Making Of 'Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)'

Modelling and UV-ing with modo: Modo layout: 301 default layout

First, choose a Layout in Modo formodelling: Layout menu/Layouts/301 Default Layout. From Tabbed Viewport Groups select theModel Quado tab. Load the reference drawings to the top, front and rightviewports as backgrounds: second button on the top of the activeviewport/Backdrop/Load Image... Editing the backdrop: the second button on thetop of the active viewport/Backdrop/Properties/Background Imagery/AdjustBackground Image.

Using the backdrops model the spiders body starting with a box and using extrude. (Creating a box: Shift+LMB click on Tool Tab Box icon.)

The tools of themodelling can be chosen from the column to the right of the Tools Tab.

For symmetric modelling enable symmetry for the appropriate axis on the Tool Tab.

Create the legsextruding them from the body.  It'senough to model one leg, then use that as a base for the other legs. Copying theleg, and forming the other legs: select the polygons of the legs in polygon modethen copy them. Create a new mesh on the Items palette, and paste them there toget a mesh, which you can move to the correct position. Form a hole on thespiders body to where you can fit the legs, then snap the legs vertices to thehole. Configuring snapping: The horizontal Toolbar/Snapping/Geometry.

Then copy the legs polys back to the spider's mesh, and merge the fitting vertices (Tools Tab/ Vertex/ Merge).

Create the otherlegs with the same method. You have to model the legs on only one side, and thenmirror them after the UV-ing to the other side. This way we save texture space,because the pairs of legs will take up the same place on the texture

Modeled Spider

After Anatomy Correction and Mesh Topology Correction

Some Details

Creating the UV, and UV-ing

1. UV-ing : Select the edges in edge mode, which we will use to lay the UV map along.

2. Switch Layout in UV Layout (Menu Bar/Layout/Layouts/UV Edit on in the tabbed viewport) andcreate and lay the UV map using the Unwrap tool (UV & Vertex Mapping Tab /Create / Unwrap Tool): Click and Drag in the UV Texture View window. Use UVRelax tool (UV & Vertex Mapping Tab / Create / UV Relax) for aligning the UVshells (Click and Drag also).

Modo UV Tools

Layouted UV map

Then mirror the legs to the other side of the body using the method mentioned above. Modo marks UV overlapping with red by default.

3. Export the model to OBJ for further work in ZBrush (Menu Bar/File/Save As).

Sculpting with ZBrush

1. Import model into ZBrush (Tool/Import button) and save the current geometry (Tool/ Morph Target/ StoreMT button).

2. Divide the model to a higher mesh resolution (Tool/Geometry/Divide) and do the sculpting with Zbrush brushes.

Beside the known sculpting tools you can use other textures as a stencil. Creating a stencil: import the texture you want to use as an alpha (Alpha/Import), then set it up as a stencil (Alpha/Make St). Under the Stencil palette you can parameter the stencil and with holding down Space bar you can move and rotate it using a Controller..

Using Wrap Mode you canproject the stencil onto the sculpted surface.

Enable LazyMouse(Stroke/Lazy Mouse) for precise smooth drawing, which is needed for creating thesmooth creases.

Form the skin'spores and the surface of the chitin using DragRect Stroke and ZBrush Alpha07.

Some details ofthe finished sculpting:

3. When you havefinished the sculpting, adjust the subdivision level of the model to the lowestvalue (Tools/Geometry/Lower Res button or Subdivision levelslider).

Generating and exporting displacement map

The parts mirrored onto each other has to be hidden.

Tool/Displacement, using the following settings: DPRes (the size of the DMap to save): 4096, Adaptive Scan mode - this is an optimal setting that makes generating DMaps faster, while the resolution of the map will be good too (Zbrush will do more sampling at the more detailed and less at the less detailed parts), SmoothUV (in modo the UV of subdiv models are smoothed by default) and Create DispMap.

The generated DMap can be found in the Alpha menu, you can export it from here as a 16 bit tiff. 

Before exporting it, you have to mirror it vertically (Alpha/Flip V). It's important to take note of the Alpha Depth Factor belonging to the alpha (Alpha/ALpha Depht Factor), because using this Depth-Intensity value can you configure the volume of the DMap in Modo.

You'll need a cavity map for the spider's material in modo. This is generated in ZBrush too:

1. Adjust the subdivision level of the model to the lowest value (Tools/Geometry/Lower Res button or Subdivision level slider), and hide the parts mirrored onto each other.

2. Launch Zmapper (Zplugin/ZMapper).

3. Click on Normal & Cavity Map tab, turn on Flip Image Vertically, adjust the resolution of the map using the settings of Samples and Subdivide, adjust Cavity Intensity, and click Create CavityMap.

