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Making Of 'Mr Burns'

| Your Rating:
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(Score 4.65 out of 5 after 31 Votes)
| Comments 4
Date Added: 26th October 2011
Software used:


To transform a cartoon character into a real human character you need good references to find the elements that define them. Most cartoon characters are very simple - especially characters from The Simpsons as they don't have much detail at all. I decided to choose a typical pose for Mr. Burns to give the human-looking model his personality. Other important things to consider were the facial expression, smile, teeth, long nose... these were good focal points to concentrate on for the modeling process.

Base Mesh

I started with my standard head base mesh, which I built with ZSpheres in ZBrush (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

Making the Face

To model the head and the face of Mr. Burns was a long process. The silhouette of his face was easy to build. I copied the typical shapes of his nose, chin and forehead, but the front view was trickier. After I added some detail to the face I used the Move brush in ZBrush to push around the face proportions until I was satisfied with the result. After that I concentrated on the rest of the fine details, like the folds and wrinkles (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

The hair was created later with the Hair & Fur mod in 3ds Max. The simple haircut was easy, but I had to convert the hair into geometry to render it with V-Ray.

Texturing the Face

I textured the face in ZBrush using ZappLink. I used a photo reference, and projected it onto the head mesh. After some corrections I exported it to 3ds Max. I also used a subsurface mask and a specular map for the skin. For the details I created a displacement map in ZBrush. I rendered with V-Ray so I used the standard V-Ray material with the translucency function. This, in my opinion, works much better than the V-Ray fastSSS1. In Fig.03 you can see the settings I used.

Fig. 03


I used box modeling to create the base meshes for the jacket and the neck tie, which I then imported to ZBrush. After correcting the proportions, I used the retopology tool in ZBrush to "paint" the mesh for the collar on the jacket. These new collar meshes were then imported to 3ds Max where I extruded them. Back in ZBrush I posed the arms and started modeling the details and folds (Fig.04a - b).

Fig. 04


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Ricardo Duarte on Tue, 01 November 2011 5:22pm
Excelent work.Perfect!
Chill3d on Tue, 01 November 2011 11:41am
Nice, though strangely the wrinkles look paperlike
Joris Strickx on Wed, 26 October 2011 9:23pm
Magnificent. Saw the small thumbnail and recognized it immediately. The position of the hands was also a great give-away. Very nice job.
Javi on Wed, 26 October 2011 1:48pm
"Excellent"...really, i can see the original character through this realistic human. congrats!
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