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Welcome to

3D Art
& Design

The world of 3D art and design continues to be one of best places in which to express
artistic creativity. As the possibilities are almost endless, 3D artists have the opportunity to
design and create whatever they want, as long as they have the inspiration. The 3D Art &
Design Book Volume 2 provides that inspiration with a variety of step-by-step tutorials and
comprehensive features covering six key aspects of a 3D artists portfolio. From characters and
arch-vis to vehicles and environments, these expert guides will help educate and inspire you to
create your best ever designs. And if that wasnt enough, weve also included a free CD packed
full of textures, 3D models, video tutorials and source les to help you nish many of the tutorials
found in the book.
3D Art
& Design

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The 3D Art & Design Book Volume 02 2013 Imagine Publishing Ltd

ISBN 978-1909372283

Part of the

bookazine series


50 3D art tips & tricks
Character Architectural Photorealism
16 50 tips for better characters visualisation 126 50 tips for ultimate 3D realism

24 Design and model a robot 82 Master arch vis 132 Learn to create photoreal 3D

30 Animate characters 88 Visualise architecture 138 Achieve fantastic 3D realism

in modo 601 using Blender
143 I made this Sphynx Cat
36 Create a high-res 94 Apply the finishing touches
creature 144 Visualise realistic products
100 Create superior interiors in modo
42 Sculpt an epic beast
106 Design interactive interiors 149 Gallery Taha Alkan
47 Gallery
110 Build unique arch-vis assets 150 Make realistic food
48 Design striking
characters 116 Fantasy arch vis: concept design 155 Gallery Rod DeWeese

54 Design and create an exosuit 118 Fantasy arch vis: 3D illustration 156 Model and render a
photorealistic watch
61 Gallery

62 Sculpt folds and fabrics

68 Create a mythical beast

74 Master Weta character design

6 3D Art & Design


170 252

42 150

Environment Vehicle Animation

162 20 steps to better 200 Model vehicles for animation 232 Learn to animate a bouncing ball
206 Rig vehicles in Maya 236 Realistic character rigging
169 I made this Rue de
Seine 212 Texture a realistic vehicle 240 Learn to animate a walk cycle

170 Underwater landscapes 214 Model a luxury car 244 Animate a character lifting weights
175 Gallery Dennis Kaya 219 I made this Black Drone
248 How to animate a jump
220 Sculpt a space vehicle
252 Animate action moves
176 Create a desert landscape
226 Create vehicles with open-
181 I made this Under the source software
Southern Highway

182 Create trees in Unity

184 Futuristic cityscapes

190 Sculpt beautiful terrains

192 Design an epic Vue


197 Gallery Lee Griggs

3D Art & Design 7

3D art tips & tricks



3D art

Pieces of expert advice to help

improve your work and your artistic
standing within the 3D community

8 3D Art & Design
3D art tips & tricks

hether youre seeking some guidance on
rendering and postproduction, or how best to
promote yourself and your work, help is at
hand. Weve tracked down a group of pro industry artists
with exceptional portfolios to ask them for their top tips
on composition, copyright and everything else in between Cr


Improve your images

ej S

Composition MINI
Thumbnail sketches are the
Our panel of experts
best way to establish composition
BALANCING and lighting. Draw them small and in
Artist: Andrzej Sykut
ACT black and white to start with, keep them
Bio: Lighting is what full-time freelancer
Mostly I place a raster on my simple and abstract, and draw at least Andrzej likes to do most. He also enjoys
image with nine squares three in four iterations. Once you have a solid
riding his mountain bike and photography
height and three in width. Then I try to in his spare time.
composition you can then move on to
nd a balance between the viewpoint colour thumbnails to establish your
of the character and that of the viewer. Artist: Carlos Ortega Elizalde
main colours and lighting Website:
You can push the viewer to a desired scheme. Richard Bio: A self-taught 3D artist working in the
direction with depth-of-eld LEARN media department of Guanajuato
efects and vignettes. THE RULES University, Mexico, Carlos specialises in 3D
The rule of thirds illustration, modelling and texturing.
plays a big role in
image composition Artist: Maarten Verhoeven
and leading the eyes Learn Website:
Bio: Maarten is a CG sculpting/design
into the image.
Maurice the basic artist with a passion for anatomy, lm and
monsters in the toy, VFX and game world.
He has a Masters degree in animation.
theories and
Artist: Maurice Panisch
observe why they Website:
Bio: Maurice started out with grafti at a
work then learn young age, going on to add Photoshop and
3ds Max to his arsenal. He works as a
how to break senior 3D artist at Sehsucht in Germany.

SHAPES them Artist: Pascal Blanch

AND LETTERS Andrzej Sykut
Bio: French artist Pascal lives and works in
I like triangular the UK. Hes worked in the videogame
compositions they are very industry for many years and is currently
employed as an art director for Jagex.
efective and always create
powerful pictures. Avoid
Artist: Rafael Grassetti
presenting characters in a T-pose Website:
theres so much you can express Bio: Rafael specialises in traditional
[with a] nice dynamic sculpture, 3D modelling, digital sculpting,
posture try to push it. texturing and assets for feature lms like
Star Wars, cinematics and toy design.
Journey Continues Andrzej Sykut Pascal
HINTS Artist: Rebeca Puebla
Colour Even if it is a very
colourful scene, its good if
Bio: Spanish creative Rebeca excels in
modelling and texturing characters. Shes
worked in the game, lm, television and
the atmosphere tints the advertising industries for eight years.
whole scene colours at
VARIED least a bit just like in Artist: Richard Yot
PALETTE real life. Carlos Website:
Its more to do with personal Bio: Richard is a professional illustrator
taste here, but I like to play with specialising in character design with a taste
for the quirky and contemporary. He likes
slightly shifted vibrant primary to create weird characters and worlds.
colours and their complementaries.
But there are tones of palettes Artist: Sven Juhlin
to test be imaginative and Website:
look around on the web. I always Bio: Sven lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He
has been working as a freelance character
look for new inspiration. artist for three years, creating characters for
Pascal Twisted Dolls: Mistress games, cinematics and movies.
Lili Rebeca Puebla

3D Art & Design 9

3D art tips & tricks
Lighting IT SAFE
Truth is, I dont take many COLLECT
risks when it comes to INSPIRATION
lighting. I try to create a look Have some good
THREE- similar to that of fashion reference pictures of nice
POINT LIGHTING photography, with global lighting on your screen so
Having a noticeable primary illumination and two or you can get the right help
three area lights.
source of light helps to avoid a at-
Rebeca BRANCH and inspiration needed
to make your render
looking image and better dene the OUT
volumes and depth of the subject and Start with the basic three-
pop. Sven ADD
scene. I always complement this point setup (key, ll, rim) and SHADES
with some opposed ll lights or a dissect it nd out why it works Put some colour in your
rim light to contour the main so well so often. But dont be ambient lighting and
subject of the scene. constrained by three-point shadows; in any case, get away
Carlos lighting its just a useful from the grey! Even the best
shortcut, after all. photorealistic renders have
Andrzej subtle touches of colour
bouncing here and
there. Pascal

arlos Orteg Elizalde

Irulan Pascal Blanch

Rendering layers for
the nal composite
What are the most helpful
passes to render out? LAYER UP
In Photoshop I tend to
I will usually render out a pass for create tons of layers any time I
each light and composite them in need an efect and then erase it
post that way I can relight my
scene in Photoshop without having
Rendering and where I want to tone it down. When
the comp becomes a bit messy I
to render again. I dont tend to
bother with diffuse/specular/
postproduction create a copy of the collapsed
layers, but always make sure I
keep them around in case
reection passes, though; I nalise
my materials in the render. theyre needed.
The most important rule is Pascal

For every single image I create, I

knowing when to stop dont
always render a depth pass and a destroy your ne work with
matte or the subject/object of focus. bad compositing or by
The depth pass helps to add
depth of eld in postproduction,
painting out nice details
which is faster and more Maarten Verhoeven LESS WORK
Experiment, use Curves a
manageable. It also helps to SAVING lot and, most importantly, use
dene the scale of the scene. TIME TIPS adjustment layers everywhere.
Carlos If some things can be Dont tweak levels for the whole
made faster and better
I dont render out any passes image apply a Levels adjustment
An alpha pass is a must-have looking in postproduction,
any more though I used to layer instead. Youll be able to go
to isolate your subject; apart I usually go for it. Unless, of back easily, mask it, drop it into
from that, depending on the render out an occlusion layer but
course, its something Im another image, thus saving
it is denitely a good method if you
needs, I make two or three trying to learn in the 3D yourself a ton of work.
want to tweak the render and its
versions of different shaders and package. Carlos Andrzej
much easier to get the result you
mix them during post, or isolate want. A separate spec and AO
some objects for masks. Sometimes pass are essential if you want
I isolate the specular too. Pascal to postprocess your
image. Sven

10 3D Art & Design

3D art tips & tricks

Keep the faith

Promote yourself What to do if your image
doesnt get accepted by online
Get feedback and get noticed forums and galleries
Do it for yourself rst, not for a
HONEST community. Keep yourself happy
COMMENTS with the art you create, then
Its important to show work acceptance to the online forums
online in several communities will be conrmation of all the hard
and get comments from people work youve put in.
who arent your family or friends.
This feedback is mostly true and If your image doesnt get accepted,
raw but it is real. Itll prove more just keep plugging away. It takes
helpful than a nice or great work to get to where you want
from your mum! sometimes a lot of work. Richard
FEEDBACK We all have rejected works from
Youll quickly learn to be galleries and colleagues it can be
selective about the critics; whos disappointing at rst, but it is also a
constructive and who isnt. I good motivator to seek advice from
personally like to show my work as the community to nd out how you
a nished piece that way no one might improve. Carlos
interferes with the process and,
once its completed, anyone SHARING
can say whatever they YOUR WORK
want. Rebeca CGTalk and CG Channel are
still the best places. deviantART
has a huge community and is a great
If you like BMW Interior 1er Coupe RAISE way to reach many people at the
Maurice Panisch YOUR PROFILE same time. When you have some
what youre Your blog/website must be the good pictures, submit your work to
COMMUNITY best place for people to see your CGHub and magazines and
doing and want to SPIRIT work, but you need places where people cross your ngers to pass
the selection. Pascal
make a living out I love ZBrushCentral lots of
professionals drop by to check
can access your website. Forums are a
great start, but unless you receive front
Centaur Maarten Verhoeven

of it, continue till out each others work. Most of page or an award its hard to get noticed.
You need clients to see your work and the
the guys and gals are also very
you get there helpful if you have questions. best place to do that is by creating
Its a good place to get portfolios on websites that ofer that
make it happen! positive feedback. possibility, such as CGHub,
Pascal Blanch Maarten CGSociety, deviantART and so
on. Rafael GET
UP Its always good to show
Learn to accept critique
and grow a thick skin. Itll
come in handy again and
Portfolio tips your workow and work-
in-progress on forums. You
have to keep your mind
again when it comes to open to other artists
commercial work.
Do what youre best at. Work on comments.
Andrzej your weaknesses as well, but only Rafael
put your best work in your portfolio

be ruthless about that .
Richard Yot PERSONAL

I try to create at least one


personal piece per month, when


NEW time allows it. It helps me to optimise

ADDITIONS workow from previous projects to use
In my case (Im slow later when tight deadlines show up in
and busy!) I try to keep it to real work. And, of course, its a great
a minimum of three pictures way to show the community you are
a year, but a good portfolio still actively practising and learning
could have just three to six from mistakes and hits. It helps
good pictures for keep the stress away too.
starters. Pascal Carlos

3D Art & Design 11

3D art tips & tricks

Portfolio tips SPECIALISE

(continued) You need to know what type of
industry you want to work in and
focus your portfolio on this. If its
the game industry, do at least three
REFRESHING nished characters; if its for
WORK statues and prototyping, focus Just have your best
Update your portfolio as often
your work on ZBrush and
as you can. Its a lot of fun to do
stuf for your portfolio since you
high-res models. work in your portfolio
can do whatever you like. Dont its about quality
rush it though: two really good STRONG
images are always better than
not quantity
ten semi-good ones. Rebeca Puebla
Its important to rst show a
solid base of work before you
go on and show diversity. Thats
not to say diversity isnt good,
Photography is a great addition to a but high standards are the rst
portfolio as long as its good. Itll make you thing a client or company SHOWCASE
wants to see. Maurice YOUR TALENTS
grow as an artist and help with your lighting, Find something youre
framing and composition skills Andrzej Sykut comfortable with a technique
or style and just show of your
skills. Try to show something new
every time something that pushes
your skills to a new personal level.
Dont be afraid to be diferent
and try out your own
ideas. Maarten

In the case of very
recognisable characters, you
can enter them into the fan art
Panisch & Markus Hanke

category and interpret the character

VW Passat Maurice

how you like. Although you cant

legally exhibit them without
permission from the copyright
holder. Its complicated.
While most people can feel attered
looking at work derived from their ideas, You could benet and learn a lot
some artists can take it in a bad way. The more if you do your own concepts. That
best thing about the internet is that its easier
to get in touch with the original artist than way, come the end, you can say its 100 per
ever before. Drop them an email asking for cent your own work and not copied or
permission, explain the clear purpose of
using their concept and, of course, reworked from another
always give the appropriate Maurice Panisch
credit(s). Carlos

DETAILS I usually post images bigger
Always apply a signature, than 800px and smaller than
credit and email address on 1,600px its a high enough
your nished images. Images resolution for people to appreciate
get lost on the web and no one your work online. People can take
will know its yours if you advantage of high-res images and
dont have a name on it. make a prot out of it; its attering to
Rafael know your work is good quality,
but its unfair without your
Pascal Blanch consent. Carlos

12 3D Art & Design

3D art tips & tricks

Protect yourself Think ahead

Ensure your work is secure Paul Hellard is editor of
CGSociety, manager of CGJobs and
is artist liaison at Ballistic Media

Why would you want to from his home in Melbourne,


Australia. With a varied career as

publish your high-res images

g BACK UP an artist, cameraman and

Ive got my work backed online? Screen resolution production manager in lm behind
up tons of times Ive even is often enough him, Paul has a passionate interest
hidden some high-res images in the internet, cinema and digital
online just in case. I had my PC
Andrzej Sykut
arts and is a font of CG knowledge.
stolen ten years ago and I lost

The Greatest Show On

some work you can never

Earth Richard Yot

What is an ideal size to work at to
have enough backups. ensure images are good enough
CREDIT resolution for the web? And how
WHERE about for print?
ITS DUE I always urge artists to work on
Be honest about the their images at as high a resolution
references and textures used as possible. You never know you
in your projects. Names and may create something that
links are most often
enough. Andrzej BE everyone will want to see as a big
ORIGINAL print! You can always save a 72dpi
I like to create my own RGB for uploading to your
characters because I have CGPortfolio on CGSociety, and a
CGFeedback is by far the best lots of original ideas. This
also avoids any legal
300dpi for that high-end art book
you submit to, like Exotique 7.
feedback site. Theres a lot of good problems when you come
to exhibit work. When it comes to working in RGB
artists there and youll denitely Rebeca
or CMYK, whats best if I want to
get a lot of good comments submit to an online gallery? And
Mecha Rafael

what about for a book?


Sven Juhlin The colours on display on a

FROM YOUR computer screen are generated in
OWN CONCEPTS Red, Green and Blue (RGB) at 72dpi.
Creating the design is the best The pixel info in your image
part of CG to me, since its the instructs each pixel of the
most creative job. The rest is just computer screen to illuminate each
execution. With design you can colour light to a certain strength.
really express your own point of These three colours mix to the
view and make something perfect value. Same with print,
unique. Richard though there is more information
for the book press, at 300dpi.

Why does my image look different

from one monitor to the next, and
then again in print? How can I
STORAGE make sure my image will look as
SOLUTIONS intended when I submit it to an
CD/DVDs are worthless online gallery or to a book/mag?
you cant read them after a The quick answer is that monitor
few years. HDDs, and now gamma and colour settings vary
cloud storage, are the best considerably. Studios should have
ways to make sure you their monitors calibrated regularly.
dont lose your work.
For Ballistic books, we prepare all
received images on a monitor
with sRGB colour response and
You should back up your work every a gamma value of 2.2. We then
day both to a local hard disk and to an convert them from RGB to CMYK
using the latest stochastic screen
online service such as Dropbox Richard Yot processes for printing.

Yeti Sven Juhlin

3D Art & Design 13
Master the essential art of
the human form 74

16 50 tips for better characters

Advice for improving your characters Jos Alves
da Silva
24 Design and model a robot
Hard-surface modelling techniques
30 Animate characters
in modo 601
Taking a closer look at 601s toolset

36 Create a high-res creature

Taking you from concept to the final render

42 Sculpt an epic beast

Capture intense creature expressions

47 Gallery
Nathan Boyds Firebomb

48 Design striking characters

A fun and vibrant character creation 48
54 Design and create an exosuit
The workflow of a mechanical design

61 Gallery
Maciej Kuciaras Alien 19
62 Sculpt folds and fabrics
Use ZBrush to design a stylised character

68 Create a mythical beast

Luiz Alves takes us through his workflow

74 Master Weta character design

Use ZBrush to create a fantasy character

30 54 16

14 3D Art & Design

We will essentially be
taking a simple 3D primitive
through the stages to a
complete polished bust

3D Art & Design 15

Andrew Hickinbottom

Andrew Hickinbottom

16 3D Art & Design

Alex Huguet

Arda Koyuncu

Carlos Ortega

Dmitry Cheremisin

Eric Spitler

Jorge Lopes

Jos Alves da Silva

Luis Santos

Matej Hradsky

Mohsen Fallah

Tiago Idalino

Titouan Olive
CG characters
advice to help

Yang Guang

your characters with personality!
or just plain out

as day. To help you overcome these

Whether theyre
realistic, stylised

human looks like, so even the smallest

you improve your

50 tips and tricks that will help you instil

there, heres some

in the eld of character creation to gather

troubles, we talk to some of the top artists
Zhang Chen
of the toughest elements of CG work.
We all have a pretty good idea of what a

errors or inaccuracies will stand out as clear

n many ways, character creation is one
50 tips for better characters

Even with cartoon images, depicting the correct anatomy

can be key: I put the main bony landmarks of the arm in
place the epicondyles of the humerus, the olecranon and
the styloid process of the ulna then added muscles based
on those landmarks, explains Spitler Eric Spitler

Getting started 02 Create more than one sketch. I

always start by sketching several of
my ideas down on paper. I then choose the
Starting right is often the most crucial part one I prefer. If youre using photo references
of the process then select them carefully use images
with a similar focal length, sharpness and

Sketch Quick T-pose sculpt
Strive for originality. The 3D market is exposure to what you wish to achieve.
becoming quite saturated now [so] new ideas Titouan Olive
are hard to come by. Look for things for inspiration
your favourite cartoonists, real-life moments you
experience, lm, illustrations. Save any inspirational 03 Do research. To capture the
essence of realism in your artwork,
you must study what it is you want to
reference you nd and keep a record of ideas that create. For instance, if Im texturing a
Retopologised in 3D-Coat Blocking in PolyPaint
come to you. Andrew Hickinbottom character, I like to do a lot of research into
the characters age and profession, and
collect reference material accordingly.
Arda Koyuncu

04 You need to pay attention to

detail. Decide your characters
sex, age, physique, occupation and Transposing & DynaMeshing Sculpting
environment, and then collect reference
information that will complement your
character. They must be high-resolution
images of excellent quality, with the right
lighting and correct angle. You can nd such
images on or Google, or [shoot] them
yourself with a model. Dmitry Cheremisin Detailing in

05 Its never a good idea to wing it.

I have a full-length mirror where
I work, so I can pose for myself. I start
out small maybe just working on the
Lighting is one of the biggest bust of a character, or even an arm, leg or
Titouan Olive

challenges, Olive says. I torso study. You might also want to try
usually render my images with
mental ray. I often use an HDR posing one of the free models that comes
Dome coupled with Final with ZBrush rather than making one
Gather. I also create traditional
key and rim lights from scratch. Eric Spitler

3D Art & Design 17


rst steps
Carlos Ortega talks us through
the initial stages of this stunning
image, The Weeping Woman
For Carlos, the very rst thing he needs to
consider before even thinking about
exploring poses or sketching ideas is the
back story of his image. He explains: I
always take into account the characters
attitude, the emotions or feelings I want to
convey and the background story, if any,
of the character. Sometimes I even start
thinking of the atmosphere I want for the
nal image. Thinking of the mood you
want to convey helps you to narrow your
options and speed up the process.
When it comes to posing, Carlos
believes its better to think about broad
shapes rather than precise positioning. I
look for an attractive ow of shapes
between the elements on the scene and
balance whether its a static or a moving
pose, he says. In a static pose it will
avoid a stiff look in the character, and in a
moving and dynamic pose it will tell the
viewer where the elements are moving
and where they come from in space.
Always try to guide the viewer from one
element to another.
Finally, as always, reference is key. I
suggest you use as many references as you
can when starting out, as it helps you to
learn how a body reacts and balances in
different positions. [Whenever] I can I
look for anatomical and artistic
references, while taking a few moments to
analyse what makes me feel comfortable
or disturbed by looking at them. Most
importantly, look outside for real-world
reference at all times! The more info you
have about how people react to
Carlos Ortega

movement, the more intuitive and fun it

becomes to re-create those poses. Know
their limits and even go beyond them!

Ortega believes that real-world references still apply

to cartoon characters as well as realistic ones, but
you can push those limits to get even more attractive,
graceful and believable poses

18 3D Art & Design

50 tips for better characters

Pick the right software

Find the right tools that work for you

06 My preferred software is ZBrush. It really ofers you the

freedom to create what you want. You can freely add or remove
whatever you want, when you want. Its a lot like traditional sculpture in
that sense. Mohsen Fallah

07 It all depends on your experience

with the software. Ive used Maya
and ZBrush for modelling, sculpting,
good camera angle and focal length to keep
a nice composition for the nal frame before
moving forward. Carlos Ortega
shading, lighting and rendering for years, so
I have no reason to change my tools. As
reptology can be a really time-consuming
process, I use tools like 3D-Coat [for that].
10 For organic modelling, I prefer
Maya over 3ds Max due to the
Artisan tool and the easy setup of the Soft
Mohsen Fallah Selection. However, both are equally
capable and the tools I use are quite basic

08 I stylise my characters directly in

Mudbox. I prefer to work with it
because its a straightforward piece of
extrusions, brushes to paint and relax
topology and so on. I tend to use Maya and
3ds Max for creating a base mesh to further
software. Its toolset and interface enable sculpt in ZBrush and texture in Mudbox.
me to reach my goals in an intuitive and fast Alex Huguet
manner, meaning I have more freedom to
experiment instead of having a painful
experience of interface juggling. Find
something thats comfortable for you in this
11 With each new release Im nding it
possible to do more of my work in
ZBrush. I am experimenting with ZSphere
way thats what really matters. rigging and having some positive results. If
Luis Santos Im creating a character that will need to be
animated, I will sculpt my model in ZBrush

09 Most of the time I feel most

comfortable modelling the base
in a base pose, then pose the mesh in 3ds
Max and transfer all the sculpted details
Mohsen Fallah

mesh in Maya and posing the model by using Displacement or Normal maps.
In terms of textures, it depends on what Im trying to adding a basic skeleton. It can serve as a Eric Spitler
make. Sometimes I use projection and paint over that; dummy to explore silhouettes, store
other times I feel I should paint some skin tone. It
depends on what Im looking to create, says Fallah diferent poses on the timeline and block a

Expert stylisation

Jos Alves da Silva

Jos Alves da Silva reveals the tools he uses to
create his professional stylised characters

12 Exaggeration is about giving more

relevance/expression to parts of the
character broadening their shoulders to
14 Simplication, meanwhile, is less
about pronouncing elements and
more about making their shape readable.
give information about their physical Its about transmitting the idea in a very
strength, for example, or modelling a clear way, says Jos. I like to use curved
high forehead to transmit intelligence. lines versus straight, which contribute to
a dynamic design for stylised characters.

13 While modelling exaggeration, I

mainly use the Move tool in ZBrush
to redene proportions. The Inat tool is
This will often lead to characters with
sharper shapes than in reality. To achieve
this sharper or harder-edged look, I tend
also good for expanding/contracting to use the Polish, Flatten and Trim
certain areas and testing their impact. Dynamic brushes in ZBrush.

Exaggeration is a key tool when creating stylised characters. It helps create a

pronounced image around the kind of personality youre looking to convey

3D Art & Design 19


Modelling & posing

How the physicality of a good pose is just as
important as your characters aesthetics

15 When using Maya, set some basic

image planes with some of your
reference pictures to help with proportions.
Its important to place those image planes in
perspective views, not in orthogonal (front,
side) views, because the perspective
distortion will mean you will never get the
model right. Alex Huguet

16 Convincing character movement is

incredibly important, from the bone
movement limits to the way the muscle
shape is formed by force and angles. Good
anatomical knowledge is important in
shaping a convincing sense of movement
and selling the viewer on your premise.
Yang Guang

17 I model the base mesh in a neutral

and slightly relaxed pose to keep
control of proportions such as the limbs
length and body volume. Then I start
exploring diferent positions. It helps me to
try to re-create the same pose myself and
see which things work and which dont. Yes,
sometimes youll look ridiculous, but thats
one of the fun parts of the process!
Carlos Ortega

18 Pushing and pulling on the mesh is important once I have the

base head geometry, I can make adjustments with Symmetry and
Arda Koyuncu

Soft Selection, or even use ZBrush to re-proportion the model and

experiment with looks, shapes and congurations. Once Im happy, I clean
up the image then add detail and denition. Andrew Hickinbottom

19 What I like to do is create a highly

detailed base geometry in 3ds Max.
You can then put your mesh and your
21 ZBrush has multiple tools that give
you design exibility: ZSpheres
enable you to block a characters silhouette
reference next to each other in Photoshop fast [and] DynaMesh opens the possibility
and match the proportions. Creating the of modelling the base of a concept without I avoid using too
many or too few
nal base geometry is important, because having to worry about polygon stretching or difuse lights
when you get into the rendering process lack of polygons. The latest tools in ZBrush because they tend
to make it more
your base geometry needs to hold up the 4R4 even permit welding diferent difcult to create
overall shapes and retain the detail you geometry parts together It also adds the believability,
says Koyuncu
sculpted via Displacement maps or QRemesher tool, which generates
something similar. Arda Koyuncu automatic topology. Jos Alves da Silva

20 Exaggerating your characters

features is important when adding 22 Once satised with a pose, start
recovering the missing volumes and
23 When Im trying to nish up a pose Ill look at
it from extreme angles that I havent been
paying attention to; Ill move the lights around in
personality and keeping away from a deformations the sculpting software cant
generic-looking character. You must re-create, such as the elbows and shoulders ZBrush and Ill squint my eyes to blur it. Ill often look
balance such features if you want to achieve on a bending arm, or knees and hips on a at the pose upside down, and I nd it very helpful to
a rich character without going overboard, bending leg, which are better to adjust look at a mirror image of the pose. Looking at your
though experiment to see what works, separately without any Symmetry settings.
work in these ways can help you to see it with fresh
and keep in mind that there are such things Having constant details like this along the
as happy accidents dont underestimate body helps to keep the piece at a certain eyes and highlight some of the errors you couldnt
the power of chaos! Luis Santos level of stylisation. Carlos Ortega see before. Eric Spitler
20 3D Art & Design
50 tips for better characters

Textures & materials

You wont be able to sell the audience on your
character unless they believe in its appearance!

24 Try to eliminate unnecessary

steps in the process. For example, I
sometimes wont UV my character, and will
30 If Im trying to create a realistic
character, I like to use texture
projection to create a solid base. After I get
just use PolyPaint to texture in ZBrush. Sure, a clean projection, I like to hand-paint on top
it will probably look better with a full set of of that to get more interesting colours and
textures and rendered in V-Ray, but variety that ts with the character I am
sometimes taking too long on a project can trying to create. Arda Koyuncu
see you can get tired and quit. I see so many

Luis Santos

artists start projects but never nish them! Materials play a big role in the
Eric Spitler stylisation of characters. You can
force the specularity to create a more plastic

25 In terms of textures, it depends on

what youre trying to make. I really
like Photoshop and BodyPaint 3D, as Im
look or exaggerate the reections to get a
shinier and visually appealing character.
Toon shaders and materials that render
comfortable with them. I can use pretty big lines at the characters edges create a
textures with many layers, simultaneously cel-shaded look. By mixing regular materials
paint many channels, project diferent with at-shaded materials you can achieve a
photos and paint over and over again until comic-style look. Your imagination is the

Realistic skin
Im happy. Mohsen Fallah only limit. Jos Alves da Silva

Luis Santos talks us through the process of

texturing lifelike skin 26 When working with stylised
characters, simplify! Having a
cartoony character with photorealistic
32 When texturing, I use ZBrush to do
the base painting and [create] the
occlusion maps, cavity mask, difuse and
If you have a traditional painterly background, this will
textures can look strange, so think about bump. I work with these maps in Photoshop,
denitely help with this process, says Luis of creating
true-to-life skin textures. Instead of relying only on how you can stylise textures and reduce building the composition using photographs
photo sampling and projection, I prefer to manually detail to complement the models look. and a little painting. The tip here is to
paint on my characters. The results are unique and allow Many people opt for cel shading when composite textures in Photoshop, along with
for stylisation. producing cartoony images, which can cavity maps, photographs, and some
I start off with broad strokes of colour and gradually look cheap if handled without reason hand-painting to give volume to the maps.
include smaller details, he continues. Real skin is a stack and restraint. Andrew Hickinbottom Tiago Idalino
of layers, so it makes sense to paint it accordingly. I paint

several passes of layered skin tones and details while If you dont have a good light setup it could ruin
Photoshop has a fabulous toolset everything youve done up to that point. That said, a
ddling with different opacity values. Please avoid using good lighting setup can also save a job that wasnt as
to create painting brushes.
Mirror, as it may kill your works sense of authenticity, successful earlier in the process, Idalino advises
Mastering brush creation is important when
making it look dull and unrealistic in essence remember,
we are not truly symmetrical! you paint textures by hand which happens
When it comes to materials it all depends on the style very often in stylised characters as you
youre aiming for: Photorealism will lead you towards can create brushes with specic purposes,
referenced materials, while illustrative works will often like adding noise, dirt, texture, stitches,
lead to rule bending, says Luis. Sometimes, youll be patterns and so on. You will be able to work
constrained by client requirements, [and] other times much faster. Jos Alves da Silva
youll have context considerations and sometimes

hopefully it will be entirely up to your taste, and youll be I use ZBrush with PolyPaint to
able to experiment in order to achieve the desired amount
create the main tone and colour
of stylisation in your textures!
directly on my model. When this base is
done, however, I use Photoshop for the ner
details. I try to work with larger textures, as
its always possible to reduce the resolution
later, but the opposite is not possible.
Titouan Olive

29 When creating Sub-Surface Scattering

maps for realistic-looking characters, try to
Tiago Idalino

be as objective as you can. Its always really cool to

add tons of SSS to your renders, but try to push it just
Santos uses Mudbox for his textures due to the softwares ability to paint to the right level if you overdo it, it can be easy to
layered textures in a Photoshop-like manner while also being able to keep
sculpting and texturing tied closely together end up with waxy-looking models. Alex Huguet
3D Art & Design 21

Light your characters

Why setting the scene is almost as vital as populating it

33 Light intensity will help pinpoint the parts of the character that you
want the viewer to see rst, and establish the path that their eyes
follow when interpreting the image. Intensity and sharpness between light
Cheremisin is a fan of
MARI: Its easy to
implement the
process of projective
texturing; it allows
and shadow can also convey a darker or comic-book look, while softer you to create shaders
and it contains a set of
lights establish a cuter or lighter look. Jos Alves da Silva masks. The benets Dmitry Cheremisin
are innumerable

34 When Im doing stylised rendering

I mainly use soft shadows and
dont put too much contrast in the picture.
When posing a character
you must look for
references of dynamic,
real-life characters. Do
Global illumination is my friend, and I like to not fall into the cycle of
endlessly studying
use higher settings for the primary GI anatomy, though study
art! Guang says
bounces. It also helps to use higher values
for ambient occlusion and to add some
warm colour to the lights. Matej Hradsky

35 I light most of my work in mental

ray with mr lights, but sometimes
for pre-vis I use GPU-based renderers like
FurryBall or Mayas Viewport 2.0. Even
when they dont give you full physically
accurate lighting, it saves me a lot of time by
providing real-time feedback. Sometimes I
start to light the scene at the same time Im
exploring poses with rough geometry, as it
helps to plan my workow and see what
areas I need to take more care on.
Carlos Ortega

Yang Guang

Be sure to study lighting in

advance, just as if you were
directing a photo shoot. Pay close attention
to how lighting afects your specular, bump
and other channels. If youre aiming for a
stylised/cartoony look, you have more
freedom regarding multiple light sources,
straight separation between character
and background, depth illusions and
colour exaggerations. Luis Santos 39 Depending on the mood of the
piece, its good to get nice, bright
and clear lighting with some strong, sharp

37 I always try to add a bit of contrast

[to] the nal render, a little rim light
and so on nothing too complicated. I tend
rim lights to show of the silhouette
providing your character design and pose
has a strong silhouette to begin with. Weak
to place a couple of V-Ray lights and play lighting can ruin the impact of the
with the intensities, sizes and positions until characters, so its best to think about
I nd what Im looking for. I often do a lot of whether you want soft or sharp lighting;
tests too, tweaking the lights and shaders to dramatic or at; bright or dim; warm
get the desired result which can or cold. Andrew Hickinbottom
sometimes take longer than the modelling
and texturing! Alex Huguet
40 A good light setup such as the
reliable three-point lighting can

38 Try to use soft shadows, as they

look more realistic. Also pay
attention to the work of professional
give the viewer enough information to read
the whole piece if its for showcase
purposes. For a diferent kind of feeling you
photographers and how they set up their can go for a more dramatic approach
lighting. You can nd a lot of information in varying light types, temperature and
books about photography. I often use intensity will help to immerse the viewer in Lopes uses PolyPaint to create textures, which gives
him a broad idea of what the nished image will look
VrayPhysicalCamera, as it has settings [like the characters atmosphere without losing like before adding details in Photoshop
on a] real camera. Dmitry Cheremisin its silhouette. Carlos Ortega Jorge Lopes

22 3D Art & Design

50 tips for better characters

Rendering advice
The nal steps of the character-creation
process can often be the most important

41 For me, the most important V-Ray

render element passes are VRay
Difuse,VRay Raw GI,VRay Raw
42 Render passes and render layers
are really important when creating
something special and realistic I like using
Light,VRay Raw Reect,VRay Raw Refract, ambient occlusion, a Fresnel pass [with] fur,
Reect Filter,VRay Refract Filter,VRay hair and shadows. Sometimes I prefer to
Specular,VRay Self Illumination andVRay render lights separately. Mohsen Fallah
Background. The nal render is the sum of
these diferent render elements (render
passes). We can achieve the same result in
Photoshop, like in the VRay Frame Bufer.
43 With stylised images, once
everything is done I often try to put
one more Difuse pass on top of it all. With
For this, we just need to put all passes in blending modes (in Photoshop), I play a
Photoshop and set each layer to Linear little; using transparency/the Eraser gives a
Dodge (Add) excluding the VRay painted, cartoony feeling. I think its good to
Background (this must be Normal and play with ideas like this, as you can hope for
belowall other layers). a magical happy accident. Matek Hradsky
GI (VRay Global Illumination) is a

Hradsky was complex render element: we can take it I try to render major things in one
inspired by the
dirtiness of from the Render Elements menu, or we pass and create masks for the
Rangos textures can multiply VRay Difuse with VRay Raw diferent elements like the character, the
for this image. He
used overpainting, GI. The result will be the same. Its the background, depth of eld or the efects
gradients and
contrast on the same for the Light pass: just Multiply VRay so I can separate them or put them together
textures for the Difuse with VRay Raw Light. later on in Photoshop. Arda Koyuncu
nal version
Heres an example:
Matej Hradsky GI = Difuse*Raw GI
Light = Difuse*Raw Light
Reect = Raw Reect*Reect Filter
45 I always render a Depth pass for
atmospheric and lens-blur
purposes. I use an Object ID pass to have
Final render = GI (Difuse*Raw GI) + Light enough masks to work with and to adjust
(Difuse*Raw Light) + Reection (Reect colour values on individual objects. I add a
Filter*Raw Reect) + Refraction (Refract Normal map pass if I need to re-light areas
Filter*Raw Refract) + Specular + Self for composition or aesthetic purposes, and
illumination + Background. a Specular Reection pass just in case!
Dmitry Cheremisin Carlos Ortega

46 I render separate passes to save time if I need to make

adjustments on materials or x distracting artefacts without
having to go back to render everything again. It gives you more control
over the nal image not to mention the chance to create efects in
post-production. Carlos Ortega

Quick rendering tips

Jos Alves da Silva offers four quick tips for rendering

47 I use render passes to force

non-physically correct light
situations (that look right) to enrich my
49 I often render an Occlusion pass
to enhance the connection
between the various scene elements
images. For example, sometimes Ill want and help dene the character form, using
to emphasise a characters silhouette, the Linear Burn blending mode with a
even though hes against a wall I create low ll value to composite it with the
a separate pass of the rim light without original image.
any shadows that I can composite later

The Maya skin

with physically correct lights.
50 Importantly, I render a pass with
masks that will enable me to

material is a priority in Rendering specular highlights easily select different objects in
material selection
You need to spend a and self-illuminated objects in Photoshop and make colour corrections
lot of time adjusting it separate render passes is a trick I use to to each part of the image very quickly,
and comparing it to
other materials, easily boost the highlights and create then ne-tune the colour temperature,
Zhang Chen advises Chen bloom/glow effects in post-production. contrast and saturation.

3D Art & Design 23


Design and Easy-to-follow guides

take you from concept

model a robot
to the nal render

Artist info
Red eye 2012 Niles Doubleday
Personal portfolio site
A robot design created for practise and to demonstrate Country USA
Software used 3ds Max,
some helpful hard-surface modelling techniques KeyShot, Photoshop
Expertise Niles enjoys all
Niles Doubleday is an environment artist at Airtight Games aspects of 3D, but specialises in
props and environments for

f you love robots or sci- and want to turn some of 3D model. Well go through the basic workow I use video games

your ideas into 3D, this step-by-step tutorial will when hard-surface modelling in 3ds Max and then render
give you a great start. in KeyShot (look out for my mental ray tips on the
Well begin by going over some of the basic design opposite page).
techniques involved in coming up with balanced If youre already a modelling pro Ive included some
thumbnails. Once youve got an idea youre excited about, hard-surface tricks for 3ds Max, before we nish of with
youll then be able to turn your idea into a fully-edged a few quick steps to make your render pop in Photoshop.

Plan now, save time later the most important step!
This is what my initial a Customise your modier
thumbnails look like not sets and drop down a plane
exactly cohesive! with your image
for reference

01Develop a concept The key to concept development is to draw all your

ideas even the bad ones as you never know which direction your design
may take. Grab the elements that you like from one sketch and then apply them to
another in a diferent way. Just throw down a bunch of ideas without worrying about
polishing them or thinking too hard about it. Details can be as loosely represented as
random lines; once you have some general volumes you like, then you can take some
time to deconstruct it and detail those parts individually a.

