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Envisioning epic characters

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Date Added: 30th December 2014
Software used:

Texturing III

I finally started to added dirt, spots and war-paint, with stronger color variations, using a combination of photos
and brushes.

Once the color map was finished I could start creating textures for Bump, Glossiness, Reflection, and Subsurface Scattering. All of these were created based on the color map.

To aid in the creating of the SSS map, I baked an Occlusion map of the head and then inverted it.
This gave me a black and white image with the thin parts of the model white and vice versa. I combined this with a gray version of the color map and then further darkened areas covered by the war-paint, beard, brows and hair to reduce the SSS effect.

The final color map applied to the ZBrush model


I used V-Ray's VRayFastSSS2 material for the skin shader. It's fast and easy to setup with enough parameters to get the result I was after. The setting I used for the Bear King can be seen here.

Using VrayFastSSS2 settings for the skin shader

Beard and hair

It's important to break up the hair. I did so using several Hair Farm modifiers to clump it, vary its length, density, direction, and thickness. This was then rendered using V-Ray's new VRayHairFarmMod and VRayHair material which makes it possible to render Hair Farm with V-Ray lights and Global Illumination.

Hair tends to take its time to render. I recommend using the Adaptive DMC Image Sampler for test renders and Adaptive Subdivision Image Sampler for thefinal render.

The lighting setup for this scene was pretty simple. One strong area light served as the key light, and a HDRI map served for GI and reflections. In the more advanced lighting setups, I'd recommend isolating lights one by one before rendering everything together. It makes rendering faster and gives you a better idea of what the light is affecting.

All Hair Farm modifiers used for the hair and beard

Depth of Field (DOF)

The first step is to render out a ZDepth image. In 3ds Max, I used the Tape Helper (Create > Helpers > Tape). I snapped it to my camera and measured the distance between the closest and furthest point of the model from the camera, and then added those numbers to the ZDepth Render Element parameters.

I copied the ZDepth image into a new Channel (not layer) in Photoshop and renamed it DOF.

I then flattened my image and headed over to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur, where I set the depth map source to use my DOF channel. With Preview checked, I started playing with the parameters.

This is a quick, easy and ? to me ? pretty accurate way of faking DOF which would otherwise have taken a long time
to render.

ZDepth image used for creating a subtle DOF (Depth of Field) in Photoshop

The final image

Related Links:

Take a look at Anders' other work
Have a go at hari creation with the Hair Farm plugin
For more tips on texturing 3D, check out our books

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Bruno on Sun, 18 January 2015 5:39pm
Awesome. I am a beginner looking for inspiration and this is really impressive. Congrats.
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