why don't we go out and enjoy the sun, puffy clouds or even little stars in the sky (if its night outside I'd recommend staying at home).

I just came back inside and will do my best to provide some useful and interesting information about my image "The Wasp Woman Returns". This painting was produced for the CGSociety competition XXV - B-Movie. I was really intrigued by the theme as I was working for a cinema at the time and was greatly interested in movie posters. Posters from this kind of film are really impressive, colorful, and bright, and usually have very interesting composition. They are also often quite a lot of fun even when they should be horrible and scary.

To make it slightly easier for myself I didn't create my own film title, instead I found an old poster on the internet and tried to inspire myself with it without deviating from the style of the period. First of all a few little sketches were done to make the composition different to the way it was in the original piece (Fig.01). I used 3ds Max to create realistic perspective in the background and help me create the New York street and buildings. I also used 3D planes to construct the road and added boxes instead of all small details (Fig.02). In Photoshop I then painted some simple small windows (Fig.03) as a material that can be added and applied to the skyscrapers, shops and houses (Fig.04).

Fig. 01

Fig. 02

Fig. 03

Fig. 04

I then created what were soon to be characters. I put them in place according to the rules of Divine Proportion (Fig.05). Next I rendered an Ambient Occlusion map for the windows (Fig.06) and then the coloring started. Mainly I used the Lasso and Gradient tools to apply the color.

Fig. 05

Fig. 06

After completing this step I started working on the main attraction: the wasp woman. With the Pen tool in Photoshop I carefully traced a photo reference of the face and made a selection and filled it with color (Ctrl + Delete). Then, little by little with the help of the Pen tool and a Soft Round brush, I painted out the shadows and added some highlights (Fig.07). The legs of the wasp woman, the cars and the frightened victims were all done using exactly the same workflow.

Fig. 07

Even though I tried to work in the right order, this was quite a big experiment for me, and I spent a lot of time trying to find the correct path. Almost everything evolved in separate pieces. It is also worth mentioning about first building, the one on the right in Fig.08. As it looked quite good and the painting around it was also painted quite well, I decided to create a more detailed model of it in Max. I found a photo reference of a building and created a 3D model. When I had done that I rendered an Ambient Occlusion map and painted it in Photoshop.

Fig. 08

One other thing is that I had a lot of fun making a custom brush for the body and hair of the wasp, I have given this away with the tutorial (Fig.09 - 10).

Fig. 09

Fig. 10

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