02Set up a scene I usually take one of my key concepts and put it in the
scene on a plane aligned to one of the axes. I always use an Orthographic
camera, but its especially important at this stage. The Orthographic view makes it a
lot easier to make shapes accurate to your concept when you start modelling. Ive
also added some common modiers to my Modier box on the right. I strongly
recommend setting up this UI element to support your most-used functions b.

24 3D Art & Design

Design and model a robot

If you prefer mental ray

This tutorial was created using Keyshot, however its
possible to easily achieve great results right in 3d studio
max using mental ray. Start by using the arch and design
materials found in the material editor, choose some of the
presets for the materials you need, then adjust the colors
to your needs. Then hit F10 to bring up the render settings
and switch the preset to photometric, mental ray, next turn
on nal gather in the indirect lighting tab. Next throw in
some basic lighting, use a couple of mr Sky Portals found in
the photometric lights, adjust there color and brightness. I
use draft setting to get the ballpark settings, then for the
nal switch over to higher quality.

Software used in this piece

3ds Max KeyShot Photoshop

My initial concept
was a heavy,
robot about two/
three-feet tall. I am
really playing with You can download the following
source les from http://tinyurl.
the idea of a 20:80 com/cp26lps:
ratio of detail versus Final_Model_01.max (2011)
overall shape Final_Obj.obj

3D Art & Design 25


Begin modelling
Its time to define the shape of your robot Analyse the
c d model
Some things to remember
when blocking in:
Gaps in shapes are ne
you can worry about
these later
The goal is to get a feel
for the shape of what
youre making. Hide your
concept and ask yourself
design questions
Is your concept working
in 3D? Does the 3D
model look like something
you want to spend
another week or so
working on? If any of
these answers are no,
experiment with what
you have; try some new
shapes or scale what you
have diferently.

03Block in your base shapes Using the plane as a reference, start blocking in your key
shapes. I create the torso rst and make it the most detailed. Once that is done, I start adding
in other pieces such as the legs and pipes in the back. This robot is going to be nearly perfectly

symmetrical for most of the process, so its important to only really work on half of it, you can mirror
and weld it later. That being said, its not a bad idea to copy what you have across to check out the
proportions on the full piece as you progress c.

04Detail the blocking shapes Pick a core mesh and hide the rest of the model. Start to
detail out the mesh and get in some supporting edges so that it holds its shape when you
apply the TurboSmooth modier. When you approach subdivision hard-surface modelling, you will
spend a lot of time looking for pinching and odd shading. To help you spot these errors easily, apply a
base material with a high Specular and Glossiness setting. This material will enable you to get a better
idea of how the forms will look when rendered later on d.

05Add basic edge supports The most challenging part of hard-surface modelling is
getting interestingly-shaped surfaces to subdivide correctly and derive a clean form. The next
couple of steps will cover some geometry solutions I use for some common scenarios. In this example,
you can see the shading along the crease of the surface in the red box has a shadow along the edge,
the surface in the green below doesnt. The diference is due to the extra supporting edge added
around the actual cut. This provides more support and attens the surface quicker when smoothed e.

c Block in the basic d Apply a shiny material to e Support your g Edge Constraint is one of
forms to decide if your help you spot errors edges to get nice the key hard-surface
concept works in 3D when subdividing clean bevels modelling tools

Niles Doubleday
Currently living in the state of
Washington in the United States, Niles
spends his days working for Airtight
Games and his nights modelling to the Cryogenics facility 3ds Max, Photoshop, Unreal Engine (2011)
sounds of dubstep. When hes not busy This is a game resolution project Niles created to practise bringing
at the computer screen he enjoys riding the sci- themes of his personal work into the Unreal Engine
his trusty bicycle and hanging out with Sci- diver 3ds Max, Photoshop, KeyShot (2011)
good friends. This image was created as an exercise using the same workow
Niles is demonstrating in this tutorial

26 3D Art & Design

Design and model a robot

Add form and functionality

Place large and small elements for believability
Ending edges on at g
surfaces in the middle
of polygons is ne

06Avoid extra work Its always important to model cleanly, however there are exceptions to
every rule. In this case, since the side of this leg segment is perfectly at, its okay to leave
edges ending in the middle of polygons. You can see that it still smoothes out ne in the right-hand
image. When you have edges end in convenient places, rather than carrying them all the way into an
Edge Loop, this saves a lot of time and keeps the model a little easier to manage f.

07Constrain edges Most important is the ability to easily move a vertex along an edge. Turn
on Edge Constraint under Constraints on the right, found in the Edit Polygon modier. In the
image I have a vertex that is interrupting a smooth ow on this bevel. To x this issue, turn on Edge
Constraint and slide it to one of the end vertices, then slide it back along that edge to the correct
location. Now itll be in line with the intended surface and wont create any odd bumps g.

The Inset and Collapse h

command are more
weapons in your arsenal

Surface type
As you continue to model, dening surfaces and details,
keep in mind what kind of material the pieces are made out
of. If you add really sharp edges and at, smooth surfaces,
the material will appear to be much harder. Rounder edges
08The Inset and Collapse tools The Inset tool is very useful for adding Edge Loops to
support edges and add detail. Sometimes when you add an inset it creates overlapping
vertices in sharp corners. This doesnt work all the time, but most of the time just collapsing that will
with big bevels and a more supple surface will appear
softer. Its important to have a couple types of surfaces in
your model. I like to have the sub-surface feel softer, with
enable you to keep your sharp corner and smooth surface without noticeable pinching. Easily navigate the exterior pieces being hard plastic or painted metal.
to Collapse by right-clicking and nding it on the pop-up menu h.

09Place large details
and new forms
When supporting the edges and
dening the design further, I
Alien spine always start to add large-level
detail, such as big vents or tube
Photoshop (2012)
connections. As you add the
Inspired by the Alien
franchise, Niles detail, make sure the new shapes
made a quick t in with your existing large
ZBrush sculpt shapes. As an example, here is
before rendering what the underside of the body
the diferent looks like with the four leg-attach
elements in ZBrush points and the vent underneath.
with various Details such as this add an extra
MatCaps and layer of believability and display
compiling them in function. The more the viewer
post-production can relate the forms to real-world
using Photoshop An edge-supported mesh things, the more believable your
with some larger detail added
design will be i.

3D Art & Design 27


Polish the model

With all the basic meshes complete, bring your creation to life
11Get feedback and
adjust accordingly
Show your model to the
You can still make
changes late in the game

client, or friends whose

opinion you value, and ask
for feedback. In my case it
became apparent I needed
to better illustrate a face and
show more character. I
started blocking out some
shapes to see what would t
in with my existing structure
and provide a more
interesting focal point. Its
okay to make big changes to
your model, even at this late

10Fill in the gaps Now that you have all the major forms
nailed down, there are probably some gaps still left
between pieces. Now is a good time to ll those gaps. Use the
stage in the process. I push
the main lens out and add
some representational
same workow as the other pieces to make a sub-surface. Block in plating, as well as a couple of
some base shapes that intersect with the large forms youve got. spline-based hoses. These
Try to make these new shapes match the design of the existing add mid-level detail by
ones as much as possible. In my case I have matched the arch of externally attaching them to k
the rear tubes with a rear guard j. the body of the machine k.

Use the FFD modier to easily

make complex shapes 12FFD modier
dened the face, it
became apparent that the
After I

shape would be very

time-consuming to model in its
curved form while still avoiding
errors when subdividing. This is
a perfect case for the FFD
modier. To use it efectively,
model out your form at to a
world axis where you can get
the mesh to subdivide easily.
Next, reference that mesh and
drag it to the location its
needed. Once your at
unsmoothed mesh is in place,
use one of the FFD modiers to
bend it into shape. Last, go
l back to your on-axis mesh and
use TurboSmooth l.

13Final detail pass The last phase of modelling is where

you really get to add some life to the model. Take elements
that you think need another layer of detail, subdivide them, then
Extract another layer of
detail from the model with
insets and more elements
apply another Edit Poly modier. In the new modier, start adding
some insets, bolts or seams in key places. Another method is to
select a bunch of faces and Shift-drag them of of the mesh to
create a new sub element. Add a bit of thickness to this new
element to create a layering efect m.

Design your fine details

Fine detail of the model is what really makes it come alive,
taking it from a 3D model to something believable. The
really important part is to use the detail to add hints of
construction and ne seams where the plating comes
together or is attached. Ive also added little divots to
suggest vents or attach points. Use this opportunity to
better support the large forms. With the plate, for instance,
Ive added highlights to the slight curve of the front as well
as conforms to a new vent along the side. m

28 3D Art & Design

Design and model a robot

Pose and render Rendering

in KeyShot
Its time to make that model into a polished image
KeyShot, formerly known
as HyperShot, is a really
14 Set up a hierarchy
At this point your model
is all nished and you need to
great piece of rendering
software. I like to use it
because it enables me to
put it into a cool pose for focus on my model
rendering. To make that posing without worrying about
easy and avoid making a full spending lots of time
bone rig, set the pivot points for setting up an HDRI and
the meshes where the joints complex shaders. Im
are. Parent the meshes in the actually using an old
way you would expect the version, so I have to break
robot to bend. For example, in up the diferent materials
the screenshot Ive shown the into separate meshes to
foot plate being parented to the import it into the
lower leg n. program. With the latest
version (a free demo is
available) you can import
j Fill in any gaps that may have your MAX le straight in.
appeared between the forms This enables the material
n Parent the meshes to one IDs from 3ds Max to be
another at the joints to make transferred and makes
posing easy material selection and
p The base render and n organisation very easy!
sub-surface render

o Pose the model and set

up the scene

tion time
15 Build up the scene Switch the Rotation to
Local and start rotating the base into position. All cr tion:
the legs and head should follow if youve parented them. Image resolu25
Next, rotate the legs and head to suit the camera and the 3,200 x 3,8
scene. Ive set up a bunch of boxes to give the robot some
context, but sometimes a at plane works. I generally play
around with a few diferent camera angles and poses o.

16KeyShot rendering Ive chosen KeyShot to render this

scene, but any renderer that gives you easy access to a
broad range of materials will work well. Its a good idea to try out
diferent materials and colours until you nd the best results. I
knew that I wanted some chipped-away paint that would reveal a
metal surface underneath, so I make an additional render that is
entirely metal. In Photoshop I take the metal image and add more
contrast using the Levels adjustments p.

17Move to post-production In Photoshop I start by

copying the base render onto a layer above the metal layer
and painting a mask where I want scratches, so the metal shows
through. Other important elements are Bloom and Sharpening. For
Bloom, copy the merged layers onto a new layer and use Levels to
drag the darks almost all the way to lights to clamp it. Use the
Gaussian Blur lter (6-10 pixels) then set the Blending mode to The nal composite
and the accompanying
Screen. To sharpen, copy the merged layers and apply a High Pass Photoshop layers q
lter with a low pixel count and set it to Overlay q.

3D Art & Design 29

Software used in this piece

modo ZBrush Photoshop

3D artists explain the

techniques behind
their amazing artwork

Artist info
Richard Yot

Personal portfolio site
Country UK
Software used
ZBrush, modo, Photoshop
Expertise Richard is an
illustrator who specialises in
quirky character design.

dragon tamer.mp4
karate kid-2.mp4

30 3D Art & Design

Animate characters in modo 601

Animate characters
in modo 601 Modelling
Dragon Tamer 2011 Textures

modo 601 can now do full-blown character animation. We

take a closer look at the new toolset Richard Yot illustrator

he modo 3D
modelling software
continues to go
Create detailed assets
from strength to strength.
Many new options are
Use modos new features to build textures and more
featured but character-
animation tools are the most
signicant. Developer
01Initial modelling The initial modelling was completed in
ZBrush using ZSpheres to block out the basic form of the
character. I prefer to sculpt the initial stages of a character rather
Luxology has not contented than deal with polygons so that I can concentrate on nding the
itself with just copying forms without having to worry about topology. Its also much
features from established easier to revise and tweak a design in a sculpting package since the
applications, but has mesh is so much more malleable a.
approached the workow
from its own unique
perspective with the aim of
02Use new retopology tools In its latest version, modo
has introduced some substantial new retopologising
features. There is a dedicated Topology tab, a new Background
making the tools accessible Constraint type and some new tools, of which the Topology Pen is
and enabling users to get a the most important and innovative. With this it is possible to
results very quickly. retopologise extremely quickly by extending edges, creating new
Ease of use and quick loops and merging vertices all without ever dropping this one tool.
Having tried all of the specialised retopologising packages on the
workows are at the heart of With 601, modo market, I can say that modo 601 is among the very best because of
modo, and in 601 there are is now among the fast workow it ofers and the way in which this one tool
the very best
tools that enable novices or retopologising combines so many useful features b.
those working to short solutions on

03A new improved paint engine

the market
deadlines to set up 601 has a much
characters for animation improved painting engine compared to earlier versions of
modo, and I used this in conjunction with Photoshop CS5s 3D
extremely quickly. It also
features to create all of the texture maps for the animation. By
enables more advanced using the Brush settings to create chaotic and varied brushes, I was
users the ability to create able to make the worn wood and paper textures that are used
powerful custom rigs with throughout the set. The Procedural brush in modo is particularly
extremely complex and useful for this as it can create very natural results. The character
versatile controls. was also painted this way, and the Image Ink brush was used to
For those who have ever b add details such as ngerprints on his virtual Plasticine face c.
spent frustrating hours
setting up a basic character,
modo 601 is breath of fresh
air. Bones can be placed The concept was based on an
intelligently inside your mesh, existing digital painting of mine.
saving hours of time There was a nice atmosphere
tweaking them into place. with a blend of spooky and funny
that seemed like a good starting
Binding and weight painting point for a simple short lm.
is painless and you can use
the new Pose tool and the
a Finding the initial forms is much easier in ZBrush, where you can
Actors and Actions groups to concentrate on design without worrying about topology
start animating without any c c Using modo and Photoshops brush engines enabled me to create
of the usual problems. natural and convincing textures

3D Art & Design 31


Set up the scene

Now that the assets are created we need to prepare them for animation

04Add shading and materials Once the textures were

painted, the diferent materials were dened in the Shader
Tree. In order to create the handmade look that I like to use in my
work I made heavy use of SSS in the character to simulate the look
of Plasticine. The materials for the set were also designed to look
handmade, so the oor used displacement to portray wood, the
walls used a matte material to look like stained wallpaper and the
blanket used bump and a tiny bit of fur to create a convincing fabric.
I also sculpted some folds into the blanket, pillow and sheets d.

05Light the set Because my intention was to mimic a

physical stop-motion set I could make use of quite
theatrical lighting, using a spotlight shining down on the character
in bed. The little bedside lamp created some context for the light,
but it was actually placed far above the character to single him out
from his environment. Monte Carlo global illumination was used
throughout the animation despite the added render times, because
of the added realism it creates e.

06 Lay out the bones With the assets all created, it was
then time to move to the rigging stage. Luckily this is very
straightforward in modo and can be done quickly. The tools are
exible and set up in such a way that it is still possible to make
modelling changes without breaking the rig. To add bones to my
character it was a simple case of drawing them over the mesh in
the new dedicated Setup Mode. Modo takes care to intersect them
with the geometry of the model, so once drawn they need little or
no tweaking into position f.

07Apply binding and weight painting With the

introduction of bone-based deformers, modo has also
introduced several automatic binding algorithms as well as
allowing the paint tools to edit weight maps. Alternatively the
weights can be edited with the same Weight tool that is used to
crease SDS models. It is possible to create everything manually
using Weight Containers, Deformers and the Schematic View, or
to use an automated option and then edit the results manually. The
automated results were very good in this case and only needed
some minor adjustments to create nice deformations g.

Character design
problems and solutions
There is a big diference between stills and animation
when it comes to creating and preparing assets. When e
working on a still it is possible to cut a lot of corners
topology doesnt have to be perfect, meshes can be very
dense, textures might not be seen close-up and so can
be lower resolution. When making an animation,
however, every stage of the process is going to take
longer: a mesh that needs to deform must have good
topology, an animated character must also have a
manageable mesh density for fast playback in the
viewport. Textures might need to be seen in close-up as
well as from far away, so every asset needs much more
thought and preparation for it to hold up under every
possible situation you might require in the animation.
This means that as well as all the time spent
animating and rigging, you generally need to allow for
more time when it comes to asset creation. This means
you get the best outcome that you are capable of. In this
case I spent just as long on the assets as I did on the
rigging and animating. Three weeks were spent building
the set and characters and another three weeks on the
actual production. f g

32 3D Art & Design

Animate characters in modo 601

08Utilise the new

Pose tool The Pose Create the
tool is a really great feature for
anyone who needs to animate set texture
a character quickly. It is
essentially a very exible and I wanted the set to have a
powerful tool for posing your handmade feel and look
skeleton without having to build like a stop-motion set. In
any rigging controls. I was able order to do this I
downloaded some
to use simple kinematics to
photographic textures
rotate joints in the normal way,
from www.cgtextures.
and then by activating the Pose com. I used both modo
tool I could have on-the-y and Photoshop to
Inverse Kinematics (IK) in any handpaint extra layers of
part of my skeleton. Its also grime using custom
possible to add real IK and use brushes to simulate
it in conjunction with the Pose scratched paintwork and
tool, but its not strictly stains of various kinds.
necessary. This tool saved me For the tinfoil moon and
many hours of rigging work, stars I sculpted some
making this a relatively wrinkles and created a
short-term project h. metallic material with
some additional bump
maps for extra creases.
The key to creating
convincing textures is
mostly patience, time and
attention to detail. I spent
more time on the textures
for the set than I did on
the modelling, because in
this particular case the
textures create the vast
majority of the details. In
order to further reinforce
the stop-motion feel I
used very shallow depth
of eld to make the
results more
photographic, and the
fact that the focus is
sometimes briey of also
helps to create the illusion
of a real camera. The nal
touches in postproduction
to add some glare around
the highlights and a tiny
bit of vignetting were also
aimed at increasing the
photographic feel
achieved in the lm.

d Using modos excellent Render
Preview makes material creation

09Go to the Actors and Poses option Another nice

workow tool is the Actors and Poses feature, which
enabled me to store poses and recall them later. I dened actors by
very quick

e The lighting was intended to

mimic a stop-motion animation,
selecting the rig for my main character and another one for the with the character isolated by a
spotlight positioned above him
dragon, then I could set up the key poses for the action and reuse
them in later sequences. This was particularly useful for repetitive f The smart bone positioning in
actions such as the wings apping. I was also able to set up smaller modo ensures that your bones
are always placed correctly
selection sets as Actors, which I did on the hands so that I could inside your mesh
reuse hand poses throughout the animation i.
g Weights can be adjusted with

modos paint tools, or with the
Morph map workow Once the basic poses had been Weight tool
blocked out the next step was to create morph targets for
both the facial expression and for corrective modelling on some of h With the Pose tool you can
animate a character with
the deformed poses. With modo you can model and sculpt in pose minimal rigging or setup time
space, making the task of creating corrective morphs very
i With the Actors an Poses
straightforward and in the Deformers List you can organise the feature, you can dene a motion
order in which morphs and bone deformers are triggered. This way to be used repeatedly
facial expressions can be red before the skeleton poses, but
j Morphs can be used for facial
corrective morphs afterwards. This gives animators a lot of j animation and for corrective
exibility with their use of morphs j. modelling on deformed meshes

3D Art & Design 33


Character control
Fine-tune the rough animation
Richard Yot Morph fallofs can be
I am an illustrator that specialises in making quirky
animated to add an extra
layer of subtlety to your
Think pace
characters and quirky little worlds for them to live in. I
like giving my CG work some of the charm of handmade
facial animations and contrast
things and use photorealism with a twist to create One way of helping a
something a little imperfect. story along is with pacing
and contrasts. The start
of the animation is
deliberately slow to
reinforce the idea that the
character is sleepy, the
nal section is paced
much faster as a
k deliberate contrast, the
diference between the
Rufus modo (2011) two helps to tell the story.
This bad tempered l The editing was also
little mutt is part of a instrumental in this, with
family of not-really slow dissolves used in the
wooden characters. rst part and fast cuts in
Hes noisy and the second to emphasise
irritating, like any self- the change in mood.
respecting small dog
should be. l Workow in modo frees you up
to spend more time on content
rather than technical aspects

m A simple rig for controlling eye

movement, that can also be
overridden when necessary

Vinyl monster
ZBrush, modo (2012)
If he had some brains, he would be scary. Part of a series of
virtual vinyl monsters created for 3D Artist magazine.

11Morph fallofs Most deformers can be attenuated with fallofs and this applies to morphs
too, adding another layer of control and subtlety. I was able to model quite extreme versions of
my characters expressions and then use Spherical Fallofs to modulate how and when they appeared
over his face. This enables for much subtler morph map animation and also for more movement. For
example I animated the gulp by creating a simple morph map of the throat but created the movement
by animating the fallof which made the throat move as it owed over the morph map k.

12Aim for emotion With most of the technical work done and the basic poses and
expressions blocked in, the most important part of the work could then proceed: the
performance. Animation is essentially about conveying emotions and maybe humour and its
Vlad modo, ZBrush important not to lose sight of this. Because modo enables such a rapid workow with the Pose tool
(2011) and the minimal rigging, I was able to spend more time working with the character and his emotions
A virtual ppier rather than spending time on technical tasks such as building rigs or setting up IK l.
mach monster with
a big mouth and even
bigger tongue. Hes
not as scary as he
13Animate the eyes With this particular character design (although this is true of almost any
character), most of the expression had to be conveyed in the eyes. The big mouth lends the
design a lot of humour and quirkiness, but is limiting in terms of animation since it doesnt have the
thinks, and being pink realism of a less-extreme design. This meant I had to take great care animating the eyes and I used the
doesnt help.
lower lids extensively to convey the characters emotions. I made a basic rig using locators and
direction constraints and another really simple rig to control the eyelids m.
34 3D Art & Design
Animate characters in modo 601

Final animation and edit

render tim
Once the final touches are complete, its time to edit the film 1,920 x 1,08 :
n o

14Place cold sweat In the sequence where the boy wakes

up suddenly, I needed to create many little beads of sweat
forming over his face. These were done with a replicator system
that used the face as a point source and a map was painted to
control their placement. Then it was simply a case of animating
their size over time to create the illusion of the character breaking
into a cold sweat n.

15Use the Graph Editor The nal step in the animation

process was to tweak the Curves and the timing by
manipulating the Curves in the Graph Editor. The Graph Editor in
modo also has some useful controls for setting up repeating
actions such as the dragons wings in ight. I could animate them
once and set the action to repeat o. p

16Render the animation Because the raw animation was

almost two minutes long at full HD it was rendered on a
commercial render farm, taking a few days to render out all the
sequences. In order to keep things manageable, I broke the
animation up into short sequences that could be rendered
separately. Each sequence was rendered with extra footage at the
start and end so I could have some space to work when making my
nal edit p.

17Final composition and edit Finally everything was put

together in After Efects. Magic Bullet Photolooks was used
to add some bloom and vignetting. All of the depth of eld efects
were created in the raw modo renders rather than post as this
gives much more realistic results. Audio was added at the edit
stage and all the nal decisions on timing and pacing were left until
the very end. I began the editing stage with some rough viewport
renders while the animation was in the render farm to save time q.

Ideas and story

The story ideas were being revised all through the
process and I didnt settle on an ending until the
animation was almost complete. I had initially started
with a darker direction that was potentially funnier, but it
wasnt right for this project so I toned it down. But then I
wasnt really happy with the ending so I kept
storyboarding diferent ideas right up to the eleventh
hour when I settled on the nal version. This is a normal
process with any animation, because if theres even a
small chance of improving the work before its too late
then that chance is worth taking.

n The beads of sweat were p The new, improved render

created with a replicator that window in 601 is much more
was animated to increase user-friendly than seen in
gradually over time previous versions

o The Graph Editor can be used to q All of the nal editing,

q quickly set up repeating actions compositing and efects work
as well as for tweaking timings was done in After Efects

3D Art & Design 35


Software used in this piece

ZBrush Maya mental ray Photoshop

Create a
high-res creature
Desert creature 2012
With this project we wanted to create something a little different, so we mixed a few
different creature styles together. We had a vision of a desert-dwelling creature, but a
desert from another world that was dry but cool Daniel Crossland is a senior character artist

he aim of this tutorial is to give an overview create this creature. We were keen on the idea of a into 3D. I will now show you how to go about
of how to go about taking a concept and desert-dwelling creature on the side of cute but still making an asset to be shaded, lit and nally
translating that into a nished render. In grotesque, much akin to some of the creatures from rendered in Maya. Ill also cover how I optimise my
my job I have the great fortune of working around the recent lm John Carter. scenes for more streamlined rendering when
really talented people, so I asked Daniel Baker, a After taking Daniels concept I made block- memory can be an issue, and how to composite the
senior concept artist here at Ninja Theory, to help outs in ZBrush to check the concept translated well nal scene.

36 3D Art & Design

Create a high-res creature

Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render

Artist info
Daniel Crossland 01 Use a ZSphere rig Because the character has many
appendages I prefer to make a basic ZSphere rig. This
approach is far better then modelling a base in 3D as I can pose
Username: Pteropus
the rig, make global changes to the proportions and easily make
an Adaptive Skin mesh to lay my basic forms down a.
Personal portfolio site
Country UK b
Software used
ZBrush, Maya, mental ray,
Expertise Specialist areas
include character design,
concepts, high-detailed sculpts
and 3D modelling

Lighting 02 Work with DynaMesh Daniel provided me with
some silhouettes of the creature. A strong silhouette
can inform the design and is enough to make some design
sculpts in ZBrush, so from this point on I make an Adaptive Skin
from my ZSphere rig, providing a new ZTool to start sculpting
Concept on. With this done I hit Use DynaMesh under the Geometry
panel and started to sculpt. I spend a couple of hours at this
We started by discussing stage just playing with the forms. These will act as conceptual
the direction for the meshes for you to base the nal model on. Having a workable
character and, knowing asset early on makes projects run much smoother b.
Daniels designs, I knew it
was going to be something
unique. After exploring a c
few ideas we both liked
the louse concept

a A ZSphere rig can quickly

03 The digital sculpt process Digital sculpting with
DynaMesh is now very much like working as a
traditional sculptor. I like not having to worry about topology so
lay your model out ready I can just sculpt and let the model grow organically.
for basic sculpting
You always have enough resolution with DynaMesh. If you
b Here we aim to block in choose when to tessellate the model, by hitting Cmd/Ctrl and
major forms. Only a dragging a box outside your model it will update the mesh with
strong and accurate
new geometry to work with. I keep my meshes low and really
foundation for the work
will ensure our success simple. Once basic feature planes are blocked in, I then rene
the sculpts main masses into denite volumes that are
c Using DynaMesh, we need Its essential that the polished with the hPolish brush. The modelling process for me
to clean the mesh and concept sketch translates
sculpt the basic volumes is mainly to retopologise my DynaMesh tools so they can go to
well into 3D
ready for rening a rene pass, which cleans any artefacts c.

3D Art & Design 37


New topology
Transfer the sculpt to clean topology

d d The model
with polished
major forms
04 Renement pass At this stage I work up the sculpt
to a rened state. All the main muscle masses and the
skin quality are built but not in high-frequency detail. If we were
to detail with too many wrinkles and too much noise early, we
e The nal
character pose could lose the primary masses. Without these smaller details
we dont have structure to keep the model together. For this
f The louse pass I use my favourite brush, Clay Tubes, to place muscle. The
after a
detail pass Pinch brush also tightens areas and inates at a very low
setting to add volume where needed. I work each area of the
face, smoothing as I go along. To tighten the primary wrinkles I
switch to a high-specular MatCap and with the Dam Standard
brush to go over the model, adding criss-cross marks to make
only the major wrinkles. I polish these afterwards by stroking
the hPolish brush lightly over the entire model, one area at a
time, to complete the renement d.

05 Remain exible In my day job, the ability to be

exible to change is of the utmost importance. We
tried lots of diferent poses using the Transpose tool in ZBrush,
and Dan worked some pose silhouette thumbnails so we could
explore further. In the end, we xed the pose to be more
hunched over, where the character is slightly turned to look at
the viewer. Once the stance was xed I did some corrective
sculpting around the joints. Its best to x this before going on
to high-frequency detail. You are safe to then concentrate 100
e f per cent on those nal details, assured that your pose will work
for the nal angle of the shot e.

06 High-detail pass Once Im around Level 6, I divide

my mesh using HD sculpting. This takes my model to
ten million polys per SubTool. By hitting the A key over an area
of the sculpt, I go into HD mode. The main reason Ive recently
started using HD sculpting is because then I can also use HD
PolyPainting, which makes creating texture maps much quicker.
As long as I sculpt the detail into my model, its all there for
making masks and painting. For detailing I use a combination of
the Standard brush with the modier set to around 30. This will
use the Push and Pinch functions, which work really well for the
wrinkles. Additionally, I usually tighten them with Pinch and
steady strokes, with some more Dam Standard brush thrown in
to deepen the crevices f.

Daniel Crossland
My fascination with art started at the age of
four and it continues to fascinate me to this
day. Im currently senior character artist at
Ninja Theory and in a lot of my work I like
to focus on traditional art skills by looking
at anatomy and real clay sculpture. I nd Fetal skull Maya, ZBrush (2010) Udasaur Maya, ZBrush (2011)
this keeps me focused on pushing my art. I I modelled this skull as part of some learning I sculpted this creature based on one of the creatures from The
try to replicate the same level of realism sculpts, to improve in sculpting and the World of King Kong natural history book. This creature didnt
and quality in my digital work. development of form appear in the lm so I took the chance to realise it in ZBrush

38 3D Art & Design

Create a high-res creature

Create UV maps Problems

and solutions
Prepare the model for lighting and texturing Once I have my rened
sculpt I prepare the model
for rendering. This means
g h making some new
topology from which we
can make UVs for
texturing. I currently use
Silo at work to create new
topology, but there are
many other options to
create new meshes, as
long as you have the ability
in your program to draw
polygons and get them to
snap to your high-res
source. Keep in mind the
direction and ow of the
polys you draw, as good
directions will facilitate
your sculpting and also
optimise your model for
the rendering stage.
After making my new
mesh I can now project
my DynaMesh sculpt onto

it. There are a few options
Steps for setting up UVs To set up my UVs I use i to get this to work, but
UV Layout Pro. Switching all my creature SubTools to assuming the models are
Level 0, I export my meshes and load them in for unwrapping. pretty well surfaced, each
By marking where we want our seams, we can extract those should be fairly
meshes into pieces for attening. Once I have clean UVs with straightforward. In short,
you need to bring in your
no distortion, I import them back into ZBrush over my original new mesh, subdivide it
meshes with these new UV versions. This updates the tools so four times and then go to
I can now bake and paint my maps g. Project to get the detail
from your DynaMesh.

Usually there will be a
Eyes, claws and spines Once the main body is clean up of this mesh
resolved I add additional geometry to the eyes, spines where the projection has
and claws. I model these in Softimage and add them as a broken, such as under the
separate SubTool. Using the same workow I add UVs and do a arms. I clean this then
sculpt pass to add some details h. move to the polish phase
of the sculpt.

09 Bake maps Next I bake out the base maps that I will
use later for textures. To set up my textures in ZBrush
I set my resolution under the UV section, choosing the highest
g Distortion-free UVs
h Additional features
map bake of 4,000 and maximising the edge bleed to 16 pixels
so I have no issue with seams on my normals. I then drop down i The ZBrush multimap
exporter at work
to Level 0 and use a multimap exporter to bake out my Normal
map, Displacement map and PolyPaint in one go i. j Texture map bases

Maya (2011)
This piece
was created
10 Paint the bases Painting the bases is pretty simple. I like to roughly match some basic
SSS colours so the model will give a good appearance of skin when I come to render. In
this step I block in Photoshop colour by lling with basic skin values using the Paint Bucket tool. In
for a 3D print. this case the skin is quite cool, so I add a blue Overlay layer on top of my bakes from ZBrush and
Eventually it
will be cast balance them so theyre not too strong. I make a map for each slot that includes an epidermal,
out in bronze subdermal, backscatter, Difuse and an Overall map. Making these basic block-ins will give me a
good idea of how to treat the skin and the feeling of the work before getting into ne detail j.

3D Art & Design 39


Move into Maya

Take the model and lay a foundation for the light rig

11 Export meshes from ZBrush Exporting meshes has

never been easier. I use GoZ to export all my meshes out
for light tests at the same time. I always build my models to

real-world scale so the SSS setting will be relative and wont

cause any issues with my skin shading. I set Maya to
centimetres, import my OBJs, and in the Object Properties set
my Geometry to Visible In Reections and In Refractions. This
is necessary when bringing in meshes from ZBrush k.

12 Pre-visualise light Dan and I had a brief discussion

on how the character should be lit and felt that we
would like to avoid the typical warm earthy tones. Instead we
both felt a cooler palette would look a little more sinister and
also convey a strange landscape. This would bring an almost
twilight feel, like the character was lit by moonlight. I did some
basic lighting studies before I set up the nal lighting l.

13 Light the scene I always apply my lighting in another

Maya le so I can better concentrate. I use a low-res
proxy mesh of the creature to do my light tests. I have two key
lights and one back light; additionally I use some bounce cards
with incandescence only to add bounce light when using nal
gather. I use area lights with the Mia Portal shader plugged into l
them, which gives bounce light efects so you can take it easy
on nal gather samples and speed up render times. In the
portal light attributes, I tick Enable Sky Portal and tweak the
Intensity multiplier until the image is the correct brightness. At
this stage I also plug the MR photographic shader into the lens
of my camera, along with a blackbody node that will simulate
real work values. This will enable me to essentially take a digital
photograph of my model and make use of realistic camera
efects, such as bokeh. I build up efects such as depth and m
bokeh in another pass, which I blend later in Photoshop as they
can take time to render m.

14 Subsurface scatter Here I add the SSS shading

networks to the body shell and eyes. I begin by blocking
out each component of the SSS efect on its own by switching
of the backscatter and subdermal scatter. I concentrate on
Epidermal Weight and Radius values, going through each
element in the same way before nally adding them together
and doing test renders, balancing the efect as I go. I like to get
the SSS looking as good as possible before plugging any maps
into the channels. Once the correct values have been achieved
for the skin, I polish these shaders with maps n.

k Use GoZ to export out of m Taking numerous light tests

ZBrush for light tests is an essential stage

l Lighting can make or break n Add SSS shading before

an artwork, so be careful plugging any maps in

n n

40 3D Art & Design

Create a high-res creature
Skin shading in mental ray render time

Set up the skin in Maya Resolution:

4,000 x 3,000

15 Texture renement To make textures I use ZBrush

and PolyPaint. As mentioned, for high-res sculpting I
switch to HD. I also do my PolyPainting at HD levels so I have

plenty of pixels to play with. By masking my model by cavity I

can isolate the raised parts and begin painting some light q
colours into each cavity of the mesh. This works really well and
gives you a really detailed map to use in your rendering. I thoughts
usually paint lots of splatter and noise into the map, adding I think when creating a
veins and other imperfections to really sell the image. character like this the
Scattering the brushes with an alpha and spraying strokes adds design is really important.
great depth to your maps. I use this along with a spotlight to You have to feel good
about what you are
blend imperfections from real photographs into the skin o.
producing, otherwise I
nd it doesnt ow as well

16 Build the nal render scene For rendering I add all

the OBJs that make up my creature at a mid-level mesh.
I use Level 3 so I dont have to displace to any great detail, as
as it should.
In this industry we have
really open critiques,
displacements can soon eat up lots of memory if used to which helps push design
further than it might
displace the high-frequency details. For this model I use a usually go. Making
combination of Displacement and Normal maps. I use a concept sketches or a
Displacement map on the body and shell to take the model up digital sculpt sketch is
to a smooth result, then Normal and Bump maps for ne now possible, and I feel
has really opened up
details. This is faster for your machine when it comes to more creative workows.
rendering and gives you great control of the details as you add As a result we can now
them into your model. I then check that everything is working see just how a model will
with a test render at small dimensions, to make sure there are o Build up the skin p With all the elements look before going into full
no nasty surprises before I hit the Render button p. using HD PolyPainting for an added we can start the production. I feel this is a
impressive efect test render process great advancement and
has beneted my

17 Finalise the image The image took me about a week

of balancing the SSS shaders with the scene to get the
result I wanted. Test rendering constantly at small dimensions
q Finishing touches
workow tremendously.
I have always felt that
studying traditional art is
is essential, and using the Render Region tool to focus and the best recipe to follow
in creating successful
rene areas before making any decisions gives great exibility. artwork, and that remains
Because of using a streamlined workow with no high FG true. Theres a lot to cover
samples, I could make as many changes as I needed without in a short space on the
bogging my computer down. I composite the nal image in entire breakdown of this
character, so if you have
Photoshop and render it as a separate pass. Daniel made a
any specic questions
background plate of the environment that was composited and feel free to contact me via
graded into the render. This was then dropped in behind the my website.
model along with images of dirt to add a grungy feel. With Good luck with your
further balancing of all layers, I colour correct the main passes own artistic endeavours!
to nish the image q.

3D Art & Design 41



Software used in this piece

ZBrush Photoshop

42 3D Art & Design

Sculpt an epic beast

Sculpt an epic beast

Pteroscent: The Blue Hour 2012
The attention to detail and anatomy in Carlos Huantes awless
work is inspiring! Here weve tried to capture the intense creature
Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept expression he does so well, in a ZBrush sculpt
to the nal render Jamie-lee Lloyd Is a character artist for Rockstar North
Artist info

I Concept
n this tutorial we will cover the process to create

2012 C.Huante.

a creature from scratch using the new tools in Carlos Huantes creature
ZBrush. We will mainly focus on DynaMesh and its concepts are insanely
ability to enable free-form sculpting without the detailed and very well
constraints of topology. We will take you through the thought out. The powerful
stages of sculpting and show how you can quickly pose and facial expression
Jamie-lee Lloyd extract, append and duplicate parts to improve your of this vampire bat really
bring this bust to life! The
Personal portfolio site design in no time at all.
details and bone structure The most enjoyable aspect of working this way is the are a great reference point,
Country UK
ability to keep the creative ball rolling and never having to and the silhouette is very
Software used
ZBrush, Photoshop leave the zone. We will essentially be taking a simple 3D appealing to me.
Expertise Jamie-lee is a primitive through the stages to a complete polished bust, I compiled a mood board
videogames character artist, without having to fret about jumping between packages of some of Huantes other creature sketches as reference for the
currently working for Rockstar sculpt. One of the challenges was to keep control of the design
North. He specialises in or hitting any snags. Well touch on posing and
character design, digital
it would be easy to make a mash up of all the diferent designs
PolyPainting the creature before hitting BPR and and end up with a something inconsistent.
sculpting and real-time assets
preparing for the nal illustration.

Pull shapes to create form

Create the base mesh and block in shape
01 Block from a sphere
Go to Lightbox>Tools and select PolySphere.
Navigate to the Tool>Geometry menu and click the

DynaMesh button. This will activate DynaMesh

mode, but at this point well keep the DynaMesh
resolution quite low so we can pull things around
easier. Move the Resolution slider to adjust.
Use the Move Elastic and Move brushes, with
Symmetry turned on, to pull the sphere into shape.
Change the brush sizes to target smaller areas, like
pulling out the neck. By holding Cmd/Ctrl and
dragging outside the canvas you can refresh
DynaMesh and always have topology to work with.
Pull the mesh around to get a rough bust shape
then use the Curve Tube brush to drag out the arms
(the size of the brush determines the thickness of the
tubes). Once dragged out, the bust will automatically
mask itself, enabling us to move or rotate the arms to
t them into place. When it looks okay, clear the
mask and update DynaMesh. You will see the arms
have been included in the mesh A.
To create the big ears, mask a section on the side
of the head, invert it, then use the Transpose tools to
move and rotate them into place. Update DynaMesh
as you pull out the ears they require more topology
to work with b.

