Making Of 'Flower Bug'

This tutorial is going to go over the creation of the Flower Bug image I did for 3D Total. This tutorial will consist of mainly texture work to achieve the realistic look of a real life flower.

First we have to observe how a natural flower petal looks. When we look at the base of a petal we can notice that the color blends into other colors with a light gradient. This means that when we have two or more colors on the petal, we have to make sure that the colors blend into each other naturally. When doing this, we have to make sure that this is not a perfect gradation from one color to another. The reason for this is because in nature, there are always random imperfections and that's what makes it beautiful

Notice how the gradients from one color to another are not perfectly seamless. Spots of pink and orange take this red into a bright yellow. Also notice the veins in the petals, this is very crucial when recreating life. The small details of these veins will make the flower look real

Now that we are experts on flowers and color, lol, let's start creating our own. We are not going to cover the modeling of this flower, due to time. Let's start out in Adobe Photoshop. First I made the canvas a nice red color; you can make it anything you want. Next I made a selection and created the outline of the petal.

First I made the canvas a nice red color; you can make it anything you want. Next I made a selection and created the outline of the petal.

Next, remember to save the selection just incase you lose it

The next step is to create the lights and darks of the petal. This is really just for a template so you know where to place your other colors

Continue making details with the burn tool in Photoshop. Remember to take the opacity down to around 20 so you don't over burn your canvas

Lets add some more color to this. Next I added a nice yellowish orange to make the pit of the petal. You can make a selection or you can just draw one in the shape you want

After you have made the pit of the petal the way you want it, now it is time to erase the edges to make this a bit more refined. I used a size 20 brush with an opacity of 12

Next I smudged the yellow to start forming the random sections of color where the gradient will go. This is also a time to figure out where you want the veins to go on the petal.

Now I am creating some of the highlights of the petal in a basic form. For this I used a light pink, brush size of 25, and opacity of 35. Also after you do this, go ahead and smudge the pink to take the form of where the veins will go.

Now we can insert our veins. Make sure they are all flowing the same way down towards the pit of the petal. For this I used the burn tool with a size of 2.

Add a noise to liven up the canvas. This also adds to the random imperfections that we are looking for.

Take the eraser, and on the pink layer that we created earlier, just make the pink not so pinky. Also take the burn tool and dull down the yellow of the pit.

Continued progress.

Now comes the funny part. Take the petal you have just created and save it as a jpeg. Now bring it back in a new layer and change the blending mode to hard mix. This will create a more random color spread for our gradient. Ok then save that hard mix layer as a jpeg and delete the layer you have just made. Now bring the hard mix jpeg in on a new layer, and change the blending mode to overlay and take the fill down to a low number, somewhere around 30

You should get something like this. Trust me it gets better.

Save that out as a jpeg, bring it back in on a new layer and give it a new blending mode and transparency. Make sure the new layer is not quite visible, but enough to cause a change in the image. The finished petal with added detail to give it a natural look.

Now we have to create a bump map, and a shine map. Save out a jpeg, then desaturate the petal and adjust the levels. Do not auto adjust the levels because we want to work with all the gradations of grey.

Now we add a Gaussian blur to the petal to give the shine map a nice glossy shimmer.

Now for the bump map, take the original petal, desaturate it and take the levels down to something like this. And make sure you blur the bump map so you get a nice soft bump on the petal.

Now we can take it into 3D Studio Max and create our flower. Here is a screen of the flower I created in Max. The one petal texture was used for all of the petals. For the stem, since it is not really seen, I used a simple green color.

The bugs are modeled using a sphere and another texture I created in Photoshop. A basic 3 point lighting system was used to give the flower its realistic look and feel.

Each light has a different color according to its position around the flower. Each light also varies in brightness. Here is a screen of the light properties.

Here is a render of what the petals look like before post production in Photoshop.

After color correction and adjustments

And the final image with depth effects

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