Making Of 'Spring Breeze'
*WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY*
In this article, I will describe the process of making Spring Breeze completely, from sculpting in ZBrush to the final composition.
This image is not an original work. I copied from the oil painting Spring Breeze, which was painted by William Adolphe Bouguereau, who was a famous academic artist born in the late 19th century in France. It was a very difficult challenge to translate a classic oil painting into 3D.
I used an existing model, and the UV had already been finished (Fig.01).
It was going to be a still painting, so I decided to make the proper pose in 3ds Max and then sculpt in ZBrush. First I used the Display as Box option to get the biped shown in Fig.02. This is a convenient way of observing the pose when you want to change the gesture of a model in 3ds Max.
In Figure mode, I ticked Twists and changed the parameters to make the ulna and radius rotate more naturally (Fig.03).
I added skin to the body mesh and rigged the body mesh with biped bones. I didn't spend much time adjusting the weights as I knew I could use Edit Polygon to adjust them again. Next I opened Auto Key, and made the pose that you can see is Fig.04.
When finishing the pose, I converted the model to an editable poly and made adjustments such as changing the position and thickness of the arms, the length of the waist (the waist is long in the original painting), the position of the breasts and so on (Fig.05).
Next I exported that model into ZBrush and began to sculpt. There were no particular skills I used here; I just kept adjusting the image (Fig.06 - 07).
I picked some parts of the model's mesh edited it with cloth dynamics to simulate the shape of the petticoat (Fig.08).
I used the oil painting as a reference to add more details in ZBrush, and I used a mask for the cloth drape (Fig.09).
When finishing the rough structure of the cloth, I used Topogun to get new topology (Fig.10).
Comparing the retopologized mesh with the original model, I used ProjectAll to make all the little details with the sculpting tools (Fig.11).
For the stones, I made a box in 3ds Max and added Spherify to get smooth edges (Fig.12).
I used Unwrap UVW to set up the UV map (Fig.13).
I exported the basic model to ZBrush and started sculpting (Fig.14).
I added some noise to get more details (Fig.15).
I used Polypaint to paint the textures. First I projected the original painting onto the body with a spotlight, then I gave the skin a rough color based on the original one, focusing on the eyes, mouth and hands in particular to make sure they worked well with each other and so I could add in real details (Fig.16).
Next I strengthened the color of the textures based on the picture reference, making sure the RGB Intensity was not too strong (Fig.17).
I picked up the color of the model's surface to do more painting according to the way human skin color varies (Fig.18).
To add more details to the textures I used Color Spray and alphas (Fig.19 - 20).
Making the stone textures was the same as making of skin ones, but simpler. I just needed to find the proper textures (Fig.21).
I used the same method again to paint the cloth textures (Fig.22).
Finally I use Multi Map Exporter to export PolyPaint, Normal, Ambient Occlusion and Cavity maps with a size of 4096 x 4096 (the towel and bathing dress with the size 2048 x 2048) to provide high quality veins. Because the image was a still, I was able to export high detail models directly and then use a Normal map to show the details.
The character textures can be seen in Fig.23, the bathing dress textures are in Fig.24 and the towel textures are in Fig.25.
I just export Polypaint and Normal maps for the stone textures (Fig.26).
Then I exported high quality models into 3ds Max and set up a camera (Fig.27).
Next I added lights to the scene. I used a day light for the main light, a sun light with mr Sun and a sky light with mr Sky in mental ray. I changed the position of the lights by hand and set Exposure Control to mr Photographic Exposure Control (Fig.28).
I added a Photometric and mr Sky Portal to make the environment light, and set up a spherical sky light outside (Fig.29).
A lighting test can be seen in Fig.30.
I adjusted the character's textures, changing the parameters according to the light in order to get the best textures (Fig.31).
Then I made a few little changes to the skin veins in Photoshop to make it look more realistic (Fig.32).
Fig.33 shows the eye and cloth shaders.
It took me a long time to make the hair; I had five attempts until I got what I wanted. First I detached the head mesh as a copy and then I made guiding lines to get the real hair.
The mesh controlled the hair growth. The blue mesh was used to control the miscellaneous hair at the front, so I could get a good transition to the hairline. The green mesh controlled the first half of the hair style and the orange mesh was for the second half (Fig.34).
Fig.35 shows the guiding lines of the hair and Fig.36 shows the hair result.
Because of using mental ray, I choose mr Prim for the hair in Environment and Effects. This way I was able to get the best effect regardless of the rendering quality or speed (Fig.37).
Once I'd finished with all the settings, the next step was the final render. My rendering size was 3200 x 2400 and I rendered hair, AO, ZDepth, SSS mate, Diffuse Color and ObjectID passes (Fig.38).
I used Photoshop and After Effects for compositing; Photoshop for rough results and After Effects for the details. I used photos for the background and some plants were rendered in 3ds Max (Fig.39).
I imported the image into Photoshop and adjusted some of the levels like color, contrast, saturation and hue etc (Fig.40 - 41) to make the image match the original painting more closely.
The face was so important that it took me a long time to add more details (Fig.42).
Finally I added depth of field in After Effects, used a light effect to make the depth strong and strengthened the SSS of the skin (Fig.43).
I used a tool named AKVIS ArtWork to make my work look like a real oil painting. (Fig.44)
And here's the final composition (Fig.45).