Making 'Sleepy'

Serguei Krikalev shows us how he created the awesome Sleepy from a 2D concept

For this project I wanted to create a stylized close up photo with a touch of realism. I found the right balance with the shader; RenderMan was perfect for this. The biggest challenge during this project was definitely the hair, so I had to spend some time planning it and used Ornatrix for Maya to make the job much easier and fun. I hope you guys like it! Let's start!

Sculpt

I chose a sketch by the awesome Jessica Madorran. When I start sculpting I generally begin with a sphere in ZBrush, and work with shapes until I get the desired result. I tried get as close as possible to the concept and refined the forms and details. I find ZBrush's Spotlight to be a great tool, perfect for my needs.

<h5>Jessica's original concept</h5>

Jessica's original concept

Sphere and basic shapes in ZBrush

Sphere and basic shapes in ZBrush

Retopology

With the basic modelling done I got the base ready for 3DCoat and then do some retopology; I find this program it's great for retopologizing my meshes. I tried to make functional topology so that I can use it in an animation.

3DCoat retopo view

3DCoat retopo view

Details and pose

With the retopology finished I started the detail processing back in ZBrush. The alphas were all previously prepared in Photoshop. I crop Alphas in 1024 x 1024 pixels for this task. When details phase is finished I simply posed the model using the Transpose tool.

Pose and detailing

Pose and detailing

UVs

Unfold3D was essential for this part of the process, for me it is the best tool for creating UVs. In this project I wanted to work with multi tile UVs, so I exported my .OBJ base mesh in to Unfold3D and began the process of making the maps; in total I went with thirteen different maps set to 4k resolution.

Unfold3D view

Unfold3D view

Look development

With all the basic steps completed it was time to start the look dev process. I insert lights with RenderMan; I use MARI to make the and add the textures because it is a very powerful software. I made Diffuse, Glossiness, Specular and Secondary Specular maps, and I also made the masks.

MARI maps

MARI maps

I exported these maps to Maya and began to work in RenderMan. I used the PxrLmSubsurface shader for the skin and sclera in eyes, as well as PxrDisney shader.

Maya viewport

Maya viewport

Render test

I continued this process and did some render tests to check the overall final look. If I find anything I don't like I go back into ZBrush or MARI to fix the problems with the forms or maps, respectively. When I was happy with the result I moved on to creating the hair.

<h5>Render test with RenderMan</h5>

Render test with RenderMan

Hair and Ornatrix for Maya

For me creating the hair was a big challenge but Ornatrix for Maya (currently in Beta phase) made my life much easier and the whole process much more fun. The parametric method gave me total control over it. I separated a scalp mesh and then applied a Groom (Ornatrix hair preset). I used EditGuideShape2 to style the hair and get the basic shape sorted; I find that Ornatrix has a nice viewport.

Ornatrix groom for the hair

Ornatrix groom for the hair

Ornatrix edit guides

Ornatrix edit guides

Render tests for the hair

Render tests for the hair

Hair material

I spent quite a bit of time working on the hair to get the final look. In RenderMan there is a great shader for hair called PxrMarschnerHair that as the name suggests obeys the Marschner hair shading model. It was a big improvement in CGI hair shading. With some edits and using different techniques for hair shading I was finally able to achieve the look I wanted.

PxrMarschner hair in RenderMan

PxrMarschner hair in RenderMan

Final render

Well, I reached the final look. I made some final adjustments to the settings in RenderMan and checked the camera, materials, and lights then started the final render. In this project I didn't use AOVs (LPEs in RenderMan); I did all post production work in Photoshop as Color, Curve, and Light correction. With that I was finished! Well, I hope you like this making of and that it has been helpful. Thanks for all!

Photoshop composition

Photoshop composition

Final composition

Final composition

Related links

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