martedì 6 settembre 2011

My 3D brother

I decided to create 3D portraits of people I love. I'm using Maya 2011 and ZBrush.

First of all the reference, a couple of photos to use as guide. I decided to to model the initial geometry in Maya because it's easier to navigate the viewport. This is quite important because it's all matter of proportions. Before importing the photos as image planes,  I altered the front view in Photoshop to match the perspectives.

On the right, the initial shape I modeled in Maya. I started from the side view drawing the profile and extruding the rest. During this stage I prefer to turn on a smooth mesh preview to see possible problems. I think I spent 3 hours, more or less, to model this shape.

Now it's time to run ZBrush. I'm using GoZ to quickly transfer my geometry back and forth between ZBrush and Maya. I imported my photos into Spotlight to sculpt, refine and texture the mesh. I didn't activate symmetry because the human body is not symmetrical. Initially I grabbed the eyes from demohead.ztl to have a reference, I made realistic eyes in a second moment.

Essentially in this phase I used the clay brush and the move topological brush to make further changes, for example the cheeks, the eyes, the ears and so on.
When this work was done, I decided to create the UVs. I used UV Master, a free plugin for ZBrush which lets us create very efficient UVs for our models in a few steps.
Now it's time to paint my model with the textures to have a more significant reference and refine the mesh with further details. I used a layer to store the texture. The powerful Spotlight allowed me to combine the front and the side view. On the left the front view applied to my model.

On the right all the photos have been painted on my model. I exported the texture to make further changes in Photoshop. For example, I decided to erase the hair and the eyelashes because I want to create them in Maya. The UVs I created with UV master allows me to reimport the fixed texture.

Now the details. With a simple noise effect I created a base for the skin and, using alphas, I'm adding details like big and small pores, eye wrinkles and so on.
After that, I will export the model to Maya to create a hair system and render the model with Mental Ray.

The next step consists of creating realistic eyes for my model in Maya. Now the eyes are quite important, they really can change a face but they are also quite complicated. Rather than importing an eye diagram into Maya and understanding how an eye work, I followed a fantastic free tutorial by Alex Alvarez (Gnomon). The biggest difference is that I used a marble texture for the veins, Alex used an effect from Maya. Anyway the veins are really small and I don't think I'll zoom on them.

First of all the hair system to complete the model. A lot of curves to easily style the hair, the eyebrows and the eyelips. Then I created a a bunch of maps (epidermal, subdermal...) to plug into a misss_fast_skin_maya material to achieve a realistic skin. I plugged a mia_exposure_photographic and a physical lense dof node lense into my camera.

So, on the right the final result. I'm quite happy because this is my first 3D portrait.

Best regards.