A Pull the sphere around to create a simple bust shape

B Update DynaMesh with Cmd/Ctrl-drag to build the ears b

3D Art & Design 43


Build up the forms

Continue blocking in your character

02 Block in the forms

c d
Next use the Move
and Clay Buildup brushes to
start roughly blocking in the
shape. At this point well keep
the proportions quite human,
just to get an idea of things. Use
some anatomical references at
this point, but dont get too
carried away with the details.
Using the Polish and Flatten
brushes will help give an idea of
some basic shape and forms.
These harder-planed areas will
act as reference points in the
next step when we start to
pose the bust c.

03 Open the mouth

and make a pose
We want to go for a similar

pose to the original Carlos

Huante bust, but before that
well try to get a better idea of
the mouth and jawline. By
thinking about the mouth area
at this early stage well make it
easier to nail the open scream
when posing.
Start by adding a bit more
resolution to the DynaMesh
and begin blocking in the brow
bones, nose and cheekbones.
Then paint a mask line across
the lip area, invert it and use
Transpose Move to push it
inside the head. Update
DynaMesh and push things
around inside this will be our
basic mouth d.
Next well begin the posing.
As our DynaMesh is still quite
low-res, we can blur masks
pretty well, enabling smooth f
transposing. With Symmetry
still on, use the Mask Lasso tool 04 First pass Begin again by adding a bit more resolution
to the mesh and start working in the medium forms
relative to the new pose. With the same method used in Step 1, pull
to select parts of the bust you
want to efect. Blur the mask to up the nose ap and adjust the ears. Again, with the Clay Buildup
get a nice smooth ow of and Standard brushes, work in a rough idea of the underlying
topology when youre rotating bones and muscles while dening some eshy areas. You can also
them. Well try to rotate from push the mouth area inside and adjust the cheeks around it g.
the areas where the bone
would actually pivot from, for
example rotating the jawbone
to open the mouth e.
Push the bust forward from
the stomach, rotate the arms
back and lift the head up. Well
pull the neck forward slightly,
and drop the shoulders before
using the Move tool to adjust
small bits like the area around
the mouth. You can mimic a
pose in the mirror it helps to c Roughly add simple shapes to get e The rough, blocked forms
an idea of proportion and form sculpted earlier should help with
get the lines right and pick up reference points to make the
on subtle details but just make d Rotate from the jaw pivot posing quite relative, and keep
sure no-one walks in on you f! to open the mouth the proportions intact g

44 3D Art & Design

Sculpt an epic beast

Create the teeth and gums

Append spheres and duplicate to shape the mouth

05 Extract gums and teeth To get a better idea of the expression, were going to need teeth
and gums. Hide everything but the mouth area and paint masks where we want the gums.
Click the Tool>Geometry menu and select Extract. Our mask is extracted into geometry on a new
Subtool. You can adjust the Thickness of the extract with the slider click Accept to keep it. Well then
use DynaMesh on the extracted gums to move them into place.
For the teeth we use the same technique as in Step 1, append a sphere, scale it down and position it
in the mouth, then duplicate it and move one inside the mouth. Well form a tooth out of the rst
sphere and use the second to create the tongue. By activating Transparency and Ghost modes, you
can adjust the tongue through the face and position it easily h.
We duplicate the teeth and then move/scale them into place. Work in a rough pass to get them
h looking decent, then adjust the whole mouth area to get the expression working i.

06 Duplicate parts
and add a mesh
We want to add large shapes to

the back to help the silhouette,

so duplicate the main bust and
hide the rest. Start by choosing
Slice Curve (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift
from the Brush menu) and
draw around the ear hit Opt/
Alt to curve the line. When
Polyframe is selected, youll see
that the Slice Curve has created
a new Polygroup for the ear.
With Select Rectangle
highlighted, press Cmd/
07 Complete the
second pass
Now the main forms are in
Ctrl+Shift and click on the ear
isolating the Polygroup. Select place, deactivate DynaMesh
Del Hidden from the Geometry and begin the second sculpting
Subpalette to leave just the ear, pass. Its good to have room for
which we place over the further subdividing now
original bust and position using DynaMesh is of but if you
the Move brush. Adjust it to dont, you can always turn
make a breathing duct feature DynaMesh back on with a
on the characters back, then lower resolution selected.
merge it down onto the bust. Use the Clay brush to work
With the bust and the new in the muscles and bones, and
back detail as one Subtool, the Standard brush to
continue to add the skin aps emphasise tendons and eshy
a really nice feature of areas. At this point well
Huantes work. Choose the append a sphere to the bust,
Curve Tri Fill brush and draw place it in the eyesocket, use
the ap shape across the chest the Clay Buildup tool to push
and arms. the socket back and build up
Well then use the Move the lids around the eyeball. Use
brush and Transpose tool to Select Rectangle to isolate the
position the ap. Deselect the eye area to get in close k.
mask and activate DynaMesh
to remesh the bust, back details h Turn on Transparency and Ghost i Scale the teeth and mouth j Use Polygroups to build up k Press Mirror and Weld in the
and skin aps into one j. to adjust the tongue through the into place to capture the details and enhance the Geometry Subpalette to ip the
entire face extreme expression silhouette shape bust around

3D Art & Design 45


Refine and paint your creature

Add the final details and PolyPaint your masterpiece
Since were using ZBrush
08 The rening pass 09 PolyPaint and asymmetry
At this point, we use
the highest subdivision level to
to render well use PolyPaint to colour the bust, as no UVs
are needed and we have enough resolution to get great results.

rene the details. Pick the Clay Merge the bust with the other Subtools and apply a rough base
Buildup brush to add subtle colour to the whole model (Color>Fill object). Well then use
bres to the muscles, and the Transpose Move while holding Cmd/Ctrl to mask separate
Standard brush to dene the elements like the teeth and then ll them with their own colour.
taut and loose skin, paying Repeat this for the eyes, gums and the tongue. With Symmetry
attention to how it stresses and activated, start painting some tonal variation with the RGB
relaxes around the pose. Use Intensity set to around 30. Add warm tones to the eshy areas and
the Dam Standard brush to cut darker desaturated tones to cavities, such as where the pectorals
wrinkles, followed by the Inat meet and behind the collar bones. Deactivate Symmetry and add
brush to build up the skin subtle tonal variations using the Spray brushes. Apply warm
especially around the eyes shades to break the contrast and give it a eshier feel, then add
and the bridge of the nose, lighter tones where the bones push against the skin. Finally, use the
where the expression forces DragRect stroke with various alphas to add patterns onto the skin
the skin to fold up. Add a new and give a sense of underlying veins. Rotate the head and drop a
layer with custom Alphas to shoulder to break up symmetry and use the Move brush to make
add high-frequency details l. subtle changes by ofsetting features m.

Now the bust is ready

10 Rendering and presentation
for the nal illustration, open a new document, click Double
Size twice and hit the AA Half button. Draw the model onto the
canvas and nd a suitable view. We decided to use a dramatic
front-on view with eye contact. For this we will ramp the
perspective up to about 150, which with the depth of eld should
be quite intimidating. Pick a suitable MatCap shader to
complement the PolyPaint. Go to Render>Render Properties and
turn on the passes you require, the quality settings for each pass is
located underneath. Experiment with various settings, mainly
adjusting the BPR Shadow and BPR AO Rays. Press the BPR button
in the BPR render pass to start rendering. When youre happy with
the results, click on the various pass icons to save them to a le on
your desktop. Well also render custom LightCaps and some
standard MatCaps to experiment with.
Composite the render passes in Photoshop. Applying the Mask
pass enables us to paint the background with colour washes that
set the mood. Paint in layers of smoke around the bust to add
atmosphere before applying the depth of eld. Paint over the nal
result, adding details and specular highlights n.

l Skin pores and impurities are added using custom alphas m Use DynaMesh to create the lines of saliva in the mouth. n Experiment extensively with Overlay and
with the Standard brush and Drag Rectangle Pull them out from the middle to suggest a powerful exhale of air adjustment layers to wrap it up

46 3D Art & Design

Artist info

Nathan Boyd
Nathan is a texture painter at
Sony Pictures Imageworks and
loves lms, art and computers
Personal portfolio site
Country USA
Software used Maya, MARI,
Photoshop, ZBrush

Work in progress

I wanted to make a portrait-style image

focusing on the textural detail of the mask. I
attempted to maximise the contrast and dramatic
effect of the image with Chiaroscuro lighting.
Caravaggios Tenebrism works were a great
inspiration and guide Nathan Boyd, Firebomb, 2012
3D Art & Design 47

Easy-to-follow guides
Design striking
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Kurt Papstein
Leona 2012
Username: Ikameka
A fun and vibrant character creation thats a
Personal portfolio site little different to my gritty or hyper-real works
Country USA
Software used Kurt Papstein is a character and creature artist working at Turtle Rock Studios in southern California

ZBrush, Photoshop
Expertise Kurt specialises in his tutorial will demonstrate how to go about Insert brushes to block in the proportions and body parts
digital sculpting, creature concepting a full character in ZBrush. We will take of the character. We will also cover how to create all of the
design, and all kinds of
character creation using ZBrush this piece all the way to the end of the pipeline, props and accessories with the new Topology brush.
starting from a sketch, which well translate into a 3D Each step in this tutorial will have something for
concept to build our nal character from. After exploring everyone and will be focused on sharing some of the
with digital clay youll end up with a detailed 3D gure. newer features of ZBrush 4R4. This tutorial is just the tip
We will rst go over how you can start translating your of the iceberg, but hopefully it will inspire you to take your
ideas using DynaMesh, then well take advantage of Mesh sculpting further and to be more creative with your tools.

Concept with DynaMesh

Build a rough sculpt to guide the modelling process
01Dene the body Well start the project by
constructing the main body in DynaMesh. Im using
a concept sketch as a guide. We want to accomplish two
things here: rst we need to lock down the characters core
proportions, which is why we start with the torso and the
head. Having them in place will make it easier to build out
the limbs. The second goal at this stage is to establish a
solid foundation to build the clothing, props and
accessories on a.

02Use Mesh Insert brushes To build out the rest

of her body, well use a lot of the default tools and
Mesh Insert brushes located in ZBrush. Using IMM BParts
a in your Brush menu, you can drag out some quick arms
and legs onto your character. Once placed, you can further
sculpt on them and rene the proportions. Well also
change DynaMeshs Blur setting to zero and activate Polish
in order to have a more accurate and clean-looking C
concept sculpt b.
a Starting with a DynaMesh

03 Finish the concept We should now have sphere at a resolution of

12, we can proceed to
everything blocked in. We have all the major block in the character
shapes (the body) and medium shapes (the suit) sculpted
roughly onto the model. We also currently have one b Use the default body parts
Insert Multi Mesh brush to
SubTool, with everything on it. Its a little dense in topology, esh out the body
but thats okay for what we need. The point of this
completed model is to act as a blueprint for us to build new c Major and medium shapes
are dened on one
assets. Some of it will be saved in the end, but for the most SubTool; smaller details
B part it will be disposed of before were nished c. are saved for later

48 3D Art & Design

Design striking characters


I wanted to revisit an older
character idea to experiment with
some of the new features in ZBrush
4R4. Creating this character in 3D
has been a really fun challenge,
which has pushed me as an artist.
Software used
in this piece

ZBrush Photoshop

Kurt ofers his top

workow advice for
helmet creation on
page 51

3D Art & Design 49


Piece it together Model using PolyGroups and

Transpose options
Use the Topology brush to build SubTools Using masking and PolyGroups we can do some precision

04Topology brush basics

modelling with our Transpose line. I use the Move Transpose
This is where we start building all the separate pieces, line to universally inate the PolyGroup I have selected
with our original sculpt as a guide. Select the Topology brush in the Brush palette through masking. If you Ctrl/right-click inside the outer
and begin drawing edges on your model to dene a piece of the armour. Wherever the handle and drag, the Transpose line will do a universal
ination to the mesh. I do this for the inner PolyGroups as
curves intersect, a vertex will form. By using Symmetry, the curves will automatically snap to well, to push them in further and create more of an edge.
the centre. To delete a curve, hold Opt/Alt and draw over it with another curve. This
function will also clear any unused curves if you hold Opt/Alt and draw on an empty area
of the model d. E

05Create the mesh In order to turn our orange

preview mesh into an actual piece of geometry, we
have to adjust a few things. First we want to adjust our
brush size, as this will directly afect how thick the model
Sculpt the suit were creating will be. A value of 100 will create a very thick
Once the body is blocked in extrusion of geometry from our topology curves, whereas a
we can start sculpting all of value of 0 will create single-sided polygons. Then all you
the suit details onto our need to do is click on the mesh to generate some new
surface. If you dont feel geometry from the curves e.
comfortable sculpting on your
model, you can always
duplicate it in your SubTool list
and continue working on the
duplicate. For this step, I use
my organic sculpting brushes
like Clay Buildup and Dam_
Standard to build the forms
and carve in the shapes. I say
shapes rather than details
because at this point you
shouldnt be worried about
the small stuf. You only want
to construct the shapes and
think about the overall design.

d Use fewer curves to keep

06Split the model 07Work with low geometry

the topology low
Currently our new geometry is At this stage its really
e The new geometry thats combined with the original sculpt. We want to split easy to manipulate the geometry to be exactly how
created from our Topology this mesh into its own SubTool so that we can easily control we want it. To move vertices around, we use the Move
brush curves
it in the later steps. To do this, simply hide either the sculpt brush. By turning its brush size down to 1, well be able to
f The new geometry is now geometry or the new Topology mesh and open up the Split move only one vert at a time. This is extremely useful, as
split into a SubTool using the sub-menu inside the SubTool menu. Notice now that there this way you dont accidentally move other vertices around
new Split Hidden feature
are hidden meshes, Split Hidden becomes active. This is a it. The brush size is very similar to a soft selection in a
g Using the Move brush and new feature in ZBrush 4R4. By pressing this button, program like 3ds Max. You can also quickly clean up these
Clip Curve to adjust vertices anything hidden will be split into a new SubTool. Be careful faces by using the Clip Curve tool to manipulate multiple
at a low-poly stage
you arent splitting any of the new geometry apart f. vertices along the same plane g.
50 3D Art & Design
Design striking characters

08Edge creasing Edge Crease is ZBrushs way of managing smoothing groups. A

crease denes a hard edge, so even when you subdivide your mesh with Smt turned Pro tips for helmet design
on, those edges will remain hard. Open the Crease drop-down under the Geometry
sub-menu, located in the Tool menu. To quickly crease the object, click Crease All. You can Here we have my three-step workow solution for great
also control your creasing by hiding certain parts of the mesh and clicking Crease or helmet designs. This is a simplied version of the
character tutorial, showing you how you can take the same
Uncrease. This is an easy way to keep areas rigid, without sculpting them manually later h.
steps and apply them to a simple object or prop to enhance
your character creations

Concept with DynaMesh

To begin, I simply append a sphere into my tool to act as the
helmet. I move it into place on the characters head and turn
H DynaMesh on. Because of its size in space you may need to
turn the resolution of DynaMesh up to get the information
you need. We still want to keep it as low as we can, because
we only want to capture the general shapes. Just like the
body armour, I use brushes like HPolish, Clay Buildup and
Dam_Standard to dene the design.

09Edge looping For this step, were going to use the outer PolyGroups to create
additional Edge Loops on the model for some mechanical details. By hiding the outer DynaMesh with Groups
and inner shells, we are left with the side PolyGroups. Once they are hidden, open the Edge I turn Groups on in the DynaMesh drop-down menu so I can
Loop drop-down in the Geometry sub-menu and click the Edge Loop button. By default it add more meshes without fear of DynaMesh fusing them
will create four additional loops and PolyGroups. You can adjust this with the Loops slider. together. This is a really powerful way to stay organised in
your SubTool palette, by keeping things together with
Now we have new PolyGroups to mask with. You can inate them using the Deformation PolyGroups, without sacricing the freedom of DynaMesh. I
menu or your brushes i. apply some additional shapes using Mesh Insert primitives,
like the cylinder and the cube, then cut them into shape with
Clip Curve.

Finish up
Once were happy with the design and the overall shapes we
J can commit to it. Turn DynaMesh of, and begin subdividing
the mesh if we need to. I will now add detail with the usual

10Clean up the mesh

sculpting brushes, as well as alphas. This is also a good time
Weve now dened our mesh with additional Edge Loops, then to use some of our other Insert Mesh objects to add more
creased and nessed it into place with the Move brush and Clip Curve tool. Next well technical details, like plugs and straps.
start subdividing our mesh and smoothing some of the details out. You may notice some of
the creasing afecting areas you dont want it to, or that areas are just too crisp and h A combination of i Edge Loops are j A subdivided
jagged-looking. Divide your mesh more so that the Smoothing brush will have a smaller Crease and used to create mesh will enable
Uncrease when great additional you to iron things
impact on your geometry. Begin brushing some of these imperfections out to make a clean hiding areas to detail in your out without losing
surface without destroying the form j. get hard edges base mesh the overall shape

3D Art & Design 51


Add some detail

Sculpt the small pieces to bring everything to life

11Mesh Insert objects We now

have all of our meshes, complete
with subdivisions and creasing. They are
nally ready for some additional details,
so we will now go through each SubTool
one at a time to add any Mesh Insert
objects that they need. Things like rivets,
straps, buckles and plugs are perfect
candidates for this step. First you will
want to duplicate the surface that needs
these Insert Meshes and delete its
subdivisions. This will act as a temporary
surface to place your objects on. When
you are done, simply delete using Delete
Hidden in the Modify Topology
drop-down under Geometry k. K

12Mechanical creasing With our smaller objects in

place as a separate SubTool, we can go back to our
larger shapes and begin sculpting some mechanical edges
and details. For this step well use brushes like
Dam_Standard once again, and the Pinch brush to create
clean cuts. To better control your brushwork you can turn on
the Lazy Mouse feature in the Stroke menu. This will then
average your hand movements out, making the detail come
out much smoother. You can adjust the efect of Lazy
Mouse by turning up the Lazy Radius slider l.

The little things

Using DynaMesh and Transpose modelling techniques, Ive created some custom Insert
brushes (supplied with this tutorial). By staying in Orthographic mode, you can easily
manipulate vertices and cut through your DynaMesh objects with precision. With this
tutorial you will nd an Insert Multi Mesh of unique bags, as well as buckles. These assets
can be used on just about anything, complete with PolyGroups for further customisation to
better suit your needs. Ive used these objects on the character, along with some existing
Insert Meshes like the IMM_Zipper to add further interest and detail to the character.

k Create duplicates of the

SubTools using Insert
Meshes as placeholders to
13Use alphas Having a large collection of alphas at
the ready is a must for any digital sculptor. If you
draw on without dont have any at hand, you can grab a bunch from the
subdivisions Pixologic Download Center (
zbrush/downloadcenter), or you can create your own.
l Use brushes with Lazy
Mouse to create smooth Its best to create a unique look with your own alphas,
and even strokes but there are plenty out there to choose from. Here were
using the Standard brush, with DragRect as our stroke.
m Dragging out alphas onto
the surface to create subtle This enables us to drag out the details we want in a very
mechanical details precise way m. M

52 3D Art & Design

Design striking characters
4 8
Finishing touches crea
tion tim
Resolution e
Wrap up the character for its final presentation 1,252 x 2,016:
14PolyPaint with Masking To add some colour, start
by turning ZAdd or ZSub of from your brush and
turn on RGB. Once you have lled your mesh with a colour,
by either painting it or going to the Color menu and clicking
Fill Object, you can then add some more interest to the
PolyPaint through masking. Open your Masking sub-menu
under Tool and cycle through the diferent types. You can
invert these to afect other areas of the mesh. Use Mask By
Smoothness to pop details n.

15Custom materials As the artist you can use any

combination of materials or MatCaps that you want.
In this case, well stick to using SkinShade04 from the
Material list. Make slight modications for rubber, metal,
cloth and skin materials. The primary slider that well adjust
is the Specular slider, and the Specular curve. The general
rule of thumb is if the slider goes down, then the curve will
be more towards the centre, making the speculartiy more
subtle and broader. Also play with the Wax Modier for
each material to suit o. N


16Pose your character Using Transpose Master we

can move all of our SubTools at the same time. By
17Rendering and presentation For the nal presentation, take advantage of all the
clicking TPose Mesh in the Transpose plug-in under the BPR lters to pull out the best in your work. Some of the most applicable include
ZPlugin menu, all of the SubTools are merged at their lowest Sharpen, Orton and Blur. Each lter has settings that will change which part of the image it
resolution to be adjusted together. This is why it can be will afect. Blur works best with its depth sliders tuned to simulate lens efects. Its good to
really helpful to have low-poly base meshes. Through use Orton to brighten the lighting, excluding the shadows to create more contrast. With
Masking and Transpose rotations you can pose your some careful adjustments to the lters, and some additional efects in Photoshop like
character. When nished, click TPose to SubT to transfer the Render Lighting and Curves, you can nish your piece of in a really professional way q.
pose to the high-poly model. With Layer turned on before
transferring the pose back, the new changes will be applied
n Mask by Smoothness, and
as layers on all your SubTools p. Mask Peaks and Valleys to ll
the unmasked areas with colour

Light with LightCaps o Fill your meshes with your

material using Color: Fill with M
turned on your brush
LightCaps are a great way to control your lighting. You can
also use them to capture and render new lights from an p Using the Transpose Master
HDR image by loading them into the Background sub-menu plug-in with the Layers option
under the Light menu and clicking the LightCaps button. I try turned on will enable exibility
to keep it as simple as possible and will use ZBrushs default
light with one LightCap. This LightCap will usually be q BPR Filters and Photoshop
backlighting, with blue colouration and shadows turned of. compositing can be used to
Q enhance your renders

3D Art & Design 53


Design and
Cricket Exo-Suit
an exosuit 2012
Explore the 3D and post-production
workow of this mechanical design,
based on the aesthetic of the Roach
Exo-Suit concept
Matthew Burke is a senior concept artist at
id Software based in Richardson, Texas

Download outdoor furniture

models by going to http://

Software used in this piece

3ds Max Photoshop

54 3D Art & Design

3D artists explain the
techniques behind
their amazing artwork

Artist info
Matthew Burke

Username: MBurke

Personal portfolio site
Country Texas, USA
Software used
3ds Max, Photoshop
Expertise Matt specialises in
mechanical design and
hard-surface modelling

3D Art & Design 55


I was asked to create a new exosuit to show my
workow when designing mechs in my Exosuit series.
So my goal with this image is to apply similar elements
and style to one of my other concepts: Roach Exo-Suit.

his tutorial will illustrate my personal process of
concept design, using only the tools inside 3ds Max
and Photoshop to create a mech exosuit model.
Explore your ideas
Throughout this tutorial you may nd yourself asking Why
didnt he just do that?, Wouldnt it make more sense to do this
Lets kick things off with the concept
instead? Well, gentle reader, if this proves to be the case, I
recommend listening to your gut and following your instincts.
My technique is a rats nest of online tutorials, a jumble of
advice from my peers, added to hours of desperate frustration.
You dont need to travel in my exact path, but perhaps youll
nd a kernel or two of wisdom from my unconventional
experience. At the very least I hope youll pull out a few tricks
to apply to your own workow.
Essentially we will be tackling my personal favourite subject:
designing a mech. Well start with the rough-poly concept,
move to detailing the model, apply some mental ray shaders,
then tackle our lighting. From this point Ill be able to walk you
through my post-production process in Photoshop and, with
any luck, well end up with a killer concept. So lets get started!

01 The essence of low-poly designs

First of all we need a rough foundation, so well create
a low-poly block-out of the mech design. However, before
your pencil hits the paper, or you move a single polygon, you
need to establish a general theme or idea to work from. Are
we creating a lumbering, impregnable war machine or a
nimble and agile mech? Is it fully automated or manned?
How futuristic do we want to go? This example is a
quadruped mech with some motorcycle overtones that
would be able to climb rough terrain and re on enemies
from miles away, since its not overly armoured A.

a Quickly rough out a low-poly concept to lay the foundations of a

your design

Matthew Burke
Matthew grew up in an incredibly small
town in Iowa. Desperate for entertainment
and a job outside of the agricultural
industry, he turned to a career in art. After
college he managed to land himself a
concept artist role at a small studio and he Roach Exosuit 3ds Max, Photoshop (2012) Roach Exosuit 3ds Max, Photoshop (2012)
has been successfully avoiding farming for A manned combat exosuit designed to leap great Here the same combat exosuit is presented in an action
12 years now. distances and release an arsenal of weaponry on pose to showcase his arsenal of weapons and help get
enemies. Here its shown in an inactive stance the idea of the mean machine across

56 3D Art & Design

Design and create an exosuit

02 Base materials and shaders

Convert your model to mental.ray.daylighting in
your renderer presets and then create three to ve base
Balance form with function
As we start dening our design, keep in mind that a healthy
materials for your model. First, convert your standard balance of form and function is needed to inspire the
materials to mental ray Arch and Design materials. Then imagination. To begin, I take one of the predominate shapes
apply an appropriate template for the aesthetic you are from the rough geometry and start working on its general
looking for: dark, dull metal; reective, coloured metal; white shape. In this case I decide to begin with the contoured head
of the mech. Focusing only on the form, I usually start a
metallic; chrome or coloured striping you can always add fresh piece of geometry and shape it into the general
more further down the line. For my base brown reective direction of the concept.
material I have chosen to go with a Brushed Metal template Once I have a solution, I apply a TurboSmooth lter to
with the Reectivity at 0.9 and Glossiness at 0.86. Dont iron it out. Next I place an FFD (box) over the piece and,
forget to turn on the Round Corners option in the Special using the control points, begin to mould the object into
something bold but completely undetailed. From here I
Efects category b. repeat another shape that I will lay over the original rough

and form something that supports an interesting design.
Lighting base Now I have
Now we need to create a mental ray Daylight something with
potential, I need
System under Lights. After applying a generous ground
to balance the
compass, angle the DaylightAssemblyHead towards an area form with some
of interest on your mech. This will be adjusted later, but it will function. This
serve our purposes for test renders during our concepts means detailing
development. If you know the environment your mech will parts and objects
with a clearly
appear in, you may want to adjust the ground colour dened purpose.
accordingly under the mr Sky Parameters as well c.

b Establish your material

foundations using mental
ray settings and options in
3ds Max

c Apply your settings in

the mental ray Daylight
System to capture an initial
lighting setup

Sphinx Infestation Vehicle 3ds Max, Photoshop (2011)

Here we have a mighty, interplanetary, pest-control vehicle that
has been designed to exterminate alien enemies of all shapes
and sizes

3D Art & Design 57


Finalise the design

We can now finish the design and render out passes for post-production

04 Detail the ugly geometry

Weve nally got to the part where we dont need to
be embarrassed if someone looks over our shoulder, so lets
Complementary details
The trick to successful detailing and design adjacent to them that suit their form. The
detail the geometry! This is easily my favourite part of the is guiding where and when the viewers eyes hull on the top has an inset shape that
process and where the concept really starts to develop. The will travel in the piece. Regardless of conforms to the drivers shoulder. The
most important things to keep in mind throughout this whether its an epic environment painting, a operators curves are mimicked in an almost
process is positive and negative space, and detail pacing. We character, or even a simple prop asset, mirror-like reection in the padding shape
having a clear read on the images ow is under him. The large, circular engine has
want our silhouette to read clearly, and elements from the often an overlooked step. Breaking a design suitable forward-facing plating and the
foreground, middleground and background to be easily into both form and function will help its bottom piece is arched upwards to ease the
readable. When detailing, remember to let the viewers eyes readability; however, spacing the detail out viewers eyes back into the composition.
rest in spots, keeping in mind that adding details without in breathable areas is just as important.
Complement the existing shapes and dene
purpose quickly kills a composition. You want large areas of a synchronised rhythm that enables a
simplicity with small, intricate details in small pockets. In this smooth transition from one area to the next.
case, our armoured casing is the rest area and the Here Ive tried to complement the
mechanical functionality is the detail d. rounded shapes of the mechs top with the
contours of the drivers back. Move down to
the large, circular shape in the centre of the
design, then to the curved, moulded armour.
To illustrate this even further, in each of
these forms there are additional shapes

d Dene forms and

functionality in your
mech concept

e Our nal geometry

with shader materials
and an initial lighting
setup in place

f Diferent passes at
material renders

g Layer your render passes

in Photoshop

h You can show of your

details with the Poster
d Edges Filter

05 Conclude the geometry

The hardest part of this step is realising when
enough is enough. Deciding what can be left for Photoshop,
what to dene and what is necessary to model is the
diference between hitting a deadline or working long hours
at the weekend. Have you noticed that our character model
hasnt changed since the beginning of the tutorial?
Photoshop will be able to handle this easily. At this stage we
should have nice, unfaceted geometry and our shaders
should all be applied to the appropriate areas. Once our
lighting is nalised, we can pump out a big render and save
the image as a 32-bit TGA le e.

58 3D Art & Design

Design and create an exosuit

Rendering & post-production

Render out the design and bring it to life in Photoshop!

06 Make your render passes

From our xed camera angle we will be rendering several diferent versions of our
model. Aside from our original nal geometry model, we will be rendering a base grey, a shiny
reective, a dark-grey matte and a bare difuse colour pass. These will be layered on top of
one another in Photoshop to give us control of all the aspects of our concept f.

07 Layer in Photoshop
Import all the TGA les into Photoshop and use Channels to select the ground plane
with the shadow on its own layer. Render the TGAs into the scene and remove the mech from
the background. Order your layers as follows: grey background; ground layer with shadow in
layer one; the original fully coloured render in layer two; layer three is your shiny reective
with 100% Opacity in the Overlay option; next its the dark matte for layer four at 35% in the
Multiply option; and layer ve is the shiny reective again, but at 37% with the Pin Light
f option. Open the Difuse layer on top and separate each colour into individual layers g.

08 Make those details pop

After adjusting all the layers to something that feels like a good starting point, grab
only the mech in Photoshop and hit Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+C to bring all the layers into one layer.
Once this is pasted into the top layer, go to your Filters tab and open Poster Edges in the
Artistic channel. Change the Edge Thickness to 0 or 1, the Edge Intensity to 1 and the
Posterization all the way to 6. Once these settings are applied, your details and line work will
be far more pronounced. You may want to lower the Opacity on the layer to around 20-30%,
so it doesnt overpower the image h.

Render setup tips

To begin, change your render presets to mental. value to an appropriate setting. Under Image over your shadows and highlights, though). Now and load the default Control, adjust your highlights to a low setting go back to your Daylight Parameters, change your
settings make sure that all your mr Arch and here I have set it at 0.02 and tweak your Sunlight to mr Sun and your Skylight to mr Sky.
Design materials are assigned to their selections. shadows to a level that isnt overpowering (I chose Finally, we can now adjust the ground colour to
Create a Daylight System light in your scene, drag to apply 0.79). a low, saturated value. Be sure to hit Final Gather
the compass out to cover the entire area, and then Youll want to toggle through your Midtones in your renderer. Now you can simply adjust the
drag again to build the sun. until you nd a realistic value for your render (1.27, previous settings.
Go to your Common tab in the render setup for me). Select your Daylight in the scene and
and switch your Output Size to HDTV (video). change the Position to Date, Time and Location.
Start small for your test draft renders but go large Hit the Setup button followed by the Get Location
for nal renders. button. Here we have a choice of locations all over
Go to Environment under the Rendering tab the world: time of day and month of the year. This
and change your Environment map to mr Physical is a fantastic tool that, with some time-consuming
Sky. Make sure your Exposure Control is on experimentation, can give you fantastic results.
Photographic Exposure Control. Below that is the In my render I have decided to go with Seattle,
mr Photographic Exposure control, where you can Washington. This opens up the Control
switch the preset to Outdoor Lighting, Clear Sky. Parameters le and under Time I have chosen to
Throw up a quick Render Preview under the go with Hours at 15 and Month at 1 (choose your
Exposure Control tab and adjust the Exposure own settings and adjust the hours to have control

3D Art & Design 59


09 Material overlays in Photoshop

Using your Difuse colour levels that have been separated into layers, you can apply Wireframe render tips
a large photo material to each layer, giving it a new level of believability. Apply a low-level
metal texture to appropriate areas, then scratches and dents in others. Adjust the levels and
for mental ray
opacity of the layer until they are just right and you can barely even notice theyre on the
There are a couple of ways you can create
awesome-looking wireframes of your models to
model. I get all of my photo reference from its a resource that I cant help spruce up your portfolio
recommend enough. Apply warning stickers, logos and even overlay some mechanical
photos on areas that need some additional denition i.

Original mental ray render

0+ hours
ation t
Resolutio ime
9,722 x 5,4 n: Technique 1
pixels 9 Technique 2

10 Polish to
The concept is close to finds hosts many wonderfully high-quality
being wrapped up at this
textures that can help you add detail to your artworks. Here
stage, so pick a is a selection of images that Matthew nds useful when
complementary palette for bringing his exosuits to life!
the background that
highlights and doesnt
distract from the mech. Add
some atmosphere and
shadows to help push and TECHNIQUE 1: The rst technique is incredibly simple:
pull the elements, then as a just select a Standard material of your choosing and apply
nal stage add a blue-green it to the entire model. Under Shader Basic Parameters
Overlay layer at 25% check the Wire and 2-Sided boxes. Then, in the Extended
Opacity over the top of the Parameters channel, adjust the thickness of your wire to
piece. This will help unify all your preference. A friendly warning: this is extremely
taxing on most computers so try to apply it to your model
the colours. Flatten the
just prior to your render.
image then play with the
Levels, Color Balance and TECHNIQUE 2: The alternative method just requires a
throw in an additional few additional steps. Select a material and change it from
a Standard to a Composite shader. The preset setting for
Sharpen lter if needed j. the base material is a Standard material and its colour will
dene your mass area in the render. In this case Ive
changed its Difuse to a solid white colour.
Go back to your original parent group and select your
Material #1, just below the Base Material. Click on the
i You can help dene a Channel box and keep it a Standard material. This material
materials qualities with
photo overlays
will dene the Wireframe Overlay. In this example I have
used a solid black in the Difuse colour. Next, check the
j The nal concept Wire selection and then down below in the Extended
complete with post- Parameters channel adjust the thickness of your wire. For
production edits this teapot I have it set at 3.

60 3D Art & Design

Artist info

Maciej Kuciara
This concept designer has
recently worked on Naughty
Dogs The Last of Us videogame
Personal portfolio site
Country USA
Software used
ZBrush, Photoshop

Work in progress

[I created this] Alien head concept to practise and learn

the basics of sculpting and rendering passes in ZBrush,
with the ultimate goal to use this software in lm and
videogame production. Having a 3D sculpt allows [you] to
assess your design problem areas much quicker than with a
standard 2D paint or sketch Maciej Kuciara, Alien, 2012
3D Art & Design 61

Software used in this piece

ZBrush Photoshop

The idea behind this
illustration is to
create a unique
fantasy character
Ive decided to
concept a female
spirit of a tree. I want
to achieve a very
sculptural, stylised
look to the image,
inspired greatly by
ancient Greek
character sculptures.

62 3D3DArtist
Art & Design
Sculpt folds and fabrics

Sculpt folds
and fabrics 3D artists explain the
techniques behind
their amazing artwork

Artist info
Dryad Spirit of a Tree 2012
The goal of this image was to create a stylised, sculptural,
fantasy character with a focus on showcasing the dress folds, the
Andrzej Kuziola
hair and the tree branches in the design and creation process
Andrzej Kuziola is a freelance illustrator and 3D artist and he loves it! Besides Username: ak666
illustration and 3D work, he also writes tutorials and training material for artists
Personal portfolio site

n this tutorial we will explain the design and creation This tutorial will explain how to design and create a Country Scotland
process of a fantasy character showcasing the features character from scratch, showing important considerations Software used
in ZBrush. Well explore various ZBrush tools and show along the way while explaining the workow and various ZBrush, Photoshop
how helpful they are to visualise ideas and achieve great techniques used. We will focus mainly on sculpting the Expertise Andrzej specialises
mainly in character creation,
efects. ZBrush gives the freedom of creation in any fabric of the dress, the characters hair and some stylised from concept to render, and
workow, enabling you to experiment and visualise ideas. tree branches to nish. detailed 3D model creation

Create the body with ZSpheres

Lets begin by creating the character in a neutral pose

03 Detail the face Pay the most attention to the face

design, especially the eyes and lips. Switch the model to a
high subdivision level, then sketch the shape of the eyes and the
lips with the Pinch brush. Create eye sockets with the Clay brush
and shape an interior with the Smooth brush. To sharpen eyelid
edges use the Pinch brush with a very small Draw Size. To create
eyeballs, append a sphere as a SubTool, adjust its size, position and
then mirror it to the second eye socket. With the character base
mesh active, use the ZProject brush on the eyeballs. Thanks to that
weve now got spheres projected into the eye sockets, so we are
able to delete the eye SubTools C.

A When working with ZSpheres

you can preview Adaptive Skin
by pressing the A key
B Block in the main muscle
masses and establish the

01 Establish your base mesh Using ZSpheres, create an

initial armature and block in the shape of the character. In
these early stages we wont draw ZSpheres in place of the eyes
characters proportions

C Use Slash 1 and Clay brushes to

add details to the lower lip
and mouth. Primarily, well focus on proportions, as this will give us
more design freedom in the later stages. When happy with the
result, change the rig to Adaptive Skin, then press the Make
Polymesh3D button A.
Why model the whole body?
02 Sculpt the body Modify the shape of the mesh with Ive chosen to create whole body anatomy even though
most of it will be covered with cloth for two reasons. The
the Move Topological brush and start dening masses
rst is so I can reuse the model in my future projects.
with the Clay, Clay Tubes, Simple and Smooth brushes. Work
Keeping a repository of base meshes and models gives a
gradually from the lower subdivisions to the higher levels, huge advantage when a deadline is short and you dont
subdividing the mesh when necessary and trying to get as much have enough time to create something from scratch. The
detail as possible on the lower polygon densities. Focus mainly on second reason for creating the whole body is that the
the head and hands, because the rest of the body will be covered clothing process is much easier with body armature
with clothes. As were going to create a stylised character, change underneath. Besides these, its always good to practise
proportions by exaggerating the head and elongating the limbs. Do sculpting human anatomy when you have the opportunity.
this with the Transpose tool and the Move Topological brush B.

3D Art & Design 63


Design and composition

Establish composition and block general forms for further development

04Pose the character Pose the character with the

Transpose tool and then x deformations with the Move
Topology, Clay and Smooth brushes. In this case its not necessary
to adjust body distortions in some areas due to the fact that they
will be covered with a dress, but here weve done it for the purpose
of the tutorial. We want to create a neutral, balanced and relaxed
pose. This is a framework for the cloth anchor points and will help
us establish interactions between the body and the clothes D.

