Making of Futuristic Batman

Colombian concept artist Santiago Betancur takes us through the ZBrush and Photoshop workflow for his futuristic-style Batman...

In this making of I will talk about the creation of a keyframe illustration and some tips for character design, in this case I did my own interpretation of Batman wearing a futuristic suit.

Step 1: Sketching

In this stage I explore different poses and compositions that could work for the keyframe illustration. I choose one of the sketches and I start to work on the character design.

Sketches and compositions

Sketches and compositions

Step 2: Character design

After I have my sketches done I jump into the design process, and this time I start directly in ZBrush, using a Base mesh for the body and using dynamesh to block out some parts of the armor and Kitbashing using IMM Brushes.

Step 3: Posing and Export

When I have completed the design I start with the posing process. I use Transpose master for this part, sometimes I use a zspheres rig too. In this process some elements can be damaged, so after the pose is done I adjust the mesh or correct the elements individually in the right place. After this process I use Decimation master to optimize the mesh for the rendering process.

Pose and decimated mesh

Pose and decimated mesh

Step 4: Render settings

For this part I use Keyshot. I use one of the default HDRI environments and I add a sphere with a light material applied to give a little more of dramatic lighting to the scene, and for the render settings I use the standard. I don't like to mess around too much with those settings.

Step 5: Render passes

Here I show you some of the most common render passes that I use for my renders. Also, I use this method to apply material separation on his costume elements, rendering the regions that I need in different materials, then I use masks In Photoshop to paint the maps into the costume, which saves a lot of time too.

Step 6: Improving the render

In this part I use several textures to improve the materials in the renders, add the rain drops over the surface, decals, imperfections and so on. This kind of details gives a new level to the renders in my opinion and the result is a little more realistic.

Step 7: Color correction

This is the final part of the project when I try to give a cinematic look to the image, and for this purpose I use adjustment layers, solid layers with flat colors in different fusion modes, and the Magic Bullet plugin for Photoshop.

Color correction

Color correction


Related links

Santiago on LinkedIn

Santiago on ArtStation

Santiago on Facebook

Santiago on Instagram