Hair and Fur
As I wanted the hair and beard of my goblin to be greasy I decided to buy a Hair Farm plugin, which was ideal for my needs.
Lighting and Rendering
For the lighting I chose a standard three-point key light setup, which worked as the main light source. I also used a fill light from the side to add an additional light source. The back light was used to enhance the silhouette. The color of the light helped provide a real world illusion and set the overall mood of the picture. I used a blue key light, an orange fill light and a white back light. In this case I used an environmental HDRI map for reflections and a few black and white planes to enhance some of these (Fig.08).
Mental ray was used for the rendering (Fig.09a - b). I always use a linear workflow with Gamma 2.2. Due to the fact I wanted a large format print I utilized a high Anti-Aliasing setting and set Indirect Illumination to low. I also used an exposure control, which helped me effectively control the output. I always try to get a clean output directly from 3ds Max so I need only do a small amount of post-production. The picture was rendered into separate 16-bit TGA layers to keep the best possible quality. By having separate layers I was able to adjust everything easily.
I started to plan an environment that would work with the character. I decided to choose a lost wharf in a swamp-like area with a backdrop of foggy cliffs resembling those in Thailand. The foreground including the webs etc., were produced in 3D with the rest of the scene created in Photoshop similar to a matte painting. For the reference pictures I mainly used Fliker.com and Shutterstock.com.
In the end I was happy with the result. The purpose was to learn about new technology and techniques, and to test my abilities by going through the entire creative process, even those parts I don't really like.
This has certainly helped me to understand a few things, which I plan to use in the future.