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Making Of 'Suprise'

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Date Added: 19th February 2010
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(Fig06) Thanks to Unwrap (which is made to manage the sculpting programme), I changed to a photo editing programme to paint the textures that I needed, at the same time always being in Multiplyto correctly follow the shape of the model which had been developed.

Useful textures are: "diffuse", "specular", "bump" and the one obtained from the sculpting of the "displacement". The diffuse is the level that is going to draw the skin of the character; the specular is useful to define the points in which the shader of the model will reflect more or less, based on a grey scale - even if one uses sometimes a lightly blue-tinted gradation to give a major reflection effect. The "bump" is the map which forms, always with a W/B scale, a little roughness on the shader, which was very useful in order to me to give the impression of an aged skin.

Fig. 06


The shader of the skin was realised by trying to maintain certain features, like the dryness of the mummy's skin, but also the funny and cartoon-like appearance that I wanted him to possess. I therefore tried to maintain a high level of SSS (subsurface scattering) to take away the seriousness of the character and to give him at the same time a certain solidness.

I had to make a lot of trials before being satisfied with the result. The real challenge was being able to give it solidness without creating horror-like details. The secret was rendering it translucent, just like the cartoons, and adding very many specular and light strokes to let certain areas emerge.


(Fig07) With the model finished and textured, I made a series of morphs, cloning the main mesh and giving each clone a different detail, such as closed eyes or a smiling mouth. All of these features give "life" to the mummy!

Fig. 07

Lighting: 1

(Fig08 - 09) In the first image I created a classical situation in a pyramid, but with a less dark and friendlier light coming in from the right; a direct yellow light played with the classical feature and the less lit area was blue. Of course, I also tried to give the entire scene an orange tone in order to communicate some cheerfulness through the situation.

Fig. 08
Fig. 09

Sitting & Framing

(Fig10) In the second image I wanted to create another "impossible" situation! I wanted to show an embarrassed mummy in the bathroom as if being spied on by a person at the door, which is why I used a wide-angle framed shot.

Fortunately, the rig managed very well, even in this scene in which the model tends to have problems, above all with the pelvis and legs. I think it is very important to try to avoid symmetry. The eyes have to be able to roam around the scene, always finding new things (like the crooked feet or his bent back).

Fig. 10

Lighting: 2

(Fig11) I put some planks in front of the light coming into the bathroom as I wanted to break the light up to create a shadowed effect, in order to create a more interesting composition. I also added a blue light, with decay activated, to light up just a point and not the entire area (which was very difficult!). I then added more brightness close to the observer, just to create a snapshot-type effect.

Fig. 11


I prefer an environment to be rich in details, instead of classical, clean 3D interiors. I looked for references for bathrooms and tiles. As I found the right ones, I chose to model them rather than use a simple bump or displacement map, in order to have better control of the reflections.

Also, in this case, I wanted to take a tile away or dirty another one with various textures, so as not to have symmetry (as explained before). I later added some water, just to have more reflections and strokes of light.

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