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BPR Rendering Workflow in ZBrush 4 R2

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(Score 4.88 out of 5 after 40 Votes)
| Comments 4
Date Added: 18th May 2012
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Ambient Occlusion

To render AO you need at least one light activated that can cast shadows. Don't forget to activate AOcclusion in the render settings (Fig.17).

1534_tid_Fig 17.jpg
Fig. 17

I prefer an AO with height definition of the shape of the character. Therefore I usually lower the blur radius to 1. Gamma is nice to lower as well to get a broader AO. Think of it as longer raytrace in mental ray. In ZBrush AO is created with an array of depth maps though (Fig.18).

1534_tid_Fig 18.jpg
Fig. 18

For this comp I set the AO with Multiply as the blending mode. I usually put AO further down in the layer stack and only let it affect the environment light. Letting the AO multiply the rim and key lights can make the model look dirty. In this case I just thought it looked better to put it on top of the key and rim lights (Fig.19).

1534_tid_Fig 19.jpg
Fig. 19

The current pass can be seen in Fig.20 and the combined passed in Fig.21.

1534_tid_Fig 20.jpg
1534_tid_Fig 21.jpg

Cavity Map

Instead of baking the cavity map into your poly painting you can create a material for this to get greater freedom later on in the comp. Create a white texture and put it in the texture slot. Copy my values and play with them. Make sure you are using a MatCap type material (Fig.22).

1534_tid_Fig 22.jpg
Fig. 22

Turn off shadows and AOcclusion in the render settings (Fig.23).

1534_tid_Fig 23.jpg
Fig. 23

The cavity pass was set to with the blending mode Overlay, which means that black multiplies, white adds and 50% gray does not affect anything at all. The color balance adds a red tint to the darker areas to keep a better SSS-look on the skin. Keep the opacity low as this effect can be quite drastic. This effect has a tendency to make the sculpt look sharper and brings out the details (Fig.24).

1534_tid_Fig 24.jpg
Fig. 24

The current pass can be seen in Fig.25 and the combined passed in Fig.26.

1534_tid_Fig 25.jpg
1534_tid_Fig 26.jpg

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Piotr on Sun, 06 October 2013 4:49am
This was exactly what I have been looking for since couple of years ago. Thank you
Vlad on Tue, 28 May 2013 11:42pm
Unbelievable amount of work! Really great job! and thx a lot for the walkthrough.
Luis B on Mon, 11 March 2013 8:04am
Thanks a lot for the effort in making this tutorial. I love the character design and the final result is great. Truly good stuff.
Naky on Sun, 30 September 2012 12:31pm
Thank you for showcasing your process in Lighting & Rendering... Just one question i have been facing since i started using Z brush is when you use BPR how can i export the image with a mask on the creature or the sculpt?... I mean creature separate & BG separate !
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