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Making Of 'The Orange'

| Your Rating:
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(Score 4.94 out of 5 after 54 Votes)
| Comments 7
Date Added: 27th December 2012
Software used:

Materials and Lighting

The materials I chose were basically simple and clean. Chrome was used for the joints and rivets, rubber for the hip junction and a basic orange, blurred metal for the rest of the body.

The layout of the scene was pretty simple too. Basically I recreated a white photographic studio set with rounder corners, a luminous polygon and a HDRI. The luminous polygon really makes the difference as it creates a nice diffuse light, and at the same time adds a nice reflection to the model that highlights the shape and adds more depth to it. The HDRI was very subtle, but did enough to add small reflections on the rivets and eyes too. I chose a vertical format for the image to match the shape of the robot (Fig.07).


Post Processing and Color Corrections

Once the final render was complete it was time to do some work in Photoshop. The final render actually looked very nice, but when I thought about the original concept it was clear that the render didn't have the vintage look I wanted (Fig.08).


I thought that this could be fixed with simple color adjustments so I researched vintage photos and found examples of the type of image I wanted to create. I noticed a color gradient that seemed similar in a lot of the photos, so I tried to apply this to my image. To do this I used Curve corrections as they give you more control than if you just use the Color Balance tool (Fig.09).


High Pass

Due to the anti-aliasing the rendered image lost some sharpness in the final output. To fix this in Photoshop I used a High Pass filter. The High Pass filter finds the most contrasting areas of the image and masks the rest with a 50% gray. The higher the pixel radius is in the filter panel, the sharper the image will be. After creating the high pass mask I set the blending mode to Hard Light to enhance the general reflection on the image, especially on the chrome (Fig.10).


Color Gradient

The final step was to create a nice gradient in the shadows. I used an orange/blue gradient over the image and set the blending mode to Soft Light. This mode is similar to Overlay, but more subtle and useful when working on shadows. These notes about blending modes are not absolute rules and cannot be applied to every image; the key is to test the modes and see what works for you. When this was done the colors looked nice and I was happy with the image (Fig.11).



It's not very easy to describe the creative process behind a 3D image as every step is made up of many more small steps, but I hope that in some way this tutorial is helpful to you and that you enjoyed reading it.

To see more by Riccardo Zema, check out Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Kidqube on Tue, 09 April 2013 1:33pm
@artemis and to all who is interested, the free Lscript plugin for small detail is Mike Green' "Ultimate Clone v1.3" You can found it here: Thanks to the developer :)
Artemis on Sun, 07 April 2013 5:12pm
Wow, a great simple Robot, I love it. Can you tell me the name of free plugin to clone small details?
Absolud on Mon, 21 January 2013 9:32am
I love the way you made it look so simple. Everyone is doing dynamic action poses. So choosing not to is also a good choice. Standing ovation!
Riccardo Zema on Sat, 29 December 2012 2:18pm
Thank you all for the comments. @Johnny Boy: you're right, the pose is very standard, the character was done mainly for rigging study, a short rig demo here, forgot to put in the tutorial :)
Gioracle on Thu, 27 December 2012 3:05pm
very good!!!
Dan on Thu, 27 December 2012 11:23am
Hey, great tutorial. Quite simple, but very appealing design. I just saw this on one of the Prime Wars cards. Congratulation.
Johnny Boy on Thu, 27 December 2012 10:30am
It looks great but it is such a boring pose. Since you have rigged it, pose mr robot in an interesting and dynamic way that tells something about its characters. An awesome stoytelling pose + polished robotic look will makes this image so much better :)
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