Making of 'The Princess'
Introduction & Refrences
Hello guys, my name is Marcos Nicacio and I'm here to show you the process I used to create my recent work: The Princess.
This project was requested by Nitroglicerina studio, and they provided to me a sketch (Fig.01). I was then free to create my vision of a classic princess in a white and gold detailed dress.
I started modeling the head using the poly-by-poly technique and always following the original concept. Her main characteristics were the facial expression and fleshy lips, and I wanted to make these elements very clear.
Once I was happy with the head, I moved onto modeling in the hair. In beginning it was a challenge because the hair is a weird shape with curly parts. I took the polygons from the top of her head and detached them to make a new mesh and give the right shape to the middle part. After that I created splines for the curly parts and extruded the front polygons with the Extrude Along Spline tool using the splines as references (Fig.02).
The body was modeled in a different way; in this case I used box modeling to give volume and afterwards I refined the shape to the silhouette that I wanted (Fig.03).
I also used the box modeling technique for the arms (Fig.04).
The rigging wasn't just made for posing her, but for animating her too (Fig.05). I used bones, shapes and helpers as controllers and morph target animation to establish the facial expressions (Fig.06).
Texture & Shader
Texturing for me is one of the most technical parts of creating an image. I started by texturing the hair and for this I created a color and bump map (Fig.07). I adjusted the UVW mapping according to each hair part, and with the shader I wanted to give a reflection that suggested she was using too much hair spray.
For her face I created a color map only and worked with a shader with low specular to look like skin (Fig.08).
The body texture was a Blend material with two V-Ray materials and one mask. The V-Ray materials have the same maps, color and bump, with different bump and reflection levels for the gold and opaque parts. The mask was for the gold floral parts, which I wanted to give more highlights to.
The arm textures I applied in another material ID using the same shader I'd used for the face (Fig.09).
Lighting & Rendering
I used two V-Rray lights to light the scene (Fig.10).Both lights had 32 subdivision sampling to cast soft and clean shadows. The front light was stronger than the back one to give a highlight to her face and I also left the environment very dark (Fig.11) because I wanted to give a dark mood to the scene, to match her expression and secret smile.
The composition was simple, but effective, and I got the final mood that I wanted.
First I did a pure render in 3ds Max. The result was good, but some corrections needed doing. So in Photoshop I did some color, brightness and contrast adjustments to give more life to her. The next step was add a layer in overlay mode and paint some highlights to show the front light was stronger and make the gold parts shine even more. And finally I added a painted shadow over the background (Fig.12).
And here is the final result (Fig.13)!
Well, thanks for the patience and for reading my Making Of. I hope you like it and that I've helped to clarify any questions you had about the creation process of my image. Thanks to the 3DTotal staff and the Nitroglicerina guys for all their support. Best wishes and good studies for all!