Making Of 'The Captain'

Hi Everybody, my name is Stepan "(o)ne" Grakov, and I'm 25 years old. My hobby is of course computer graphics...

I am going to show you how to create the making of "The Captain" - my lastest work - from modelling and rendering, to composing and post effects. This is not a "step-by-step" tutorial, here you will find explanations of my techniques. To create this image I used ZBrush 2.0 for modelling and rendering, and Fireworks MX for composing and post effects (but you can use your favourite 2D software, of course).

Lets brake the final image into several pieces so you can see my modelling process (image 01).

Creation of the Captain

Head: (from z-spheres to hi poly model).
First of all, I create the main, plus several additional, Z-spheres to match head details (eyes, mouth, nose, ears) and convert. Z-spheres' adaptive skin to a Polymesh. Then I work on main forms in Draw and Move modes, edge loop some places to get more polygons. I don't pay much attention to correct topology because it won't be seen in the final image. (image 02, 03, 04 and 05)

Here is the final head (image 06) with a skin material (by Antropus) which consists of 4 shaders. (image 07, 08 , 09 and 10)

Hairs: I take SnakeHook brush and start to pull "hairs" one by one right from the head, with variations. After that I take the Ring tool, apply a mask (Tool-Masking), inflate unmasked polygons (Tool-Deformations-Inflate) and place it to the hair's base to make it look solid. (image 11)

Body: (base form mesh, details). For base form I take the Ring tool, apply a mask (Tool-Masking), and inflate unmasked polygons (Tool-Deformations-Inflate). For details, I used a Terrain tool and start placing armour plates on the main form with some editing of single pieces to make them look more natural. Also I use deco-brush to add some details like plate edges, cracks, etc. (image 12)

Hand: (base form mesh, armour plates, chains, rust). For the base form, here I used a simple Z-sphere chain. I don't need more because I will add details with the Terrain tool and the Ring tool. (image 13)

Wheel: (primitives deformaiton and combination).The base of the Wheel is deformed using the Ring tool. Other parts are modified Cylinders placed in particular places. (image 14)

Creation of the Ship wrecks

Flags: (base plane, deformations, details and colours). For the flags, I take a plane and place it where it should be. Then I make some form adjustments within the Move mode (image 15).

After that I add some colours using different primitives, such as stencil, with RGB-on, mode only (image16).

Different wrecks-like stuff: (primitives and techniques). I create the main forms with the SnakeHook brush again. Also, I create and drop some primitives to give the feeling that there are many different wreckage here (image 17).

Rust-corals: (primitives and techniques). For making the rust (corals) I use a simple Spheres as a tool and Coloured Spray + Draw mode (image 18).

Ship's body: (boards, cracks, etc). The ship's boards are Cubes scaled to look like a board, then I place the boards one by one to make them look old and messy (image 19).

Shaders used for the Ship: Main Shader (image 20); Rust shader (image 21)

Creation of the Bird Head 3DS MAX low-poly model: First I create a low-poly mode, l in 3DS Max, from a box. With extrudes here and there, and a few vertex moves, I export to a .obj format.

Zbrush form refinings: The next step is to import my .obj file to Zbrush. To work on forms I use the Move mode with a very small brush size to move just one vertex at time.

Work on hi poly details: After I achieved the forms I want, I go to Projection Master to add more details. I use deco brush with different alphas to create the main skin texture, then some single spots etc. to make it look more interesting (image 22).

Creating the ocean bottom: Column at the left (primitives, deformations, building, cracks). This column consists of one base primitive - a Ring (with some modifiers applied - mask, inflate, twist) which repeats several times with different sizes and placements. After that I use the deco-brush to add some details to the whole column (image 23).

Sea-weed and ground: Sea-weed is made from a Cube. I move the corners to make them look like something biological, then I copy this and place it in different places at different angles. For the ground I use a Cylinder and Coloured Spray mode (image 24).

Light and rendering options: Some tips for creating the underwater look (caustic highlights in some areas, etc)
To make my scene look like it's underwater, I use the highlight brush to make some areas lighter and darker (highlight brush + Alt) (image 25).

Light options: (image 26).
Rendering options: (image 27).

PostWorks Combining layers, adding blur: After rendering with Zbrush, I got this image - it needs to have some post work done to it to make it look better and give it the right mood (image 28).

So, I start with adding a blur to some areas, and make the Captain's face lighter by copying and pasting it to another layer. Then I add brightness and contrast, and fade some areas to black with layers by changing transparency to add more mood (image 29).

Adding light rays: It's easy to add some light rays in Photoshop, or another 2D software. You can create something like this, just by adding transparency and blur for the desired result (image 30).

Well, that's all I can tell you about the creation of "The Captain". I hope you'll find some useful information in this tutorial. (final image).

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