Making Of 'Metamorfosi'
English translation by Ilaria Maremonti
This work started from a concept quickly done on a morning before going to work, it's probably some oneiric memory :) I cannot show it because I don't know where it has gone to, but the main idea is to represent something realistic which could never exist in the real world. This is the aspect of graphic computer I prefer: making unreality real.
I don't want to go into details, as the main aim of this article is to share the process which led me to the final render with the whole community of CG artists.
I started creating a very simple model made up of a face with strange features (picture 1), then I created another one representing an old man (picture 2). After that, I merged both models creating a third one.
I tried to keep a clean topology (picture 3).
Then, I copied a part of the old man face (picture 4) changing the features and making him younger; I had to add some other edge loops in order connect both meshes (picture 5).
I exported geometry to ZBrush where I added further details which can hardly be obtained by a common modelling software (picture 6); for this reason, I used a normal map (picture 7) in order to reproduce at best in XSI the result obtained with ZBrush. I chose a normal map instead of a displace one just for a question of time, the result wasn't too much different and, in any case, there were no excessive deformations on the surface.
Once I exported everything to XSI, I created a lighting pass (picture 8) arranging a key light and a fill light with a key to fill ratio of approx. 1:2; I added a bump map too to reproduce the lack of homogeneity on the skin at best.
Now the 3D part is over, everything coming after is the result of a long post-production in Photoshop.
I created the colour map directly on the rendered model in several passes; in picture 9, you can see two different passes, one obtained with brushes and the other one by means of a gradient. Then, the result was mixed with a dirt layer obtained, in its turn, by several textures welded together by means of gray scale masks (picture 10)
I multiplied, therefore, a colour pass with lighting and occlusion ones (previously obtained) (picture 11);
such result was multiplied with an image base lighting pass obtained through several light sources generated by a HDRI map (picture 12)
The last picture you see is the final result obtained by colour correction and contrast curves (picture 13).