The making of 'Repeloff'

3D generalist Bruno Nunes shows us how he made the adorable Repeloff using Modo and ZBrush

Bruno Nunes reveals how he created Repeloff using Modo, ZBrush, MARI and Photoshop. Repeloff was made for a freelance job, the agency gave Bruno the general idea for the image; from this he created the entire scene – from initial concept to final piece – including all the stages in between, modeling, shading, lighting, renders and post-production.

Concept

I started by creating a base mesh in ZBrush, using the ZSphere tool. As he is a bug I have given him spindly arms and legs, as well a long proboscis.

Base mesh

Base mesh

General form

Obviously, I am not going for a realistic look but more of a cartoony feel. Even so I still used several reference images to give the model a general bug like form.

Making him look cartoony

Making him look cartoony

Shape and position

Once I was happy with the overall shape and position I exported the model over to Modo to work on start adding in the rest of the scene.

The final design of the bug

The final design of the bug

Final position

Next, I began to imagine how my final scene would look, and added in the beginnings of the scene, including the rocket and table surface.

Adding texture to the rocket

Adding texture to the rocket

Ropes and the antenna

Once I was happy with the composition of the scene I could start adding some details. Firstly I added rope, wings, and his antennae.

Adding extra details

Adding extra details

Making the rope

I made the rope in CINEMA 4D using a plug-in called Reeper X. This is a free plug-in which helps with making realistic looking rope.

Making the rope

Making the rope

I needed a seamless texture for the rope, which I made using a diffuse and normal map.

Rope texture maps

Rope texture maps

Even though Repeloff has a cartoony look to him, I still wanted there to be realistic elements. To get this realism, I applied a Modo Fur material.

Adding a Fur material to the rope

Adding a Fur material to the rope

Painting the body and the face

I opened the UV maps of the body and the face in ZBrush using the UV master tool. Then I exported them into MARI and Photoshop to add the color, once I was happy with the color and texture I reapplied the UVs to the model.

Body UV map

Body UV map

Head UV map

Head UV map

The Wings

The wings were done with a plane. Again, because I wanted to give the wings a look of realism, I added vines and scales based on my research images. Next, I used diffuse, alpha, bump and normal maps to add texture to the wings. The normal map was generated in CrazyBump.

Adding a touch of realism to the wings

Adding a touch of realism to the wings

The different wing maps

The different wing maps

Eyes

Each eye is made from two spheres, one concave and another convex. This gives them a more realistic look, the concave sphere is for the pupils. I also added an off white color for the main eyeball, this also had tiny veins.

Making the eyes

Making the eyes

Rocket textures

I used stock images to make the texture for the rocket. These included a metal texture as well as a rusty one, to add an element of realism.

The rocket

The rocket

Stock images I found to make the texture for the rocket

Stock images I found to make the texture for the rocket

Table

I used a trick to do the table: I projected the mesh from view to apply the wood photo. It has helped me to combine the blurry of the photo with the depth of field of the render.

Steps used to make the table

Steps used to make the table

Render passes

After setting the lighting of the scene, I rendered it in several passes. In Photoshop, I joined all the rendering passes and then composited all the elements separately.

All of my render passes

All of my render passes

Background

I wanted to use a real photo for the background. Once I found the one I wanted I added my finished models to compose the final scene.

<h5>My background images</h5>

My background images

Without post-production

Here is the image without post-production. You can see that the bug doesn't look like he is part of the background.

<h5>Before post-production</h5>

Before post-production

Final composition

In Photoshop I applied a lens blur with the ZDepth, to generate the depth of field effect. I also manipulated each element to integrate it and give more contrast to the scene.

<h5>The final version of <em>Repeloff</em></h5>

The final version of Repeloff

Video of Repeloff

Related links

Check out more of Bruno's work on his website
Have a rummage through our vast free texture pages
Looking for inspiration? Check out the awesome sketches collected together in Sketching from the Imagination