Making of 'Gollum'
There was no real concept. In the beginning, the idea came from a speed work on a French forum: http://www.mayalounge.com. We had to make Gollum's head. So I started with this and, because this idea was cool, I decided to do a portrait of the entire Gollum...
So I searched images on the web and I found many references, like this one:
Then I imported this head into ZBrush 3.1 and I started to sculpt. First, I tweaked with the move tool and then I sculpted with the standard brush. Finally, the details were made with the different alphas included in the software and with my personal alphas found on the web. Quickly, I had a first version of the head:
For the body, I started with the creation of a base mesh in Modo:
Then I imported it into ZBrush, then tweaked and sculpted it. I re-meshed it to obtain an optimised wire. I also did the same for the head.
To do this, I used the remesh tool in ZBrush. The value of this tool is the ability to keep the highest level of subdivision, therefore keeping the work already done.
The operation of the tool is fairly simple: just select a zsphere, then in the rigging tab select the mesh, and then simply click on edit topology and projection, respectively, in the topology and Projection tabs.
Finally, I put it in good position using the great tool, Transpose (this tool allows you to test different positions and to do without the rigging and skinning stage, unnecessary for a still image):
Finally, I finished the sculpting and I broke the symmetry
The Texturing & Shading
For the textures, as I used Modo for rendering, I knew that I would need several types of textures. Indeed, to manage the shaders and textures, Modo uses a system of layer allowing you create realistic textures:
For the displacement map, I used the technique in the tutorial Â«Â Modo - ZBrush displacement workflow with Displacement ExporterÂ Â» of Zoltan Korcsok : he uses two maps (positive and negative), which, with the system of layer of Modo, are assembled on one another.
The other maps were painted in ZBrush and Modo, and some maps are retouched in Photoshop.
There are three colour maps. The first two were made in ZBrush using different alphas in ZBrush, or alphas created from skin textures taken from the Total Textures: Volume 4 DVD
For example, one of the settings used in ZBrush is this one: the alpha25 and the colour spray stroke.
The first colour map was made in ZBrush:
The second colour map was made in ZBrush and was also used for one of the two Subsurface Colour maps. It simulates the veins and the subdermal skin:
The third colour map was made in Modo, using the paint module, with the textures of the Total Textures: Volume 4 DVD
The textures used from the Total Textures: Volume 4 DVD are as follows
This colour map was also used for one of the two bump maps, the second being the same as the displacement map. The other maps were made either in Modo or in Photoshop, with the existing maps:
Other Modelling & Texturing
The eye was made in Modo and consists of two meshes: one for the eyeball and the other for the iris. The textures are based on the 'Eye Maker' from the Total Textures: Volume 4 DVD Each mesh has a shader and also has textures from Modo:
The clothes were modelled entirely in Modo, as well as using textures from the Total Textures: Volume 4 DVD.
One of the great things of Modo is that it allows you to duplicate the diffuse layer and transform it into a bump layer or specular layer easily, and without modifications of the textures. The result is often enough, with the shader settings doing the rest. The displacement maps were created with a fur texture:
The shader was then made in Modo. Here is an example of the settings in Modo:
The rock was also modelled, sculpted and textured in Modo.
Finally, hairs were made in Maya with Shave and a Haircut. This plug-in is really powerful and allows you to create hairs from a face or curves. In this case I used the curves, and then brushed with the different brushes available:
Lighting & Rendering
Lighting and rendering was done in Modo, with its powerful renderer and pass system. There were two lights in the scene: one in front and the other behind, with global illumination activated:
I also used an HDRI map, an environmental material, and a process texture that allows you to retouch colours and to tweak the final render.
Finally, as I already said, I used the pass system renderer of Modo. It's fairly simple and uses the system layer. Thus, we have to create a layer pass rendering and choose the type of pass that you wish:
In conclusion, as seen in the above image, gamma has been placed at 1.1 (it is 1.6by default). Examples of pass (reflection, ambient occlusion, colour and subsurface scattering):
Finally, hairs were rendered in Maya with Mental Ray (this renderer allows you to obtain hairs with good quality with shave and a haircut):
Matte Painting and Compositing
For the background, I created a matte painting with images found on the web:
I assembled them and reworked them in order to obtain the background I wanted:
To finish Gollum, I mixed different passes in Photoshop and made various retouches in order to perfectly integrate the character with my matte painting:
Finally, I integrated the character with the background and I made last retouches and necessary colour settings:
This image was created using a few of the hundreds of textures from the Total Texture CDs - very comprehensive texture collections priced with the hobbyist in mind. To see more examples, download free
samples and read full details follow this link