Making Rick Grimes
3D character modeler Ricardo Luiz Mariano shows us how he made his Rick Grimes likeness using ZBrush
Hello folks, I've spent the last few months studying how to do good likeness studies and learning new things. I began this character likeness study of The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes to focus on capturing realistic and natural looking faces, beard and hair. I will share with you my workflow and processes for making great hair and likenesses.
I always begin a new project by spending some time doing a bit of research and gathering reference – in this case Rick Grimes. It is very important to find pictures of your subject from as many angles as possible, at least front, profile, and ¾ views. It is also useful to have some of the subject with different facial expressions.
I use ZBrush to sculpt, for me is a more complete tool. I have a collect of a few BaseMeshes, these make it much faster when blocking in the model. When I start modeling I don't worry too much about subdividing the mesh too much, it is easier to just go with a basic form; I also find using DynaMesh at a low resolution to be very useful. Once I have the basic form I can apply subdivisions as necessary until I get the shape and likeness I am looking for. There is always one feature which can make or break a likeness, for Rick it is the eyes. I find ZBrush's Spotlight is a very handy tool to use when attempting to make a likeness, because it allows you to compare your model with a reference.
Hair, eyebrows, and beard
For this part I make a mask in the places I want hair and add wires to get the flow of the hair. Once the mask is in place, using a new mesh I extract the hair using DynaMesh to get the forms I want. This isn't the final shape so it doesn't have much detail; I use it as a guide when making the final hair.
The eyebrows are first modeled with DynaMesh, as a reference, and then used a wire base with ZSphere to make individual hairs. To give more realism each one is duplicated, its size adjusted, and placed one by one until they look like the reference.
Making the beard in this way is a little more complicated – I created a base wire the same as for the eyebrows and made a loop with a five wire; cloning and changing the pose of each wire. Near the neck the hair is more sparse so rather than changing the directions I separated them to give it that irregularity. I also added some pores to the face to give it a touch of realism.
Detailing the hair is done in much the same way as the beard with a few changes. I created a thread based ZSphere and made them different and shapes. Beard the process was more random, for the hair I created blocks with locks of hair in different shapes and mixing until I had filled the whole head.
The fabric is the simplest part of the process, after modeling all the clothes, I opened the UV and applied a fabric noise in the loop. For the sewing I used the brush pattern of ZBrush for sewing. The jacket was created with a Standard brush with alpha + stroke with intensity at 100%.
To render I used a simple setup, Blin used the material with 15 Specular and applied the Wax material to generate a basic SSS. In Photoshop I created a larger document for better resolution; made changes to the Diffuse (100%), Dept (40%), Shadows multiply (40%) and mask.