The generated cavity map canbe found amongst the textures, and can be exported to the needed format(Texture/Export).

Texturing and rendering with Modo

Total Textures v2: Aged & Stressed, v4: Humans & Creatures, v10: Trees & Plants and v11: Alien Organic were used for the texturing.

Switch to Paint layout.

1. Create materal for the model: create an item mask (Item List Tab/RMB on model/create item mask in Item List).

2. Adding textures to the material:

Add a blank texture to the spider's material (Texture/ Add Blank Color Texture). In the popup window you can set the parameters of the textures .

Painting diffuse text:

Using Image Ink, first paint the spider's base color on a difftext, then the pattern on another difftext with alpha. On a third difftext paint the color of the soft body parts and joints, and finally, on a fourth difftext the tenuous texture of the skin and feet (this latter difftext will be used as the bumpmap too). Bake these four textures to one, that will be a difftext in the spider's material.

Painting the simple color map, with the help of the Zbrush Cavity Map:

Paint the spider's diffuse map using Image Ink:

Select Paintbrush with Smooth brush on the Sculpt/Paint tool panel and turn on Image Ink. To paint the Diffuse map use the skin textures from Total Textures. The chosen textures can be loaded to the Clip List.

Choose the image you want to use from the clips under the Image Ink settings, then paint the image appearing in the viewport to the model. When you paint, the brush will project through the plane and use these colors to paint the mesh. Image Ink can be used as a mask for painting the texture.

Fig. 068 _image068=.jpg

Fig. 068 _image068=.jpg

The image plane is moveable, scaleable and rotateable interactively using the manipulators appearing in the middle, on the right edge and on the top.

Texturing with ImageInk:

Hide the surfaces in the way of painting (View/ Hide Selected. Unhide:View/Unhide):

To bake the difftext set the pattern's Layer Blend Mode to Normal, and the skin's Layer Blend Mode to Multiply under Shader Tree/Properties.

The four maps on the model:

Set Final ColorRender Output to Diffuse Coefficient in the Shader Tree...

...and set theFrame size to 4096x4096 pixel under Render Properties.

Finally start the baking of the textures with Render/Bake. Save the rendered textures as the spiders difftexture.

Baked Diffusetexture:

Paint the other textures similarly on the model.

After the diffuse texture create the other maps:

Use the skin texture painted for the diffuse map as the bump map

Specular Amount: use the grayscale version of the diffuse map as a base. Using the paintbrush paint the appropriate parts lighter or darker according to the greasy-looking surface of the opisthosoma's skin and the chitinous legs.

SubsurfceAmount: paint this map for the material's subsurface effect.

SubsurfaceColor: paint this map for the coloring of the subsurfaceeffect.

TransparencyAmount: paint this map for the slightly transparent legs andcephalothorax.

ReflectionColor: paint this map for the blue colored light reflections of the dark shadesof the spider's skin.

Texture Maps from Zbrush


Add the DispMaps to the material on the ShaderTree panel (Shader Tree Tab/Add Layer/Image Map),

set Effect toDisplacement, Low Value to 50 andHigh Value to 50 under image map properties.

Diffuse Amount (Cavity/Ambient Occlusion map):

Set the Cavity map: add the cavity map using the method described above, except you have to set Effect to Diffuse Amount (this map gives the model more feel of depth)

The SpiderMaterial settings:

Creating the branch

Use a simple cylinder to form the branch model and use Image Ink for the texturing.

Branch Tetures: Diffuse Map


Specular Map:

Positioning and posing the spider

Move and rotate the spider to the branch, and rotate the legs one by one to the branch in Polygon mode. Then create as many kinds of base meshes of fur as many you'd like to vary on the model. Disable the branch, select the spider mesh, and paint the fur on appropriate parts of it. Set a material for the fur too.



Meshpainted Spider:

Camera and Rendering settings

Set the camera to the appropriate distance, enable Autofocus (Shader Tree/Camera/Properties/Autofocus), then set the value of F-Stop (Shader Tree/Camera/Properties/F-Stop) that we use for parametering the amount of DoF.

Set twolightsources, one stronger from the back of the spider, and a weaker one fromthe opposite direction.



Set two render outputs inthe Shader Tree, one of them should be the Alpha, and the other should be theFinal Color Output. Under Renderproperties set the frames's size,enable Depth of Field and start the rendering process(F9).

Save the rendered image in tiff or psd format (Render Frame/ Save Image).

Compositing with Photoshop

Using the saved Alpha output mask out the Final Color output and paste the background behind.

The Final Image:

To see more by Zoltan Korcsok, check out Photoshop for 3D Artists