Making of 'Kamran Saeed'
Hello there, my name is Saad Ahmed, I am from Pakistan and with this article I'd like to show you how I created a 3D caricature image of Kamran Saeed, an artist. I'm a huge fan of caricatures and totally fascinated with the realism that artists achieve in their artworks. The idea with this piece was to create a caricature of a real person - to capture a funny look with a modern spirit. The person I based the artwork on is Kamran Saeed, an excellent artist and a very good friend of mine!
Before starting, I took plenty of pictures of Kamran to make it easier for me to create a caricature of him in 3D. With lots of reference images at hand, I was then able to continue with the modelling stage, and I found that, for the modelling of the head, it was good to have images of the front and side view of my model (Fig.01).
I created the model with a facial expression so that it was easy to relate to the reference images. Good reference is the key to creating a good likeness! The next step was to give the model a bit of a caricature feel. I used the FFD modifier to exaggerate a double chin and increase the smile (Fig.02 - 03).
Tip: Use the paint tool in the Edit Poly modifier as much as you can - it's very handy and useful for modelling faces!
I created the geometry for the base of the body from a box, using the polygon modelling technique. Once the basic proportions had been established, the whole model of both the head and body was then finished using the same polygon modelling method (Fig.04).
Rigging & Clothes
After completing a normal pose for the model, I decided to make him more expressive. I used a skin modifier and biped to rig and pose the character, and after a few adjustments I got the final pose (Fig.05 - 06).
I began modelling the details, like wrinkles in the clothes, and pockets and buttons on the T-shirt and shorts. I selected edges, chamfered them bit and extruded them a bit, using the solidify modifier for the thickness. On the T-shirt, I then fixed the overlapped polygons, made a collar, created some wrinkles and it was finished! I also created wrinkles on the shorts in the same way (Fig.07).
Pelt mapping is the best mapping method in the Unwrap UVW modifier. I added an Unwrap UVW modifier first of all, and then clicked on the edge to enter the edge mode. I preferred to turn off the map seam as it was not needed with pelt mapping. I then used the Point To Point seam option to create a pelt seam. I clicked on the Fit button to align, clicked on the Edit Pelt Map button at the bottom, and then on Simulate Pelt Pulling in the Pelt Map Parameters. To relax vertices, I simply used the Relax (Light) button (Fig.08). I unwrapped the arms and legs in the same way (Fig.09).
Textures & Shaders
After unwrapping, the best way to bake your mesh is using the Render to Texture tool (go to Rendering > Render to Texture). I selected the model and ensured that, under Mapping Coordinates, the Object was set to 'Use Existing Channel'. I added an Ambient Occlusion map in the Output section and ensured the output image size was high enough (Fig.10).
This gave me a very good start, from which I could then start painting in Photoshop - section-by-section. I chose to paint high resolution texture maps as it showed more detail (Fig.11). I desaturated the colour map and tweaked it to be used as bump and specular maps. I then used the Mental Ray 'SSS fast skin shader'. I also needed both epidermal and subdermal maps, which were painted in Photoshop (Fig.12).
The Material Editor can be seen in (Fig.13).
Lighting & Rendering
The lighting setup was very simple: just one main source light, one fill light and one rim light. I used a sky light and enabled Final Gather to bounce light. Soft shadows were generated by Ambient Occlusion shades itself - there was no need to add extra lights to cast softer shadows (Fig.14).
I use Mental Ray for the rendering as it's really very good at this. I find the most effective way is to render out elements separately and then composite them later in post-production (Fig.15).
Tip: Use scanline rendering for hair n fur - I believe this works better than Mental Ray!
The Photoshop layer styles are your best friend in this stage of the image creation! I took all of the layers and made some adjustments, such as colour correction, duplication, level tweaking; I sharpened up some areas, like the eyebrows, and added a little dodge and burn around the eyes to bring out the highlights a bit more. Here's the final composite and some close-ups of the details (Fig.16 - 17).
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful and can take away something useful away from it. It was a lot of fun creating this piece and I'm always keen to give something back to our very open 3D communities! Thank to all who have shared - and continue to share - their ideas and workflows, which all help to make us better artists. Please feel free to contact me at: . Thanks for reading!