Making Of 'Short Hair'

Introduction

Hi everyone, my name is Peng Zhao. I'm a freelance character artist and animator in Shanghai, China and in this article I'll be briefly showing you the creation process behind my latest image "Short Hair".

Concept

I wanted to create a pure and quiet looking girl, like the past famous film star Audrey Hepburn. I first visualized a concept in my head, and then started to gather reference material. I grabbed lots of photos from Google and brought them into Photoshop for reference (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

Fig. 01

Modeling

I created the model in ZBrush, from the base cube to the final figure (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

Fig. 02

After that I used Topogun to retopologize the base mesh, and Maya for the final polygon model (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

Fig. 03

For the UV I used UVLayout and Maya.

Texturing

Once the modeling was finished, I used Bodypaint for the base color texture and then brought the textures into Photoshop to add more detail (Fig.04).

Fig. 04

Fig. 04

I combined some real photo to make it look more believable (Fig.05)

Fig. 05

Fig. 05

Shading & Lighting

For the skin I used the mental ray fast skin shader. Then I made diffuse, epidermal, bump and specular maps. I didn't use the default specular set of the fast skin shader; instead I used an MR custom shader. I then added a blinn shader on the top of fast skin shader to get the specular from the light (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

Fig. 06

I used the classic three-point lighting theory for the lighting set-up (Fig.07).

Fig. 07

Fig. 07

The Hair

I spent a lot of time on the hair, because the Shave & Haircut plugin is not an easy plugin to render. The hair was combed by using the nurbs curve (Fig.08).

Fig. 08

Fig. 08

I rendered the hair as a primitive and used HairTK for the hair shader so that I could get different render passes (Fig.09).

Fig. 09

Fig. 09

Compositing

When the rendering was finished, I did beauty and occlusions passes and then composited them with the hair in Photoshop (Fig.10).

Fig: 10



I then used After Effects to get the final result (Fig.11)

Fig: 11

And here's my final image (Fig.12)

Fig: 12
 

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