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Making Of 'Old Man'

| Your Rating:
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(Score 4.61 out of 5 after 33 Votes)
| Comments 4
Date Added: 28th January 2013
Software used:

Using a mental ray shader simplifies the tuning a lot when you use multiple proxies to grow hair, and you want them all to look the same (for example, when growing long hair, you might want to have several proxies, but they're all the same hair in the final render, so just by tweaking one material, all proxies receive changes. No copy/paste is needed so it saves a lot of time). Plus, the shader p Hair_TK gives good results in my opinon.

I used shadow maps for the rendering tests, then turned them into raytraced shadows for the final renders. Sometimes, when you've got more than 2 or 3 spots, rendering with raytrace can take a very (very very) long time, or even crash. So, I employ a little trick and use raytraced shadows on only one spot: the key light or the backlight. It helps you to get better render times, and mixing raytraced shadows and shadow maps can produce some interesting soft shadows effects inside the strands.

I rendered hair with the original mesh of my character here, with a matte/shadow material applied to it. Then I saved it as a TIF (Fig.34).

Fig. 34

Rendering and Final Composition

Everything was set, so it was now time to render and compose. Here, you can see the simple scene setup (Fig.35).


The mental ray settings can be seen in Fig.36.


Here are the light tests and close-ups (Fig.37).


My render passes can be seen in Fig.38 - from top left to bottom right: render, Z-Depth pass, ID pass, Hair render. I don't use a lot of passes, as you can see. I like when my render comes out fine and needs only tiny adjustments in post.

Fig. 38

I could have rendered a Z-Depth pass for the hair too, but it was much simpler to blur them manually in Photoshop using the Waterdrop tool.

After some more tweaking involving color adjustment and adding depth of field, here is the final image (Fig.39).

Fig. 39


Thanks for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed this Making Of and had the opportunity to pick some useful tips.

I would like to thank all the people in the WIP sections of numerous forums around the web who helped me during this project, who gave me support and very useful advice. These kinds of communities are great, make you feel you're never alone, and that helps a lot.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me by email.

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Kelviking on Wed, 16 April 2014 3:24pm
very masterpiece can you do tutorials on you tube??
Mois├ęs on Tue, 03 December 2013 6:41pm
Congratulations, your work is fantastic. I started learning Mudbox, I'm an artist, but all the tools of Mudbox are new to me. Your work is very inspiring. Congratulations.
Andy on Wed, 23 October 2013 11:12pm
Hi, great mof!! i don't understand when you say "I started playing with the individual RGB parameters of each layes, to see how it influenced my shader at rendering. You can get some quite interesting red color bleeding in the areas where light meets shadow if you keep using values that are multipying by 2 from right to left (e.g., 24, 12, 6 or 8, 4, 2)." Can you explain this better please? You the subdermal scatter color?
Peter on Wed, 10 July 2013 7:31pm
I guess you've also found some inspiration from 'Making if the Young Girl' by Viki Yeo. Nevertheless, great to see another nicely detailed walkthrough. Cheers :)
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