05 Create the base of the dress To create a base for a

dress were going to use DynaMesh. As a starting point
we want a mesh that matches the shape of the legs as much as
possible. This will help us establish interaction between the fabric
and the body later. To do so, rst duplicate the character, then
extract the bottom part of the mesh by partially hiding it with
Cmd/Ctrl+Shift, the Delete Hidden and Close Holes options.
Convert it to DynaMesh and start reshaping it with the Move
Elastic brush. For smaller areas, use the Move Topological brush.
Also start to use the Standard brush with a large Draw Size to
D sketch the direction of the folds E. E

Principles of 06 Rene the dress

Activate the
DynaMesh function by clicking
good design its button. This creates a new
uniform topology with the
There are a few golden density dened by the
rules that you need to Resolution slider. Make sure
follow if you want to you always start with a lower
create a really impressive resolution and then adjust it to
illustration. First of all you achieve the desired result. Each
need an interesting focal time polygons become
point to pull in the stretched after adjustments to
viewers eye. You also the mesh, recalculate
need to design and place DynaMesh by hitting the
elements in your image in Cmd/Ctrl key and then
such a way that the dragging the cursor onto an
viewers eye will ow empty canvas F.
around the various
details. Creating rhythm
and variety in your image
to keep it balanced is D Use the body as a framework
for cloth anchor points
important. Always think
about positive and E Start shaping the dress with the
negative space, and also Move Elastic brush
about the relationship of F Always start with a lower
light and dark. F resolution and then adjust it to
achieve the desired result

Andrzej Kuziola
Andrzej is a self-taught digital artist
who is currently based in Scotland. He
originally qualied in dentistry, but
decided to give it all up for a career as a
freelance illustrator and 3D artist. Z
Brush, CINEMA 4D and Photoshop are Wild at Heart ZBrush, Photoshop (2012) Tattoo Goddess ZBrush, Photoshop (2011)
now his daily tools to help him create This illustration is inspired by a woman blessed with a A T-shirt design created for Rocknroll Tattoo and
realms that would otherwise exist only truly wild heart and a passion for nature. Its a very Piercing studios in Scotland. The image was also
in his mind. personal image, packed with symbolism published in EXPOS 10 by Ballistic Publishing

64 3D Art & Design

Sculpt folds and fabrics

07 Move to the top To create the top of the dress well use DynaMesh again, but in a slightly
diferent way than previously. Mask the area that you want to use for a new SubTool. Go to
SubTool>Extract, adjust Thickness and choose Accept Extraction. This is a good way to create a mesh
around a complex shape. Now start to reshape a new mesh, using the Move Elastic, Move Topological
and Standard brushes to add volume and block large folds. Remember that DynaMesh needs some
thickness. When you get artefacts after re-calculation, undo the action and work on the area with the
Inate brush G.

08 Design the tree Create a curved tree trunk with ZSpheres, adjust its shape with the Move
Elastic brush, then transfer it to DynaMesh and start adding branches with the Curve Multi
Tube brush. This is a great tool for elongated, tentacle-like structures. Re-calculate the mesh often and
also use the Inate, Smooth, Move Topological and SnakeHook brushes. This sketch-like workow is a
good way to create designs and develop ideas straight in 3D without an initial sketch H.

09 Create the background Now well add a background that will play two roles. First it will
show the nal image proportions that will consequently help establish an efective
composition. Were also going to use the background plane as a basis for the hair but rst we need to
add some dimensionality to it. Use the Move Elastic brush to create a recess behind the character, then
move a part behind the head towards it and the bottom edge towards the viewer to create some
ground. After that, sculpt the whole plane with the Clay Tubes brush, then equalise it roughly with the
TrimDynamic brush and Morph Target I.

H 10 Sculpt the hair Now we can start sculpting the hair with a modied Slash 2 brush.
Sculpt the hair strands with loose and smooth strokes on a separate layer. Our goal is to create
an efect of hair lling the background and turning into it. We also want the hair to be tangled with the
branches. At the end, decrease the layers intensity and gradually work with the Morph brush to create
a smooth transition between the strands and the background material. For the loose hair strands,
append a sphere and move it to the head area, also using the DynaMesh and Curve Multi Tube
brushes. After that, atten the strands with the TrimDynamic brush and nish with the Standard brush
with Alpha 38 and Lazy Mouse options turned on J.

G Remember that DynaMesh

needs some thickness

H The Curve Multi Tube brush is a

great tool for elongated,
tentacle-like structures

I Open a new document with the

dimensions of the nal
illustration and then use
Transpose tools to adjust its size
The Discreet Charm of the Butapren ZBrush, Photoshop to the dimensions of the canvas
(2012) J You can nd the Slash 2 brush in
Andrzej says: Butapren causes brain damage; bioluminescence Light Box>Slash Brushes
is the production and emission of light by a living organism

3D Art & Design 65


Add the fine details

Create a winding tree and realistic cloth elements

11 Detail the tree Go back to the tree and develop it further.

Use the Curve Multi Tube brush to add roots and vine-like
structures. The Draw Size determines the diameter of tubes
created by the brush, so work here with a smaller size. When a
tube is painted you can adjust its location and shape. Its possible
to draw multiple tubes at once but its handy to update DynaMesh
after each added tube. Also increase the DynaMesh Density to
keep all the new details. When youre happy with the form of the
tree, quit DynaMesh and start detailing with the Clay, Clay Tubes,
TrimDynamic and Dam_Standard brushes K.

Crinkle and
fold effects
To create believable
wrinkles or folds you need
to keep in mind a few
factors such as the
interactions of folds and
the forces generating
wrinkles like kinetic
energy and gravity. You
need to know where to
place anchor points
12 Add some wrinkles Start sculpting wrinkles and folds
on the bottom part of the dress. Begin working with the
Standard brush without any Alpha loaded and with Lazy Mouse
areas of retention on a mode turned on. Begin to add volume with the Inate brush, using
body where wrinkle it lightly with low pressure. Also adjust the brushs Gravity Strength
systems will originate. I and start using Alpha 38 for the ner wrinkles. Work with smooth,
highly recommend the loose brush movements, relying on your own intuition and
book Dynamic Wrinkles experience. During this process, smooth and sculpt again until you
and Drapery by Burne get the shapes you want. You can also switch between ZAdd and
Hogarth, where you can ZSub modes L.
nd all this information.

13 Rene the curls

Its also a useful source
Now move to the top part of the sculpt.
for great references.
Initially the workow and brushes are the same as in the
previous part, so create some horizontal folds with the Standard
K Increase the DynaMesh Density brush. Mainly use Alpha 38 here and turn Gravity on and of in the
to keep all the new details
Brush>Depth menu to check your work. To create vertical patterns,
L Increase LazySmooth, use the Clay brush and then develop it further with the same Slash
LazyRadius and adjust LazyStep 2 brush used earlier. Rene the shape of the curls with the Move
for smoother results
Topological brush and add some more volume to the horizontal
M Use Alpha 38 for ner wrinkles folds using the Inate brush M.

66 3D Art & Design

Sculpt folds and fabrics

Finishing touches 24hours

cr eation tim
Finalise the model and render it for illustration Resolutione
3,480 x 4,40 :

14 Complete the dress Add more volume to the folds

with the Inate brush and pull down some parts that are
lacking in gravity. Fine-tune the creases with the Standard brush
and Alpha 38, then use the same brush with a very small Draw
Size to add some texture to the fabric. Work with diferent
Gravity settings and adjust interactions between the wrinkles.
See how they react to kinetic and gravity forces and then tweak
the overall owN.


15 Facial expression Our goal is to show that our Dryad

enjoys the presence of a tree (shes the spirit of a tree,
remember). To change her neutral facial expression to
something with more character, rstly re-sculpt her eye a little
to a half-closed, sleepy shape. Mask the lower lid and lower half
of the eyeball with the Layer brush and then work on upper
parts of the eye with the Clay brush. When the upper eyelid is
lower, use the TrimAdaptive and Smooth brushes to create the
correct curvature of the lid. To nish, use the Pinch brush to
sharpen the edge. To create an elusive smile, decrease the
17 Create illustration Use Best Preview Render to render the image in a few separate
passes: diferent MatCap materials, Ambient Occlusion and Shadow from one main light
source. Fill each SubTool with a diferent colour and render it with a Flat Color material it will be
models subdivision and use the Move Topological brush to the mask for easy separation of each SubTool for post-production. In Photoshop, apply a layer
move the corners of her mouth slightly O. mask to each rendered MatCap layer and experiment with diferent material congurations. To
nish the illustration, import a Shadow pass and Ambient Occlusion and set them to a Multiply

16 Apply materials Im going to re-create materials from

a similar, older illustration. Before we start sampling
information we need to prepare our tools. Choose a Plane
blending mode with customised opacity Q.

primitive, convert it to Polymesh3D, draw it on the canvas and

enter Edit Object mode. Choose a Flat Color material, then in
Practice makes perfect N Be sure to check the ow of the
folds looks realistic
the Texture menu import an image to sample information from At the beginning, without knowledge of fabric dynamics, it O The Layer brush is best for
and add it as a texture to the Plane. Drop it on the canvas and is very difcult to sculpt believable folds. I recommend masking due to its handy
pre-loaded Alpha
choose a sphere an object to check the new material. Draw it studying as many references as possible, observing
on the canvas in Edit mode beside the Plane and choose diferent kinds of clothes, studying sculpture works even P Use the Wax Modier for a
MatCap White Cavity material from the ZBrush library. Pick the taking photos of varied fabrics in diferent congurations translucent efect
MatCap tool and start sampling from the illustration reference. and then trying to re-create them digitally. The more you Q Render the images for
Click the image and drag the cursor until a red arrow points practise, the more believable your efects will be. When you illustration with Best Preview
outwards. Repeat this several times, bearing in mind the understand folds you can create any fabric without relying Render and the highest
on references. Its vital not to focus on one area at a time; Antialiasing Quality
direction of the facing surfaces. When happy with the colour, hit
rst establish larger folds, their direction and placement,
Cmd/Ctrl and start grabbing the highlighted areas. Doing this
and keep in mind fabric qualities and gravitational forces.
we can create specular highlights P.

3D Art & Design 67


Create a
mythical beast Fauno
In this step-by-step guide I will offer an insight into my workow for the

personal illustration Fauno Luiz Alves is a freelance 3D artist based in Brazil

ntrigued by mythical creatures, I decided to create one to in Roman mythology and elsewhere. The subject
as a personal 3D project. Over the next six pages I hope presented a great challenge to me as an artist because Modelling
to share some of the techniques I used to produce this there were many diferent elements to incorporate into one
ctitious beast. body. I used 3ds Max, ZBrush, Photoshop and V-Ray to Texturing
For those who may be unfamiliar with this creature, the tackle the task at hand, the techniques of which Ill reveal Lighting
faun is a man with goats horns, ears, tail and legs referred over the next few pages.

Initial concepts
From rough ideas to designing the model

01Seek inspiration First search for

appropriate reference material to 02Build the base mesh Now I have an
idea of what I would like to create, its

establish the exact tone and style of what it is you

would like to create. Since the faun is made up of
limbs from both man and beast, its a good idea
time to produce the base mesh. I tackle this by
starting with the face rst, poly by poly. By
drawing the basic face loops and following the
03A question of curves Once I have a basic shape I
move on to rening the geometry. I made the ears with a
basic primitive out of the head and horns. Meanwhile, the
to nd plenty of images of each to familiarise appropriate ow, it prevents any strange curvature of the horns was built with a simple spline it was
yourself with the diferences in anatomy A. deformations in the geometry B. already the shape I wanted and was then converted into polys C.

68 3D Art & Design

Create a mythical beast

3D artists explain the

techniques behind
their amazing artwork
Artist info

Luiz Alves

Personal portfolio site
Country Brazil
Software used
3ds Max, ZBrush, Photoshop, Software used in this piece
Expertise Luiz is a freelance
3D generalist currently based 3ds Max ZBrush Photoshop V-Ray
in Brazil

3D Art & Design 69


Build features
Progress the characters design

04Shape geometry With the head modelling nished, I

move onto the bust creation. I start with a simple box,
adding some loops and making adjustments where necessary to
05Produce the peepers
Since the faun is a blend of
man and beast, I wanted the eyes
create a humanoid shape. Once Im happy, and the geometry is to reect that. I decided to produce
taken care of, I move the arms down to facilitate the rig process a variation of a human eye and a
and minimise deformation during the posing D. goat eye. To do this I made a little
deformation in the eye to look like a
d goat and added an FFD modier to
align the eyes in the face. When
making realistic eyes, its necessary
to have two meshes one for basic
colours and the other to make a
liquid efect. It works well to
e produce the Reection and
Refraction on the eyes E.

06Move on to maps With my basic mesh nished, its now time for UV mapping. I organise
the UV maps and use the chequered map to indicate whether there is any deformation. In
order to economise the space in the UV area, I organise them into groups of similar sizes f.

08Use the brushes Once I have subdivided my model to
ve levels, I begin sculpting the volumes and details with

07Sculpt stage After modelling and mapping the base mesh, I export the OBJ le to ZBrush.
Before I start sculpting, I always check to see if the UVs are correct with the UV Check tool in
the Texture Map panel. This way it guarantees I wont have any map-related problems g.
ZBrushs basic brushes (Standard, Flatten, Smooth and so on). I
use alphas to create details such as creases, scratches,
deformation and asymmetrical small details h.

70 3D Art & Design

Create a mythical beast

Lighting and polypainting

Apply realism to your model

09Return to 3ds Max Now I have nished the sculpting

stage, I export the displace and normal maps created in
ZBrush back into 3ds Max. Once there, I use the Displace modier Challenges with the project
with TurboSmooth to apply the maps to the model. To test the
maps, apply a simple V-Ray shader with one VRayLight to check Certainly the greatest challenge I faced during the fauns creation was the hair it was tricky
the model over i. to both make and render it. Lighting also took quite a bit of efort, since I needed to test
diferent congurations of setups and rendering specic to him (he didnt work well with
V-Ray). As a result, this had a knock-on efect in the postproduction stage where I had to
composite the two elements to produce a seamless integration of the two. It was tricky,
especially considering both had diferent lighting setups and so on. Despite the difculties, I
learned a lot from my experimentation with these processes and hopefully, with the help of
this tutorial, you can too.

Since the faun itself is a blend of man and beast, I

wanted the eyes to reect that. I decided to produce a
variation of a human eye and a goat eye

10Strike a pose Rigging and skin is next on the list. I make

a basic bone structure and apply the skin modier to
control the mesh. This means I can pose the faun and tweak the
position of the camera j.

11Illuminative advice I decided to stick to a very simple

light setup for this illustration. I tested my light using a basic

V-Ray shader in grey and also added an innite background, similar

to whats used in photographic studios. Two lights were present:
one yellow on the head with more intensity and on the right-hand
12Paint the character Now the lighting is sorted, I head back to ZBrush to paint the colour
map and create a cavity map. I use the Polypaint tool to paint my basic channel of colour map,
mixing a large number of alphas Ive created with skin variations and false shadows to raise areas on
side of the character a blue, less-intense one k. the body. I use the cavity map with the colour map to gain more volume and detail on the skin l.

3D Art & Design 71


Add skin and hair

Use shaders, maps and more

13Get dirty Its time to

start the nal textures.
Using the basic colour Ive
made a lot of layers in
Photoshop in order to add more
details with more denition. Ive
mixed all kinds of textures to
create cracks on the horns, dirt,
stains and Ive added the cavity
map so it doesnt look so clean.
All the maps are created at
5,000 x 5,000px m.

14Realistic skin
I complete the shading
process using the maps created
in Photoshop. To simulate more
realistic skin, I would suggest
using VRayFast SSS2 a m
practical and fast V-Ray shader
thats great for translucent
materials. To control the SSS
shader create a SSS mpa. o
Meanwhile, I use the VRayFast
SSS2 to make the translucent
aspect of the eyes, but to give a
reective element I create a
Refraction and Reection
shader applied on the superior n
eyes geometry n.

15A new coat The fauns fur was created in 3ds Maxs Hair
and Fur modier. In order to optimise the process its
necessary to convert the base geometry into a new geometry. This
way it is possible to brush comb it really fast and get control using a
density map I made in ZBrush o.

Chupa Cabras 3ds

Max, ZBrush and
Photoshop (2009)
Luiz Alves The goat-sucker
Im a freelance 3D generalist working in a Bravo 3ds Max, creature was my
freelance capacity. Ive always loved art, ZBrush and submission for a
animation and special effects in movies Photoshop 3D4ALL forum
since I was a kid. My course in Digital (2009) challenge. I tried to
I created this create something that
Media Production gave me a great start on model as a was fantastical but
my artistic journey. Since graduating Ive character study that also carried a
continued to evolve my traditional and to practise strong resemblance
digital art skills and knowledge to improve creating realistic to a common animal
my personal and professional portfolio. facial features. in our lives.

72 3D Art & Design

Create a mythical beast

Achieve the final render

Techniques to combine two assets into one

The nal
render for this
illustration was
generated in 4,000 x
3,072px as an 8-bit
TIFF le. I prefer to use
a larger scale for the
nal render because
p it makes it easier to
make selections
while compositing
everything and I
can see more details
than if it was a
image. If you look
closely, the medium
render always
produces a blur in the
ner details, whereas
this doesnt happen
q often with the higher
quality render p.

17Furry problems The render process was diferent for the

fur because hair and fur doesnt work with VRayLights. In
order to make the fur render, I worked with Scanline render and
Omni Lights in the same positions as the VRayLights. Its important
to remember that when we want to render the fur, the resolution of
it is totally proportional with the tile memory usage so if you want
to render in large scales, you will need to set the tile memory usage
in large values, otherwise it wont render.
To improve the integration of the body and the fur, I created a
render channel just for the fur shadows. I then applied a matte/
shadows material and turned the option of in the panel efects so
that the shadows are only generated on the body q.

Boy Lucas 3ds Max,

ZBrush and
Photoshop (2011)
My nephew inspired
this piece. I realised
that the looks and
expressions of children
are something very
interesting. They carry
a feeling of pure joy
that we gradually lose
as we reach adulthood.
I tried to capture this
look in the bust to
make me always
remember what we
18Final touches Now its time to tackle the composition. My postproduction stage was
completed in Photoshop. Using the channels applied on the original render you can control
aspects of light, shadows and reections. With the body setting closed, prepare the fur it will be
once were. necessary to paint the fur and simulate some shadows on the body to make it look more real. Add a
Noise lter, some colour gradients and one layer to paint necessary highlights r.

3D Art & Design 73



Software used in this piece

ZBrush Photoshop

The aim of this tutorial is
to create a fantasy
satyr-type character. I
want to create an overly
stylised face for a fantasy
genre that can be
rendered realistically and
create impact.

74 3D Art & Design

Master Weta character design

Master Weta
character design 3D artists explain the
techniques behind
their amazing artwork

Artist info
The Satyr 2012
Learn to use ZBrush to create a fantasy character portrait, following
the principles of Andrews 3D character conceptualising workow at Andrew Baker
Weta Workshop Personal portfolio site
Andrew Baker is a senior character/creature designer at Weta Workshop Design Studio in New Zealand
Location New Zealand

Software used
bust or portrait is always a great place to start Without getting too focused on the technical aspects in ZBrush, Photoshop
visualising a character. ZBrush enables us to the 3D process, Id like to show how I generally start Expertise Creating and
conceptualise an idea to an extremely high level conceptualising a character by creating a bust and portrait. conceptualising characters and
creatures for physical and
relatively quickly. We no longer have to go through an Due to the speed at which I execute such rened work, this digital pipelines
arduous technical process to create an efective, realistic- is where I begin the conceptual stage of my project often,
looking 3D character. in essence, cutting straight to the point.

Conceptualise with digital clay

Get started on the sculpture in ZBrush

Using 01 Use primitives to establish a base Traditionally, it

used to be quicker to start a 3D sculpture from a base

DynaMesh mesh you had already created. Ive always found this process a bit
limiting on a conceptual level, though, as you are technically
wisely pushing and pulling a volumetric shape it feels constraining. All of
my design sculpting now starts from a sphere. With the use of
Insert Mesh brushes and DynaMesh I can experiment with
I start using DynaMesh diferent shapes before locking into the base Ill use to nish the
on a very low level. In this sculpture on. Once Ive got enough primitives there to manipulate, I
case I have it set to 48, use DynaMesh at a low level of 48 and start sculpting A.
but depending on how
large your model is the
resolution will difer. At
the early stages its
02 Design considerations I create several lines to
highlight relationships on the face. The ears line up with
the eyes to the point of the nose and from the nose outwards to the
almost like what you do
with sketching: blurring edges of his jaw. I generally think of character faces in triangles that
your eyes to start are largely based on humanoid congurations. This can be pushed
visualising where the as far as you like for example huge noses, tiny eyes, massive
forms are, and quickly chins. Its a game of consideration. Be aware of whats working and
laying down broad strokes what isnt. This will be the design base for the following steps B.
to nd the design.
DynaMesh is extremely C
useful at this stage and
can be used in the entire
sculpting process.
However, I prefer to use it
03 The right geometry With this sculpture were trying
to be fast, but efective. My goal is not to create a
production model; however, ZBrush still enables you to create a
as a base generator and high-res sculpt really quickly, so its worth having enough geometry
subdivide further. Later I to get you there. I nd its essential to get as much information in
want to be able to the lowest subdivision level before subdividing, so that I wont need
drastically pose this DynaMesh again. I keep design elements like horns and eyes on a
character, so having a separate SubTool to move them independently if I need to. I
lower subdivision level
subdivide twice at this stage to begin sculpting further C.
helps with this.

A Using primitives with the Insert B My plans in regards to the C The DynaMesh base created,
and Move brushes to nature of the face I want to with more subdividing needed
manipulate my base eventually create to move it on further

3D Art & Design 75


Form, texture and pose

Lets get the character into pose and refine the sculpt

04 Build the forms

Now, with some extra
subdivision levels, I build up
some of the forms. Using the
Clay Buildup brush I want to
create direction for the surface
and build up some secondary
forms. Doing this on one of the
lower subdivision levels can
create some nice organic
efects on the upper levels. I
often switch between the lower
and higher subdivisions at this
stage to play with the options a
little. I want to create a drastic
pose for this character, looking
over his shoulder, so I dont
want to get too precious about
any forms at this stage, but
rather block out the basis for
his personality D. D

Top shaders
Using diferent shaders is
a great way to tackle
certain aspects of your
sculpting and colouration.
For my primary forms, I
prefer to use a shader like
MatCap Grey, which
shows the forms of really
well. When I start my
secondary forms, I turn
on the Blinn shader, as
this has a nice general
specular highlight, which
is also good for showing
the detail. I ick between
that and MatCap Grey.
The Skin Shader default is
awesome for colouring
esh-toned characters,
and I use this a lot for my
E concepts as it displays
really well.

05 Put the character into a pose As our end goal is

not a symmetrical production model, I want to pose it
right away. I have a clear idea of how Id like to present this
D Build up the forms, keeping the
design base and appending
some horns
character, having him look over his shoulder to create an
e Mask and transform the
asymmetrical bust and an interesting view for the portrait. I use character, while sculpting and
Transpose Master to generate the pose. Be as bold as you can! Its xing broken areas
important not to marry to any forms at this stage and let it come
f Build up secondary forms and
out in the posed maquette. I also sculpt into the mesh while detail the horns
transposing, trying to x any broken anatomy as I go e.
g Sharpen details and add some

surface noise
Tighten up the forms Now that the model is posed
and I have some higher subdivision levels, its about h Use a scattering efect on the
rening those secondary forms, like the cheekbones, lips, brows, brush, adding in some extra
pore detail
eye sockets and so on. For me, theres no better brush than the
Clay for this. It creates very nice crease lines, which can start as the I Layer up the colour of the
base for our wrinkles. I nd the Clay brush, if treated right, can give character, masking the cavities
and washing over the top with a
some nice results to the higher subdivision levels, using the Smooth base colour
brush to soften where needed. I also play with the shape of the
J You can still tighten up the
horns, considering how they afect the overall silhouette more, details with your sculpting
now theyre on the posed character f. brushes as you apply colour

76 3D Art & Design

Master Weta character design

07 Detail and texture

I am now happy with
the secondary forms and can
08 Pores and extra texture To create another level of
focused noise in areas, I use the Standard brush with a
Scatter efect and a very small Point Alpha. I turn the Z Intensity
start to see where my detail slider quite low and increase the size of the brush and intensity as
needs to go. DamStandard is needed, especially on the shoulder and chin areas or anywhere I
my new favourite brush for think a specular highlight might appear on the nal piece. I also use
going into these soft forms and DamStandard with a really low intensity to create very ne
giving them some sharpness. wrinkles, going in the direction of the skin compression h.
They fold into the surface and
create a pinched, V-shaped
crease, instead of a U-shaped
crease like the normal Standard
09 Add some colour As colour will greatly afect how
our texture is shown, I want to start adding that in,
treating the detail of the surface and colour now at the same time. I
brush makes. I also add a noise start of by adding a very light base colour, covering the whole
pass to create the pore efect model. I use the default skin shader as this shows up colouring for
on the surface. Playing around skin very well and all in real-time. I layer up the model with reds,
with the scale and intensity of blues and yellows for the underlying blood vessels to wash with a
the noise function can create esh colour and soften in areas. I also mask out the cavities to add
awesome pore- and skin-like some dirt i.
textures. Experiment with this
feature to really get a grasp of
just what it can achieve g.

10 Rene detail with colour Because ZBrush enables us to afect the form while adding
colour, I go back to my DamStandard brush, turn the RGB down very low with a brown colour
and start to tighten up some of the wrinkle details. I also use the Inate brush to push all the details
tighter together j.

3D Art & Design 77


Final touches and presentation

Finish the painted sculpt and get it ready for maquette presentation
11 Add the hair
Another hugely
innovative tool from ZBrush is
FiberMesh. This is a great
addition to the process as
things like hair really add a nice
touch to a character like this. By
simply masking of areas where
I want there to be hair, I turn on
the FiberMesh button and
begin to adjust to the diferent
hair Id like to add. I want some
variation in the hair around him,
but I want it to be quite thin,
sparse and wiry k.

12 Get creative
Without going too far
and crashing your machine, you
can have a lot of fun creating
diferent hair around the face.
Masking areas like the tips of
the ears is a nice touch, I nd,
while creating some scraggly
sideburns can also be efective.
There are lots of options to play
with, so I suggest spending
some time to get used to
whats possible. I always take

13 Give him some ink I want to add another element to this character that isnt necessarily a
costume accessory. Im thinking of a large religious-style tattoo on his back. I create the tattoo
in Photoshop as a at template then use Spotlight in ZBrush to project it onto my character. Spotlight is
time to manipulate with the
brushes afterwards, so I can be
sure to create a much more
another great way to project any other further texture onto characters m. efective look l.

tips & tricks
Depending on how long I
have to get an image
done, I sometimes spend
a bit of time playing with
the hair and positioning
tattoos. These are often
things that can be
explored in 2D for
conceptual pieces, but it
never hurts to have
something 3D there for
the nal render. All of
whats been done so far
has been done very
quickly without getting
too consumed with
technical aspects. If its
not working in 3D, solve
the idea quickly in 2D by
doing paint-overs before
committing to the 3D
render. This can also be
really handy to show a
client for variations. M

k Mask of areas on the head m Use ZBrushs Spotlight to apply n Some layers rendered in ZBrush p The nal ZBrush layers
where you want to create hair the tattoo created in Photoshop. to take into Photoshop composited in Photoshop
Adjust the hue and opacity
L l Add diferent types of hair before applying to the model so o A layer rendered out in ZBrush q Give the nal image some
around the ear it blends in correctly for Photoshop blending post-production work

78 3D Art & Design

Master Weta character design

Compose the final image Layering

Render and capture the essence of the sculpture in post shaders
14 A perfect comp
Having the composition
in mind from the beginning will
Its vital to experiment
with diferent shaders
and efects in ZBrush.
certainly help you get to this Theres no limit to the
stage quickly. This way theres variation of materials and
no unnecessary sculpting and textures you can create in
the entire process is geared ZBrush without the use of
towards aiding what we want photos or alphas.
to show. I aim to create an Designing and creating
interesting pose that isnt characters in 3D and
front-on to the character, getting realistic results
thereby enhancing his doesnt have to be a
silhouette a little. Having the laborious process
sculpt turned to a grey shader
anymore. Also, keeping a
library of references will
(Blinn, in this case) and doing
always aid the creative
some quick BPR renders with process and arm you with
the main light source will also a catalogue of ideas.
help us judge how best to
compose the character. I create
my document in portrait at
about 1,310 x 2,050 pixels,
which will be the nal crop n.
5 hours
ation tim
15 Render
for post
out layers
Once Ive n
Resolution e
established my main light 2,953 x 4,58 :
source, and the shadow that is 4
created by looking at the BPR
render passes, I start to look at
what else I can take to
Photoshop to help this image
along. I render out a lot of
diferent light passes on the
various standard shaders
turned to black. I use the BPR
render passes, a cavity and
reection pass. For SSS I use a
standard shader set to red and
amp up the ambience. Then I
just need any shader that looks
like it might do something
interesting in Photoshop o.

p q

16 The nal composition I generally experiment a lot

with blending options on the passes Ive rendered out.
Because this guy has human skin and Ive painted the model, the
17 Post-production Once Im happy with the blended
layers, and theyre all doing what I want, I can really start to
have some fun. A background can be used to make the image look
initial render gave me a lot to work with. This is the great thing more of a studio shot or something more photographic. As this
about this process and leaves us a bit of time to spruce up the image could be used as the base for many design passes, Im not
image. Using the Z-Depth map and changing the colour while shy about painting over areas that need further attention even
turning it to Overlay can create some nice depth efects. Reection using photographs although I only ever use photos to add noise
and Light maps can be used to create interesting efects for the or textures where I can. Sometimes its unavoidable, but if Im
o eyes, too. At this stage, be experimental and have fun p. sculpting a character like this, theres really no need q.

3D Art & Design 79

Find inspiration in the world around you and
achieve some interesting arch-vis creations
82 Master arch vis 106
Begin designing and creating an arch-
vis project a house
88 Visualise architecture
Develop your houses surroundings

94 Apply the finishing touches

Finish your project by rendering your
house to perfection

100 Create superior interiors

Design a dramatic bedroom interior

106 Design interactive interiors

Use Unity to enhance your arch vis

110 Build unique arch-vis assets

Create a model that can be easily reused

116 Fantasy arch vis:

concept design
How to create a fantastical concept

118 Fantasy arch vis: 3D

Take your concept to the next level by
illustrating it


80 3D Art & Design




110 94

3D Art & Design 81

Architectural visualisation

Master arch vis

House stage one 2012
Lech Sokolowski explains how to
create a place of residence from
architectural plans
Lech Sokoowski is a self-employed
3D generalist based in Poland

3D artists explain the n the rst of this three-part tutorial, well be learning
techniques behind
their amazing artwork
how to handle a professional architectural visualisation Concept
project using the free and open-source 3D software,
The plan for this arch-vis project is to build a standard,
Blender. This rst part will include some very useful
Artist info

one-oor family house. These types of jobs are commonly

techniques for creating the buildings model, which will be available in studios or as a freelancer, so once youve got the
based on architectural drawings and sketches. When hang of this house style, youll be able to apply what youve
working in a studio or architectural ofce, youll often be learnt to more complicated buildings.
given plans like these by the client or your manager. Having a
good knowledge of how to quickly apply these drawings in
your 3D environment and later create a precise
Lech Sokoowski representation of the 2D concept is highly valuable.
The most popular le formats for saving technical
drawings are DWG and DXF, which can be created by
Username: lechu
almost any CAD software. While Blender supports the DXF
Personal portfolio site format pretty well, probably the best, fastest and most
reliable way of working with these types of information is
Country Poland
Software used Blender using CAD data exported to a PDF or JPG le. I prefer the
Expertise Considered a 3D PDF output as it can be processed later using 2D software
generalist, Lech most enjoys the and saved in any resolution without losing quality.
compositing and postproduction
stages. He has worked as a For the purposes of this tutorial, Ive already created some
freelancer and as a 3D artist at JPG les ready to be imported into Blender. However, if you
Evermotion. He currently runs
his own studio based in Poland. would like to practice on raw PDF data, this can be found on
the free disc at the back of the book.

82 3D Art & Design

Master arch vis

Part one
Texturing Building plans
Finished model of the building
Helpful modelling scripts

Software used
in this piece


Press N to display this panel

Various display options

Load background images here

01Prepare the workspace Before we start with modelling, its a

good idea to set up the Blender workspace the way you like it. By hitting
the N key while in 3D view, youll open a Display Properties panel in which you Click here to install external scripts b

02Load additional plug-ins

can load a background image. Unfold the Display Options and click Toggle
Blenders modelling tools are still under heavy
Quad View. This will subdivide your 3D window into four orthographic views.
development, so Id suggest using some external plug-ins created by the
This should work perfectly if you have a more technical approach to the 3D
community. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+U to open the User Preferences window. Choose
geometry. I personally prefer to work only in one big window and change the
Addons and at the bottom of the window click Install Addon. Now select the mesh_bevel.
views by using numerical keys A.
py and les that can be found on the free disc (these are free to use and
can also be found online). After that remember to switch the tools on by nding them in
A Pressing Cmd/Ctrl with the left or B Not every supported add-on is
right arrow keys enables you to quickly immediately available by default after the correct group on the left-hand side of the screen. Well be using these two quite a lot,
alternate between created workspaces Blenders installation so double-check everything has been set up correctly b.

3D Art & Design 83

Architectural visualisation

Start the basic structure

Create basic geometry and begin window details
c d

Press T to open additional Tool Shelf

Extrude along the walls

04Place interior walls We need to create inner walls

inside the house so it wont look totally empty later when
rendering. The techniques are pretty much the same as in the
previous steps create a cube, enter Edit Mode and, by moving
and extruding the faces, cover all the areas. Well leave the interior
very simple for now and will come back to it much later if some
additional changes turn out to be necessary d.

03Begin with basic geometry With everything set up, create a simple plane and scale it up
by about 20 times. Now add a cube and enter Edit Mode. With the oor_plan.jpg le from
the disc set as the background, start extruding one of the faces along the outer walls of the building.
C Press T in 3D View to open a
panel with more options
E Hold the Alt/Opt key while
selecting edges to mark at once

D You can add a ground plane F For the best efect its good to
Dont be bothered by the cubes height at the moment, well set it up later. While extruding try to mark object for better scene have some reference images of
all the openings, windows and doors by hitting E just where they appear on the building plan c. navigation in later steps the object youre modelling

05Rene the walls

From the disc, open the
elevation_front.jpg drawing and
set it up to be displayed in Front
Orthographic view. Scale both the
interior and exterior walls and
match them to the lines Select and press X to delete Alt+right-click to loop select
Press T for additional
representing the top and bottom panel and choose Bridge
edges of the walls. Next, select the
outer walls and enter Edit Mode.
Press Cmd/Ctrl+R to create edge
loops and match them to the
window lines marked on the
drawing. Repeat this process for e Ctrl+N to ip normals Select all by pressing A
each elevation and delete the
faces, making the window
openings. To join the interior and f
exterior edges in each opening,
select them and click the Bridge
Problems and solutions
button under the LoopTools list, Creating the outer walls was a good starting point for the
located in the 3D View Tool Shelf upcoming steps. Now well be adding more detailed objects
(hit the T key to reveal the list) e. like windows, doors and roof elements. Its good to plan
your work ahead, as a good management of all your objects

06Add window models

The window dimensions
difer quite a lot in each elevation,
is essential when working on bigger projects. Blender gives
us a basic yet very handy layer system, which can be
accessed by pressing the M key. While continuing, try to
so to speed up the work well sort all the elements into separate layers. This will help you
create just one basic model, and in hiding all specic parts of the building, windows for
then copy and adjust it to each
instance, or viewing only solid elements like the walls and
ceiling. Tweaking the display options may also be very
opening. Create a cube, scale it
helpful. Enter the Object menu in your Properties panel,
down several times and place in and under the Display list, change or enhance the ways
the corner of one of the holes. your geometry is displayed. Clicking the Wire type of
Enter Edit Mode and create a display creates a wireframe grid, covering the shaded,
window frame by scaling and normal-looking model. This is very helpful especially when
duplicating the cube. Repeat the adding new elements in Perspective Mode.
process and create a smaller frame In order to quickly distribute the objects through the
inside the window for better detail. scene, just model one of them and later duplicate it into the
Last, apply the Bevel modier (hit desired areas. Of course the duplicate will require some
W to access) but rst, go to Object tweaking and adjusting, but its much faster than making
Mode and press Cmd/Ctrl+A to every window from scratch, for example.
zero the scale of your model f.

84 3D Art & Design

Master arch vis

Detailed modelling Find a proper

detail balance
Add more specific features to your elements
When working on your
scene, its very important
07Window details
Create another cube
and by simple scaling
g to nd a proper balance
for details youre going to
add. Focusing on some
operations, create a thin glass elements too extensively
surface. Duplicate it, select is time consuming and
both objects and hit Cmd/ might result in you not
Ctrl+J to merge them together. nishing the project on
Now create window shutters. time. You may also
Add a plane object and scale it overload your scene with
according to the window surplus geometry and
dimensions. Rotate it slightly in cause signicant viewport
Edit Mode and add an Array slowdown. Adding some
modier. Adjust the Relative basic enhancements to
your models, like the ones
Ofset settings so the plane
weve created in previous
duplicates in the Z axis and
steps, should work ne in
increase the Count number to most cases. However, you
20. This way you can now may also encounter a
randomise the length of each Use Count number to
tweak the shutter length situation when a client
shutter in just a few clicks g. requires high-resolution
renderings or close-ups
tips Although the
nal result would probably
on some elements. If
possible, its best to have
good-quality models
consist only of one image, already prepared for that
its a good habit to kind of project. This saves
approach your scenes and you a great amount of
models globally. Your client time and enables you to
might want to see their make quick changes
building from totally during the project. The
diferent perspectives and if scene handling also
your model lacks signicant
requires a diferent
approach. As mentioned
details at this point, you
earlier, use Blenders layer
might get into trouble. system to distribute the
Modelling everything from models properly, for
scratch is time consuming, example, according to the
so its common for view location. Its not
designers to reuse models necessary to overload
from past scenes or even to your viewport with
buy some pre-made objects that are not visible
Properly created models objects online. There are at the moment, so disable
are a great material for also many websites sharing their layer.
animation purposes
great models for free h.

09Model a door
The door modelling
techniques are pretty much the
same as with the windows. Ive
even used the basic window
shape to create the entrance
door model. Enhance the frame
by removing the bottom
element and add four
horizontal slats to make the
doors difer from the windows
at some points. However, the
balcony doors are still very
similar to the base shape i.

G Pressing Shift with one of the j

axes (X, Y or Z) while scaling,
moving or rotating, will exclude
this axis from operation

I You can diversify the model by

opening some of the doors
10Add a garage door Copy the entrance door frame and
edit it to match the wall opening. Create one thin, vertical
element and use the Array modier to duplicate it several times.
Add a plane object and place it behind the arrayed boxes. Apply
J You can soften the edges using
both Bevel and Subdivide i the modier and join the parts together. Create details by adding
Surface modiers and scaling cube objects and applying the Bevel modier j.

