Mak­ing Franken­stein’s Mon­ster

3D character artist Peter Zoppi re­veals the at­ten­tion to de­tail you’ll need if you want to make ren­ders of the high­est qual­ity

ImagineFX - - Inspiration Training -

Pub­lisher The Gno­mon Work­shop

Price £39 ary Shel­ley cre­ated a mon­ster in more than one sense of the word. Her 1818 novel Franken­stein has in­spired count­less in­ter­pre­ta­tions of its re­an­i­mated creature. In the Show­time TV se­ries Penny Dread­ful, Peter Zoppi’s CG ren­der adopts a grue­somely re­al­is­tic ap­proach, show­ing ev­ery skin crease where sta­ples hold patches of skin to­gether.

Peter’s mak­ing-of video is a bit of a mon­ster, too, clock­ing in at over five­and-a-half hours. Yet even this amount of time is only enough to show frag­ments of his pro­duc­tion process, but you at least get to visit ev­ery key stage of his cre­ation in de­cent de­tail.

Early chap­ters are straight­for­ward, show­ing the sculpt­ing of the head and body in Mud­box. Peter dis­plays bags of au­thor­ity in his narration, but the process shown here yields few sur­prises if you’ve scoured YouTube and fo­rums for ZBrush or Mud­box train­ing. More ex­pe­ri­enced artists,

MFor­mat DVD/down­load

Web www.theg­nomon­work­ though, will ap­pre­ci­ate Peter’s tour of To­pogun, a spe­cial­ist tool for cor­rect­ing the model’s poly­gon dis­tri­bu­tion to make the thing eas­ier to pose later on in the process.

The heart of this project, though, is Peter’s metic­u­lous ap­pli­ca­tion of tex­tures and shaders to the sculp­ture. No de­tail is left un­cov­ered, in­clud­ing a guide to lin­ear work­flow, which is es­sen­tially about en­sur­ing your screen dis­plays your ren­der colour with com­plete ac­cu­racy. He also dives head­first into node-based edit­ing in men­tal ray, show­ing how he cre­ates shaders for skin and eyes.

If you’re guess­ing by now that this is an ad­vanced-level video, you’d be right: Peter makes few con­ces­sions to in­ex­pe­ri­enced CG artists. But if you’ve got a few years in Maya and men­tal ray un­der your belt, care­ful study of this project will help you im­prove your own work no end. And what­ever stage you’re at, Peter’s care over ev­ery de­tail in his work is in­spir­ing.

Peter Zoppi’s game and film back­ground means he has the skills to cre­ate hy­per-real 3D ren­ders – skills he shares in this video. If you find it hard to ren­der re­al­is­tic eyes in your CG soft­ware, Peter’s shader tips should help.

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