Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!

 

Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more

 

Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

 
submit tutorial
1
Making of Crimson Pink

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full
(Score 5 out of 5 after 2 Votes)
| 2783 Views
| 1 Comments
| Comments 1
Date Added: 1st August 2017
2400_tid_zsculpt_zbrush_728x90.jpg

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown010.jpg

Check out how Sudhan L. created his Crimson Pink character with ZBrush and Photoshop, offering some useful hints and tips...


2400_tid_zarist-profile.jpg

Read along for a quick 10-step overview of how I combine 3D sculpts and digital painting to make a finished pinup-ish illustration! For this tutorial/overview you'll need ZBrush and Photoshop. (As much as the title and intro sound like a recipe for some exotic dessert, I promise it isn't!)

Step 1: The sculpt: phase 01

Start from a sphere, basemesh, kitbash, whatever works for you! Gather up those references and spend most of your time establishing the volumes and proportions at this phase of the sculpt. It's always a good idea to work from larger shapes and to let that trickle down into smaller shapes as you go. In this case I started from a low-res Dynamesh sphere.

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown001.jpg
Take the sculpt as far as you can before breaking symmetry

Step 2: The sculpt: phase 02

Once you have dialed in as much of the design as you can with symmetry, it's time to pose the model and refine any artifacts that might have produced. In this case she was posed with the help of Transpose Master. Also I was testing out the custom matcap I've now come to use for base-sculpts, but in this case with a super pronounced cavity transition and color bump to get those crisp edge definitions without spending time sculpting them. And it works!

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown002.jpg
It helps to keep in mind the camera view you want to have for the final image

Step 3: Render passes

This is one of my favorite parts of the process; setting up the lighting, BPR filters, etc., to get the base-sculpt closer to where I want to take the illustration. Sidenote, of course you could use other rendering solutions if you don't prefer ZBrush's rendering system! (Personally, I love it!) If you're not fully certain which passes you'd need, try them all out! It'd help understand how you can mix and match them, and if you don't need one you can always discard it later.

One other thing to check at this point is the document size (affects perspective distortion) inside ZBrush. For test renders I keep the document size at the default resolution but once the render parameters are dialed in, I'd resize the document to better present the illustration.

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown003.jpg
If you have not tried out the ZBrush to Photoshop CC plug-in yet, do it now!

Step 4: Compositing in Photoshop

Using the ZBrush to Photoshop CC plug-in will automate the process of rendering and exporting all the selected render passes, import them all as layers inside one document and organize them as groups. Like all the base color layers in one, the lighting passes in another, shadow/AO passes in yet another and so on! If you need any passes that aren't in the plug-in you could always render and export it manually and load that into the Photoshop document.

After that's done, it's time to start messing about with blending modes and comping the various passes to fine tune the render. Usually my focus here is to fine tune the colors to have a good starting point for when I begin the paintovers. As a general guide for comping passes use additive modes (Screen, Linear Dodge, etc) for lighting/specular passes, and multiply/darken (sometimes Soft Light works too) for shadowy passes!

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown004.gif
Mix and match passes

Step 5: Liquefy time!

After fine tuning the colors, lights, and shadows in the render, duplicate the group with all the layers and merge down the group. This will make further manipulations on the render much simpler!

Once you have the model posed, framed and composited the way you want it, you may want to nudge around the shapes and proportions a little to better fit the needs of the illustration. The Liquify filter inside Photoshop is excellent for this purpose! Think sculpting but in a 2D image. Alternatively you might prefer to simply apply paint to make those changes. Me? I abuse the liquify tool, haha.

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown005.jpg
This may or may not be an optional step depending on how you prefer to work

Step 6: Let the paintovers begin!

Now you can let loose and paintover the render to tighten up areas, change shapes, add details, etc. Oh, and yup, I did decide to have the image flipped at the compositing stage. While the sculpt worked on its own the mirrored version looked more appropriate for the purposes of this illustration. And for most of the painting process I used the default brush with a square tip.

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown006.jpg
There we are, tweaking the leg, hand and hair shapes a bit

Step 7: Let's not forget the background

Ah, my arch-nemisis. Painting clouds is 80% therapeutic and 20% torturous. Working from abstract colors to progressively smaller and refined shapes really helped me in this step. Alternatively you could use photobashing or even image sampled brushes, but that's a personal preference! In my case I figured I might as well give it a go and see if I'd want to do more of it in the future. And I do!

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown007.jpg
Clouds can also be free composition/framing elements, use them wisely!

Step 8: More paintovers!

Flipping the canvas periodically helps refresh your perception to see more of the mistakes and areas that can be improved upon. It may also be worth it to take a break from the image for a day, work on something else and to come back to it! Getting the hair shapes to look appealing and still have it feel like flowing hair is what I spent a lot of time on at this point in the illustration. My reference here? Alphonse Mucha!

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown008.jpg
Keep moving!

Step 9: Finalizing and tying things together

Refine things! We're almost there! Make sure all the areas in focus have nice tight shapes. Sprinkle in some details strategically to guide the image through the image. Also make sure to leave some well-placed resting spaces so the viewer's eyes don't wander off the edges of the image! (Haha, that's devious, I know.)

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown009.jpg
Almost there!

Step 10: Finishing up!

Now to tie up all the loose ends. Adding layers of lens FX, color dodging to make highlights pop, flyaways around hair, etc., now is the time to stack in all of those! I also like at the end to duplicate and flatten all the layers and run it through the sharpen and noise filters to wrap things up.

2400_tid_sudhancpbreakdown010.jpg
Ta-da!

Related links

Check out Sudhan's ArtStation
Crimson Pink in the gallery
Grab a copy of Sculpting from the Imagination: ZBrush

2400_tid_zsculpt_zbrush_728x90.jpg

 
1
Related Tutorials

The Making of Fatal Attraction

by Fescher Neoilustração
published on 2013-12-19

Keywords: Making of, Tutorial, Rat, Cartoon, Lighting, Blender, ZBrush, 3ds Max, V-Ray, Advertisement

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (1)
Comments 0 Views 18461

Making Of 'Angioletta Giolli'

by Antonio Bonora
published on 2009-10-16

Keywords: character, human, woman, face, actress,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (10)
Comments 0 Views 118921

Total Textures Making Of 'The Warrior'

by Cedric Rousseau
published on 2009-12-09

Keywords: character, man, warrior, armor,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (6)
Comments 0 Views 50254

Making Of 'Chinese Girl'

by Ke Weilin
published on 2009-09-07

Keywords: character, human, girl, face,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (9)
Comments 1 Views 93472
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
avatar
Atiqur Sumon on Wed, 09 August 2017 6:17am
This has got to be the worst tutorial I have ever tried figuring out. Spent about an hour trying just to get fed up and just save the final image to my desktop to use.
Add Your Comment..