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Making Of 'On the Precipice of the Universe'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Greetings, Artists! My name is Alexey Kashpersky, more often known as RIDDICK or simply RID on the forums, and I'm currently studying at the Poltava Technic University, specializing in Graphic, Arts and Crafts. I study such subjects as sculpture, drawing, painting, composition, and this knowledge was extremely useful for me during the creation of this particular artwork.
After numerous requests, I decided to write this making of to explain some of the creation process behind my artwork, "On the Precipice of Universe".  The creation of the picture took place over 11 days, and the programmes used to make the work were ZBrush 3.1, 3ds Max 8, V-Ray 1.5 and Photoshop CS3.

The idea of this work was born when I found myself wandering the Internet, and I saw a very interesting photograph of two girls, but it had a bad composition...  Somehow, instinctively, I wanted to correct this and recreate the image with my own vision of how the composition should be.  I twisted the photo in Photoshop and searched for the best composition... and so initial idea of the work was born (Fig00).

Fig. 00

I have been impressed by work which has been created from beginning to end in ZBrush for a long time (Fig01).  I wanted to make the work completely in this programme, to study its opportunities more deeply.  Eventually I understood that, if I wished to achieve a high quality render, it was necessary for me to export in 3ds Max, because the ZBrush render loses a lot in comparison with the likes of V-Ray.

OK, so now we can move on to the details!

Fig. 01

First of all, I took a semi-finished model (for the economy of time), and from this I simply had a "standing" female nude, which I then took into 3ds Max to prepare it for exportation back into ZBrush (Fig02).

Fig. 02

I started with the bottom figure, as to me it seemed to be the least difficult - and I always leave the tastier bits till the end!  The first thing that was necessary was to find the right pose and the general form of the figure.  In ZBrush, this is achieved using of Transpose tool.  The figure was certainly deformed during use of the Transpose tool, but it could be easily corrected later on (Fig03).  It was also very important at this stage to correctly show the "bones" of the models.  I worked gradually, from positioning greater weights to the smaller hands, fingers and so on (Fig04).

Fig. 03

Fig. 04

It doesn't matter what you create, whether it's a sculpture or a picture in a Photoshop, it is always necessary to observe a simple rule: Conduct your work from the general form down to the details!  I believe that artwork should always look fresh and vivid, as though made in just half an hour!

Here I had finished with the positioning the bottom model.  There was certainly still much correction work to be done, but the general silhouette had been found (Fig05).  At this stage, I decided to open the mouth slightly, to make it that little bit more erotic (Fig06).

Fig. 05
Fig. 06

Before I started to transpose the second model, I started to gauge a better understanding for myself of the basic weights, and I found the centre of gravity.  This is the key moment in the creation of a complex pose.  For a sculpture in this circumstance, I used a plumb - a vertical line in perfect alignment (Fig07).

Fig. 07

I shall pause for a moment here on a little mistake which artists very often make during the creation of a humanoid, which is simple: the centre of gravity is not found, which makes the figure seem unbelievable and can cause the work to fail as an image.  Usually in a figure, the centre of gravity passes through the seventh cervical vertebra and falls at the heel bone. In a vertical static pose, this rule always works!
Here I was able to combine both the figures into a joint pose (Fig08 - 09).

Fig. 08

Fig. 09

At this stage, rough anatomical mistakes - greater legs, improbable breasts, pressed-down buttocks, the position of the head and neck - left much to be desired (Fig10).

Fig. 10

continued on next page >

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