3D Art & Design 85

Architectural visualisation

Create the covering

Focus on modelling the roof
Lech Sokoowski
I am an architect by education and 3D artist by passion.
11Basic roof model To start the roof correctly, lets rst
create the basic shape. From the disc, load the roof_view.jpg Final
Since my youth I was interested in various forms of
expression, especially drawing. My adventure with 3D
image into Blenders viewport and create a simple plane object.
Subdivide the edges marked on the image and move the newly touches
created vertex into proper position. Now select the triangle vertex
graphics started during my studies and Ive quickly shape and hit the F key to create a new triangle face. This way Angle proles are the
fallen into it. Currently I run my own 3D graphics weve made a roof surface that only needs to be edited in the side most important roof
studio, NoTriangle, and live a happy life in a quiet, view. Select middle vertexes, switch to Orthographic Front camera elements, yet we still
mellow region in east Poland. and move them up as on the drawing k. need to add some details.
Using the very simple
techniques described
k earlier, Ive created the
chimney model and some
additional roof details like
gutters to improve the
nal look. Ive also added
wooden nishings at the
bottom surface and edge
of the roof.

K The roof consists of two similar

models so we just need to
duplicate one weve created

L Cut tiles will have uncapped

surfaces, but well cover them
Art Gallery 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop (2010) with other elements
This is one of the interior scenes I prepared when working in the M You can include simple details
Evermotion studio. My task was to create a set of complete 3D by adding edge loops, beveling
environments for various product-rendering purposes. them and using the Solidify tool
to extrude

N If possible, try to nd any

reference pictures similar to the
project youre working on

l 1. Tile model
used in this
12Add roof tiles Create a rectangular roof tile by scaling
the cube object and soften its edges by applying Bevel in
Edit Mode. Rotate the tile matching the roof angle and add two
Jewish Museum,
Array modiers. The rst one will duplicate the tile along the wider
Berlin Blender,
V-Ray, Photoshop roof edge and the second will multiply all these tiles upwards.
(2011) Tweak the Relative Ofset settings to match all the duplicates.
This scene was Switch to Top Orthographic view and apply the modiers. In Edit
created for light study 2. The rst Mode, select all the elements, hit W and pick the Fake Knife tool.
Array modier Cut the tiles along the roof edges and delete unwanted parts l.
purposes. I always
found this building
very touching and
inspiring and still look
3. Rotate
forward to nishing a the tiles
CG animation project
regarding it.

4. The second
Array modier

5. Apply the modiers

6. Use the Fake Knife tool

Youth Hostel Interior Blender, Cycles, Photoshop (2012) 7. Delete

13Roof details Create the angle proles to cover the
uncapped faces of the cut roof tiles. Duplicate one of the
cross edges of the main roof model, hit the P key and choose
This image shows the interior space of a building designed in our unwanted Selection Only to separate the edge. Enter Edit Mode and extrude
studio. Its a multi-functional youth hostel located in one of the elements
the edges upwards. Press Cmd/Ctrl+F, choose Solidify and extrude
natural parks in east Poland. the element in two directions. Select the external vertexes both in
the upper and lower part of the model, and move them down m.

86 3D Art & Design

Master arch vis

Detail the elevations

re nder time
Focus on the elevation enhancements and final touches Resolution
5,000 x 2,50 :
14Project options It happens quite often that you have to
visualise projects that arent fully nished and dened. A
client might want you to take responsibility and create some of the
Some elements of
this project are
not dened
elements by yourself. In our example, we have very basic elevation
drawings so lets use this as an opportunity to practice. Ill be using
three nishing materials: plaster, bricks and stone tiles n.

15Create the bricks Ive decided to create the brick

elements in the entrance area. Although these are very
repeatable, I wont be using the Array modier this time. Bricks are
usually aligned to certain pattern and almost always need manual
renements when creating the corner sections or openings. We p
could use a texture for this, but a real model representation of each

16Input stone tiles

material will yield better results o.
As youll notice, were using the same, very basic techniques for creating
most of the elements. The tiles wont be an exception. Start from the simple cube model and,
q by scaling and duplicating, create a few tiles of diferent dimensions and match them up. While in
Object Mode, join the elements together, zero the scale by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+A in the Scale options
and apply the Bevel tool in Edit Mode p.

Coming up next
In this tutorial youve hopefully learned some essential skills on how to approach and manage
a standard architectural rendering project. In the next couple well be covering the
environment setup, diferent types of vegetation, scene enhancements together with
Shaders, rendering and nal postproduction. Hopefully youll stay with us and nd out what
amazing things can be done using free and commonly available software.
O Bricks are just
simple cubes scaled
into typical proportions

P The elevation materials

placement is totally up to you

Q The geometry mostly consists

of very basic shapes

17Additional elements To make the building look

complete, we need to add some nal objects. Start creating
a garage driveway by editing the cube and moving its vertexes
under the ground plane surface. To create entrance stairs just add
another cube, match it properly and use some of the stone tiles to
make the covering surface. Copy the whole element and create the
terrace by applying some simple adjustments. You can also create
the ower bowls around the terrace, but the vegetation will be
widely covered in the next tutorial q.

3D Art & Design 87

Architectural visualisation

3D scene with basic

environment setup and shaders
Image les describing some
of the shaders
Sample shaders

Visualise architecture
using Blender House stage two
Starting from proper camera placement and setup, well create the buildings
surroundings, vegetation and the lighting environment Lech Sokoowski runs his own studio

his is the second part of a tutorial series buildings surroundings, vegetation and the painting. A common aspect of all these art
in which well learn how to handle a lighting environment. Well also get into the hair disciplines is the need to use proper image
professional, architectural visualisation particle system and study some of the great composition. There are dozens of renders on the
project using the free and open-source 3D features of Blenders rendering engine, Cycles. internet that are perfect when it comes to
application, Blender. In the previous tutorial we The article will also cover some modelling tricks technical issues, yet the overall efect is often
looked at the modelling techniques and skills and other important aspects of creating average at best. Commercial architectural
required for professional 3D building preparation. professional, good-looking images. renderings arent the kind of projects where we
This time well focus on various other aspects of As each render is in fact a 2D image created can apply many artistic values, yet a good
architectural rendering. Starting from proper inside 3D software, it can be considered on the composition will always give us many benets.
camera placement and setup, well create the same basis as photography, drawing or even This will be our starting point for this article.

88 3D3DArtist
Art & Design
Visualise architecture using Blender
Software used
in this piece Camera setup
Blender Shaders

A When adjusting camera

placement, always have the
concept of the nal image in
your head. You can make some
very simple drawings for helping
yourself with that

B Composition guidelines can

be very helpful, but dont let
them limit your creativity!

Camera setup
Good camera placement is essential
properties The
image aspect ratio used is 1.6:1,

giving us a wider picture frame

to cover the whole building and
some surroundings. The
resolution Ive used for preview
purposes was 1600x1000.
Another very important factor
is the camera Focal Length. Ive
used the standard value of 35
as it is very popular in
traditional photography. I also

01Camera placement Good camera placement and focusing on interesting

aspects of the building (or any other object) is essential to achieve a good nal
efect. In part one of the tutorial, our closing image showed the front entrance of the
recommend switching on the
Compositing Guides to
ne-tune the camera
house. However, after some considerations Ive decided to choose a rear elevation. The placement. Choices range from
main reason is that it will look much more interesting after adding the vegetation and standard Center-based image
other details. Secondly, its easier to pick an interesting angle as were not limited by any subdivision to Golden or
surrounding frontal elements that would need to be added for realistic results a. Harmonious Triangles b.

3D Art & Design 89

Architectural visualisation

Building surroundings
With camera placed, well now add surroundings and place the final details
c Setting up the vertical lens shift d
04Surroundings and
building details
I start by creating the wall
surrounding the plot. Depending
on your clients preferences, you
might be asked to create a metal
fence or organic enclosure like
bushes or hedges. This would
require you spending more time
working on the background,
perhaps adding neighbouring

03Lens shift Lens shifting is a technique allowing us to

eliminate the natural distortion efects generated by standard
and digital lenses. Its commonly used, especially in architectural
buildings, vegetation etc.
However, solid walls are quite
commonly used by people and
photography. When using wide camera lenses (usually from 16 to for us are the quickest way to
35mm), we have a wider viewing angle and can capture more create a good-looking
information, but the nal image will also be distorted. To eliminate Although
background. Well also create
this efect, the lens is being shifted out of its natural placement, walls are simple the vegetation behind the wall,
neutralising the distortion. In our example we need to adjust the ShiftY objects, they also have which will diversify and detail
some details and diferent shaders
factor and then rotate the camera in the vertical axis c. the nal image even more d.

e Step-by-step stone creation

05Additional renements The owerpots from the previous tutorial dont look good
enough so Ill extend them through the whole terrace. The building walls also need some
detail. Ive created thin kerbs and distributed them all around the building. Now well ll the gap with
gravel stones. Create the plane object and extrude it along the building walls. Add a cube object, enter
Edit Mode and subdivide it once, adding some random rotation to the newly created faces. The stones
will be very small so the single subdivision should work well. Adjust the object manually by editing its
f Kerbs, walls and
Vertices. Create up to four diferent stones using this technique e. gravel distribution

06Distributing objects Group the stones together and

select the extruded plane from the previous step. Add a
new Particle System and change its type from Emitter to Hair.
Switch on the Advanced options and go to the Render tab. Click
Group and select your stones from the list. You should now see all
four of your objects being randomly distributed throughout the
plane. Go to Emission settings and increase the amount number.
Its also recommended to change the distribution type from
Jittered to Random. Under the Physics tab you can also randomise
the size of your objects f.

Problems and solutions

After putting the camera in the desired location, well now
gradually add more and more details to our scene. It is really
hard to estimate from the very beginning what will be the
nal object placement, shader setup or lighting parameters.
In order to work efciently, I always try to roughly build up
my scene and later rene each detail after knowing its
placement, dimensions or material. In the next few steps Ill
focus on some techniques and issues that you may

07Pre-made models
encounter during your own projects, but keep in mind that
In real-life situations youre very often working within tight deadlines
in real life you should build a workow that will suit your
and many other stressful circumstances thats why you need to be fast end efcient. While
own preferences. Be exible, change the steps order, mix
its quite easy to prepare objects like windows, owerpots and doors by yourself, creating good-quality the techniques together or try to develop your own, basing
furniture models for each scene is totally pointless. Thats why its essential to build up your own library this on the information youve already received. Ultimately,
of 3D models, ready to use at any time. Although most of the models available online are dedicated to thats the only way to successfully learn new things and take
commercial software, you can store them as .obj les, since Blender imports these without any your skills to a higher level.
problems. You may also create a Cycles shader library that might be used simultaneously g.

90 3D Art & Design

Visualise architecture using Blender

Interior design
Glass material for windows, plus curtain-making
Material system
In the previous steps Ive very
roughly described the Cycles Step 1
material system. This topic will be
covered more deeply in the next
part of this tutorial series, but
some basic understanding of the
shading system is required for the
next steps of this article.
Cycles uses a node-based
system for creating the materials
and currently it doesnt ofer any Step 2
pre-made setups or shaders its
up to us to build them from
scratch. This approach has both h
advantages and disadvantages.
First of all, you have total control
over the shader. Most 3D
applications have material
08Basic shaders In order to see the furniture weve
just placed, we need to create a glass material.
Although the Cycles shading system gives us a glass-type
systems supporting pre-dened shader on the go, we still need to apply some adjustments.
shader types such as Difuse, Firstly, your glass object must have a thickness, just like in Step 3
Glossy or Translucent. Each of the real world. Secondly, we need to tweak its Ray Visibility
these has its own specic values options. These settings determine which aspects of the
and parameters. In Cycles, every material will take part in the rendering process. For instance,
material you create can be freely we can switch of the objects visibility, but still allow it to be
dened and changed using the visible in the reective surfaces. For glass objects, especially
node editor. For instance, when windows, we need to turn of the Shadow, Transmit and
we choose the Glass type of Difuse properties h.
material, the node editor gives us
the freedom to delete the Glass
shader node and replace it with
Transparent or Emit shader 09Adding curtains The buildings interior looks too
empty so Ive decided to add some curtains. Create
a Bzier Curve object and enter Edit Mode. Select an end
nodes. To create a physically
accurate glossy material, we need point and by pressing the E key, extrude the curve, adjusting
to mix Difuse and Glossy its shape. Convert it to mesh geometry by returning to Object
shaders, using a Fresnel node as Mode and pressing Opt/Alt+C. Choose Mesh from Curve Step 4 Step 5
the input for the mixing value. It and enter Edit Mode once more. Extrude the path towards
may seem complicated, but once the ceiling, add horizontal subdivisions and press the P key to
you grasp how this system works, switch on Proportional Editing. By selecting random vertices,
youll love it. One drawback is the adjust the curtains and diversify their shape i.
lack of pre-made, useful materials
that could be quickly added to the
g Some of the models that i Creating curtains in
scene. This can be solved by Ive been using in this step-by-step fashion
creating your own library of the tutorial scene
most used shaders and storing j The same method was used
h Step-by-step process of to map and texture the
them in one Blender le. creating a glass object surrounding walls, Step 7 Step 6
and material owerpots and terrace

10Quick UV mapping
speed up the texturing
process well use the Cube

Projection technique to unwrap the

house walls. Cube projection works
quite well with architectural models,
but always check if there are no
visible seams in areas exposed to
camera. If this issue occurs, select
all of the faces directed towards the
camera and use either the normal
Unwrap or Project from View
option. Remember that you dont
need (and, except for game models,
barely ever should) to unwrap all
your geometry at one command.
Instead, select the faces you want
3D viewport UV/Image editor
to texture and use the unwrapping
mode that works the best j.

3D Art & Design 91

Architectural visualisation

Environment Shaders
Illuminate the scene using sun and environmental lights lighting
15 seconds using CPU 15 seconds using GPU It can often happen that
a specic shader which
worked perfectly in one
scene doesnt seem to
look good when we try
to reuse it in another
project. This issue is
common to all 3D
applications and in fact
isnt even an error or
software failure. Just as
k Using GPU mode in real life, where we
may speed up the rendering perceive colours,
process by a factor of ten or more! materials and surfaces
depending on the
11Lighting and preview rendering Before we create a lighting setup, lets learn how to preview our scene and render it in
real-time. Next to the Mode button in the bottom tab of 3D Viewport we have a Display Mode button. Choose the Rendered type
of display and after a few seconds you should see your scene with an ambient occlusion type of lighting being rendered in real time. If the
environment in which
theyre located, the
same efect applies to
Rendered type of display is not available, check if youve chosen Cycles from the Rendering Engine tab located in the Info panel. You can the digital world.
switch between CPU and GPU rendering modes in User Preferences>System options k.

l Change the Sun or Textured Icosphere imitating sky m If the sky sphere shader
Environment emitting seems too complicated,
values for ne-tuning check the tutorial les
the lighting for additional

Sun location

12Sun and background light Open the World setup

panel and change the Surface colour type from RGB to Sky
Texture. If you switch on the Rendered mode in Viewport, you
Additional background plates with trees

should see a nice-looking physical sky appearing. By clicking and

dragging the sphere in World panel, youre able to dene the
physical sun placement or change the time of day, from midday to
13Environmental setup The default sky system looks nice, but doesnt have any settings
allowing its colour correction or image placement. We could replace the sky in a 2D application,
but this can be also done inside Blender. Create an Icosphere and delete its bottom part, subdividing
evening for instance. Still, there are no shadows appearing in the the object to half. Generate the UV map choosing the Cylinder type of Unwrap and load the panoramic
scene. Press the space bar and from the Add menu, choose Sun sky texture you nd most suitable. Rene the UV mapping so it covers the entire image and return to
lamp. Access its settings and change the shadow size from 1 to Object Mode. Scale the sphere up and rotate it the way that gives the best sky look. Now create the
0.01. Now you should have a fully working sun and sky system l. node material setup based on the attached image m.

Lech Sokoowski Change ZBrush

Im an architect by education and 3D artist (2009)
by passion. Since my youth I was The project that I
interested in various forms of expression, started years ago as a
simple ZBrush
especially drawing. My adventure with 3D
exercise later turned
graphics started during my studies and out to become very
Ive really quickly fallen into it. Currently I personal, describing Lama Blender (2009)
run my own 3D graphics studio and live a some situations Ive Llamas are my favourite animals This image
happy life in a quiet, mellow region of been going through in is a result of rigging and fur rendering
Eastern Poland my life in the past exercises I did in Blender years ago

92 3D Art & Design

Visualise architecture using Blender

Vegetation 30minutes
render tim
With other details finished, we will focus on vegetation e
3,200 x 2,00 :
n Trees and bushes o Remember to apply a shader with grass image
used in my scene to the plane object distributing particles

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8

14 Vegetation models database As with the furniture,

you need to have a good, pre-made model library for
vegetation. Compared to more technical objects like furniture, trees 15Grass distribution To distribute grass in the scene wed use the same technique as with the
gravel in step 6. Grass modelling is fairly simple: create one strand and a UV map (simple
and other forms of vegetation are much more challenging to create, Unwrapping should work ne). Bend it using proportional editing and 3D cursor. Create up to ve
even when you have time. There are a plenty of very good-quality diferent strands and mix them together into up to four small, varying clumps you can also change
models available on the internet; but if you dont want to buy them, the scale of each strand. Take these strand groups and create bigger clumps these you can separate
you can use open source software like ngPlant, for instance, to to diferent objects and join them into a group. Use the Hair Particle system to distribute the grass o.
quickly generate your own, nice-quality vegetation models n.

Only two 3D models were used to create p Limit yourself to just four tree objects
High-poly geometry Fine-looking trees are usually the foreground vegetation. Each model is and use diferent scale and rotation
very heavy 3D objects, comprising up to hundreds of distributed as an instance parameters for diversifying their look
thousands or even millions of polygons, so we have to use them
very wisely. In Blender we can duplicate or copy objects in two
ways. The standard Shift+D method results in creating two totally
independent objects. During the rendering process each of them is
being calculated separately, requiring more RAM and therefore
slowing down the rendering. However, we can copy objects in a
much less resource-consuming way. For this we should use the
Opt/Alt+D key combination to create an object instance.
Instanced objects will be calculated only once and can be
distributed through the scene countless times p. q A tree in the
foreground has
the displacement
modier applied,

Final thoughts adding some


Weve reached the end of the second part. Hopefully youve

managed to learn some new skills that will turn out to be
useful on an everyday basis. For more in-depth information,
especially regarding the Cycles shading system, please
check the materials on the disc at the back of the book. In
the next tutorial well be going over rendering and
postproduction techniques.

Breathe Blender, Octane Render (2011)

Im interested in macro photography and this inspired me to
17Tree placement Gaining some knowledge about proper scene management, lets now add
the vegetation to our image. We dont have to ll everything with trees as it is in real life having
the camera already set up, place the vegetation only where its necessary. Ive made an exception to
create some imaginary owers, place them in a moodily lit this, putting some trees out of view in order to achieve nice, deep shadows being cast on the lawn and
environment and render using GPU technology the back of the house. Using all the techniques described in this and the previous article, Ive created
the foreground to add more depth and harmony to the nal composition q.

3D Art & Design 93

Architectural visualisation

Apply the
finishing touches
House stage three
In the nal chapter of this three-part series, Lech Sokoowski reveals how to apply the
nishing touches to your house-build project Lech Sokoowski is a 3D generalist based in Poland

elcome to the third and nal part of Over the next six pages we will cover Cycles While I wont be describing how Ive achieved
this tutorial series. So far, we have rendering settings and an in-depth study of every particular efect for the nal image, I will
covered modelling a house from 2D Blenders new shading system. Well create introduce skills such as material creation, proper
plans, properly distributing high-poly diverse materials from scratch, later separating scene rendering and nishing touches in 2D
vegetation models throughout the scene and we them from the nal rendering as individual layers. software. You can then apply these skills to your
have also given insight into Blenders shading and Well also cover the process of transforming the personal projects, or develop them for use in your
rendering systems. raw rendering using Photoshop techniques. professional portfolio.

94 3D3DArtist
Art & Design
Apply the fnishing touches

Shaders Set up
Materials Review your options

01GPU vs CPU options Using the graphics card

(GPU) instead of standard processors (CPU) for the
rendering purposes has both its advantages and drawbacks.
The positive aspects are of course very good rendering
times (often up to ten times faster) and the ability to tweak
the shaders or environmental setup in real-time. At the
moment were limited to NVIDIA GPU units as Cycles
doesnt fully support Open CL technology, which is used by
ATI cards. Another drawback is the GPU RAM limitation,
but this issue can be resolved either by proper scene
management or by rendering the images on separate layers
(foreground, background and so on) a.

Software used
Sample shaders for your in this piece
personal projects
Shader descriptions
Blender Photoshop
Final rendering with 2.62

02Basic settings
postproduction layers
The Rendering panel is divided into
a few categories. The Render tab contains the
available computing devices and buttons starting the
a You can choose the rendering rendering process. The Dimensions tab has all the settings
method in the User Preferences
window under System Settings Before regarding the images resolution, the animations frame rate

b For quick previews, use the

slider of per cent scale for
we begin and so on. The Stamp tab enables us to include various
information on the rendered image, such as the lens value or
render resolution rendering time. The Output tab contains all the settings
The Cycles rendering
engine difers quite a regarding the le extensions and image compression. The
lot from the old and Film tab controls the nal image exposure and anti-aliasing
outdated Blender settings. The Performance tab gives us control over the
Internal. It would be a geometry calculating methods. The Layers and Post-
good idea to learn its
Processing tabs will be described together in the
basic settings rst.
postproduction steps b.

3D Art & Design 95

Architectural visualisation

The shading system

After adapting the basics of rendering systems, its time for materials
Problems and solutions
The Cycles rendering system doesnt really have many options to tweak but requires some
time and individual testing before it achieves nice and noiseless images. I recommend nding
some additional information on the internet about how the unbiased rendering engines work
and what rendering or lighting conditions might be troublesome. As most of the unbiased
renderers work pretty much the same, reading articles regarding other applications is useful.
In the last tutorial I briey mentioned that Cycles works on a node-based material system,
which might seem a little bit confusing in the beginning, but later turns out to be very
03The Integrator tab Ive purposefully omitted one
of the tabs to better describe it now. The Integrator
intuitive and exible. The key to understanding the main concept of this system is knowing
that by joining the nodes inside the editor, we add specic attributes to the base material. For
tab contains the most important rendering settings. Sample instance, if we create a simple Difuse shader, we can mix it with an unlimited number of any
sliders control the noise levels of the nal or preview images. other kind of other shaders glossy, glass or translucent. By using more advanced nodes, we
If the value is set to 0, the rendering would continue forever. can switch of the materials visibility in reections or camera. The possibilities are unlimited
and in the next few steps Ill describe the most important shaders and nodes in Cycles.
This works quite well for the previews and youd rarely need
to go above 1,000 for nal images (with proper scene setup).
04 The Difuse shader Difuse is the simplest shader c Set viewport Shading Mode to
Transparency, Bounces and Light Path settings refer to Rendered for real-time preview
various Global Illumination attributes and I wont cover them you can use in most of the rendering packages. Its
d The Difuse shader with image
in detail. Id suggest decreasing the Light Path bounces to helpful to consider it as a perfect matte layer of the material texture and mapping nodes
eight and switching on the No Caustics option. This setup youre working on. You can determine its colour by applying
e Examples of Glossy shaders
never failed me when I needed a noiseless image in a a specic image texture or assigning RGB values for any
particular tint d. f Glass/Difuse shaders mixed
reasonable time c. using noise procedural texture

05The Glossy shader This shader can be regarded as a perfectly reective material such
as polished metal, or as a coating layer that can be added to difuse material. This shader
has an additional attribute called Roughness which determines the blur amount of the
reections. We can apply image textures to determine both the glossy colour and Roughness
factor. Brighter values will give the stronger and sharper reections, just as darker colours would
result in weaker and more blurry ones e.

06The Mix Shader The Mix Shader is one of the most important nodes available in
Cycles. It enables us to join two independent shaders based on the Fac value. By default
its set to 0.5, which means that materials will be mixed in equal proportions. Various nodes can
be plugged into the Fac slot; for instance, we can use a procedural noise texture to randomly f
mix shaders together f.

96 3D Art & Design

Apply the fnishing touches

Custom shaders and materials

Create your own assets to suit your piece

Glass shader Transparent shader Translucent shader

07Transparent shaders There are three diferent

transparency shaders in Cycles. The Transparent
Shader is simple as its opacity is determined by colour
(white equals 100% transparency) and can be used in
creating alpha transparency. The Translucent shader can be
used for creating the matte transparency efect, visible for
instance on paper surfaces. The last is the Glass shader, h
which has a Roughness value determining the blur intensity.
IOR value generates the refractions in the glass volume g.
08Fresnel and Layer Weight nodes Now lets move to
Input nodes. The Fresnel node is one of the most
important when it comes to creating realistic-looking materials.
In summary By plugging it into the Fac pin in the Mix Shader, we can now
determine the viewing angle from which one of the mixed
With the basic but solid knowledge of the most important shaders would be visible. The Layer Weight node works
shaders and material nodes, you should now be ready to similarly but gives you even more control over this efect, so try
build your own materials. Before you start, its important to both of them when preparing your own materials h.
know exactly what you would like to achieve. Take a grass
strand for example. If we were to examine it close enough,
wed see that it has two diferent shaders Translucent and i
Difuse mixed together. After even closer examination wed
notice that each strand has some value of Glossy shader
added but with quite blurry roughness. By examining the
world around you and applying CG terminology, you can
better understand the processes inside 3D applications.
In these few steps I wasnt able to cover all the aspects of
the shading system, such as light-emitting shaders or bump
mapping, but Ive prepared some basic shaders for your
personal use and further studies on the disc.

g Examples of three diferent types i Two examples of using diferent

09Create a two-sided material

of transparency shaders shaders and a Geometry node
with Backfacing applied To create a grass or leaves shader, we can mix
h A more complex setup where Difuse and Translucent Shaders. When you look at leaves, you can see that they are
colours are used to control the j Similar settings can be tweaked
Fresnel efect for each selected mesh. Go to translucent on one side and more opaque on the other. To achieve this efect inside Cycles,
Object Options and check the add a Geometry node from the Input group. By using the Backfacing property we can plug it
Ray Visibility tab
into the Fac slot, so each of the shaders is assigned to its own surface of the model i.

j Camera view with k

selected border

11Border rendering When preparing the shaders, you

might want to pre-render parts of the scene to check if

10The Light Path node To enhance the materials even more lets now use a Light Path
node. Each of its pins, when plugged into the Fac slot of the Mix Shader, determines
everything works. Press Shift+B in the 3D viewport and
select which region youd like to render. This is also useful for
what would happen to the second (bottom) shade. For instance, lets take two Difuse noticing errors on the nal picture if the changes arent too
shaders red and blue. Blue would be plugged to the upper slot and red to the bottom. If we big, you can render the selected region instead of the whole
choose the Is Glossy Ray property and plug it into the Fac slot, the red Difuse shader will picture and later merge them in Photoshop. To disable
now be visible in all glossy reections, but the basic material would still remain blue j. bordering select the outline of the camera k.

3D Art & Design 97

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Postproduction stages
Prepare your piece for rendering
Lech Sokoowski
Im an architect by education and 3D artist by passion.
12Material ID Quite often
objects on nal
Since my youth I have been interested in various forms renderings have a diferent tint,
of expression, especially drawing. My adventure with saturation or values than
3D graphics started during my studies and Ive quickly expected. Masking them in
fallen into it. Currently I run my own 3D graphics Photoshop may take time so
studio, NoTriangle, and live a happy life in a quiet, well use render layers instead.
mellow region in east Poland. In the Rendering panel, go to
the Layers tab and enable the
Material Index option. Now
open the Material panel, go to
Settings and change the Pass
Index to any suitable number.
Repeat this process for every
material youd like to have
masked out l.

13Final rendering setup With all objects, materials

and the camera set up, we can run the nal render.

Settings used for this scene are simple. A more important

issue is the GPUs RAM. For the best performance, I
recommend switching of the viewports and restarting
Car environment 3ds Max, V-Ray (2012)
An image from a set of 3D environments weve prepared specially Blender. This way we purge the RAM so it can be freely
for car renderings. This kind of scene can easily be used for used during the rendering. For this project I was using an
commercial animations or other forms of visual presentation. NVIDIA GTX 560 with 2GB of RAM m.

l Note that render layers are

available only in the latest
Blender build (2.62) Final
m Bigger resolutions increase
GPU RAM usage
n An easy way of merging two In these nal steps well
separate material masks learn how to extract
Material ID passes and
o A quick guide on how to use use them in
the Material_ID le
postprocessing along with
p Schematic showing how to some useful techniques
extract a Z-Depth pass inside of turning your raw
the Compositing Node editor rendering into a quality
Render layers together
q Small comparison of the raw nal image. with Material Index pass
rendering and nal picture

VFX Studio Blender, Cycles, Photoshop (2012) n

Image showing the inside view of the conceptual project for a VFX
studio located in our city. Both the renderings and interior design
were created in our studio.

14Save the outputs To extract Material ID, switch to Compositing Nodes. Hit Cmd/
Ctrl+A and add an ID Mask node from the Convertor group. Connect it to the
IndexMA slot in a Render Layers node. Add and connect a Viewer node for a preview and
Checkmate Blender, Cycles (2012) change the Index number to view masked material. Colorise each mask and merge them
A frame from a short animation project commissioned by a client together using a Color Mix node. To save the masked output, plug in a Composite instead of
for educational purposes. a Viewer node and save the image in the rendering window. You can revert to the raw
rendering by plugging the Composite node into the Image slot in the Render Layers node n.

98 3D Art & Design

Apply the fnishing touches

The final steps 5hours

render tim
Make selections and final adjustments within Photoshop e
3,200 x 2,00 :
o 0

3 1 4

1 Select the layer 4 Select background

2 Use Magic Wand tool and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J
3 Click on the element 5 Hide unwanted layers

15Enhance the rendering Now move to Photoshop.

Start by importing the raw rendering and Material

ID image and merge them. To generate a selection, use

the Magic Wand tool on the Material ID image, switch to
the rendered image and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J. This will save the
selection as a new layer that can be freely modied and
adjusted. After adjusting all of the materials, paint some
light rays and create mood by using a standard brush o.

16Gain an aerial perspective By using a Z-Depth

pass right from Blenders node editor we can create
some perspective. Objects in the background will have a
tint similar to the colours of the sky and overall
illumination. A Z-Depth pass wont support the alpha
transparency applied on leaves for example, so apply
carefully so as not to generate any bordering issues p.

17Colour grading Last

but not least is the Final
colour grading. I used various
adjustment layers, starting
with Curves and two Color Even though this whole
Balance layers to create both tutorial was separated
warm cold tints and masked into three quite big
chapters, were sure you
them precisely. Next I added can appreciate that a lot
a Vibrance layer to control more could still have been
the images saturation. Final added. I trust you
touches involved creating an understand it was quite
challenging to cover every
additional Exposure layer to
single aspect of the image
brighten up the foreground weve created here, but
slightly and one more Color even so, I really hope that
Balance layer for the nal tint. with this series many of
Last I merged everything you have been inspired
to try Blender for
together and applied a Smart yourselves. Best wishes
Sharpen lter to enhance the q and happy blending!
overall detail q.

3D Art & Design 99

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Create superior interiors

Vintage bedroom 2012
Take your arch-vis skills to the next
level, using 3D and 2D techniques to
create a dramatic bedroom interior
Eugenio Garcia Villarreal is a 3D generalist who
focuses on environments and product shots. Hes also
the co-founder of D10Studio

3D artists explain the

techniques behind
their amazing artwork
Artist info

Eugenio Garcia

Username: artecnl

Personal portfolio site

This scene is inspired by vintage-style
Country Mexico
bedrooms that heavily feature antique
Software used LightWave 11,
Photoshop, ZBrush materials such as worn wood, exposed brick
Expertise Eugenio is a 3D artist
walls and aged paintwork. The idea behind this
specialising in environments, project is to capture an image with a dramatic
texturing and product shots. He mood through careful texturing, efective cloth
uses a combination of 3D and simulation and atmospheric lighting to create a
2D techniques in his work warm, lived-in environment.

his tutorial will show you how to create an interior
bedroom scene, focusing on texturing, cloth
simulation and lighting. Youll learn techniques I
have developed throughout my career as a 3D artist,
Research and sketch
including basic modelling using essential LightWave
Explore the perfect shot for your scene
Modeler tools, and the best way to nd good textures with
complementary maps, such as Bump and Displacement.
Well also focus on lighting and how to make warm scenes
01 Start with a sketch
I use basic 3D shapes to
create a quick 3D sketch. This
with contrast to achieve a dramatic mood. Well also tackle will help me with the nal
the compositing process, exploring some of my favourite compositing later on, as I can
touch up this 3D base in
techniques to ne-tune details, using colour correction,
Photoshop to add objects and
masks, textures as well as simple matte-painting techniques. atmosphere. Along with an
Id like to thank Alejandro Tello, a talented artist at initial sketch, this will give us a
D10Studio who helped me with the nal colour correction. solid base for the project a.

100 3D Art & Design

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Bed and lamp OBJ models

plus MTL les
Tutorial screenshots
LightWave shortcuts PDF
Also with the disc:
High-quality 3D book models
courtesy of

Software used in this piece

LightWave ZBrush Photoshop

Be practical
When I model objects for
a still image I try to add
details but not too
many, as I can do this
later on in Photoshop. An
example is the curtains: I
completed a simple spline
drawing, extruded in Y,
subdivided it and that
was basically it. Ill can
use the Liquify tool in
Photoshop to create the
organic cloth folds. With
time-saving tricks like
these you can be practical
and nish the job in a
fraction of the time, with
all the same results of 3D,
with respective limits. b c

A Create a basic sketch to nd the

right composition 02 Time to model In my workow I tend to use basic box
modelling, cylinders and primitives. For bed clothes I use
subdivided box planes. For the bed and window decoration I work
03 Move to LightWave Modeler I always use the
Spline Guide in the Modify tab, as its great for bending
objects, stretching and twisting. Rail Extrude, in conjunction with
b Models are kept very simple, as
shaders and textures will with Spline Guides using the Rail Extrude tool. Its also a great idea the Spline Guide, is also a great time-saving tool. I use the Bandsaw
improve them later to reuse old models when you can, such as the petrol lamp and the tool to subdivide along with the Knife and Bend tools. Using
c The Spline Guide helps you to radio in this scene. For the chair I follow a simple spline and shortcuts is a big help learn them if you want to save time. Youll
bend, twist and change scales box-modelling workow b. nd a PDF of my top shortcuts supplied with this tutorial C.

3D Art & Design 101

Architectural visualisation

Get stuck into modelling

Find your own working method with LightWaves Modeler tools

04 Use the Rail Extrude tool I model the bed using

splines. This is a great trick in LightWave, as you simply
draw the pattern and use the Rail Extrude tool to extrude a cylinder.
Remember to use only the front face of the cylinder. I put the spline
in a background layer and the face at the beginning of the spline,
then simply click on the bent tubes. I repeat this for all the patterns
of the bed frame d.

d f

05 Research your textures I always recommend using texture sites most of them have a
free quota of textures. Personally, I have a membership with, which gives
me a quota of 100MB of textures a day. This is more than enough for a single 3D artist so I suggest
06 Tile your textures When you nd a nice texture, you
may discover that it wont make useful tiles to cover the
area you want to texture. A good way to get around this is to use
you give it a look. For this scene, I choose a basic brick texture, a couple of wood maps, white plaster the Ofset tool in Photoshop, which youll nd in the Filters tab.
and some cloth textures. These are only small textures, as well make the magic happen later when we Simply make a vertical and horizontal ofset to create a good centre
get into Photoshop e. for the seams of the texture. You should nd that by using the
Clone Stamp tool you can get
rid of the excess seams. Move
the Ofset tool again and try to
use a round brush with your
Clone Stamp tool for really
precise results f.

d The Rail Extrude is an incredible

time-saving tool

e helped me
with the texture hunt for this
particular scene

f Photoshops Ofset tool is the

key to success for tiled textures

Eugenio Garcia Villarreal

Eugenio Garcia Villarreal is an artist living
and working in Mexico who taught himself
3D techniques by reading tutorials and
watching video guides. Hes now the
co-founder of D10Studio, a digital agency in
Mexico, and he boasts a degree in Graphic Detectives Ofce LightWave, Photoshop (2011) Real de Catorce LightWave, Photoshop (2008)
Design. He loves art, illustration and cars, This was created for issue 28 of 3D Artist magazine. Created after Eugenios travels to Real de Catorce, a
and specialises in environments, The scene is based on a stereotypical old detectives town in Mexico, he wanted to capture the incredible
texturing and product shots. ofce. It involved a lot of 3D modelling and post work mood of the desert sunsets he saw there

102 3D Art & Design

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Play with
For a long time contrast
has been used to make
images more interesting,
as it helps the eye to
explore the complete
image. Plain light is your
enemy! The use of good
contrast is eye-candy, as
it can be applied to light,
dark and colour
temperature, as well as
the concentration of mass
objects too. With this
scene I use contrast to
create depth and a warm
environment. You can
experiment with this in
3D using linear grading
lights. Textures will help
with this a lot too.

g UV texture sheets make the

texturing job very easy

h Youll need a lot of patience with

07 UV texture sheets This is an easy task. Before

running the cloth simulation, we need to UV-map the bed
sheets. I basically create a box with lots of subdivisions, then use
ClothFX, but in the end youll
have great results

i I bring in all the depth

the basic planar texture UV-mapping. I export the EPS le too, so I information with Photoshop,
desaturating and playing with
can work on it later in Photoshop. This will facilitate you when you the levels
run the simulations and export a transformed object. The sheets
will look great with folds and a decent texture g. h j Experiment with diferent focal
lengths to get the right look

08 Basic cloth simulation LightWaves ClothFX can

often cause several headaches but dont worry, you just
need to nd that sweet spot with all the variables. Its like polishing
a rough model. All I do is use the ClothFX tool with a rectangle
thats the shape of a mattress to run the simulations on. I make
around 40 simulations until I nd a nice one simply select the
object and save the frame you like as a transformed object, and
youre done. You now have your blank sheets. The best part of all is
that theyre UV-mapped and ready for the textures and
Displacement maps h.

09 Use Displacement maps I create a black-and-white conversion in the brick texture

map, then add a Gaussian blur. This will make a good Displacement map combined with the
detailed sharpen texture. This is in the Deform options in the Properties tab on the wall object. Apply a
10 Composition and camera setup Since I already
have my sketch, I just move the focal length of the camera
to 35mm. I want to make the chair and window my main objects,
sub-patch to the wall in Modeler, then in Layout you can increase the subdivision level. I add 60 to the so I move them to get a nice distribution. Good contrast in light/
Sub-level to get nice details in the map. Clone the wall plane four times to get the full efect. To avoid temperature and distribution is needed. The brightest parts of the
freezing frames you can add the subdivision level increase in the render, not in the GPU display i. image are less crowded and the dark areas have lots of objects j.

NY Street LightWave, Photoshop (2011)

An image created for an old project, inspired by the streets of
New York. This one was completed after around four days of
modelling. The cab is the only model not created by Eugenio

3D Art & Design 103

Architectural visualisation

Let there be light

Lets render, colour correct and finish up our scene

11 Set up the scenes lighting As mentioned, contrast is

the key to a good image. I use basic area lights in this scene,
putting one in the window position and enlarging it to get the same
size. I also add a Linear Mode to the light with 300% Intensity and
enlarge the gradient. VPR is a good way to see the increase of the
light in real-time. Youll nd FPrime is also a handy real-time tool k.

12 Add textures and shaders I use the main textures

combined with shaders mostly preset in LightWave. For the
bed I use a simple black shader with Reections at 15%. The oor
is reective too, so 15% gives a good-looking glossy nish. The
wood on the columns and furniture has a Bump map at 200% to
get a nice, rough texture. The bed has Bump and Color maps too
and all the books are sourced images of simple boxes. You can
later touch up the complete scene to get more texture details l.

