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Creating dramatic 3D artwork - Mangbetu Woman

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Date Added: 7th August 2014
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When I finished the sculpting, I decimated the model to around 800,000 polygons from 6,000,000 and moved the image back into MODO.

Decimating the image and transferring it back to MODO

First render

At this point, I wanted to make a basic clay render of the model. The render setup was really simple, with 1 background plane and 2 area lights. You can see the first result here in this image. After a few hours, when I looked at the image again, I decided to go further and try more dramatic and contrasting lighting. I decided to accent the silhouette of the Mangbetu woman in front of the African sunset.

Creating a simple render of the model


To start this, the render setup was built with 2 area lights and a HRDI light from the Studio Environment Set 1, from 9B Studios. I used a black box (a cube with one side deleted) in front of the model, which hid it from the HDRI light, and added a background plane with a yellow luminosity material.

For the body I used MODO's default skin shader with a few tweaks, and the rest of the shaders were made from the default material.

Adding a brighter yellow lighting to the model


I rendered 4 passes to use later on, for the final compositing and color corrections in Photoshop. These were: Final Color, Ambient Occlusion, Material ID and Depth passes.

Creating a range of passes for use later in the post-production stage


In Photoshop, I darkened the body and played a lot with the Curves and Contrast. Finally, I added a slight gradient to the background. You can see the final result in this image.

Hope you liked my project overview and thanks for reading.

The final image

Related links

For more from Martin Nikolov visit his website
This overview first appeared in the October 2013 issue of 3dcreative
Want to submit to the magazine? Click here

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