Making Of 'Namaki'
Namaki means sweetie; in my country we use the expression when we see a cute baby girl or boy. For the past five years, since I started learning how to draw perfect circles with a pen, I've had the idea of designing what you see now - this is just the beginning. Back then, I wasn't too serious about it because I didn't have any drawing skills; I was more into 3D than 2D. Whenever my hands were off 3D I would draw two circles close to each other, put two dots on the bottom of the circles (try it and you'll see a funny face) and from there I had myself part of a character's facial expression; little by little I was able to draw the head and the other parts (I still draw these characters in this way whenever I can and I collect the drawings in a folder). I decided to model one of these characters for a challenge.
Sketching & Painting
I should highlight from the start for beginners, that if you have something in mind that you want to create then first of all: draw. Drawing is basically thinking out loud! I started by drawing the character; however, at the time I could only draw circles (Fig.01). I then painted it using different colour variations until I reached the best theme.
I basically modelled the character, starting with polygon primitive objects such as a cube, sphere and cylinder
Texturing, Lighting & Rendereing
I continued by making the UVs and adding a basic texture to the model (Fig.03). I mostly did the final texturing according to my lighting and rendering, meaning that after adding the basic colours and texture to the model, I prepared my lighting and rendering, and then made the final textures according to the lighting setup.
For the scene I used three area lights (Fig.04) and an ambient colour for the environment. I connected mia_physicalsky1 to the Environment Shader of the camera (Fig.05).
For the tone mapping I connected mia_exposure_photographic1 to the lens shader of the camera (Fig.06).
This stage is my favourite! For this image I rendered everything at once, since I was quite happy with everything. I later increased contrast by adding an ambient occlusion layer and several mask renders to add some saturation to individual parts of the image (Fig.07).
For the eyes I made a path and filled it with my brush, and then added a point on top to give the eye more shine (Fig.08).
I took the colour corrected image from Photoshop to After Effects to add the depth of field, and then returned to Photoshop to add the chromatic aberration - which gives life to an image and makes it more professional looking (Fig.09).
I hope this breakdown gives you a good idea about my work flow. Finally, I would like to thank my wife for helping me with this image and for giving me great feedback. Thanks for reading.