13 Sculpt in ZBrush I create two objects in ZBrush: the

glass sculpture and the cookies. I export an OBJ base mesh
from LightWave Modeler and import it into ZBrush, subdividing
the geometry and using standard brushes to sculpt. For the cookie
object I use a crumpled Alpha with the Standard brush, combined
with the Move tool. For the sculpture, I use the Drag brush to apply
patterned shapes. I later export all to LightWave, with a high
k Linear light helps to create nice l Surfaces with no texture can be m ZBrush is a great program it
polygon count m. contrast in the scene given 3D shaders can help a lot with organic and
sculptural objects

Keep it
In 3D we usually prefer to
be as clean and perfect as
possible, but we also
need to see the nature of
objects. Its the little
imperfections that make
an object real, such as
burnt marks in a wooden
plank, aged efects on
walls, rounded, cool, worn
objects and so on. Just try
to imagine the story of
every object and what
may have afected it over
time. Take the oor for
instance: think about how
many people pass over it,
where they put their feet
and work out where the
worn textures should go.
This will make your work
m even more believable.

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Render and post work 15hours

cr eation tim
Give your image a boost in these final stages Resolution
7,534 x 3,304:
14 Colour correction Opening the render in Photoshop, I
adjust the levels and experiment with the values. I nd the
raw render a little plain, so I focus on getting more contrast and
take out some of the reddish tone. Next I use HDR Toning on the
image, make a photorealistic pass and put that layer over the
colour-corrected one. I change the opacity and set it to Overlay
mode. To nish this stage, I mask the HDR-converted image and
use a Round brush to bring out the light details, such as reections
and areas of contrast n.

15 Matte-painting techniques Well bring some extra

details into the scene, such as the red fabric on the top of
the shelf, crumbs from the cookies and so on. A cracked texture on
the white wall is also added in Overlay mode in Photoshop. Plants
outside are textures that are overexposed to match the light o.

16 Final details Little details are added now, using the
Dodge and Burn tools to make more contrast. I use the Burn
tool behind the beams and at the edges of the image. Im trying to
mimic the efect of being in a dark room and suddenly entering one
with a strong source of light. When this happens you only can see
limited aspects of the dark spaces. Some glows are also added with
a large round brush. I add this on a top layer, so I can easily
transform its scale p.

17 Colour correction and HDR ltering As in the

previous stage, I make another pass of photorealistic HDR
toning now. Using masks to bring more details in, I put some
yellowish colour in the light source and nally sign the image. This
project has been a great exercise in exploring light and texture. I
hope youll be able to apply these skills to your own projects q.

Render setup
For the nal render I use LightWaves
rendering engine with Adaptive Sampling set
to a level range of 12-12 with Classic q
Reconstruction lter and a low-discrepancy
Sampling Pattern. The radiosity is Monte n Try to get some nice contrast at p Use your Transform tool to
Carlo with three bounces in the nal render. this stage it will be the base of increase the size of the glow,
all the nal details setting a warm tone
The nal resolution of the image is 7,534 x
3,304 pixels, rendered using F9 and saved as o You could add details innitely, q HDR Toning is a great tool if you
32-bit TGA les. so you need to focus on the know how to combine it with
primary ones for times sake your base image

3D Art & Design 105

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Tutorial les:
Tutorial screenshots

Design interactive interiors

Discover a few of Roald Hyer-Hansens tricks for delity. Gone are all the handy image efects
and real-time shadows are efectively disabled.
creating interactive interior scenes with Unity Lightmapping is still there, but without the
more advanced global illumination, and with its

very once in a while artists should take that they will run silky smooth, even on your bouncing photons and bleeding pixels. You can
the plunge and give up their favourite mobile device. also kiss goodbye to visible Normal maps in
tools. Tasks that were once so easy to This way of working can be excused in a lightmapped scenes, as the Directional
solve will become incredibly hard to complete, hectic work environment with looming lightmap feature is greyed out. Optimisation-
forcing your brain to come up with new deadlines behind every corner, but what would wise, both Umbra Occlusion and the mighty
solutions for all sorts of problems. This is really happen if your favourite tools suddenly Proler are taken away, but thankfully we still
what this tutorial is about: learning the disappeared? What would you do if Tool A have the Level of Detail functionality. Youre
possibilities of a limited tool namely the free was no longer accessible and your beloved probably thinking this all sounds pretty drastic.
version of the Unity game engine. Tool B was nowhere to be found? How would Is it possible to create something visually on a
Having used the professional version of this you react if your workow was turned upside par with the Pro version with all these powerful
excellent engine for the last ve years, I have down? This very scenario is pretty much what features taken away? It certainly is, but it will
learnt how to complete tasks in a more- Ill be covering. require some workarounds, clever thinking and
advanced way. Previously dull and at-looking Lets start by comparing the limited free a lot of patience. So lets see how far we can
scenes instantly get a massive visual boost just version with the feature-packed professional take this.
by adding a couple of image efects and some edition of Unity. Unfortunately, most of the As this is a Unity-focused tutorial, I wont go
nice-looking, light-mapped global illumination. features aimed at artists are stripped from the into detail about creating assets, but one
Sloppy and poorly optimised models receive free version of the engine and the few features important thing to keep in mind when
the Umbra Occlusion treatment, which means that are left are pretty limited in terms of visual preparing these is the addition of a secondary

106 3D Art & Design

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UV channel. This will be used to store

lightmap information inside Unity and it will
save you a lot of time later in the process.
Unity can generate secondary UV channels
for you during the import, but if you want
complete control I suggest spending some
time creating these yourself. I also suggest
making a separate low-resolution collision
mesh for the sake of optimisation. Unity
can generate collision geometry during
import too, but this will be based on the
imported mesh and will afect the
performance of your project.
Being limited to only the core tools in
Unity can actually be a good thing. Not only
do you have to change the way you work,
but you have to come up with alternative disappeared when Lightmapping. To solve
techniques to solve problems. The lack of Find your inspiration this, most of the objects were given either a
global illumination makes it extremely hard The main source of inspiration for this tutorial is Bookbox Loft, a Bumped Specular or a Reective Bumped
to create nicely lit scenes, but a custom GI modern apartment by mode:lina (www.modelina-architekci. Specular material. These Reective material
rig can certainly do the trick to solve this. com). Be sure to ask for permission before starting a project like types work very well with Normal maps. By
For this project the rig was made using a this. I was given the go-ahead by mode:lina, which meant I carefully tweaking the Alpha channels of
could start the project with peace of mind. Using various
bunch of dummy objects that were reference photos from the website to build the assets in 3ds these textures, they can end up looking
snapped to the vertices of a dome in 3ds Max, I mainly used traditional box-modelling techniques pretty convincing.
Max. In Unity these dummy objects are together with some spline modelling for the walls and wooden Since the free version of Unity isnt
then given a shadow-casting Point light mouldings. Most textures have been hand-made or mixed with capable of antialiasing, sharp and jagged
the excellent free textures from
component. By tweaking the Intensity, edges can make your eyes bleed. These will
Range and Color of these, a surprisingly always be visible when running the game/
usable GI solution can be made. Combined simulation, but in screenshots we can get
with coloured lights used to fake colour rid of them. By using a custom script we
bouncing in the scene, this method can render out high-resolution screenshots
appeared to work incredibly well. from the camera and when we downscale
With no way of faking the image efects them back to a normal size most of the
found in the Pro version, getting the most nasty edges will be smoothed out.
out of the materials was a priority in this All in all, you get more than you pay for
project. For added depth, most of the with the free version of Unity. It certainly
textures were given an Ambient Occlusion lacks most of the cutting-edge features
pass inside 3ds Max. Some Normal maps a Even without the b A fake GI setup c Careful attention found in its big brother. However, by
were also generated, but since the free advanced features, makes it possible to details can have thinking outside of the box and coming up
the free version of to create realistic a stronger impact
version of Unity doesnt support Directional Unity can produce lighting in the free than a bunch of with new methods Ive enjoyed spending
lightmaps, most of the Normal map detail nice visuals version of Unity image efects time with the little brother for this project.

3D Art & Design 107

Architectural visualisation

03 Import assets into Unity In

Unity, importing geometry and
other assets is a matter of dragging and
dropping from either Windows Explorer or
Finder into Unitys Hierarchy panel. For this
project well be sure to import all textures
prior to the geometry, as Unity can
sometimes struggle to locate these if done
05 Let there be light With the
apartment geometry in our scene
its time to brighten it up a little, so rst well
the other way around. Somehow, Unity create a Directional light by going to
imports objects with a Scale Factor of 0.01, GameObject>Create Other>Directional
so changing this to 1.0 makes our scale Light. This is basically the sun and will often
correct. For this scene we also need a set the general mood of the scene. As the
Skybox and a First Person Controller, so free version of Unity doesnt support global
Lets push the limits of the Ctrl/right-click in the Project panel to import illumination, well use an old-school fake GI
free version of Unity these using the Import Package option f. setup. Use a prefab for the indoor lights,
combining a regular Point light and a lamp
d Exporting the
entire model as
one chunk isnt
01 Prepare to export Before
exporting your models to Unity, you
should make sure the scale is correct.
04 Ambient colour and the
Skybox element Strangely
enough, the default ambient colour in Unity
model exported separately. Making a light
prefab like this will certainly speed up the
lighting of the scene, as the changes made
always the best
When Lightmapping your models, you is set to grey. This will make your scenes to one light can be transferred to all the
way, but somehow
it worked ne for should have a second UV channel assigned very at, so by going to Edit>Render other prefabs h.
this project for the best results. This is not strictly Settings this can be changed to a darker
e Creating custom
collision geometry
will make your
necessary, as Unity can do this
automatically for you during the import.
However, you will nd that completing this
value. In the Render settings we can also
choose a regular sunny Skybox. Getting the
geometry in the scene is just a matter of
06 Lightmap the scene When all
the lights are placed in the scene,
its time to perform some lightmap magic.
CPU happy manually will both speed up the model- dragging the models into the Hierarchy The rst thing we need to do is mark all the
f Scale, automatic import process and optimise the lightmaps. panel or straight into the scene view itself. geometry we want to use in the lightmap
secondary UVs Often it can be necessary to adjust and Its recommended that you use the calculation as Static, which in this case
and collision clean up the lightmaps after a bake, so if Hierarchy, though, as the geometry will be means pretty much everything except the
geometry can all
you want full control, custom secondary placed directly in the centre of the scene collision geometry. Next we open the
be found in the
Import settings UVs are a must d. based on the world position the geometry Lightmapping window, accessed through
was exported from g. Window>Lightmapping, setting the Quality

g The Skybox does Add collision geometry When
not emit any light,
as its only there making models for videogames
for the visuals and interactive media in general, every
frame counts. Youll nd that creating a
h Using a simple GI
rig, we can separate low-resolution model to act as
produce at least collision geometry will denitely make for a
some semi- better and smoother experience. For this
realistic lighting in
scene, around 30 regular boxes did the job,
the scene
which meant that instead of calculating the
i With the lighting distance to thousands of triangles every
setup used here, frame, the First Person Controller inside
even the interiors
corners get nice Unity would only have to calculate a couple
and even shades of hundred maximum e.

108 3D Art & Design

Design interactive interiors

Use Cubemap Maker

For the reective surfaces in the apartment, all the Cubemap
Textures are generated using the excellent Cubemap Maker
plug-in. This free utility makes it very easy to create Cubemap
Textures for the various rooms in the apartment. All I need to do
is place a Cubemap Maker prefab where I want the reections to
be calculated from and then press F12 during Play mode to
capture the Cubemaps. Usually creating so many custom
Cubemaps is an example of overkill, but for smaller scenes like
this one they add some much-needed realism. The plug-in can
be downloaded from

to Low and the Resolution to a very low

value (5) for quick test bakes. When we
nally nd the perfect mix of fake GI,
08 The rst steps To be able to
walk around in our scene well use
Unitys standard First Person Controller. By
sunlight and indoor lighting, we can boost dragging the Controllers prefab into the
the resolution, get a cup of cofee and wait Hierarchy, we are ready to take our rst
for the nal bake to nish i. steps inside the apartment. By default, the
Walk Speed and Mouse Sensitivity are a

07 Adjust the materials When we

have a nicely lit scene, its time to
dive into the world of materials and
tad too high, so tuning these values down
will give us nice uid motion. For this
particular scene, the FPS camera was
shaders. The reason we do this after lowered a bit, the jumping was disabled and
Lightmapping the scene is because well be the Radius of the Capsule Collider was
creating some Cubemap Textures based on scaled down considerably k.
the diferent rooms in the apartment. These
Cubemap Textures will give us nice
reective surfaces, so they should be based
on a scene that is properly lit. By default, all
09 Remove lightmap noise Even
though the custom GI rig seemed
to work pretty well, it did produce some
imported materials in Unity are plain visible noise in the lightmaps. To quickly x
Difuse, but for this scene most of the this, we can open up our lightmaps with
materials will be changed into Reective Photoshop and use the Surface Blur lter
and/or Bump Specular surfaces j. found under Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. Now
we can really see the benets of our
secondary UV channels, as the UV islands
Create a custom GI in our lightmaps are nicely arranged and
rig in 3ds Max easy to modify l.

To create a custom GI rig we only need

a half sphere and plenty of dummy
objects. After creating the sphere and
10 Export the scene With our
scene pretty much nished, we are
now ready to show it of to the rest of the
removing the bottom part, its just a
matter of snapping the dummy objects world. Unity can export to a multitude of
to the vertices of the sphere. When all formats by opening the Build Settings
dummies are in place, these should be (File>Build Settings). Exporting the project
parented to the sphere before exporting
as a Unity Web Player seems to be the
to FBX. In Unity the next step is to
disable the Mesh Renderer of the perfect option if you plan for the project to
sphere, select all the dummy objects be shared with others. Using a simple
and give them all a Light component l
script, we can also capture super-high-
with a Shadow Radius of 2. By adjusting resolution screenshots of our project and
the Scale of the sphere, as well as the
Range and Intensity of the lights, we send these straight to the printing press.
now have a fully functional GI rig. We can also opt to scale them down again
for some fake antialiasing m.

j Using Cubemap l Lightmap UV

Textures can islands being
result in nice cleaned using the
reective surfaces Surface Blur lter
in Photoshop
k We can use the
standard First m When exporting
Person Controller the scene as a
to enter our scene. Unity Web Player,
This is a good way it can be viewed in m
to scrutinise detail a web browser

3D Art & Design 109

Architectural visualisation

Plant & buttery models

(.max format) with maps
Ivy Generator preset (.ivy)
Video overview (.avi)

Learn to create you

r ow
plants for enriched n photorealistic
arch-vis scenes

Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Pawe Podwojewski
Personal portfolio site
Country Poland
Software used
Software used in this piece 3ds Max, V-Ray, Unfold3D,
Expertise Pawe believes his
3ds Max V-Ray Unfold3D Photoshop strongest skills lie in lighting
and compositing

110 3D Art & Design

Build unique arch-vis assets

Build unique Concept

The main idea is to create a plant model in a few

arch-vis assets
steps that will add extra detail to your arch-vis
scenes. The skills covered are designed to help
you build your own reference library of assets to
use time and again in your scenes and give them
a unique touch. To keep things efcient I will be
using techniques in 3ds Max and with plug-ins
that are available for free online where possible.

Urban Survivor 2012

Create a plant model that can be easily reused in arch-
vis scenes to enrich your environments
Pawe Podwojewski is an architect and CG artist, specialising in architectural visualisations

n this tutorial you will learn how to create realistic-looking plants with simple tools that will
enrich your arch-vis scenes and bring a unique touch to the nal output. We will go through
planning the model and learn how to model, shade, render and nally retouch our image. We will
also take a quick look at basic particle systems for extra details.

References and inspirations

Choose your references, prepare photos and establish a concept

02Create a base for future textures

Try to shoot leaves in orthogonal view on an
evenly lit surface. Make sure you dont have any strong
shadows this will be very helpful when creating the
textures in the later steps B.

a 03Key elements in the scene Once you

have all your necessary photographs you can
prepare extra detail for the key elements. In this case,

01Shoot the mood Creating nature in 3D is a great challenge, which makes it crucial to focus your early the leaves will be in our focal point. We have taken two
stages on nding good references. We strongly recommend grabbing a camera even if its on your mobile samples of leaves and made a simple scan. Using
phone or another device and shoot photos. This will give you a much better understanding of the subject and you Photoshop in the next steps we will create all our
will notice much more detail than when looking at images on the internet a. relevant maps. Good quality images will let you render
the created models even on close-ups, which may be a
a Create your own references. By shooting your b Shoot your references in c Create detailed textures by scanning very good way to frame your architectural scene and
own photos you will remember more detail orthogonal view key elements focus the viewer on certain parts of the image c.

3D Art & Design 111

Architectural visualisation

Model your assets

Start the modelling with simple shapes then move to the details
d e

The stalk
after unwrapping
Begin the
modelling with
simple geometry f Create several
copies of the leaf
for a more random

04Plant structure modelling Lets start this step with a plane and a texture showing your
plant reference. Weve used splines to build the base structure. This is a crucial step that will
determine the nal plant appearance. Please be careful to work in real-world units to keep the proper
and natural look

scale of elements. Its very important for physically-correct light distribution while rendering and
rening the scene with Particle Flow. Try to build a low-poly mesh and keep the MeshSmooth as a
modier. This will let you easily edit the model in the next steps when you decide to change, for
example, the composition. Relatively low- or mid-poly models will be easier to use in more complex
scenes and will also save memory while rendering. Remember, your workstation processing power is
always limited and we are working on details that should be easy to use and not stress your GPU d.

05Leaves and stalks

For unwrapping the stalk well use
the Unfold tool. This is a simple and easy-to-use interface
for the unwrapping process. Well build the leaves in full geometry,
because without Opacity maps the leaf will render faster. This is
also important because we want to add extra details with a Particle
Flow system, so the particles in this case will stay exactly on the
leaf surface. In the case of using an Opacity map and plate
geometry leaves, this trick might not work and some of the
particles will possibly stay outside of the leaf. Start the model with
a low-poly mesh. Make sure to use modiers to create a couple of
copies of the same leaf for a more random and natural look ef.
Prepare the UVW
template for
future textures
Shoot your own references
06Extra leaf details and unwrapping While aiming for very realistic efects, we may
want to add some splines underneath the leaf to create veins. To do this, select the main
edges of your veins in the low-poly model and detach to shape. Add the Normalize Spline modier and
Working with your own photos has a huge advantage. You
can choose exactly the details you want for model creation.
However, sometimes its impossible to shoot what you
copy the modiers we added in the previous step to the leaf. This will guarantee the spline will want. In these cases there are very helpful resources you
perfectly t the leaf surface. Once you have the model complete, go back to the editable poly level and can nd online, such as CG Textures (www.cgtextures.
add Unwrap. Go to Edit mode, select Planar mapping, pack the UVW and choose the render UVW com) and Shutterstock (
template from Tools. This will be the template we will use in Photoshop for texture creation g.

Pawe Podwojewski
An architect by profession and 3D artist
by passion, Pawes designs and
concepts are inuenced by architecture
from various industries, including
retail, residential and commercial and
urban planning. In 2009 he started, an online service that Underwater Hotels 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop (2011) Diving Centre 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop (2011)
provides training for CG artists in the Waterdiscus an underwater hotel. Pawe is the architect A concept sketch created for the Underwater Hotels
form of video tutorials and workshops. behind the design and rendered concepts project in 2011

112 3D Art & Design

Build unique arch-vis assets

Get realistic and natural effects

Make detailed leaves quickly and easily

07Final leaf
adjustments Once the
leaf models are nished we can
h Try using Particle Flow
for extra details like
water droplets and dust

spend time placing them on the

plant. In this example we have
spread the leaves manually. To
prevent them from looking too
similar you can use a simple FFD
3 x 3 modier. A couple of mouse
clicks will rene your general
model look. On some leaves we
also want to add some dust and
seeds, which we can do using the
PArray particle system. Create the
PArray object and choose the leaf
model on which you want to create
particles. Play around with the
particle type, amount and size until
youre happy with the result. Set
the particle percent for the
viewport display to 100 to be sure
of the result. You can decrease this
value later to increase viewport
performance. This is also a simple
way to create water droplets h.

08Level of detail (LOD) While working with detailed

geometry we should keep in mind not all elements will be
equally exposed. Smaller elements will be less visible and also
Use shortcuts
require less detail. To be sure youre heading in the right direction, When you really dont
render a couple of previews; in this case the top leaves are much have time and you
simpler than the larger ones on the bottom i. desperately need a plant
model, use the free Ivy
i Choose the geometry
leaf type according to
size and exposure
Generator (www. By
adjusting the settings, you
09Use shortcuts In some cases well need to create a
bush or tree quickly. If youre not experienced with
software like Onyx or GrowFX you may want to use the free plug-in
can achieve natural- Ivy Generator developed by GuruWare. This small plug-in lets you
looking plants in seconds. quickly create typical ivy, but also when you play a bit with the
settings you can create great-looking plants. You can have a close
j A quick plant creation using the look at our settings by checking out the supplied preset in the
Ivy Generator tutorial les. More importantly, you can create your own leaves
k Play with MassFX and create a and use them with this plug-in too. This feature enables you to
realistic ground create unique models fast j.

10Final details Good-looking plants need a proper ground, so well create real geometric
branches. First we need mid-poly branches that can be scattered on the ground. We want
them to collide, so to create this simulation you can use MassFX in 3ds Max. Be sure to create a couple
Housing in France 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop (2012) of branches and then add the simulation to a few elements at once (otherwise you may cause 3ds Max
A housing project in France by Nadau Lavergne studio located in to crash). In the Settings of the Modify panel, you can choose a preset for the material. Also make sure
the Unesco-protected zone to choose the Mesh type as Original. This will make the calculation longer but also the efect will be
much more convincing. Details like bugs and butteries may also make a nice touch k.

3D Art & Design 113

Architectural visualisation

Shading and textures

Add some visceral detail for greater realism

11Stalk shading
Stalk material is very specic. Resolution
To create a physically correct
shader, choose VRayFastSSS2. The versus
light should travel through the
stalk, the same efect we can see
on human skin. This solution
makes sure we get similar results. While painting textures,
Since the stalk is pretty well note that the resolution
exposed, the decision is simple. has a huge impact on the
nal efect. Its best to use
When you look at the shader in the
a tripod while shooting
Material Editor youll see you can
images for crisper
choose from a bunch of presets l. reference. This will
enhance not only the
12Paint leaf textures
Now well prepare our
UVW templates from earlier. Open
Difuse maps, but also the
conversion into
Displacement and
a template in Photoshop and t Normal maps. For
scanned leaf images or creating Normal maps,
photographs. Be careful at the you can use a free
edges, paint a little outside the Photoshop plug-in that
template to avoid strokes on leaf you can nd in the
borders while rendering. Once the Developer Zone on the
Difuse map is ready, create one NVIDIA website.
more for translucency and one for
the bump and reections. For the L We use the VRayFastSSS2
displacement well paint a custom shader for translucent objects
map to increase the visibility of the l m Paint extra Displacement maps
leaf veins m. for higher-quality results

13Leaf shaders
Leaves are also a good
example for the VRayFastSSS2
material. To speed up rendering
well use translucency in the
default V-Ray material. Note you
need to add a Color map that will
afect the bottom part of the leaf
in the Translucency channel.
Usually it will be a slightly
brighter map than the Difuse
map. You can use a Color
Correct map to tweak the Difuse
map straight in 3ds Max. Enable
Translucency in the Material
Editor. Use a hybrid model with
Thickness set to 0,002m n.

14Light the scene Well follow this scheme and use a

V-Ray dome light as the main light source. Inside the dome
well use a texture from CGSkies ( with a similar
atmosphere to the reference. Note that the dome light produces
realistic light rays and is very accurate. Its most likely youll receive
o a little noise while rendering with low settings, but you can be
almost sure that no splotches will occur o.

114 3D Art & Design

Build unique arch-vis assets

Scene setup and final retouching crea5tiohours

n tim
Its time to set up the final scene Resolution e
4,200 x 2,80 :
p r

Now lets set up the

15Set up the camera
VRayPhysicalCamera. This camera enables you to control
the light in the same way as a real one. With the most interesting
features we can add motion blur and depth of eld. You must be
careful with sampling to keep decent rendering times. Please be
careful to select the Depth of Field box as well as the Motion Blur
and Bokeh efect. In Bokeh, change the Bias to 0.5. This makes the
bokeh circles brighter on the edges. Play around with the focal
distance until youre happy with the results. Work on a simple
shader to test the DOF and speed up rendering times p.

With physical DOF its much harder to work with masks in Photoshop
17The nal retouch
since a lot of elements are out of focus and the edges are blurry. What we can do in this case is
basic colour correction by tweaking the colour balance and contrast. Its best to use Curves for this
purpose. Use the Raw Reection Render element with Reection Filter as a mask to better control the
amount of reectivity on the leaves and other selected objects. Also use the FastSSS2 channel to
increase the translucent efect on stalk. You can add some noise for extra photorealism at the end r.
q n Create leaves with translucency.

The rendering setup Save time by using a Achieve a photorealistic look

and decent rendering times
16Rendering and extra channels
is pretty simple. Use a GI Irradiance map and Light Cache
for secondary bounces. Use antialiasing as a default area lter and
great composition o A simple lighting setup with only
one dome light
linear colour mapping with Gamma set to 1.0. For better details use p You have the option of playing
the Adaptive DMC image sampler. The benets are especially
A good composition makes life a lot easier for CG artists.
with depth of eld and bokeh
When we plan a shot correctly we can drop lots of details using the VRayPhysicalCamera
visible when you have a lot of tiny elements in your scene
and at the same time convince the viewer about tons of
(branches, in our case). Thinking about retouching, we should add work that had to be invested to achieve such a result. Mind q Think about render elements
some extra channels like Raw Reections and Reections Filter. In the level of detail that should change on each ground. Think that will help you while in the
the nal steps well control the intensity of reective surfaces. We post-production stage
about framing elements that may enhance the shot and
use DOF inside V-Ray so masking with wire colour or multimatte is also link the viewers focus on a certain point on the image. r Render elements are helpful
now much more difcult q. while nal retouching

3D Art & Design 115

Architectural visualisation

Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Sonia Foltarz My idea is essentially an
iceberg that combines
Personal portfolio site http://
both architecture and
Location Gdynia, Poland
nature in an abstract way.
Re-creating this in 3D is
Software used Photoshop
going to be quite a
Expertise Sonia specialises in
computer graphics and concept challenge, but the nal
art. She loves drawing cartoon results should make it look
character designs in 2D even more fantastical!

116 3D Art & Design

Fantasy arch vis

Fantasy arch vis

concept design
Breaking the ice 2012
Sonia Foltarz is a student in Poland currently exploring
her concept-design skills to build a portfolio

his concept is about combining architecture and I nd it quite difcult to get a perfect icy look when depicting
nature in a very abstract way. The design breaks the an iceberg, so for this specic efect I use observational skills
rules of physics and rational thinking I doubt an and experimentation to create textures in Photoshop that work.
underwater iceberg building could ever actually exist but Another difculty I encounter while working on this concept is
thats what makes it so unique and mysterious. Its a great showing the depth of the interior of the iceberg. Youll need to
challenge for a 3D artist to take on! play around with colours and diferent levels of opacity.

Create a concept 01 Research & make sketches To begin, I search for

lots of iceberg photos on the internet and decide how
I can present the project to be as visually tremendous as
Define your ideas in Photoshop possible. After a little trial and error, I decide to go for a
front-on view. Thanks to this adjustment I dont need to
change the sizes of windows and other small elements
a because everything is more or less at the same angle. This
Always imagine your 2D art from gives a clear view of my project for the 3D artist to follow a.
a 3D artists perspective so you
can get the right shapes and
angles of the details 02 Find the right colours We need to realistically
colour our iceberg. I nd it useful to take a piece of
ice to see how it looks in diferent surroundings. Then in
Photoshop, I divide all levels and layers using foundation
colours, which later on help me develop the depth of my
piece. The dark-blue tone helps the perspective and
demonstrates the complexity of the interior the iceberg b.

Search for the best ways

to express your thoughts
in your concept art. Its
crucial to provide the 3D
artist with a clear idea of
the shapes and textures of
the things presented in
your artwork

Try to create your concept from

b c
other views (front, profile and

angled). This is especially useful a Make your sketch engaging and Lighting & particles Lighting is the hardest step in
when your project is complex and clear for a 3D artist to follow this whole process. Ice has a specic glossiness that
overloaded with details. This helps b Experiment with colour to gain makes it look somewhat translucent, so Im using a wide
the ideal depth of your artwork range of custom brushes and white paint to help me form the
the 3D artist create it as details of windows, stairs, columns and a fountain. I later
precisely as possible c Use opacity and light colours to
create a perfect glossiness experiment with the opacity of the diferent layers of my
lighting and nally get an icy look that Im happy with c.

3D Art & Design 117

Architectural visualisation

Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Pawe Podwojewski
Personal portfolio site
Location Gdask, Poland
Software used Software used in this piece
3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop
Expertise Pawe specialises in
lighting, compositing and 3ds Max V-Ray Photoshop
optimising scenes

Sonia created lots of quick
drawings in search of the best
concept. The nal sketch was
a fusion of a few very diferent
ideas that she explored. The
concept looks very complex at
rst glance and shows lots of
details, which is why its crucial A crystal shader and model
to plan your 3D project from A Photoshop le with the
the beginning especially the basic render elements
modelling stage. Tutorial screenshots

118 3D Art & Design

Fantasy arch vis

Fantasy arch vis

3D illustration
Pawe Podwojewski is an architect with a strong
background in CG

his tutorial will show you how use 3ds Max, V-Ray memory. Because 3ds Max doesnt have dedicated sculpting
and Photoshop to build a scene from a supplied tools, we will also use a couple of tricks and scripts to make
concept. Following the art provided by the designer, we things go smoothly. Fractured surfaces can be achieved with a
will create an abstract iceberg structure that combines MaxScript and simple modelling tools will enable you to work
architecture and nature. This fantasy structure will be an inside just the one major software.
exciting challenge, because the irregular forms and complex To add a strong atmosphere to the nal image, well explore
geometry will compel us to nd ways to optimise our scene. volumetric lights and environmental fog. To nish up, correct
Well use Normal Bump maps to enhance the impression of use of render elements from V-Ray will help us out in the
detail in our architectural elements, saving time, poly count and post-production stage in Photoshop.

Problems &
Plan your project
Begin to work from the concept piece

The composition of this
concept sets the ground Prepare the scene The initial stages of this project are crucial, so we need to divide
on one level, which means the concept into parts to simplify the workow. I decide to focus on the main shape of
we have far fewer the iceberg, the interior arcades and the spiral staircase. Making a plan and a list of elements
elements to build the 3D
impression with than in a will help you to get the job done and not fall into limbo. Start with simple shapes such as a
regular architectural couple of polygons, to try to t the scale and shape to the iceberg concept a.

scene. We need to nd
other elements to build Find the best scale Analyse the concept and look at the single elements. Our main
our atmosphere and to elements are the iceberg, interior arcades and spiral staircase. To achieve the best
give of the solid c
impression that a 3D results when rendering, we need to properly scale the scene to get a physically correct

render should provide. If response from the rendering engine. Its not easy to judge scale when working with an
not, the render will be just abstract concept like this, although the arcades can give us an idea of what scale we should Set your camera
a normal, at picture. I use. For instance, assume that one level of arcades will have a height of four metres b. Setting the camera
decide to focus on the
shader, lighting with up at an early stage will help
volumetric efects as well you nd out how much will
as adding a couple of actually be seen. Later on we
elements in the can adjust the level of detail
foreground to better to the view. The concept
describe the distance
between the viewer and shows the iceberg from a
the ice structure. frontal view, which is a nice
Modelling ice isnt that angle that exposes lots of
simple in 3ds Max, either. details. Unfortunately, for a
We dont have precise
sculpting tools and the b 3D scene it wont be easy to
vertex-by-vertex get a great 3D depth
poly-modelling method a Start with simple geometry because we cant divide the
would take forever. A to get the right scale scene into grounds
reasonable way is to adjust following the concept art (foreground, midground,
some modiers to speed
up the process, while background). This means
b Look at elements you are
keeping interesting results familiar with from reality to that all the elements will
and getting close to the nd the right scale appear equally important in
concept. Procedural maps the shot and the lighting will
and displacements will c Consider the composition to
enhance the model. better understand the have a minor impact on the
merits of your view space-perception c.

3D Art & Design 119

Architectural visualisation

Begin modelling
With the planning done, we can now build the main elements of our scene

04 Carve out the ice Once we have dened the

correct scale, its time to develop the main
structure. I build simple geometry to keep the dimensions of
05 Add the arcades
The other
important elements to focus
Use VRayProxies
Scenes with plenty of elements usually mean trouble. Using
the concept and on the top of the model I add a on are the arcades. We have
more RAM means longer save times. Also problems with
MeshSmooth modier plus a Displace modier. For the plenty of them visible in the the viewport will often result and cause you issues. There
Displacement map I use a Noise Procedural map. Creating concept sketch, so I start by are solutions that will let you avoid all this trouble, though, if
distortion will break the light rays nicely and provide the ice modelling one module in the scene is suitable.
efect later on. To add extra detail I use the Push/Pull tool high detail. After a rough In cases where we deal with lots of elements that are
copied and scattered all over the scene, like trees or the
from the Editable Poly panel. Using a graphics tablet is very calculation, the scenes total same type of detailed windows, we can use VRayProxies. A
handy at this stage, as this part is very similar to a simple poly count will be at around proxy in its simplest term is a preview of a mesh that is
sculpting process. Now its time to focus on the edges and 100 million, so to combat saved outside the current le. Whats important is that the
the exposed top element d. this I use VRayProxies to mesh, while rendering, will be loaded only once even if in
spread the modules, or the viewport you have billions of proxies. The only
disadvantage is that the preview of the VRayProxy is not as
d optimise them. I nd accurate as regular geometry, so to change the proxy you
optimised geometry better need to edit the source geometry rst and export the mesh
because theres more as a proxy again. From the other side, when you wish to
control in the nal model change all the elements at once, all you need to do is load a
diferent mesh and its done!
and the opportunity to VRayProxies have given artists a lot of freedom. Since
adjust every single element, these options were added, the creation of grass, pebbles,
if needed e. whole forests and more has become much easier, enabling
artists to strive for far better results.

Mapping & Normal Bumps Once the arcade
model is complete, I unwrap it and render the
Normal Bump map. You can do this very simply by rendering
the object without GI and saving the V-Ray Normals render
element. I then simplify the model using the Optimize
modier and rebuild some elements, like the pillars and
windows, into much simpler geometry. I apply a shader to
the low-poly model with the rendered Normal map as a
bitmap under the V-Ray Normal Bump. Thanks to this action
I can save millions of polygons, while keeping a decent level
of detail at the same time. Also, I nd rendering times are
much improved. So, with the concept angle, distance from
the camera and a planned resolution, I am sure this level of
detail will be good enough f.

d Use modiers to add details

in a procedural way. This will
make the process fast and
far more efcient

e Create a single model of an

arcade to scatter inside the
iceberg structure

f Create Normal Bumps to

save memory and speed up
the rendering time

120 3D Art & Design

Fantasy arch vis

07 Scatter the arcades Its now time to multiply the

modules of arcades along the iceberg. Set the pivot
point somewhere in the centre of the iceberg and use the
Array tool to instance the arcades with 360-degree rotation.
Please remember that instanced elements will not increase
the le size, which will speed up the saving process. I repeat
this step a couple of times, changing the pivot point for each
level to t to the iceberg shape. To nish, in places where the
ice element is open, simply delete the surplus modules g.

08 The spiral staircase The concept shows there is a

communication system between levels with spiral
stairs. Keeping in mind we have an abstract visual, I decide to
use a stock stair element from the Create menu, not paying
much attention to the correct scale or even whether the
stairs will reach each oor. Once I have the general shape of
the stairs ready (I choose a closed type of stairs), I apply the
FFD 2x modier. Selecting the control point on the bottom, I
scale them down with the Scale tool to taper the entire shape
and adjust the radius to the icebergs dimensions h. g h

Fracture &
09 Give your
structure space
At the very beginning of this
project I knew the shot
When working with wouldnt be easy to sell in a
architectural visualisation, 3D environment, because
in most cases we dont
the composition would make
need much destruction in
our scenes. Most likely our it far too at. The concept
clients will require a clean looks really exciting as a 2D
environment, but there are painting, but its now my job
situations where some to also make it vivid and
damage can be expected.
3ds Max is a very powerful alive in the third dimension. I
tool for this and in recent agree with Sonia that some
versions weve been given foreground elements will let
the MassFX simulation the viewer better judge the
system, which enables a
distance and perceive the
very quick and easy way to
collide rigid bodies. depth of the nal image. The
RayFire and FumeFX give iceberg is oating in a vast
advanced smoke and ocean, so its interesting to
fracture efects, although add some broken ice oating
for most arch-vis stills,
simple scripts will also do around. This gives the
the job. Today, viewer information about the
workstations are very camera angle and
powerful, but its crucial to perspective, giving the
keep scenes optimised. Its
structure the chance it
very easy to go too far with
details and for the needs to really show of its
geometry to lose focus on 3D depth i.
the atmosphere. The
battle between light and
shadow is what makes i
images truly unique.

g Use Array to multiply the
arcade modules Fracture the ground Creating fractured elements is usually a challenge. I could
h Use a stock stair element in complete this task manually, but again time is always precious so I decide to dig out
3ds Max to add the some handy scripts. This time Ill use a script called Fracture Voronoi (www.scriptspot.
communication system, as com/3ds-max/scripts/fracture-voronoi), which can be found and downloaded for free from
seen in the concept
ScriptSpot. The rst step is to create a plane object, then set the dimensions to t the camera
i Create extra ground angle and canvas size. Set a reasonable segment count for the plane and run the script. First
elements to gain better copy the code from the ScriptSpot site, open the MaxScript window, paste the code, save the
spatial performance script on your drive, then hit the Run Script button and choose the previously saved le. A
j Apply some fractures to the pop-up window will appear with your script options, so set the element count to divide the
ice using MaxScripts selected object into as many pieces as you wish j.

