Making of 'Smile at all ages'

Freelance character artist Reza Abedi shows us his 3D character workflow

In this tutorial I'll show you my modeling process from base mesh to full detailed model. Also, I will show you how I made the textures for face and clothes.

Step 01: Modeling the head

When modeling the head I started with a Basemesh I already had and built up the features and expression. I use the Standard, DamStandard, Clay Buildup and Move brushes to take the model from its primary to secondary form.

Building the head

Building the head

Step 02: MARI displacement

I projected the tertiary form in to MARI based on some photo scans and then imported it back to ZBrush.

There are two ways to apply this map on to the model. Firstly you can import it as an alpha map and mask it with alpha and use Inflate. Or you can import the map as a diffuse texture and make the alpha, bring it in displacement and play with the intensity value; then apply the displacement (make sure the Texture map is on). I personally prefer to use the second method.

After I applied the displacement, I added some extra detail with the Dam_Standard brush and some organic brushes I already had.

Projecting the displacement in MARI

Projecting the displacement in MARI

Displacement setting in ZBrush

Displacement setting in ZBrush

Displacement result and extra details

Displacement result and extra details

Step 03: FiberMesh and Marvelous Designer

To give the character a sense of realism I used ZBrush's FiberMesh feature to create the hair, eyebrows, and stubble.

I made the woolen jumper in Marvelous Designer and imported it back to ZBrush to add some extra details using the Noise Maker and Tileable texture. I also used FiberMesh here to give a more realistic look to the jumper.

FiberMesh setting

FiberMesh setting

Making the woolen jumper in Marvelous Designer

Making the woolen jumper in Marvelous Designer

Add the details with noisemaker

Add the details with noisemaker

Step 04: Texturing the Head

Back to MARI to texture the head. I made a DiffuseMap and SpecMap based on photo references, as well as other texturing techniques such as a BumbMap - which I made in Photoshop with High Pass based on diffuse map. I exported the DisplacementMap and NormalMap from ZBrush.

All the maps that I used for the skin

All the maps that I used for the skin

Step 06: Texturing the woolen jumper

To add texture to the woolen jumper I used Quixel DDO and I put the export target to V-Ray (sRGB) to get different displacement maps.

Jumper displacement maps

Jumper displacement maps

Step 07: Shading

For the skin material I used VRay BumpMtl node and applied to the head, I put the VRay BlendMtl inside the base material. Inside the VRayBlendMtl I used VRay FastSSS2Mtl into the base material and VRayMtl into Coat material for the reflection. I used the Diffuse Map inside the Sub-Surface Color and for the Scatter color I used the same map and changed the color gain. The BumpMtl in VRayFastSSS2 should be the same as VRayMtl (Reflection).

Shading setting

Shading setting

Reflection setting

Reflection setting

Skin material

Skin material

Woolen jumper material

Woolen jumper material

Step 08: Lighting and rendering

I used just one V-Ray Dome light and inside the Dome Tex I used the HDRi map, I used V-Ray and no GI.

Lighting setting

Lighting setting

Render setting

Render setting

The final image

The final image

Related links

Check out Reza's work on his website
Reza is also on Facebook
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