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Making of 'Kid'

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Date Added: 23rd July 2009
Software used:
I was looking for a character to do for my reel and so I started looking around on the Internet. Normally I have no idea what I want, so I just visit flickr or other photo sites to find good images.

I found the image of Roney, which was taken by carf, HERE. I really liked it as an image and thought it would allow me to show my skills as a 3D artist if I recreate the image in 3D. So I searched for more images of Roney, including side views which I knew would help me with the modelling.


For this stage tried to make a basic kid's face for him. And I tried to establish his silhouette as well. After achieving this, I brought the image into ZBrush to fill in the details. I use ZBrush a lot because it's less push and pull of points and it's less technical because you don't have to think about line flow. You can also easily check if you've pushed or pulled it too much by importing the model back into Maya. This was something I did a lot, mainly using the clay brush and pinch brush in ZBrush until I was happy with the face (Fig.01 & Fig.02).

Fig. 01

Fig. 02


The image I'd got was quite hi-res and so I removed the shadow and highlights from it and made it as clean as possible, using Photoshop's shadow/highlight. I then projected the image onto my model of the child's face. And this was my initial result (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

After this I rebuilt the image by using different images. Since the skin of the kid was quite irregular, I used concrete maps and dirt maps to give it variation. And this is the result I got (Fig.04).  

Fig. 04

For the jacket and pendant, I did the same. I used the image I'd gotten from the photograph and rebuilt it. This might be cheating for others, but I do rebuild all of it. The initial projection is used to see where the scars and small things line up.

I didn't use textures for the eyes; I just used a ramp with a marble fractal for the veins. Since I don't really see it, this way works. And it's easy to manipulate the ramp (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

After getting the texture for the face, I brought it back into Photoshop to make a bump map. I used a high pass for this and then I brought it into ZBrush to see where the scars lined up. Then I saved the big scars and rebuilt the pores, fixing the scars along the way. I did this in ZBrush using the bump viewer material as this is faster for me than subdividing when I want to get the details (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Gregory John Smith on Wed, 04 June 2014 6:58pm
It would have been more appropriate of you to ask for permission to cut open the face of one my beloved Roney, a former street kid who was brutally tortured and murdered by death squads a few years ago. Have you no respect for the dead (and copyrighted images)? Don't let your ego take command, more humbleness is needed from you, sir! Gregory J. Smith Founder & Social Entrepreneur Children At Risk Foundation - CARF
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