3D Art & Design 121

Architectural visualisation

Bring in light & shade

Focus on the shaders, lighting & atmospheric effects

12 Apply some
environment lights
Lighting is not an easy step

in a piece like this. The

glassy ice shader needs to
reect the environment in
order to highlight the shape
details. Photography rules
have solutions for such
scene types and recommend
a black or white environment
with proper black or white
side reections. I decide to
go a little further and engage
the VRayEnvironmentFog for
volumetric-lighting ray
k efects. The main light

source for direct rays is a
Use ice shaders The ice shader is key to this scene, VRaySun. A high amount of
as it will obviously get applied to all the elements. I environmental fog is set to
prepare two types of shaders: one for the general iceberg 100m, which produces a
shape and the second for the arcades. The arcade shader will sort of vacuum environment
be exactly the same as any other, except for an added broken by the light rays l.
Normal Bump created at the very beginning to add extra
detail, as well as to keep the poly count low. The ice shader
has 100% Reection, with Reection Glossiness set at level Motion in
0.9 with Fresnel efect and IOR changed to 12. Refraction is still images
totally transparent. Additionally, I add a foggy blue colour
and turn on Translucency mode for the soft water k. Still images have obvious
limitations: we can only
view the scene from a
m certain perspective and
we have no power to look
around the details. The key
is to bring life to the image,
so the viewer remains
attracted to the focal
points that the artist
intended to expose. This
means less work can be
applied in the artwork, but
the impression will be the
opposite. Motion in
images with walking
characters and moving
vehicles can bring a lot of
information about world

structure, physics, time
and can also provide Particle efects
information out of context. To represent broken
Taking our iceberg as an ice ying around the scene
example, the extra ying Ill create a blizzard system.
pieces of ice make us feel
we are dealing with Set the Particle Type to
vertical movement. Its just Triangle and adjust the
a captured moment, but Speed to Camera Shutter. If
also provides clues about the speed is too high, the k Create an ice shader with a
what could happen in the fog efect to better achieve
next second. This is all particles will be blurry. The
the depth of the elements
about telling a story and broken ice surface needs
the quality of the image or some debris pieces, so using l Create light rays with
the techniques may play a MultiScatter I spread three V-Rays environment fog
secondary role, if the shot types of crystals regularly
is planned well. m Use particle systems for
across the whole surface m. creating dynamic detail

122 3D Art & Design

Fantasy arch vis

Post-production & compositing

Move into the rendering & post stages to finalise your scene

Find the
right lighting
Build atmosphere with
good lighting efects is
very important. You can
achieve them in your
rendering software, like
the volumetric light rays
created in this tutorial, or
you can apply similar
efects in some scenes
using Photoshop plug-ins. I
recommend the Rays
plug-in by Digital Film
Tools (www.
Remember: well-balanced
images are friendlier on
the eye, while too many
colours in your scenes
may be distracting. In my
workow I try to nd a
leading colour for the shot.
So on the top of the layer
stack I place a Color
n o Balance adjustment layer

to make the colour range a
Choose your renderer Im going to use V-Ray as little more even.
the rendering engine. Balancing the time-and-quality
ratio, I choose the Light Cache and Irradiance map as the GI n Try to save diferent render
algorithm. I need to remember that in post-production Ill passes for the post-
add a couple of main render elements, like RawRefraction, production process
RawReection and WireColor. At this stage I know the RGB o Test diferent post-
pass will not be the main one used while compositing. The production options to decide
environment fog can also be saved with an Atmospheric on the best workow
pass. Combining all the elements on a diferent layer brings p Organise the render
me to the nal result. Please be sure to increase the elements in one PSD le
subdivisions for the fog; in this case 24 works well n.
q Paint bubble efects with

Scattering brush options
Post-production sketches Usually, rendering tests

are enough to give you an idea of where youre
heading with a nal image. Because in this case only the Build the water &
combined passes are present before the nal output, I render add some efects
a sketch shot during the process to see if all the pieces will Water bubbles are painted
work together. The presented post-production set enables using a round brush with
me to decide which colour scheme I should go with for the Dynamics and Scatter
nal production. Perhaps this is duplicating the work, but options enabled in
either way it gives me more control over the concept o. Photoshop. Again, using a

tablet gives you lots of
Prepare the PSD le After creating the post- freedom and better control
production sketches and nal rendered passes, I start while painting. Try to create
to organise the layers. On the very bottom lands the black layers on the very top
RawReection pass, which becomes my base. Above, I add a of the stack. Paint blue
masked-out Atmosphere pass, placing the rays and light circles with a large, soft,
around the iceberg and setting this to Screen mode. Using round brush and set the
WireColor on the very top for a quick selection will help, but mode to Soft Light or Screen.
keep this invisible for the nal save. Use Calculations and the This is how you can create
ReectionFilter pass for creating the mask, which can be glowing bowl efects, which
used to control the Transparency and Reection levels of the will add more atmosphere to
ice, combined with the RawRefraction pass p. your image q.

3D Art & Design 123

Use our step-by-step guides to achieve what is,
for many, the ultimate goal in 3D art and design
126 50 tips for ultimate 3D
realism 132
Fool the eye and wow your viewers
with our top tips from industry pros

132 Learn to create

photoreal 3D
Find out how to re-create a
photorealistic model of a ladybird

138 Achieve fantastic 3D

Create a realistic 3D model of your
favourite object

143 I made this Sphynx Cat

How Pavel Kondratenko created his
incredible artwork

144 Visualise realistic products Ive always liked

in modo
Achieve photoreal renderings using pictures of the macro world;
modos Pixar Subdivision Surfaces I love the sense of scale and
149 Gallery Taha Alkan incredible levels of detail
A look at Tahas photoreal work

150 Make realistic food

Achieve realistic textures, materials
and lighting

155 Gallery Rod DeWeese

A perfect photorealistic environment

156 Model and render a

photorealistic watch
Produce a realistic render of a watch

143 144 156

124 3D Art & Design


3D Art & Design 125


Fool the eye and wow your viewers with our top tips from
industry pros on how to achieve realistic 3D images
Realism is often the ultimate goal of the 3D artist; to render something as close to life as possible and
showcase your individual talent as well as the power and potential of CGI software. Here we compile
a selection of tips from pro 3D artists to help you create your most realistic images ever.

HDR image maps and

photorealistic models courtesy
of CGAxis

50 S FO R
Eldorado. At the beginning I wasnt really
sure what would be the hero of the shot. I
was thinking about a tennis ball, golf ball,
pack of cigarettes, bottles and so on, but
in the end one little toy car won
Marek Denko

126 3D Art & Design

Ultimate 3D realism

Good textures and materials make the

model more expressive, bad ones destroy
even the most gorgeous geometry
Dmitriy Glazyrin

Get your project of to the best start
during this crucial stage

Its extremely important to have a lot
of references and I request
constant references (from photos to
real objects) whenever a new job or update
arrives in the office. Jacinto

The best criteria [when sourcing
references] is the resolution of
photos. It is very important to see the
details of an object in the photo that way
you dont waste your time trying to
understand it. Denis L

Not using references may not give
you enough information about the
scale of the objects in your scene In
my opinion scale is the most important aspect
of creating realistic images. Denis O

I like to have at least one side view
and a three-quarter view. Even better
would be if you had access to the real
objects themselves, to either take pictures of
or have next to you while modelling. Emre

Its a matter of finding the right
balance between a low and
high-poly mesh [initially]. For the
basic model I use Maya, then I switch to
Mudbox for the details and normal maps. I try
to keep the mesh topology flawless based on
quads and loops. Massimo

Marek Denko Dmitriy Glazyrin Denis Lebedev Jacinto Denis Pawel Massimo Righi Emre Salihov
Website: www. Website: www. Website: http:// Monteiro Osmanbegovic Podwojewski Website: http:// Website: www. lebedev.cgsociety. Website: www. Website: vema3dart. Website: www.
Bio: Marek fell in Bio: One of the org/gallery metrocubicodigital. Bio: Massimo is a Bio: Emre is a
love with computers founders of Ujean & Bio: After forgetting com Bio: Currently Bio: Pawel has been freelance 3D artist 22-year-old artist
in 1991 with his rst Glazyrin studio, his childhood Bio: Jacinto working at Cryptic involved in the based in Italy, often from Sweden. As a
Atari 800XL. In Dmitriy has worked passion for drawing graduated as an Studios in California, development of working in child his favourite
2007, together with with a range of for many years, architect in 2002. In Denis is an designs and collaboration with his toys to play with
Peter Sanitra, he creatives, including Denis returned to 2007 he radically environment artist for concepts in the eld wife Silvia Puli. They were LEGO cars. He
established the retouching studio the art world and switched profession videogame projects of architecture for are often involved in claims he found his
creative studio Platinum FMD, and began exploring the and has now been a including Star Trek various industries. In various projects calling in life when
NoEmotion (http:// has obtained a series many possibilities of 3D arch-vis artist for Online and 2009 he started CG within the games and Autodesks Maya fell of awards. 3D art in 2009. ve years. Neverwinter Nights. WORKSHOP online. lm industries. into his hands.

3D Art & Design 127


Dmitriy Glazyrin

Choose and apply efects to your
Image by Jacinto Monteiro Metro Cbico Digital

models for the greatest realism

Textures and materials are a very
important stage in creating realism in
work, [and] probably the longest
one Good textures and materials make the
model more expressive, bad ones destroy
even the most gorgeous geometry. Dmitriy

There are two main types of textures:
custom-made and tileable
textures. Perfect texture should have
a good resolution, good colour depth and

Pawel Podwojewski
details based on the purpose of the texture
From rigs to shaders, lighting is vital for realism

I try to custom texture everything

13 16
[using] a lot of different custom Lighting will get your project 80 per The right lighting shows all the small
brushes in Photoshop allows me to cent of the way there with some details youve modelled [so] it is
do this. This doesnt mean I dont use textures experience you will understand more useful to use images (pictures and
I find on the internet, but I do use them or less what you can fake later on [but] dont photos) where you can see beautiful lighting,
carefully. Denis O worry about the richness and contrast of the to analyse it and take note of it. Denis L
colours. It is easier to crunch them in post with

09 17
For [texturing] hard-surface objects, I colour correction. Emre Its important to build shaders and
use 3ds Max and Photoshop and for lighting in an organised way. Make

organic, ZBrush and Photoshop. In I tend to keep lighting as simple as sure the same group of lights will be
any case, Photoshop is an indispensable tool possible It is really important to instanced so you can easily adjust all of the
for creating textures, both at the stage of study your renderer of choice and lights at [once]. Shaders should be built with a
texturing and [post work]. Dmitriy how it relates to your main program (3ds colour-correction plug-in used for textures. In Student Housing. Project
designed by Pawel for
Max, Softimage, Maya and so on) and most cases this will enable you to adjust the Nadau Lavergne studio,

Creating a simple light setup before understand its potential. Denis O shaders without 2D texture editing. Pawel located in Bordeaux,
you start texturing is a very good France in area under

15 The best lighting software

UNESCO protection
idea I always have one key light
where my main light source is and then,
Denis Osmanbegovic

depending on the model, one or two rim lights

and also one fill light that doesnt cast any A rundown of the experts choice for the perfect setup
specular. Emre [V-Ray] is a quick renderer with easy-to-use tools. You have a virtual camera, which has

the same options as a real one. Sometimes I check the settings of the camera on the
The textures used to light a scene
should be saved as high dynamic reference images (you can check it in Image Properties) to get an idea about physical
range images (HDRI). This allows conditions and [then] apply them to the VRayPhysicalCamera. Dmitriy
you to control the exposure and luminance at If you are doing one-man projects and want quick, accurate and good results, then
any stage while rendering. Pawel V-Ray is what I would choose. I like mental ray as well but it requires lots more
preparation and clicking of buttons to achieve what you want. Emre

The [most] useful texture maps are I prefer to light in 3ds Max and mental ray. mental ray is a really powerful renderer
Color, Specular, Bump and Normal with some pretty easy-to-tweak options. Also, 3ds Max comes with a pack of arch and
[though if you are texturing] fur, design materials for mental ray with a couple of presets that are easy to change. Denis O
sometimes you dont need to create normal V-Ray is the best. Sometimes I use HDR images, other times the VRaySky method, House. Using mental ray,
maps or you only need to create them for the this full scene took four
sometimes just a semi-sphere for the sky with only a sphere light. Jacinto hours to render
visible mesh. Massimo

128 3D Art & Design

Ultimate 3D realism
Studio lighting and lighting
environments is very different To
simplify the environment modelling
you can make low-poly objects, or simplify
the plane to stretch the texture of the mask.
Creating the environment in layers means the
lighting will work properly with different
angles and camera lenses. Dmitriy

Sometimes I use HDR images to light
my scene. If the HDR image is a
good one, the lighting just looks
incredible (and more credible). Colours and
reflections are rich and you also have more
freedom in post to tune the image based on
those colours. Marek

For my main [lighting] I dont use
HDR images so often because its
difficult to handle that type of light
source with fur, but I [sometimes] use it in

27 Realistic render passes

render passes to get realistic-coloured
reflections. Massimo

CGSkies ( and
Peter Guthries HDRI lighting setups Learn the process used for this professional project
have made the 3D community very Pawel produced this image as part of his concept design for a
happy lately, and each day more and more student housing project by architectural studio Nadau Lavergne.
artists are using it in their normal workflow. In his experience, utilising render passes means you have more
Jacinto scope and exibility with your image: During the production you
may nd the render channels very handy while applying changes

KNOW YOUR or [additional] details to your image. This is particularly useful

when working to a clients brief where the needs of the project
RENDER PASSES may dictate such changes.
Pawel takes us through his render passes for this window
Its easy to believe youre done once view, which is especially interesting for its use of lters to get the
TGV Station. This architectural project is youve rendered out, but the funs reections on glass elements exactly right. He uses psd-manager
located in Ourense and includes just starting from Cebas ( to organise his passes, nding it
a TGV station, hotel and an ofce block
the fastest way you can imagine [it] automatically saves your

surrounding all these buildings
Render elements are very useful and
layers into a PSD format [and] additional masks can [then be
save a lot of time in postproduction,
Massimo Righi

Green Frog. Modelled in added] manually while editing the image. I can recommend it for
Maya, the depth of eld and especially when working with
background were rendered animated sequences. With passes you can Photoshop lovers.
with mental ray
easily change any elements in your image a Pawel used V-Ray for a
without re-rendering. Denis L a e
range of passes that add
detail and atmosphere.

You only get [some] of the beauty Each pass had the same
settings as this RGB render
render straight out of the rendering,
the rest comes in when you start to b We added a lot of detail
composite it together with V-Ray it is very in postproduction compared
to the raw render glass
easy to render out with passes and you can reections have been
also render out each light as a separate pass, controlled using [more]
specic passes
which can be very useful. Emre b f
c We used some channels

I would say that V-Ray Z-Depth is the to add efects and other
most important pass [for ones as selection masks. For
example, the Reection
hyperrealism]. It can add better lter will be a selection [on
mood, depth and postproduction depth of the] Raw Reection pass
field to the image The biggest danger for me d For reection and
would be to go too far so I avoid doing heavy atmospheric passes you can
postproduction. Jacinto try out the Screen blending
c mode to quickly key out the g

black tones
A solid Beauty pass where I can see
my image almost done when I e The Refraction lter is
render it is the better way As extra the colour by which the raw
refractions are multiplied
passes I use Z-Depth, masks, sometimes
extra light passes and when there are f A handy pass for quick
changes, you can alter the
effects like smoke or fire, they are always colour of reections and add
rendered as a separate pass. Marek glows with Wire Color

d g Sometimes it is much h
You need to rely on your experience faster and easier to add the
to know if a result is right or wrong. desired [background]
Very common mistakes appear while elements in postproduction,
but to speed things up I
using Z-Depth [passes]. It is a very handy often use the Z-Depth
technique that can save a lot of rendering time [pass] to control the DOF
[and] such effects may enhance your image
h An additional clay render
but when applied in the wrong way can also of the window scene
kill the scene. Pawel

3D Art & Design 129

Lighting Ford E Bike. Emre
advises using as few lights
a possible work with one
light at the time. NUKE
is Emres compositor
of choice

Emre Salihov
Woodworker. The carpenter was
I find that using a node-based shot on a Canon Mark II, with the
compositing program such as NUKE wood chips and car modelled in
[makes bringing render layers 3ds Max. The stand was made in
ZBrush with nal compositing
together] much easier. I dont do any fancy completed in Photoshop
blending, I just use overs and plusses.
Occlusion is a good example. Emre

The wrong settings for the Z-Depth
pass wont allow you to make depth
of field [so] use the Tape tool in the
Helpers palette in 3ds Max. [Also] some
passes can have rough edges and, in the
postproduction stage will have a bad visible
contour. For this it is better to use the
Multimatte render element in V-Ray instead
of Object ID. Denis L
The nal touches are to
30 add detail dust, light rays, ying
It is necessary to establish the real
behaviour of the camera as precisely

leaves, sparks and dirt a variety of

as possible. Set the depth of field,
anti-aliasing and choose interesting lens
parameters. If you take any picture from the
internet its often possible to get the
information about the lens and the
small details that ll the picture
parameters, so use this when placing the Dmitriy Glazyrin
camera in the scene. Dmitriy

COMPOSITING 34 The ideal combination
Dmitriy Glazyrin shares how he went about
Seamlessly integrate 3D renders compositing his incredible image Woodworker
with 2D elements for realistic scenes
Dmitriy Glazyrin

When I create an environment [for
compositing] I usually like to
matte-paint it [in Photoshop] using a
mixture of photographs and retouching. I
must have in mind what everything should
look like so I create it based on the [renders]
lighting. Massimo

Objects that [are] lit in a way that
dont match the scene will obviously Dmitriy carefully analyses his own work to
look fake [so] we [need to] enhance make sure the result is as realistic as possible: Often a side
the lighting using different blending modes view helps to see the defects and bring an objective judgment
and paintovers. It is crucial [at this stage] to
use colours we find in the final scene for better As far as Dmitriy is concerned, the art to seamless software of choice. In handling 2D objects [it is] the
integration. Pawel compositing requires a few main ingredients: The key clear leader. Some use video compositing software
factors are the well-detailed model, the right light and such as After Efects or NUKE, but in my opinion for

[When compositing] you can the materials. static [images] it makes no sense and is more
convert the image to a monochrome Light sets the mood of the whole picture, he says, complicated [than it has to be].
version. When the colour does not and cites it as the deciding factor for embarking on a Attention to detail, observation and analysis are
Pawel Podwojewski

distract you can compare the brightness of compositing project. I use a picture to create the basis key, but Dmitriy advises not to go it alone: Put a
shadows and light, the environment and the for future models or nd a reference by the light I like picture of your work online and show your friends, as
models, and seek the similarities. Then bring then you achieve the ideal combination of objects. To the more feedback you can get, the closer you will
the colour back and get the desired result with achieve this ideal combination, Photoshop is Dmitriys come to the ultimate realistic composite.
the shaders. Dmitriy

130 3D Art & Design

Ultimate 3D realism

Denis Lebedev
Its Going to Rain. I wanted to show an
authentic landscape with the post-Soviet
realities. I wanted to train myself to a
higher level, Denis L says

Massimo Righi

The key steps [in the compositing
Denis Osmanbegovic

process] would be preparing masks

and selections, placing 2D elements
in our composition and integrating them with
the original image, and finally the colour
correction. Pawel

Matching perspective and colour
balance are the most important
parts [of compositing]. My advice PERFECT POSTPRODUCTION
would be to avoid fish-eye photographs to Complete your image with last-minute adjustments for maximum impact
Dmitriy Glazyrin

match your 3D arch-vis work. My experience

42 47
was a bit frustrating! Jacinto For me ten per cent or less is done in For postproduction I prefer
postproduction I [adjust] Curves, Photoshop while working with 3D

The most important thing is [getting] Levels, Color Balance and its stills and After Effects for animations.
the right perspective and lighting It important because my raw renders always These two work well for compositing as well
is great when you can shoot the need colour and light correction. Jacinto as postproduction. Photoshop can handle
objects in a studio because you can apply the huge files and compositions, assuring a quick

virtual camera settings to the real one to Many artists make their final renders and stable workflow. Pawel
obtain a perfect match. Pawel to a very high quality, so often the

post work takes about five per cent of The most important thing is colour

Compositing is a matter of taste, the time It brings some additional control to correction in Photoshop. I use it on
[but] my feeling is that if a rendering make your work a little better. Denis L the whole image and separate
is looking good without an objects using masks. I always work with a

environment then its ready to go for Each image even from the same copy of the layer and use Levels, Curves,
compositing. The first test is always getting it project will require a different Selective Color and Color Balance
right on a neutral background. Massimo amount of postproduction work. In adjustments. Before each touch I create a
my case the average [time dedicated] will be snapshot in the History palette, and then after

[For adding photographic characters around 20 per cent. Pawel [I do the same] to compare the result. Denis L
to CG scenes], having high-res

45 49
people is important. Then a lot of About ten per cent of my final [effort] I think too much postproduction may
curves, colour balance, shadow, motion blur goes into postproduction. I tend not stylise the image but not necessarily
and saturation changes should be made in to spend a lot of time adjusting the make it more realistic. Some of the
order to make them realistically fit. Jacinto raw render since I try to get the desired results real-world effects though, like [adding] image
straight out of mental ray [but] I think it grain or chromatic aberration can be a nice

Poor composition is unlikely to affect depends on the artist and the scene itself. and quick touch towards a photorealistic
the realism [of a piece]. It may have Sometimes you can have a final image image style. Pawel
impact on the overall impression of without any postproduction. Denis O

the picture, but after all, the camera can be Very soft lens distortions may be a

bad for the composition of the picture, though You can get the ideal result by good idea to increase the realism.
[still be] quite realistic! Dmitriy rendering but, on the time side, it You may think most viewers will not
[wont] be comparable with working notice this but, believe me, our brains do. It is a

Sky is such an important object in the in Photoshop, [which] can correct most of the perfect situation when you feel something is
light and material system, [so] try to render and [do it] much faster. Dmitriy natural without knowing why! Pawel
avoid replacing it [at the compositing
stage]. I render skies straight from 3ds Max i Lunchtime. As he renders all of j Interior Loft. An interior that k Student Housing. A project
his animal characters in Maya, Denis O made to practise an designed by Pawel for Nadau
k for the most realistic results (at least for Shave and a Haircut is image that seems open but Lavergne studio, located in
exterior scenes). Jacinto Massimos go-to for fur feels packed with stuf Bordeaux, France

3D Art & Design 131


Ive always liked pictures
OBJ les, textures, presets for
modo, a ladybird ZTL plus of the macro world; I love
tutorial screenshots the sense of scale and
3D artists explain the
An exclusive UVLayout incredible levels of detail. I
techniques behind Hobbyist software trial also particularly enjoy
their amazing artwork using bokeh efects with a
large depth of eld.
Artist info

Software used in this piece

modo ZBrush Photoshop

Dmitry Denisov
Personal portfolio site
Country Moscow, Russia
Software used
ZBrush, Photoshop, modo
Expertise Character
modelling, texturing and
technical visualisations

Simplicity is the key!

From experience, I understand that in the modelling and
retopology stages it is very important to understand what
direction and ow polygons are. To better understand
polygon ow I recommend you draw topology onto your
model. Try to make the most of polygons with the same
size and equal to the square. If you want to know how
perfect your model is, look at the Density Grid and
compare all its diferent parts.

132 3D Art & Design

Learn to create photoreal 3D

Learn to create
photoreal 3D
Macro ladybird shot 2012
Learn how to re-create a photorealistic model of a ladybird
Dmitry Denisov is a 3D modeller working on game-dev and character projects

n this tutorial I will show you how to
create a photorealistic image of a
ladybird using modo, ZBrush and
Model the ladybird
Photoshop. We will discuss modelling Begin with ZBrush DynaMesh in ZBrush
techniques, topology, UV mapping,
sculpting, texturing, applying difuse and
normal maps, lighting settings and the nal
post-processing of the image.
Ill begin by showing you how to create a
simple model using DynaMesh in ZBrush
and then retopologise in modo. Youll learn
how to use Replicators to create convincing
water drops and air particles. Well also
cover how to build a real-world camera,
setting up the focal length, aperture and
bokeh efects.
Finally, youll learn the basic aspects of

01Create a simple sphere

composition, photorealism and other
details that can make a nal image far more After using Convert to
DynaMesh, with a medium resolution from 64-80, you can
expressive. This tutorial assumes that you
very quickly sculpt the basic form of the body and other parts of
are familiar with basic skills in modo and the ladybird. If you have references (front and side views) you can
ZBrush, because we will talk only briey import these into the Viewport for better modelling accuracy. Use
about the functions of these programs. the Move and Clay brushes to create the basic form of the body,
Finally you will learn how to work with head, eyes and legs. If your geometry is very stretched, hold Cmd/
the components of the image and fully Ctrl+LMB on an empty area to refresh your geometry with
utilise render passes. Colour correction will DynaMesh. You can also use simple primitives to model the legs.
The point is to create a basic form with a medium resolution and
be reviewed in detail and we will also look sculpting detail. Remember this is a sketch at this stage we dont
at how noise can improve images. B
need a super-detailed image A.

02Use GoZ to move the mesh to modo I recommend you rst draw the topology on
your model and then create the retopology. Add a new mesh and set focus on it. Go to the
Topo tab, then go to Tools>Pen and create the rst quad on your model. As we will very often use a
Topology Pen, its best to set up a hot key. Hold Shift and drag LMB to extrude the edge; you can also
extrude vertexes. Please focus your mind on topology and try to feel the polygon ow. Always
remember that its better to have a polygon as a quad do not stretch polygons and keep all quads the
same size. Try to use this rule and the results will be very accurate and comfortable for sculpting. If you
nd topology terms difcult to understand, as well as retopologising in modo, please take a step back
and draw on your topology using PolyPaint, and then apply Symmetry once more B.

03Create the environment: leaves and water drops

C This is a very simple part of our
scene. Add a plane, divide it as shown and use the Bend tool. Remember, you only need a part
A DynaMesh and the ready ladybird model with retopology of the main leaf, so you dont need to create all of its parts a simple form is the key. Well also need
leaves in the background to create an atmosphere and to show the scene with depth of eld. Arrange
B Good retopology. Blue lines show a polygon ow
the leaves in such a way that you achieve a small bush. Remember that all of your leaf planes must
C Presets of the water drops and a very simple leaf mesh have a small amount of thickness C.

3D Art & Design 133


Create realistic textures and materials

Begin UV mapping the model using modo

05Sculpt the
ladybird detail
Well use the Standard brush
with Alpha 07 or 23 and Spray
options to create surface noise.
Theres nothing special here;
simply create a couple of
subdivision levels and sculpt
them. You can also apply
surface noise to your model
and relax it with the Morph
brush. After that we need
normal and cavity maps to
adjust the realism of our model.
In our case we will use Multi
Map Exporter because our D The Unfold tool with cutting F Textures for the ladybird,
model has UV ofset. Now we edges and UV packing set to 0, difuse and cavity maps
1, 2 values
have both normal and cavity
D G The main parts of the materials,
maps we can move to the next E ZBrush sculpting using brushes, the fur settings and their

04Unwrap your model

step: setting up the right scale alphas and normal baking placement on the mesh
To obtain your UV map, use the for the model using the
Unwrap tool. Were using this tool as its perfect for Absolute Scaling tool E.
working with organic models such as
creatures and critters. For the Unwrap tool
UV mapping with UVLayout
we need to specify the Edge Flow (cut). Its UVLayout also has a powerful pack of options that allows
always useful to imagine how you will cut you to place all of your parts inside diferent UV values:
your model beforehand, as getting it right at Step 1: You can use UVLayout as a standalone program or
this stage is vital. Our main task here is to as a plug-in. Open the ladybird mesh in modo and run the
obtain a high-quality map with multiple UVLayout script. In the menu go to Type>Poly and
pieces and to get the minimum stretch. UVs>New. Click Export to UVLayout.
When your UV map is accomplished you Step 2: The navigation and hot keys combination is the
need to package it. Try to do it on one UV same as in Maya: LMB for rotating, RMB for zooming,
map but use the U/V Tile Ofset value MMB for pan. In the Display options in the Up option
equal to 1 or 2. For example, pairs will be choose Y. Move your cursor to the edge and hit C to make
0-1, 0-2, 1-0 for each texture D. F a loop. This is called cutting, which is required when
unwrapping the model.

06Create textures
Step 3: Select all cut edges, move the cursor to a diferent
part and hit Enter (Separate) or Shift+S (Cut). This lets you
Use the Export UVs to cut or separate the model comfortably. When youve
EPS function to create a UV nished, you need to put all these parts in the UV Editor.
wire. Open the EPS le in Hold D and press 1 to move to the UV Editor.
Photoshop with 4,096 pixels. Step 4: Move your cursor to a separated part and hold A
First look at reference images until you like the result. You can also use Shift+F to atten
and imagine the structure of the separated part better. Open Pack, choose Best Quality
your painting. Get a red or and click Pack All. Dont forget to activate Tile UV!
orange base colour, then add Step 5: Hit 3 to see your unwrapped UV model. If all is
surface noise for a better look. okay, click Send and in modo click Import From UVLayout.
Well paint on modo procedure
textures, adding black and
white areas as indicated by
your reference images. Do not
paint with Symmetry on
because we need the model to
be unique. Try to add further
points with diferent layer
styles and layer blending
G modes for various results F.

07Create materials in modo We need three main materials for the ladybird, leaf and
water particles. The structure of the ladybird contains: Difuse, Specular, Normal, SSS and
Procedure maps and textures. You can see the Tree Material settings for the ladybird and leaf. Use a
Material preset for the water particles. Moving to fur, duplicate all of your parts for the legs and body
and move to the meshes. Use the Reduction tool if your geometry has high density. Go to the Paint tab
and Hair Tools tab, then use hair guides and click on the mesh. Refer to the screenshot provided for the
settings. We need to stretch our guides on the joints and the top part of the body. Add a fur material
and move it to the top of the Shader Tree. This is very important because we will manually set Render
options for the fur. Again, refer to the screenshot for the fur settings; I recommend Monte Carlo G.

134 3D Art & Design

Learn to create photoreal 3D

Lighting and particle effects

Create a lighting setup and add particles to the scene

08Work with Replicators To add water drops, copy

your leaf polygons to a new mesh and triangulate them.
We need to delete the bottom part of a water drop particle mesh.

So delete the polygons under the legs, and the few that are deepest
under the body, and then add a cube and smooth it. This will be our
rst water drop, so scale it on the Y-axis a little. Do the same again
but use a diferent size and add a Replicator. Create a new group
and add the water drop meshes to this group. Choose water drop
meshes 1 and 2, and then hit 7 and move the Center position to the
bottom. In the Replicator settings, set Prototype to the group name
and Point Source mesh with leaf triangulated background
polygons. See all the Replicator settings in the screenshot H.

09Air particles Create a new group, call it air particles,

and then add a very small sphere to your scene. Make an
air particle mesh and apply a plane. Divide it a couple of times with
fractals, select all the polygons and then press Back. Select all the
points and turn on Noise Fallof with a 3-4% Scale. Move the
points to up and down to make a randomised efect. In the new air

particles material set No Difuse and turn on Luminosity to white
and value 1. Now in the Render Preview you can see particles with J lighting &
bokeh efects I. camera settings
Weve taken a preset HDRI
I image from Luxology content.
In the Environment tab add a
new image with an HDRI. Use
the Projection Type as Light
Probe with Projection Axis Y,
then use rotation to get a big
composition result. To improve
placement in GL Reection, use
Environment. Add a Minimum
Spot of about 6-7 in order to
texture. This brings some
interesting blur to the image.
With HDRI lighting we can
capture beautiful global
illumination lighting and
self-shadows in our scenes.
This map will also be visible in
the water droplets to give us
great results. Create a new
render camera and place it in a
H The Replicator placement and position that you like. Were
settings used
using about 150mm focal
I Placing air particles length and 6 Iris Blades. This is
J The HDRI map essential in order for the bokeh
efects to work efectively J.
K Volumetric render pass with the
settings used

Use randomness in your

composition to get even
more realistic results
In the water drops Replicator settings use a Render Density
of about 20-30%. We dont need too many water drops
because that will make our picture too heavy and more
difcult on the point-of-view composition. Randomness is a
K very good solution for creating a good composition. Also,
use the Seed option to get a good result. You can apply

11Add a volume light

Vertex as a particle, but the particles wont be aligned with
Add a directional (main) light source and place it in accordance with the a background surface, so Im applying Use Polygon as a
HDRI map. All you need to do is gather specular and difuse reection to one point. Place it over Source Mode. For even better composition you can add
the ladybird and turn on Volumetric Efect. This efect will be rendered separately from the main stage, water drop presets and manually place them on leaves.
as it will be much faster K.

3D Art & Design 135


Rendering and post

Adjust render settings and make passes

Dmitry Denisov
Currently working at the Kaspersky Lab as a web
12Set up the render Organise your Shader Tree and create groups for all the models parts.
Remember that you can always add a Render Output for each part to help you in post-
production. Choose all textures, set None to Antialiasing and Texture Filtering to Nearest. This is
designer, Dmitry explores 3D as a hobby, spending most important as it gives more sharpness to our textures. Use Indirect Illumination type Monte Carlo and
of his free time experimenting with various projects change Indirect Rays to 1,024. Set Antialiasing to about 256 or 512 samples, Mitchel lter, Renement
Shading to 0.1, Renement Threshold to 0.3 and Ray Threshold to 0.01. Turn on DOF, set FStop to 8,
Iris Blades to 5 and Edge Weighting to 50%. Check the screenshot for all the settings. This will be a
rst render pass with nal colour and AO, but without Specular and Reection passes L.

Portrait of a man

13Add bokeh efects

ZBrush, modo (2012)
One of Dmitrys favourite M
themes is head modelling We need to get another
render pass with Reection and
Specular only. In the Render
Camera change Edge Weighting
to 98%. Never use maximum
values, but rather 98.954, as
this gives an interesting result.
The value of 98% creates a
real-world bokeh efect. Now,
lets render our Specular and
Reection passes M.

L The main render and various

N camera settings

M Bokeh settings

N The Volumetric Light pass

O The main render passes

Sunday morning Photoshop, modo (2012)
The inspiration for this picture came from the Pixar movie, Up P Combining air particles and
volumetric light

Q Chromatic aberrations

14Render volumetric light and air particles Choose the main shader, click RMB and set
the Fog type, enabling us to render only volumetric lighting. You can also add diferent types of
noise to Volumetric Density to get an interesting result. Try to nd the optimal value of samples to get
a suitable quality: 256-512 tends to work well. In Environment, set Visible to Camera to None. In
To Windows 7 After Efects, modo (2010) Render Camera Settings I recommend using Edge Weighting with 50-70% to create a nice bokeh
A still from the movie created for a Kaspersky Promo for Windows 7 efect. Next, select the air particles group, isolate it from the scene and render it. These will be small
particles with a bokeh blur applied N.

136 3D Art & Design

Learn to create photoreal 3D

15Compare render passes in Photoshop Now we have a nal Difuse pass with all the
lighting, AO, reection, specular, volume light and air particles included. First duplicate the
Color passes and blur them. Use this layer as a clipping mask for the AO pass, making our self-
shadows much more interesting. Next add specular and reection to produce a bokeh efect and use a
blending mode to merge the two. Control the strength of these efects by adjusting the layer opacity.
Remember you can decrease the strength of each pass by tweaking the Opacity or using Adjustment
Layers. For example, you can duplicate the Color passes, blur and append them as clipping masks to
the Reection or Specular pass with Opacity set to 15%, and an Add blending mode O.

17Colour correct the image For colour correction I

recommend using a solid colour (blue) with Screen blending
mode and Opacity at about 20-30%. This gives us a nice tone and
atmosphere. Duplicate the image, atten all the layers and go to
the Channel palette. Choose the Red channel and move them by
one or two pixels to the left and bottom. Duplicate this layer to your

16Even things up a bit

main scene, put it on top and set the blending mode to Color. Youll
Now we need to add some volumetric lighting and air particles. be able to see chromatic aberrations. To add a magical look to the
Above all the layers apply your volumetric light, set to the Screen blending mode. An Add scene, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E and duplicate this layer.
blending mode can give you better colours, mixing with the background layers. Adjust the Opacity and Finally, add some blur, set the blending mode to Screen and nish
Adjustment controls to afect the layer strength P. up by decreasing the Opacity to 10-15%. And youre done! Q

To get a higher-quality result we can use

layers for each mesh and manually add
them to the compositing program

creation ti rs
3,000 x 3,80 :

3D Art & Design 137


Software used in this piece

3ds Max mental ray Photoshop

138 3D Art & Design

Achieve ultimate 3D realism

Achieve ultimate Easy-to-follow guides

3D realism
take you from concept
to the nal render

Artist info
Rolleiflex camera 2011 Modelling
Texturing Eric Cain
We take you through the main stages Lighting
of creating a realistic 3D model of this Username: cain3d
traditional camera Personal portfolio site
Eric Cain is a 3D artist specialising in modelling and visualisation Country United States

Software used 3ds Max, mental
selected this camera as a portfolio production piece I began to make that the focus of the production, I wanted ray, Photoshop
while I was a student. I originally selected this subject to create the camera and have it look as lifelike as possible. Expertise I am a 3D artist
working in modelling, texturing
because I liked the modern interpretation of the original There is a huge industry in commercial art, which many feel and lighting. My passion is
vintage Rolleiex camera, and felt the unique design would is less creative than original art, but the skill required to visualisation and postwork. I
want to make things look as
make for an interesting project. But it quickly became an create 3D images so accurately that they can pass as real, is realistic as possible, and thats
experiment in realism. just as artistic as any other. all in the details!
When people knowingly look at 3D art, they often spend This tutorial will take you through my workow and
their time looking for aws; anything that gives away the design process from start to nish for this camera
fact that its a 3D production. If they dont know its a production. We will go through modelling techniques,
production, their eyes will still often notice anything that is applying UVW mapping, texturing, lighting and nally the
out of place, especially if the object is well-known. postproduction stages.

Know your subject

Start with planning and basic modelling

01Research and
gather reference
Spending time to nd the right
reference is extremely
important. You cannot create
something from your memory.
Its not the overall shape or
general details of an object that
make it look convincing, its the
subtle details, the ones that are
normally not captured in your
memory. Its easy to get excited
about a new project and jump
right in with little or no
reference, but in the end this
results in a lot of reworking, or
an object that does not truly
reect what you were trying to
create originally a.

a Gathering as much

02Build the model

reference material for your The entire model needs to be built to
project as possible will
scale with all proportions being accurate to the actual
ensure the greatest realism
real-life camera. Anything of in scale is easily noticeable. When
b Modelling each part to a working on the double bayonet, I started by creating a 72-sided
precise scale is essential for a circle, highlighting 1/6 of the total circle and deleting the rest. I then
the nal render modelled out the detail in that section of the bayonet b.

3D Art & Design 139


Logos, texturing and lighting Be resourceful

Many people have a
Customise the logos and textures for your model morning routine, perhaps
cofee and a paper. My
routine is checking my

03Find symmetry After

modelling that 12-sided
section of the bayonet, I used
favourite online 3D sites
and forums for the latest
news in the industry, new
symmetry on the X-axis to create the techniques, inspiration
full 1/3 section (24 sides). Then, from the work of other
using the Symmetry Rotation tool, I creatives and so on. Being
duplicated twice more, reverting the a 3D artist requires you to
be both proactive and
top bayonet shape back to the
resourceful. In 3D there is
original 72 sides. The next step is
so much to learn and the
using symmetry on the Y-axis to industry is constantly
create the bottom bayonet, again 72 evolving, so you cannot
sides. This completes the base for rely on a class or a book to
the double bayonet on the front. Of teach you all you need to
course there are many more things to know, and you can never
model but this is just to illustrate the stop learning. You have to
importance of working smart. be able to research, nd
Planning your process will really help tutorials, experiment and
you see opportunities to use gure out how to solve
shortcuts, such as symmetry c. diferent problems and
apply new techniques
04Create text
To create the text for
the brand name on the front of
with each new project you
work on. Also, you have to
be open to criticism.
the camera I started by Without feedback how
choosing Create Splines. I
will you be motivated to
keep pushing yourself to
picked Text, then found the font
the next level?
that matched the brand name.
A Bevel modier was applied,
then a FFD4x4x4 modier. The c You can use symmetry to
FFD will let you move the lattice build the front structure
points to get the curve we are
going for. For the rest of the text d Adding the recognisable text
plate I modelled around a is key to adding realism
cylinder to get a perfect
e Apply the Turbo Smooth
half-circle using Edge Extrude. modier to all your surfaces
Once that was done I used
Symmetry to mirror over the f Create a screenshot
other half on the X-axis d. template for Photoshop

05Place wires After having
everything blocked in and all
the locking loops in place, its now time
to start applying the Turbo Smooth
modier to everything. Depending on
the distance from the camera, you can
sometimes set the Iterations at 1 or 2,
but because this is a very close shot,
everything has three Iterations applied
so we will not see any faceting e.

