Making Of 'No More Wine'
I started this piece with something as simple as a Z-sphere (Fig.01a). Playing with the Symmetry tool, an idea was born (Fig.01b)! Z-spheres are simply awesome! They allowed me to build the body of my concept in the fastest way - ever (Fig.01c) - and with a clean mesh, too (Fig.01d)! The UVs were done in 3ds Max, and I added the left arm and the hat before starting to sculpt the details (Fig.01e).
Once I'd imported my Subtools (Fig.02a), I got sculpting (Fig.02b)! I still didn't know at this stage how the final picture was going to look ... but ZBrush allowed me to change anything at any time - very quickly (Fig.02c)! So I started looking for a cool facial expression; I knew this was going to be the most important thing to have in a fun image (Fig.02d - e)!
I did the texturing using the poly painting technique in ZBrush - it's a great tool for achieving something quickly (Fig.03)! I could then make tweaks later on in Photoshop, using the normal map, displacement and cavity to get something more accurate, and to add extra details. I usually paint with the "Toy plastic" shader - it keeps the colours true, and I got good specularity and bump. You can paint fast with the colour spray mode and some alphas; i love beginning the texture work in ZBrush because you don't have seams to worry about and you see the result directly on the hi-res mesh!
The same thing was done for the other objects in the scene, except that some were done in Max with the good old poly modelling technique, starting from a box (Fig.04). When I don't want to spend too much time on my UVs, I use the automatic mapping in ZBrush. If your model is very low poly it's usually not so bad, and with the poly painting there are no seam issues!
The rendering step was the longest, because I wanted to do something credible ... When you take Davy Jones as reference, you have to do something cool! Here are the maps I used in the fast skin shader (Mental Ray) (Fig.05a). I did not do any displacement in the scene; because it's a still image I only used normal maps and hi-res meshes to keep as much of my ZBrush sculpting detail as possible. I mainly used the Arch & Design materials, and the SSS fast skin from Mental Ray, tweaking every one of them to fit the lighting and the style I wanted (Fig.05b - c).
I finally rendered several passes to create the final picture with Photoshop:
Fig. 06c - Masks
Fig. 06d - Z-Depth Pass
Fig. 06e - Reflection Pass
Fig. 06f - Occlusion Pass
And here is the final image (Fig.07)!
I usually work with Digital Fusion for post production work, but with a 4K render Photoshop was more flexible and fast, and so I made a lot of colour changes, taking care of the visibility and the hues between all the objects. I also added some real picture elements to give the final look to "No more wine!"
And that's it! Thank you for reading this - I hope this little making of has been fun to read!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and if you want to see my other work please visit: www.simonblanc.com.
After reading this Making of, why not check out the video making of that Simon has done with Pixologic for the main character: Click here
To see more by Simon Blanc, check out Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection