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Making Of 'Sabretooth'

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Date Added: 19th September 2013
Software used:


The UVs were cut up (creating seams) using the new feature in 3ds Max 2012: Unwrap UVW modifier. Once the UVs were defined, I used GoZ to export the model into ZBrush and used the awesome plug-in 'UV Master' to unwrap (flatten out and relax UVs), keeping the Use Existing Seams button active to utilize the premade seams in 3ds Max. Once the UVs were flattened, I used GoZ to take the model back into 3ds Max to rearrange the UV islands for easy texture painting.


The first thing I did for the textures was to decimate the high poly model with Keep UVs checked before taking it into 3ds Max. In 3ds Max I used Render Surface Map in the Render menu, and rendered an Ambient Occlusion, Cavity and SSS map at 4096 x 4096px to use for my texture maps.

For the texture painting, use reference material. Try to perceive what is color and what is light shading, reflections and specular. Not many objects are only flat colors. Shadows, reflections and specular values will have colors of their own and change the look of an object/material.

I used ZBrush to polypaint the diffuse map (Fig.02) and the hair density masks. To paint the leather suit I painted the base flat orange and brown. Then I used Cavity masks and a variety of alphas, and the drag stroke with a Standard brush to add the worn leather effects. To make the texture look more believable I wanted to add as many defects as I could. Some things to look out for are sweat marks on clothing, dirt build ups, wear and aging of the material. Leather has a lighter brownish yellow when it cracks from excessive rubbing.


My model was seven subdivisions in ZBrush. The displacement was generated from subdivision 1-4 and the normal map was generated from 4 - 7. Displacement maps were generated using ZBrush as 32-bit EXR files (Fig.03).



Hair Farm was used to make and render the hair. I used black and white masks to specify where the hair would be placed on the model (Fig.04). The hair was styled and hair shaders were made in a separate 3ds Max file using Scanline Render Engine, because of the speed in rendering. Standard spot lights were placed in the same position and intensity as the original V-Ray light (also required was lighting the hair in the final V-Ray render) (Fig.05). When I was happy with the hair test renders I imported the standard lights and hair into my V-Ray scene.

Fig. 04

Fig. 05

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