Aayla Comiquette Character Modeling
After seeing a forum topic where the artist showed some 3D prints of comic women, I decided to model my own comiquette. After a search, I chose the character Aayla, from an Adam Hughes sketch (Fig.01).
I started with a simple basemesh (Fig.02) since my idea was only a still image and to have a mesh ready for 3D printing. I was careful not to leave any holes in the mesh, for example around the eyes and mouth and in none of the other parts either.
Since ZBrush allows us a tremendous amount of versatility, I began the first steps of modeling with symmetry on (Fig.03). I always choose to create different polygroups, as they also help me a lot when modeling.
After that, I turned off the symmetry to put the character in the pose and go one step further with the modeling, adding more details and fixing proportions (Fig.04). Whenever I dress a character, I prefer to start from a naked base, in order to build everything on top as it is in real life.
For the accessories, I built some simple meshes too. I just did something close to the form (Fig.05).
While for other objects, such as the lightsaber and the pedestal, I did all the modeling in XSI (Fig.06).
Now that the modeling was finished, I had everything ready for rendering (Fig.07). You'll notice that the eyebrows were also geometry, because in this case it would work better for printing. Additional attention to the face was necessary, so that I could make it very sensual and feminine (Fig.08).
Texturing / Materials
For rendering I decided to use VRay, so I imported a relatively dense mesh to 3ds Max (Fig.09), so that I had no need to use displacement maps. I used only normal maps in some parts. For the UVs of her clothes I used UV Layout, because I wanted to apply textures. For the body and in some other parts, I used ZBrush's own UVs. In this situation, both ways worked very well (Fig.10).
All materials were very simple VrayMaterials, just playing with different values of glossiness and reflection. For the body it was no different; just a color map and a reflection with a 0.6 glossiness (Fig.11). All of this was because I wanted a toy-like look for the material and the render.
Lighting / Rendering
When choosing lighting, it's important to start by deciding what feeling you want the image to convey. Trying to light randomly becomes much more difficult and time consuming. After searching for photographic references, I decided to go for a studio look with strong backlights. I used four VrayLights with different sizes, intensities, colors and positions (Fig.12). For intensity and color it really is trial and error, but always remember to keep looking for the visual you've chosen.
It was my choice not to do different passes (though it is advisable in most cases), and the image right off the render was pretty much what I expected for the final look (Fig.13). After playing with saturation, contrast, color and composition, I had the final image that I wanted (Fig.14).
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed doing the work. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me!