Making Of 'The Duel'
Hello, my name is Carlos Andres Lopez, I am 3D Character Artist and graphic designer, currently living in Bogotá, Colombia and I have worked for five years in this fascinating world of Graphic Arts. The initial concept was born in the company I work (Zerofractal Studios) and the initial idea was to have a bacteria character in a battle position, carrying a can of disinfectant as a weapon. He would also be wearing elegant clothes - a gentleman of combat - and would be in a darker environment.
This is the final concept drawn up by Juan León (Concept Artist) and advised by the Zerofractal team (Fig.02). Juan gave life to this character with this fantastic piece and this was where my work started.
This is the base mesh entirely in 3ds Max (Fig.03). It has a total of 32,068 polys and is not subdivided. When I work I generally start in the T pose and then do the posing in ZBrush. I also sculpt in ZBrush, starting with the base mesh. After verifying the UVs are correct, I begin to make the initial details, applying symmetry so I get what I want from the chapter.
In this case I already had the original sculpture and so I could start with posing the character in ZBrush, using the Transpose tool (Fig.04). I used masks and moving pivot points to get a good and credible pose. Once the character was posed, I began fixing any imperfections in the sculpture and then moved on to detailing the skin, clothes and accessories.
Here are the different types of brushes I used to create this image (Fig.05). I started with a Standard brush to make the volumes (add and sub) and then used the Magnify brush to give the volumes and textures more prominence. I finished by applying the Smooth brush.
With the sculpture finished I extracted the following maps: normal, displacement, cavity and diffuse (Fig.06). The diffuse was made from the texture, color and projection of the displacement and cavity maps, so therefore I was able to draw the map and create an additional specular map for the bump.
The materials were made as Multisub objects (Fig.07). Grouping the materials like this makes them more ordered for working with IDs and gives better control - this is the way I always work in my projects. In general I used V-Ray materials for this model and for the skin I used a V-Ray blend material, keeping Fast SSS2 V-Ray as a base material. I added V-Ray Fur to give a touch more realism to the model. For the illumination I used a system called IBL (Image Based Lighting).
For the lighting I used V-Ray lights (Fig.08). I used one main light to generate the main shadows and two side lights and glitter to add the speculars necessary for the final composition.
The model was rendered in V-Ray with GI. I used the following passes to make a really nice composition: SSS2, Raw Reflection, Raw Shadows and Specular (Fig.09).
The image was composited in Photoshop, with a background that had been designed for me. I used Color Balance, Hue Saturation and Photo Filter passes to add texture (Fig.10 - 11).
This is the finished piece (Fig.12). The truth is that I was very happy with the final result. The composition was well organized and planned out from the beginning and it was a great experience for me as an artist. Thanks to everyone who has followed this tutorial and I hope I'll be able to write more tutorials in the future.