Cartoon characters in ZBrush
Gabriel Fernandez explains the creation of his Dream High character using 3ds Max, ZBrush, TopoGun, UVLayout, VRay and Photoshop
This project was created in a workshop with Danilo Athayde, and the goal was make something artistic with a standing character scene.
Concept and references
For this project, I was looking for a very simple and artistic concept. A simple drawing made by Mike Azevedo fitted very well with what I was looking for - I just loved her expression.
One of the most amazing things about this project was able to have personally known Mike Azevedo and have picked up some interesting tips.
Then I began to think about each step and how I could do it without having any surprises during the process. I believe that the best way to learn and improve is to use references for every single detail even if you've already done it thousands of times.
I started modeling in ZBrush with a base mesh, first trying to adjust the proportions and silhouettes.
The hardest part was the face shape and eyes; I wanted to make it as similar as possible to the concept, however a little more realistic. One thing that really helped to view the face was modeling the hair shape.
After I finished the whole body and did the retopology in TopoGun, I went back to ZBrush and using Extract, I modeled her blouse and skirt. For the skin details, I used some brushes that Danilo showed me.
With all the parts imported in 3ds Max, I began the hardest part of the model - the hair. I decided to make several plans, and using a basis modeled in ZBrush, I distributed the many plans and tried to get close to the concept. I then imported all the maps in the model to start rendering.
From the start, my focus was on the eyes and the hair because I believe these are the most remarkable things in a woman, so that was where I decided to dedicate myself more.
I positioned two lights on the left, where one of them was stronger and yellow, then one to the far right and a rim light.
For all parts used the VRayMtl and the skin VrayFastSSS2. I also almost got everything in the Default preset Skin (pink) mode, which worked as I wanted.
For the passes, I set Reflection, Specular, SSS, Occlusion and Wirecolor order to select separate parts if needed.
And for the background, thanks to some tips from Mike Azevedo, I played with the Natural Brushes in Photoshop. Finally, the image was ready.