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The Making Of Gladiator

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Date Added: 19th December 2013

Texturing UVs

The texturing was done in MARI and Photoshop. Normally I start by gathering images from for body texturing ? and this project was no exception from this habit. Unlike ZBrush, where I have a bunch of custom-made brushes, MARI's standard set seems to be more than enough for my needs. I used Sandblast and RoundFreckles brushes for skin texturing and more simple ones to add moles and other lovely irregularities to the skin surface.

I really liked how on all the illustrations of gladiators I found, the colors of the armor and accessories were so vivid and lively. I decided to go with this look instead of a probably more realistic one with less saturation and more tone in colors. I was also very pleased with my decision to make the shield for this guy, as a combination of the red in his underpants and feathers, the blue of the shield, and yellow in other accessories helped to create a nice contrast in colors and break the monotony.

Getting down base colors on the gladiator model


This is probably my least favorite part of the whole process because most of the posing I do is in ZBrush, which can be a nightmarish experience when your model has tons of accessories. However, this is the part where the model truly comes alive and gives you a fresh look at it.

I used Transpose tools for all the posing and some classic rigging techniques in 3ds Max for things like belts and ropes. I chose a very simple pose that worked quite nicely for what I was trying to represent ? brute force and confidence.

Setting up a pose using ZBrush and 3ds Max


I used KeyShot to render the model. Unfortunately the end result isn't quite as dramatic as I wanted it to be, but I didn't want to lose all the detail I put into modeling and texturing so I went with more subtle settings.

I created my lights in 3ds Max using simple planes and tweaked their position and scale later in KeyShot. The lightning setup for the scene was very simple: a fill light, a rim light and the Materials 2k HDRI (comes with KeyShot) with a couple of pins I added in the HDR editor to add some contrast.

My lighting setup, with the character at the centre


As for the passes ? nothing extraordinary here, I simply used the main pass with all the lights and shadows; a flat Diffuse to enhance the colors in some areas; Reflection; and a Clay pass to increase the intensity of detail and shadows where needed.

The various passes involved in rendering the model

The final render

I've done 3 renders in total, using the same lights but in slightly different positions and this is the end result with a bit of retouch in Photoshop.

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong way to make your art. There are just tools and techniques that would allow you to make something faster and more comfortably. There are many other ways I could've created this image, including using solely ZBrush. However, the knowledge of the tools I use gives me more control over what I do and because of that, oddly enough, I have more freedom in my working process.

It's always good to experiment; don't be lazy, practice, and try new things. It almost saddens me when people ask me if I could send them my custom-made ZBrush interface. I never send it. Not because I'm so greedy, but because I want people to actually try and do something themselves instead of trying to obtain something without any effort. That goes for everything in life; art is no exception. It's a great feeling to create something and realize that most of it, if not everything, came from your own knowledge and effort.

The various passes involved in rendering the model

Related links

Check out Aleksandr Kirilenko's website
For textures, try for free resources

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Luis G. Vergara on Mon, 10 March 2014 4:21am
High level. It's pretty good!
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