3D World

CRE­ATE PROMETHEUS IN ZBRUSH

- Prometheus · Prometheus · 3D Studio Max

For me, 3D is the ul­ti­mate ex­pres­sion of art, and I love us­ing it to cre­ate char­ac­ters. In this tu­to­rial I will demon­strate how to cre­ate a great char­ac­ter like Prometheus in Zbrush and in­te­grate it into a back­ground for a strik­ing look. To do this we will use var­i­ous pro­grams and dif­fer­ent mod­el­ling tech­niques. When it comes to work­ing in 3D, it’s im­por­tant to take it easy, be pa­tient, and above all en­joy the process. Let’s get started!

How to em­ploy a range of dif­fer­ent mod­el­ling tech­niques to cre­ate a strik­ing char­ac­ter

01 INI­TIAL BLOCKOUT

The first thing we have to do is cre­ate a blockout of our char­ac­ter, that is, we have to look for the gen­eral vol­umes. There is no point in de­tail­ing the ear or the eyes if we have not yet achieved a gen­eral struc­ture. To do this we can use the Move brush to­gether with the Dy­namesh func­tion – this func­tion will re­or­gan­ise the mesh so that we can de­form it as much as we want. Don't for­get to hit it from time to time while you're mod­el­ling!

02 BUILD UP THE FORM

Next we must pro­gres­sively de­tail our char­ac­ter to achieve an over­all fin­ish. Cre­at­ing com­plex models re­quires a lot of prac­tice, but don't give up. Get trained and don't stop prac­tis­ing – ex­per­i­ment with all the brushes the pro­gram has to of­fer and above all have fun, oth­er­wise it's not worth it. For this type of project, it’s es­sen­tial that we study anatomy and al­ways work with ref­er­ences.

03 START DE­TAIL­ING

Once you have the blockout ready we can start de­tail­ing. But be­fore this, we have to re­or­gan­ise the mesh once more; this time we will use the Zremesher func­tion. A polyg­o­nal load of 10 or 20 will be fine. Bear in mind that this will erase the de­tails of our char­ac­ter, so we only have to work on the vol­umes in the first stage.

Now, you only have to use the di­vi­sion func­tion to start de­tail­ing your char­ac­ter. Here too you have to work pro­gres­sively, try­ing to de­tail with as few sub­di­vi­sions as pos­si­ble.

04 FA­CIAL FEA­TURES AND CLOTH­ING

For the eyes and hair I use two other items, known in Zbrush as subtools. For the eyes I ap­ply a ma­te­rial with a shine. For the hair we should use the same mod­el­ling ap­proach that we have done for the body. But re­mem­ber, you are free to ex­per­i­ment!

Be­fore we start pos­ing our char­ac­ter, we can dress him in Mar­velous De­signer. I sim­ply dressed him in a blan­ket, cre­at­ing a rec­tan­gu­lar piece of fabric with a hole in the mid­dle.

05 POSE THE CHAR­AC­TER

When it comes to pos­ing, we must first mask the ar­eas that we don't want to move – that is, if in my case I just want to turn his head, I must mask ev­ery­thing from the neck down. To do this we will press the Ctrl key. Once we have masked what we do not want to move, we ac­ti­vate the gizmo of move­ment and place it in the neck joint. Re­mem­ber that to move the gizmo with­out it af­fect­ing our model we must de­ac­ti­vate the lock. With the gizmo well placed we will de­ac­ti­vate the lock, and now we will have the abil­ity to move what is not se­lected.

06 HARD-SUR­FACE MOD­EL­LING

For cre­at­ing the glasses, we use the Zmod­eler brush, which al­lows us to work with the mesh in a sim­i­lar way to other pro­grams like 3ds Max or Maya. This is a com­plex tool, with a large num­ber of el­e­ments, so take some time to an­a­lyse and un­der­stand how to use it, but mak­ing a pair of glasses like the ones you see above doesn't take too much work. In fact, if you an­a­lyse the shapes you’ll see that it’s just a flat­tened cube with fine cubes on top.

07 REN­DER IN KEYSHOT

Now it's time to ren­der our char­ac­ter. This step is very fun, be­cause thanks to Keyshot we can com­pose our im­age and add ma­te­ri­als and lights with very lit­tle ef­fort. In Keyshot we can ap­ply any ma­te­rial to our model just by drag­ging it over. For the lights, we can take pre-de­ter­mined en­vi­ron­ments that we use by drag­ging them from the li­brary, or you can cre­ate your own light schemes. It also al­lows you to mod­ify the fo­cal dis­tance, fo­cus and ren­der qual­ity. In­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties.

We can make a good ren­der with what Keyshot of­fers us, but to get a bet­ter re­sult we will choose to make sev­eral. What we are go­ing to do is make dif­fer­ent ren­ders of the same im­age with a range of dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als. We can also change the lights, but the im­por­tant thing

is not to move the an­gle of the cam­era, if the ren­ders do not work for us. We are also go­ing to make a clown ren­der, so that we can change the back­ground later.

08 POST-PRO­DUC­TION

Once we have the ren­ders we open them all in Pho­to­shop. Now what we have to do is play with the lay­ers to achieve cer­tain ef­fects. I rec­om­mend us­ing the fu­sion modes with the dif­fer­ent lay­ers, but you are also free to ex­per­i­ment. Now that we have the char­ac­ter with the clown ren­der, we will se­lect the back­ground to erase it, through Se­lec­tion>gamma colour se­lec­tion. This way we can quickly sep­a­rate our char­ac­ter from the back­ground.

Now ev­ery­thing de­pends on your skill and cre­ativ­ity – in Pho­to­shop there are lim­it­less ways to com­plete your im­age and add some ex­tra cre­ativ­ity. For ex­am­ple, I have added the light com­ing out of the glasses as well as the dust par­ti­cles, and tweaked the colour of the back­ground. •

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