Making of 'Freedom'
This is a project that started out as a sculpting anatomy test for Lux and part of a bigger exercise where I created 5 heads from a single base geometry. To complete the idea, I created the body in order to arrive at a finished character which became 'Freedom'. My goal was to test how flexible Modo's sculpting toolsÂ are from the artist's perspective and how quickly I could turn around my Ideas with this new set of tools that Lux have developed, considering that I already sculpt on other applications (Fig.01 - 05).
I first started by executing a human figure with low polys and created a UV map that covered the entire object. From there I was ready to sculpt the character. I researched for some image references to see how muscles are set up on large body builders, and from there I started to sculpt the massing of the body.
In Modo, there are two types of sculpting; one way uses Mesh and the other is using Displacement. I started by shaping the overall object by using the mesh sculpt, and then I got into the image displacement sculpting. This allowed me to go back and forth in a flexible manner (Fig.06).
Perhaps the best way to see the way I sculpted the model is by looking at the time lapse video in which you can see almost two hours of sculpting, moving back and forth between both styles, speeded up to a few minutes. The video, which I created for Lux TV can be seen here.
I was then ready to start texturing. I usually start with a general colour to set the base tone, then I get into the "spectrality", bump maps and SSS, and this involves a long process which takes a lot of testing back and forth in order to achieve the look I desired. I used textures that I had created, or I painted my own textures using Modo's new Painting tools.
Finally, I imported Modo's logo from PSD. To project it onto the object, I created a new image layer called "Tattoos", which help me control it better (Fig.07 - 08)!
Once I was finished with the painting, I was set up and ready to position and light my subject. I used two Aerial lights: one to light up the object, the other to give me a highlight of blue from behind it. I still needed some GI to achieve some more realism from the lights bouncing off the skin and, finally, I added a few touches of DOF, just close the deal.
The total project was done in about 2 to 3 days and I was very pleased with the results. I am always looking for new tools to explore how they can help me work better and improve my art. The other side of that is that I am still learning new things every day!
Artists have never had it so good with all the tools that are out there now! I really liked how I was able to have a flexible work that allows me to go back and forth between rendering and tweaking my displacements to fit the textures and so forth.Â That really gave me a complete grip on my Ideas
I am grateful to Luxology for all of their help and hopefully I should be doing more stuff with them in the future. As for myself, I feel that my art is evolving into new directions and I am curious myself to see what happens next (Fig.09)!