We take a look at Vahid Ahmadi's ZBrush workflow for rendering cloth and skin...
In this is short making of I will take you through my process for rendering cloth and skin in ZBrush using the BPR Render Passes. As I am going to concentrate on the rendering I will not discuss my modeling process.
Step 01: Think ahead
I chose to model one of the concepts by the talented Daeho Cha
. Before I start modeling I like to gather images and references relevant to the concept. In this case I looked for images related to anatomy, faces, manga, and pin-up poses. I put all of them together in a mood board and makes notes to help me finalize the project. I also study each part separately to work how to make them and how they will fit together.
Step 02: Skin render method 1
In order to use ZBrush SSS you have to select the SSS button on the Light Properties in the Light panel, then go to the Render Settings and select the SSS button in that section as well, after that you are good to go. I move the main light around, add more lights, and play with them all to find several different results. You can see the settings I used in the BPR Shadow render in the image, these gave me the best result. I then selected the BPR RenderPass in the Render Properties panel. I then exported the passes in to Photoshop
to put them together.
ZBrush skin SSS tutorial 1
Another method which I would like to share is using BPR Filters to make a sub surface scattering look. To do that you can solo your target SubTool and leave SSS light and SSS render buttons on just like before and render your work. After that to see SSS effect on your model you must click the first circle in BPR Filters and put the filter on paint mode and change the color to red or whatever color you need, then increase mask and SSS values to 1 and play around with Fresnel and radius values to make it work better.
ZBrush skin SSS tutorial 1
Step 03: Cloth renders
In order to render cloth first set your light to rim light by clicking on small dot on light sphere to send light to back and then use ZBrush basic material with diffuse and ambient values set to zero and right after that manipulate specular value and specular profile to make soft falloffs and shadows. For speeding up the render process you can turn off shadows button in render properties and then render and you can also make both sharp and soft rim passes for cloth and body to mix them later in Photoshop.
ZBrush fabric render part 1
Step 04: Making specular for cloth
For having good sense of reflection on the cloth you can set your material again to basic material with ambient and diffuse values set zero and play around with specular value and specular profile to make it look smoother and move around the light in your scene then render it for compositing in Photoshop.
ZBrush fabric render part 2
Step 05: Making ID pass
You can make clown pass using flat material very easily you only need to turn on mrgb on then fill your SubTools with different colors or you can merge your SubTools all together at once and then put your material on flat material and turn off draw polyframe and turn on fill and turn of shadows and then render. Clown pass is very necessary once you want to have 100% control over your different parts of your model
Step 06: Making gold in ZBrush
Making gold material in ZBrush is pretty straight forward and easy. All you need is double shade material with s1 and s2 circles turned on and then put metallicity up to 95 and increase specular value and you can also change the ambient and spec color and play around with environment reflection exposure and reflection gamma and then copy s1 to s2.
Making gold material in ZBrush
Step 07: Using Photoshop
And now it's time to load your ID pass layer in Photoshop and select different regions very easily with magic wand and then save the selections with a name to use that later to isolate your stuff.
Save and load your ZBrush selections in Photoshop
Step 08: Compositing
when your renders are finished you can start compositing and if you don't like what you rendered you can come back to ZBrush and render again. In Photoshop I change layers to soft light, color dodge, screen, lighten, to make the look that I am looking for and play around with levels, brightness and contrast, etc. to finalize the render.
Doing composition in Photoshop using rendered passes
To see more of Vahid's work check out his ArtStation page
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