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Making of 'The Guards'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Here I started to work on the protective leather straps on the body by creating new Subtools. For this purpose it was necessary to mask the areas of the surface which I wanted to extrude (Fig.07 - 08).

Fig. 07
Fig. 08

By the way, I was asked a question: What is the growth protruding from his back? Well, it's a light, such as some fish have in the deep sea (Fig.09).

Here I made some time to incorporate a horseman and detail his clothing. Taking advantage of the Transpose tool, I gave the man a suitable pose and approximately set where the fabric of his garment would hang on him (Fig.10).  

Fig. 09
Fig. 10

Whilst creating the fabric, I decided to stop detailing it; I had it exactly where I needed it, covering the man's torso, flowing in the wind. I make a few trial sketches of the fabric in ZBrush and realised that something was missing ... it didn't look vivid enough. To fix this, I exported the low poly model of the man into 3ds Max and used the SimCloth plugin, simply putting the fabric on a low poly "doll". The result was already much better, it was still not quite what I needed. I then made an attempt to make the fabric more dynamic, and I created a short animation of the doll, turning him clockwise and a slightly sideways. To reflect the flow of the wind on the fabric I created a few animated objects; I tried playing with the variants of their motion, but the final result didn't really satisfy my needs (Fig.11). The only option was to complete the desired effect in ZBrush.

Fig. 11

I applied a Shell modifier to the designed piece of fabric which gave the material its thickness. I then took it back into ZBrush where I smoothed out any excessive unevenness, and continued with the detailing. Here's how it turned out for me in the end (Fig.12).

Fig. 12

When the design was finished, the most labour intensive process came: retopologising, starting with the stone, making make sure that the textures would all fit properly and to avoid the texturing process becoming too complex (Fig.13). With the stone retopologised, I did the same for all the other objects in the scene (Fig.14).

Fig. 13
Fig. 14

I used the programme Unfold3d to generate the UV maps, and then loaded the unfolded objects back into ZBrush (Fig.15).

Fig. 15

Fig.16 shows the stage with all objects combined.

The time then came to start incorporating the textures. First and foremost, I took everything apart in local colours, making it easier to do the work (Fig.17).

Fig. 16
Fig. 17

I created a luminescence map, which was pretty easy to do so I didn't waste any time with it (Fig.18).

Fig. 18

I then created a basic colour map, and from there I went on to make the epidermis map (Fig.19 - 21). An epidermis map is approximately what you would see with a living creature if you were to tear off the outer layer of its skin.

Fig. 19
Fig. 20

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