06Apply UVWs The next

stage was adding UVW
mapping to the capture lens. Since the
text around this lens is straight on, we
can select Planar under the Parameters.
Make sure you are looking at your object
in the front view, and not the perspective
view, to take your screenshot. This
screenshot will serve as the template for
07Create text and symbols Once in Photoshop, I used
the Text tool to generate the branding/test details. I then
wrapped that text around the viewing and capture lenses to mimic
the next section, as you move this the reference images. As the lenses are black and the text is white,
element into Photoshop f. I used the same image for both the difuse and the alpha/mask g.

140 3D Art & Design

Achieve ultimate 3D realism

08Make textures in Photoshop

When looking for textures to apply to
render tim
your model you will mostly only need to visit the
well-known texture sites. Sometimes, though,
youll come across something that isnt so 5,124 x 2,939:
common. When this happens, dont be afraid to
just create a new texture of your own. This was
the case when I was making the texture for the
shell of the camera. The original Rolleiex camera
shell was made of leather and then replaced with
a plastic for this newer model. The plastic is made
to resemble the leather from the original.
I brought a reference picture into Photoshop
and drew over it to get a few of the shapes. I then
took those shapes, rearranged them and lled up
the sheet to be used as a Bump map h.

09Apply the texture
After creating the
texture in Photoshop, you can
then move it into 3ds Max to
create a plastic mental ray
material. After several tweaks
from the preset material
parameters I was able to get the
plastic to achieve a matte
appearance with the reection
quality I wanted. Under Special
Purpose Maps there is a Bump
Map slot, this is where I put in
the bump texture I created. I
adjusted the amount to .18 to get
the desired height of the bump
on my model i.

g In Photoshop you can use i Bring your new textures into

j the Text tool to add detail 3ds Max and adjust to suit

h Photoshop is also very k Adding a HDR image brings

useful for making textures even more quality realism

Consider the optimal

angles and lighting for
your model

10Lighting and camera angles I rst nd where I think will be the best place to shoot from,
set my 35mm camera into place and make sure to lock it in. To emulate a real-life studio
lighting, I used two target photometric lights. They emit light from the rectangle shape, which I sized to
scale with my camera. To create this setup I rst researched studio lighting to make sure I would get a
real-life studio look. My other light is a Skylight that I used to run my HDR image through j.

Attention to detail
When creating real-life objects in 3D, its extremely important to focus on the details at all
levels of the design and production. The original block-out must be sized and scaled correctly
and the smallest details have to be included in the model work. Textures are also key, so it
wont matter if the model is perfectly clean, if the textures dont look real then the efect will
be lost. The lighting and staging help to create the nal trompe loeil!

11HDR image lighting

The whole goal of realistic 3D art is to create something that looks like a photograph. This step changes the entire mood
When I was in school at the Art Institute of Dallas, the senior modelling instructor, Micheal
and feeling of the scene by using diferent HDR images. The
Eudy (aka Polygrinder), always said, Your work is only as strong as your weakest part. This
really taught me that you have to show the same care for creating a small background HDR image is used as a light pass in both the Skylight and the
element that you would show when creating the hero piece. You cant skip over even the Environment map slot. This one pass does not give all the light
smallest detail! Getting most things right wont prevent the viewer from nding the one aw youll need, only an environmental feel. Render the other lights as
you didnt x, so its worth spending some extra time to work out the kinks. separate passes to give you more control in post should you want
to adjust the light colour or brightness k.

3D Art & Design 141


Final rendering
Bring your model to life with postwork
Eric Cain
My passion for art started at a young age and my eye for
realism and detail was always apparent, whether I was
drawing comic book characters or gure studies. I only
made the transition into 3D art about three years ago
while getting my degree in Media Arts and Animation.
But as I moved from 2D to 3D, I simply changed the tools I
used to create my art.

12The Ambient Occlusion pass The Ambient Occlusion (AO) pass is an important step to
create realism, and is one of my favourite passes. The AO pass gives us a Dirt map that helps us
see where light would be naturally occluded. I typically make two AO passes: one with larger Spread
and Fallof than the other. The rst is a general shadow map showing where all the darker areas are on
the model, and the other is only to show extremely dark areas like ne crevices. I then use this in
Photoshop as a multiplier layer in postproduction with a low opacity l.

Los Angeles Country Museum of Art 3ds Max, metal ray,

Photoshop (2012)
I chose to create the LACMA scene because I wanted to create a
whole environment. I was drawn to the intricacy of the staircase and m
loved the lamps as a focal piece.

13The Z Depth pass I used the Z Depth pass to create the auto-focus look that a real camera
would give when taking a photograph. I wanted to achieve a very subtle auto-focus with a slight
blur efect to draw attention the camera. Under Render Setup, add Z Depth and make sure to have
Elements active. Choose your minimum maximum Depth for the focus area. To get an absolute
amount without having to render, you can get out the Tape Measure under the Helpers menu and
measure it from your camera m.

l Make an Ambient Occlusion

pass for accurate shadows

m A Z Depth pass adds the

quality of a real-life camera
Low-Poly 1930s Air Compressor 3ds Max, 3Point Shader,
Photoshop (2012) n The RGB Matte pass isolates
The challenge here was to create a low-poly model that appears to each material for masking
be high-poly. This was achieved by maintaining a strong silhouette
that matched the original streamlined design. o Make nal adjustments to
get the best possible result

14RGB Matte pass

I created an RGB matte
pass to isolate each material on

the model, making it easy to

select each material in post for
masking and adjusting, such as
using blue to isolate the shiny o
metal parts. To create the RGB
matte pass you should use the
Material Editor window to
create a standard material for
15Final composition The last step is to layer together all of
the above passes in Photoshop to create the nal product.
This can be done in many ways, constructing your own layer stack.
each colour. Then under I keep all the originals on the bottom in case I need another
Self-Illumination you need to duplicate. I keep my masks (RGB) folder open so I can control and
check the Color box and use select them quickly, the lighting passes and HDR images are next.
pure RGB colours. Disable Final Next, the adjustment layer folder is the most important in the nal
Gather and use the piece. You have all the options to change anything around, colours,
Environment and Efects saturation, exposure and vibrance can really give your piece a new
window to turn of the feel. The AO folder is on top of that, with Opacity at 6-20%. Last
Exposure Control n. add your Z-Depth, Vignette, and a small amount of noise o.

142 3D Art & Design

Pavel Kondratenko
To make the skin appear realistic I painted Website www.texelstudi
nine different textures. The main colour I painted Country Russia
Software used ZBrush, May
in ZBrush and added some detail with Photoshop. Photoshop
Bio Pavel specialises in mod for
I blended Displacement and Cavity maps with the ders
texturing and creating sha es
Incredible 3D artists take lms, commercials and gam

Artist info
main colour to create variation k
us behind their artwor
I created the wrinkles in ZBrush by
painting a mask on the cats body, to which
I applied the Inate deformer
twice and a little correction
with Smooth and Dam Standard
brushes. For small wrinkles, I used the
Standard brush with an Alpha

Sphynx Cat 2012

The main point of this work was to study the SSS material in mental ray
To create hair and to model wrinkles in ZBrush. The modelling part was rather quick. I
I used the Shave And mainly used ZBrush, including retopology work. Afterwards, all the
models were imported into Maya where I set up the lights and the default
A Haircut Maya plug- materials for the skin, eyes, fabric and gold. The last step in 3D was the
in. For the growth of creation of the fur on the cats body. To achieve this I used the Shave And
A Haircut Maya plug-in. The nal composition was made in Photoshop.
the hair, I copied the
geometry of the cat,
removed the parts
where I didnt want
any hair and also
created a Density
map in ZBrush

Software used in this piece

ZBrush Maya Photoshop

3D Art & Design

Realistic product visualisation in modo

Visualise realistic
products in modo
Luxurious Fountain Pen 2012
Achieve high quality, photoreal renderings using modos Pixar
Subdivision Surfaces, built-in assets and environment lighting
Wojciech Portnicki is a 3D artist who specialises in product visualisation and hard-surface modelling

his tutorial will provide an insight
into my workow for this elegant
fountain pen. It was modelled as
Begin the modelling
part of my personal portfolio. I wanted to
achieve something detailed and realistic.
Start out with a 20-sided cylinder
Over the next few pages I hope to walk
you through the whole process of creating a
the image: from modelling the pen nib, to
applying UV, texture creation, simple light
settings, tweaking the camera, and nally
to the render settings.
To get really smooth results with
geometry well be using Pixar Subdivision
Surfaces (PSub). The benets of using
PSub is that it ofers great features, such
as Rened Edge Weighting and smoother
surfaces with vertices holding more than 01Cone-like cylinder I always like to start my modelling with the parts that look hardest to model that way,
its always downhill from there. When you look closely at the nib its just a cylinder curve-sliced to the desired
shape. Start of by dragging out a 20-sided cylinder. The dimensions of my original mesh were out of scale (1,400mm
four edges (which we normally avoid, but
tall and a radius of 190mm) but dont worry about that now, you can scale it down later on. Select the bottom ngon and
sometimes its acceptable).
scale it uniformly to 220% on XYZ a.
Well also use one of modos greatest

02Use the Curve Slice

features: built-in assets. Youll see how In Left
easy it is to get great-looking materials view select the Curve Slice tool
and lighting with just a few clicks. (in the Mesh Edit tab). Draw a curve
Meanwhile, Illustrator and Photoshop will through the nib. In Wireframe view youll
be used for texturing. see the tool has produced extra points in
our geometry to hold the curvature of our
While the modelling of the pens upper
slicing. We dont need these points as
part is not covered in the tutorial, or in the well be Subdividing the mesh so it cant
nal image, its essentially a 20-sided have ngons. Go to Info & Statistics,
cylinder with three indents at its base, so expand Vertices By Polygon, hit + next to
you could add it to your own version if you the 2 value then Delete. All the unwanted
feel inclined. vertices are gone. Now delete the extra
polys were left with B.

03Flatten the sides Grab three

polys on each side of the mesh.
Hit R for the Scale tool, set the Action c
Center to Local and use the blue handle
a Its often best to tackle the hardest bits rst to atten the surface of (ensure your
on a task that way everything gets easier as Negative Scale is unchecked).
the project progresses Now hitting Alt/Opt+C, add three
edge loops in the middle section and one
b Time to delete the unnecessary polygons.
Head to Info & Statistics to do this at the bottom. Draw out a circular shape
for the tip and connect it to the base
c Use the Edge Extend tool or the Pen tool to mesh. You can do it by using the Edge
give your nib a tip Extend tool or using the Pen tool C.

144 3D Art & Design

Visualise realistic products in modo


Textures, modo project les

(also EPS and AI les for the
patterns), high-res renders

Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Wojciech Portnicki
Username: Wojtek
Reference is very important when it comes to re-creating
real-world objects in 3D. Were not doing a specic pen Personal portfolio site
model, but we want it to look real. I often start with
browsing image searches online for pictures I like and Country Poland
Software used in this piece compiling them into a reference folder. From what Ive Software used
gathered up I then work out a couple of design choices I Illustrator, Photoshop, modo 501
SP6 (64-bit)
like: old-style ball nib, gold and silver sections, plus
modo Illustrator Photoshop Expertise Product visualisation
geometric engravings. and hard-surface modelling

3D Art & Design 145


Cut, bevel and thicken

Refine the shape of your pen nib
Wojciech Portnicki
I'm a 27-year-old graphic designer with a passion for 3D.
I try to incorporate renderings into my workow as
often as possible, creating advertising illustrations for
my clients. I always seek out opportunities to do more
and more 3D in everyday tasks. My goal is to join a
professional 3D studio some day.

1 Million PLN Credit

Card modo 501,
(late 2011)
I did this illustration of
a prestigious credit
card with a 1M PLN
credit limit for a private
bank. Its the rst, real
metal credit card in
Poland. The magazine
ad said How much
does 1,000,000 PLN
weigh? Just 27.5
grams. The illustration
04Cut a hole in the nib The three edge loops we created will be used to hold a circular
shape of a hole in the nib. Create a new mesh layer and in Front view draw an octagon and
place it between the new lines. Hit W for the Move tool, use Snapping for Background Geometry
was delivered in less Constraint and move your shape back until it ts nicely to the nib. Cut it from its mesh and paste it to
than two days modo the nib layer. Delete the polys around our hole poly and Bridge the edges of the shape and the hole D.
handled it like a champ.

05Bevel the
spine edge
Now select the edge
running down from our
hole all the way to the
tip. Hit Edge Bevel
(with a Round Level of
0) and give it a small
Give your pen
bevel. Select the
nib an edge
by bevelling created polygon row,
its spine the hole poly and last
hit Delete E.

Retro Tickertape modo 501, Photoshop (2011)

My rst major modelling task. This tickertape was made for an
online line of credit calculator. The tape coming out of it was
animated in Flash, printing out the result of the calculations. In order
to achieve the proper reections, I built a small room around the
tickertape with walls textured using photos of an actual banks ofce.

100 PLN Bill modo

501, Photoshop
Another illustration for a
bank. It shows a
symbolic 100 PLN bill,
made up of small green
globules a symbol
taken from the banks
logo. This fun technique
is especially
straightforward with
modo Replicators and
Surface Generators. The f
illustration was used for
outdoor campaigns.
06Thicken your mesh While in Polygon mode hit the Thicken tool (in the Basic Tab).
Thicken your mesh inwards by a value you think is best for a fountain pen nib F.

146 3D Art & Design

Visualise realistic products in modo
Tweak the model render tim
Sharpen your edges and add detail 3,200 x 2,40 :

07Radial fallof to round the tip We should round of the pens tip because now it has
become at. To do this there is no better way than the radial fallof. Play with it until you get
the shape you desire. Dont worry if theres very little geometry to shape the tip with. When you hit
Shift+Tab it all smoothens out. Also, set your mesh subdivision level to 3 or higher G.

Use the Loop Slice tool to

h sharpen your pens edges

08Use Loop Slice to

sharpen edges
Select the loop of polys running Think about
on the edge of the nib and add
two extra loops (Alt/Opt+C) to
sharpen the edges. Switch to Think beforehand about
PSub (Shift+Tab) to see the your mesh in terms of the
what efect is made H. proper topology. You need
to have enough polys in
places like the centre of
d Add extra details to your pen the nib, to properly hold
nib, such as the hole in the the shaped hole. When it
middle, with three edge loops comes to drilling holes in
surfaces in Subdivision
f Use reference images or a mode, it comes down to
real-life pen to help determine
the mesh thickness this: draw a shape with the
same number of edges as
g Heres a tip for the tip: use the hole that its going to
Radial fallout to round it. sit in. Only then will the
i Experiment a little to get the Bridging work.
end result you want

09Model the remainder Create the other parts of the

pen. To do the plastic part that sits inside the nib, just
follow the rst steps of modelling the nib itself. Just make it smaller
so it ts inside. The upper part is basically a cylinder with a couple
of indents I.

10Sharpen edges with Edge Weighting Now using

Loop Slice add an extra loop in the nib and then using the
Edge Extrude tool drive it into the mesh (so theres a nice indent
between the golden and silver part of the nib). While in PSub mode
(Shift+Tab) use the Edge Weight tool for all the edges you want
sharper. In Vertex Map view you can see the changes made while
edge-weighting J.

i The upper part of the pen j Adding an indent between

isnt in view but can be built the gold and silver sections
with a 20-sided cylinder and with the Edge Extrude tool j
three indents can provide a nice feature

3D Art & Design 147


Final touches
Apply materials, lighting and rendering

12Add details with a custom bump map Select all
the polys on your nib you want to be gold and create a new
material (M) for them. Do the same with polys that will be silver.
Now drag and drop the default Gold and Silver materials (from

11UV creation: Unwrapping To texture our pen properly we need a nice UV map. Go to the
UV tab and create a new, empty UV map for your mesh. Select an edge loop running along the
side of the nib and also the edge we created for separating its gold and silver parts. Now use the
Assets) inside the gold and silver areas on your model. You can
add your own black and white images to these materials and use
them as bump maps. Be sure to use your UV, I used some default
Unwrap tool (set to Group Normal). This should result in a pretty clean UV map to work with K. Illustrator patterns for my nib engravings L.

Experiment with diferent

lighting techniques
Lighting is a major factor here. Often a modo artist may like
to light their objects with luminous polygons. In this case
lighting the object with only the Reection Rays from the
environment (with Global Illumination turned on) turned out
best for me. So keep in mind theres more than one way to
get the same efects; regular modo lights, luminous polys
and Environment Lighting.

k Its time for texturing. Create a m Your lighting setup and

nice, clean UV map for your environment doesnt have to
fountain pen nib be overly complicated. A
default 3 Point Beige 01 was
l For added realism, apply details used here
such as engravings to your
custom bump map. This n Applying a depth of eld efect
m particular design was created to your nal composition can
using Illustrator really enhance your image

13Environment lighting with Global Illumination

If youre happy with your model and your materials, its time
to set the camera for your shot and light your pen. With this
particular project it was super easy. After trying many diferent
light setups I was most satised with a default 3 Point Beige 01
Environment from modos Assets. I only used Reection Rays with
the GI turned on. I unchecked everything else from my
environment. If you choose to you can add a secondary
environment that is only Visible to Camera and set up a suitable
colour gradient for your render background M.

14Depth of eld and render settings A very slight

depth of eld efect for your camera is a nice touch to the
nal render, but it involves some more tweaking of the Render
Settings. What youll denitely need to do is crank up the
Anti-aliasing samples and the blurry reection rays in the material
settings for the Gold and Silver materials. Also lower the
Renement Shading Rate to 0.1-0.3px. Lower the Shading Rate to
0.1-0.5px for your Base Shader. This should help with the noise n
resultant from the Depth of Field camera setting N.

148 3D Art & Design


Artist info
Taha Alkan

Username: tahaalkan
Personal portfolio site
Country Turkey
Software used Maya, ZBrush,
mental ray, Photoshop

Work in progress

3D Art & Design 149



Easy-to-follow guides
take you from concept
to the nal render
Artist info

Yasin Hasanian

Software used in this piece Personal portfolio site
Country Iran
Maya ZBrush Photoshop mental ray Software used
Two ZBrush brushes Maya, ZBrush, mental ray,
Expertise Yasin specialises in
modelling, texturing, shading
and rendering. He works in the
game and lm industries and
has a passion for character art.

150 3D Art & Design

Make realistic food

Make realistic food

Aroma 2012
Achieve realistic textures, materials and lighting for a tasty digital dish
Yasin Hasanian is a CG artist and freelancer

roma was a great opportunity for me drive of this guide is texturing and rendering, we where you have lots of light pouring in or light can
to challenge myself and expand my will look at these in a little more detail before be distinguished from other properties.
skills. Rather than sculpting my usual moving to the compositing stage. In terms of software I used Maya for scene
freaky creatures, I decided to have a go at One of the main challenges of this project was setup, ZBrush for sculpting, mental ray for
creating realistic-looking food. to ensure I captured the right mood for the scene. rendering and Photoshop for texturing and
This tutorial will be divided into sections: the If you look at food photography, youll nd that postproduction. However, the ideas and workow
rst will look at gathering references and briey the camera focus plays a big role in close-up covered in this tutorial can also be applied to
discuss the modelling stages. Since the main shots particularly in dreamy bright scenes other packages.

Build a concept
Find examples to inform your works realism
a b

02Search for detail Since I was trying to make the piece look as convincing as possible I
found a lot of fruit-related references. I tried to observe any surface qualities I could nd of
strawberries, seed orientations, peaches, scatterings of light and so on. From there I roughly planned
the pipeline b.

c 03Start to model
The modelling
stage was a pretty

01Gather references The rst thing you always need to

do is gather references for your work. Without them you
are relying on your imagination. When it comes to creating
straightforward process.
Hard surface objects were
created in Maya whereas
something that is photorealistic, you need to have those references natural ones were
to ensure you capture everything correctly. The risk is always sculpted in ZBrush. For the
getting something wrong and because you are dealing with an strawberry I decided to
object that people are used to seeing, the errors jump out create a few seed brushes
immediately. Photorealism isnt a forgiving form! in ZBrush, which are
included on this issues
disc. You can use these
The plan brushes to stamp seeds
onto the surface of the
My inspiration originates strawberry on a diferent
from how elegant layer and they can save a
close-up shots of fruit or lot of time c.
other food can be. Usually
fruits treat light in a References are your friend
diferent ways. Some
b Use detailed references of
absorb light, some reect, fruits that display good
some refract and most surface qualities
combine all these at once.
c Working in ZBrush

3D Art & Design 151


Let the lights in

Get the right tonality and a suitable mood
Yasin Hasanian
Im a 21-year-old CG artist who also works as a
04Set up the scene
Because this image
was meant to be a stillframe, I

freelancer. I got attracted to CG almost six years ago

didnt need to make the most
and since then I havent let it go. Aside from personal of the Decimation Master
works I have worked on TV advertisements, TV series, plug-in thanks to the help of a
movies and also games. I study computer science and normal map. Nonetheless
my ultimate goal is to work for the top companies. some objects, for example the
cake sponge, only have both
normal and displacement
maps. In some conditions you
may experience viewport
slowdown after importing
some high-res geometries. To
overcome such issues you can
always export high-res
geometries as a MI (render
assembly) le format and treat
it as a render proxy d.

Say Cheese to The World Maya, ZBrush, BodyPaint 3D,
and some
Photoshop, mental ray (2010) solutions
The inspiration for this came from a painting I found by chance. I
used Shave and a Haircut and p_HairTK for the fur. There are In order to get a decent
roughly 13 million hair prims divided into ve hair systems. look for the cloth piece I
decided to simulate it
with nCloth by simply
colliding the dish to the
cloth. After that I took it
to ZBrush to add
I Used to be a Hero high-frequency details,
Maya, ZBrush, such as the vertical
mental ray, pattern and pitch fuzz
BodyPaint 3D, pores. One thing to bear
Photoshop (2012) in mind about the
Maya was used for peaches is that there is

05Edit lighting
scene setup, ZBrush another layer of
Before I actually began texturing models I
for sculpting, geometry around them.
created a temporary lighting setup to get the overall mood
BodyPaint 3D for This represents the
for the scene, because it renders much faster and more efciently. water coat layer on any
texturing, Photoshop
The rst thing to manage was setting up the scene, meaning wet surfaces. That layer
for texturing and
applying all the normal or displacement maps if applicable. All also maintains the
compositing and last
rendering was done objects were given mia_material_X_passes as no other shader can curvature at the contact
in mental ray. beat them in accurate behaviour. Usually I keep the lighting setup on areas to catch nice
a separate render layer which has a grey material (mia_material) highlights. To create
override in order to adjust lighting later more easily e. that layer, in ZBrush I
combined all medium
resolution peaches
f together and sculpted
the layer in a way that it
could represent a water
shell around them.
To handle objects
that need some sort of
surrounding, repeating
pattern, I often use
Radial Symmetry. Later
06Use the linear workow After setting up the scene
the most crucial factor not to overlook is LWF (linear
workow). In the recent versions of Maya there are LWF features but
when Im satised with
the look I add another
layer and deform the
I can never get them working the way they should. Its best to assign object to suit the piece.
Miss Mutation Maya, ZBrush, mental ray, Photoshop (2010) a lens shader to the camera and a gammaCorrect node to any This method usually
The model is Ophelia Overdose. Maya was used for the base mesh textures or colour swatches (RGB channels). Regarding shaders and saves a lot of
and scene setup, ZBrush for sculpting, Photoshop for texturing and lights, even blackbody or cie_d nodes produce RGB values rather headaches, not to
nal touches, mental ray for rendering and compositing in NUKE. than Kelvin Color Temperatures therefore they need to be gamma mention time.
corrected if they are connected to the colour input of any node f.

152 3D Art & Design

Make realistic food

Add textures
Complete your lighting, move to materials and shading

08Edit environment efects

Portal lights are connected to Area Lights to focus FG rays. If
you dont check Use Custom Environment, the program will automatically sample the
07Turn on the lights Going back to the lighting stage, the
scene has an IBL node with a suitable HDRI image for the
environment and a blurred version of it for nal gather. I also based
environment colour that the camera sees by default unless its given a diferent environment look-up,
so not checking it is preferred in this case. These lights also emit photons, as its a close-up interior
shot, to provide even more decent light bounces h.
my camera angle upon the IBL node orientation in the scene. Aside
from the IBL casting nal gather I created two key Area Lights in
places where they can be regarded as light sources in the HDRI
image. Matching these key lights with the light sources in the
Shader setup
image is essential, because with close-up positions where you Note that when you plug SSS shaders in to mia_materials, the difuse weight is exactly the
have so much white reection the viewer expects to see some same as that of the SSS shader. To get best results, turn of any specularity feature on the
difuse contributions g. actual SSS shader because that is supplied by mia_material. As I said earlier, be aware that
any colour values must be gamma corrected. However, remove those nodes in the images to
reduce the complexity of the networks you are viewing.
i Whenever I deal with objects that have cracks, dips, pores, wrinkles or other
imperfections, I switch my model to the highest level and create textures based on the mask
and ambient occlusion. Both of these will come in handy with texture painting, clearly and
easily dening shapes.
In order to achieve the pitch fuzz efect on a suitable object, such as the piece of cloth, I
applied a high-frequency displacement map to simulate pores at render time. In this case I
chose to use displacement maps because light can interact with them much better than with
bump or normal maps. Also dont forget to amplify roughness in mia_material on particularly
rough objects.

09Begin texturing and shading Almost all the models

were textured in Photoshop and the rest in ZBrush. The
maps I prepared for the objects were mainly colour, gloss,
reection, bump and normal maps. For the strawberry object I
created a mask separating its seeds and later used it to separate
the seed shader from the rest of the strawberry with the help of the
mix8.Layer shader (
shaders/c/mix8-layer-for-mentalray). Therefore it consisted of
two shaders, one for the esh and one for the seeds. The mia_
material shader for the strawberry esh had an SSS shader plugged
into its additional colour i.

10Cake sponge and peaches

d Final assembly of the models h Settings of the Area Light on the
left side, including its plugged Many cake pieces had an SSS shader plugged into them to
e The scene lighting setup portal light on the right make them look more convincing. For instance, the cake sponge has epidermal and subdermal
f It doesnt matter which lens i Textures and shaders used for maps, dictating it to get more saturated and reddish the more light leaks inside. There are four diferent
shader is used. The crucial the strawberry with a bit of help types of peach slices scattered around the center, each of them has its own textures to add some
factor is the gamma values from mix8.Layer variations to the rendered image. Each peach slice is consisted of two parts: shell and esh. Knowing
g Two soft Area Lights plus an j Cake sponge textures. Some of that, I used mix8.Layer for them as well to separate the two parts. Both esh and shell have their own
IBL. The key light is on the left them were polypainted SSS shader setup j.

3D Art & Design 153

6 hours
nder tim
Render setup Resolution e
1,232 x 1,400:
Finalise the look development and render

11Add jam shading

Now its time to explore
the jam shading. Technically
12Render pass options To have maximum control over
the look of the nal image I rendered it in passes in a single
EXR le. Separate the SSS pass to front, middle and back to have
speaking jam is a refractive/ maximum control over it. When you are trying to get a realistic 3D
translucent type of material, so image, check the 32-bit Full Float output otherwise you will not be
it lets light through but only to a able to get nice burnt highlights in postproduction owing to the fact
certain extent. To do this I that hot spots in 8-bit or even 16-bit images cant be tweaked to
activated Use Max Distance bleed into another colour without crushing down the shadows l.
under Advanced Refractions
and gave a darker red colour to
gradually fall into the material. I
also used translucency to make
it seem more believable. In
addition to jam shading, to
Difuse Indirect Composited SSS
obtain some variations in its
dryness or wetness I created a
glossiness map and added it to
the shader k.

13Avoid shortcuts
my experience you can
achieve burnt highlights by
k Incandescence Refraction Reection

either not following the LWF,

with the help of lens shader
(that doesnt grant you the Observation
freedom you have in post) or
Its necessary to observe objects in reality as much as you Specular AO ID
tweaking light and material can and work from their surface properties for inspiration.
attributes too much. As a result l Render passes. The composited SSS pass is the combination of front,
Notice how dirt in diferent climates changes and where middle and back SSS passes which were rendered out separately
its best to render out 32-bit scratches occur on varying surfaces. This way you can
images. We see those extend your knowledge to create new stuf yet have it look
highlights in so many situations The composited image is
convincing and real because it draws from genuine sources. brought into Photoshop as
during our day, its best to have an 8/16-bit image to be
them in our work as well. retouched further
Simply play with the image
levels and experiment m.

14Begin post work

Having the passes, I
went into NUKE to do a simple
composite because Photoshop
is poor at handling 32-bit EXR
les. After that I sent it to
Photoshop to complete the n
nal touches. Usually
postproduction for me is where
I can bring the image to life. I
try to capture the desired mood
as much as possible. This
doesnt have any specic m
It wasnt possible to cover everything in this short tutorial,
formula, just try anything that so I basically tried to demonstrate the key stages of the
works for you, come back to it k Sometimes translucency is very m Even after adjusting levels the process. I hope you have grabbed something from this
sensitive to light changes. As its 8-bit image still cant get close
after a day, ip it and x the a fake approach, often it to the 32-bit. You can also see tutorial to take forward in your work.
aws you nd n. requires experimentation render settings here

Progress of the post work

from left to right 15Go to postproduction
The goal was to achieve a
lush image with vivid colours. In
post the main jobs were
sharpening, colour correcting,
adding DOF with the help of a
zDepth pass, placing some
chromatic abberations, including
grains, rening a few shapes,
painting out a few aws and so on.
To intensify the light brightness
o thats coming from left I screened a
gradient to the whole image o.

154 3D Art & Design

Artist info

Rod DeWeese
Rod worked for eight years in the
landscape architecture industry
before pursuing freelance work

Username: RDeWeese
Personal portfolio site
Country US
Software used
3ds Max, mental ray, Photoshop

Work in progress

This image was created for a contest by the Gnomon Workshop.

Its something I had wanted to do for a while but never got around
to, so the contest was the perfect excuse to do it. By the way, I took
second place in the competition! Rod DeWeese, Old World Alley, 2012

3D Art & Design 155


(LWO les)
Tutorial screenshots

Model and render

a photorealistic watch Final render of the Rolex
Yacht-Master II in
24-carat gold

This masterclass will introduce a workflow to Ambient occlusion render

pass of the Rolex
help you model and render a Rolex wristwatch Yacht-Master II

his tutorial will focus on the Pro Suite. You can grab trials for these from
production of a photorealistic the respective websites: www.keyshot.
render of a wristwatch. Workow com/try and
is always important to avoid back-tracking software/trypro. Both are very capable and
and repeating steps as much as possible. very fast rendering solutions, which for
Part of what will be specically looked at is many projects provide a much faster
the process of completing the work with turnaround than LightWave alone.
the best tools for the job. In this case well Taking that into account, the basic
use LightWave for modelling because its a workow well cover is the setting up of
rock-solid polygon modeller. Breaking out of reference images and the modelling of the
a simple LightWave workow even watch. Modelling will include the assigning
though it has a good renderer well step of surfaces ready for shading. This requires
into other software to render. some consideration with regard to the
Why move out of LightWave, you ask? model going into the third-party renderers.
Well, as simplicity isnt always a good This is because the surface assignments
reason to limit your options, its important will dictate how the model is editable within
to understand all the tools you have at your the other renderers. There is also some UV
disposal, and when to use them. mapping to do.
As well as LightWave, I often use Once all the work is done in LightWaves
Luxions KeyShot Pro and the Bunkspeed Modeler, our workow will split. For

156 3D Art & Design

Model and render a photorealistic watch

Its all about the

materials you use
The thing with CGI is that no single
aspect is going to hold up on its own.
Creating a stunning model is part of the
requirement, but no matter how good
your model is, on its own it will have little
impact beyond showing you can model
well. Dress it in poor textures and
shaders and itll render up being a
disappointing mess. More often than not
there is no complete shortcut to
shaders. You can build a library, but
often they will be to a greater or lesser
degree shot-specic and need tweaking
each time you use them.

continuing work in LightWave, we will start a With the backdrop B Modelling is

working on shaders, which may mean set up we can completed and
begin the basic geometry frozen
starting by loading up a library preset or blocking-in for rendering and
starting from scratch. There are texture process exporting
maps to create for the watch face as well.
For rendering in KeyShot or Bunkspeed,
we have a little extra work to do. Neither
renderer will import LightWave LWO les,
so we need to translate to a compatible
format. This can be either OBJ, FBX, or little diferent, there are distinct parallels
Collada (Bunkspeed only). My personal between them.
experience with LightWave is that the FBX The common factor with all the options
exporting works well and will export covered here, is that you will spend a fair
animations with reasonable success, amount of time tweaking and rendering.
though some parenting can cause issues LightWave now has VPR, which is a
along with the use of sliders. LightWaves real-time updating render preview. This can
OBJ exporting isnt great and my preference be a real help when working with shaders
is to use Deep Exploration. This enables the and is very similar to both the other
exporting of an entire scene as an OBJ, renderers, though they are much faster and B
which seems to be the best compromise more responsive.

01Prepare to model
for most situations. A workow consideration that might not
Whichever method you use, its worth apply to everyone is compatibility with First you need to nd a suitable
pointing out that it represents pretty much CAD systems. LightWave can handle OBJ, reference to use as a foundation for the basic modelling
the end of any LightWave input to the end Collada, and FBX, but these dont directly process. In an ideal world we would have side and front views of
result. This means you need to be really help with CAD. The other two go a step a wristwatch. Although decent-enough front views are easy to
certain that your modelling work is nished, further. Bunkspeed ofers a free plug-in for nd from a Google Images search, I couldnt nd a decent side
that all your surfaces are correctly assigned use with various other software systems, view for this Rolex. My reference is plentiful enough for the job,
and all required UV sets have been created. with Pro/E being one of the main ones in though, and I can gauge the depth of the watch, so its not the
Failure to do so can see you needing to go CAD terms, but it requires a licensed copy end of the world. With the front view set as the backdrop, basic
back to LightWave to do further work, and of Pro/Eand not everyone will have a model blocking can now begin A.
efectively write of a lot of time spent licence for it. KeyShot also has the native

02Freeze the model

working on the model in KeyShot or ability to load Pro/E les, keeping all the
Bunkspeed. Not only that but youll also sub components and hierarchies intact. We have quite a complex
have to spend time copying and pasting This is a very nice tool to have at our watch to model, so for rendering in close the SubD
shaders onto the newly re-imported assets. disposal, and a big consideration if you deal levels need to be quite high. I nd even for rendering in
This isnt the end of the world, but it can with CAD assets a lot. LightWave it can be benecial to freeze the model, as it saves
become frustrating quite quickly. Having looked at the workow LightWave having to freeze the model each time at the point of
Once your model is imported into considerations, lets check out an overview rendering. Not only that, but for rendering in KeyShot or
KeyShot or Bunkspeed, the workow from of creating the asset to be rendered, and Bunkspeed PRO, the model needs to be frozen anyway. Just be
this point on is pretty much the same. then the processes involved in rendering it very sure that you have completed all modelling and UV
Although the shader congurations are a in three diferent renderers. mapping before doing so B.

3D Art & Design 157




03 Set up the scene For this

subject matter, a typical scene
shader collection used in this Rolex
Yacht-Master II model D. KeyShot or Bunkspeed which
one is the best for me?
doesnt need to be complex at all and for
the main render featured here, its not. I Render the scene A few years
The thing to remember is that they are only renderers, so in this
have three light cards arranged cylindrically ago you wouldnt have been
example neither can replace LightWave completely. There are
around the watch, which I have set as tempted to render something like this in also some key diferences to each that are worth being aware of.
unseen by radiosity. Their purpose is just LightWave. All the reections and First, there is the power for rendering. KeyShot primarily uses
for reections. An HDRI map in the texture refractions added to radiosity would have your system CPU and RAM. No matter how fancy and high-end
environment plug-in provides the lighting. made render times prohibitive. LightWave your video card is, the most itll be used for is bloom and vignette
efects. Bunkspeed, however, enables you to specify the use of
Ive used one of Doschs Chrome Studio 11 has made things faster and simpler. All system resources for rendering. It can use your system CPU,
maps set to 90% Intensity. However, any the major rendering-related settings are your video card GPU, or a hybrid mix of both. This is great but
with good light and dark contrasts would now in the Render Globals panel. For this you are restricted by how much memory your video card has.
work well for our purposes C. scene, shading and light samples can stay

at 1. Also, interpolated GI isnt the fastest Deep Exploration. The main reason is that it
c A simple scene
Arrange your shaders The option, so with it turned of, GI set to Monte can read a LightWave scene, including with an HDRI map
screenshot for this stage shows Carlo and the RPE set to 4, were good to animation, and enable you to export to is all well need
you the major settings for the 24-carat gold go. I usually keep the adaptive threshold at Collada and FBX. This is great if you want to
D Shading in
shader. When it comes to shaders you may 0.01 for nals. Minimum Samples on the render an animated sequence outside of LightWave try to
wish to remain relatively old-school and camera are kept low, but maximum LightWave. It also makes it a snap to export keep it simple
keep use of nodes is minimal when it can samples need tweaking for your scene E. any frame of the scene as an OBJ le. As a

be. Never make it more complicated than it user, you will rarely render sequences E Major render
settings in
needs to be! In the case of the gold shading, Export and render outside of LightWave, so OBJ is the way to LightWave
its not the most complicated thing to do There are several options available go. LightWave will export Collada natively, grouped together
and really comes down to getting the colour for getting geometry out of LightWave and but for reasons not entirely clear, the le
F Using Deep
right along with the balance of difuse and into KeyShot or Bunkspeed Pro. My sizes are in excess of ten-times the size of Exploration to
reection. Provided is the full LightWave favoured method is Right Hemispheres those from Deep Exploration F. export the watch

158 3D Art & Design

Model and render a photorealistic watch

Import into either KeyShot or G Import options for
both KeyShot and
Bunkspeed On account of their Bunkspeed
similar product specs and pipelines, there is
not a great diference in how you get the H Working on the
model into KeyShot or Bunkspeed. Both model in KeyShot
ofer you options as to how the object will I Working with
be organised after the import has shaders inside
completed. The default options work well in of Bunkspeed
both cases, giving you a separate entity for J Adding realism
each material from LightWave. This means through grading
its worth giving consideration to this when
surfacing the model in LightWave to avoid
restrictions later. If any applied texture
maps are placed in the folder with the OBJ
le, then both renderers will load the
textures in while importing the model G.

08 Begin shading and rendering

in KeyShot
Once the model has imported, shading is

where the workow gets quicker compared

to LightWave. You can simply drag and Pitfalls with LightWave radiosity
drop materials, environments and
When you render using radiosity with LightWave, its best to throw your
backplates from the library right onto the assumptions aside. When rendering this scene, using interpolated Final
model in the main window. The materials Gather would seem a logical way to go. Interpolation after all is lling in the
can be tweaked and saved as new library blanks between dened ranges. However, by switching of Interpolation and
items, but for the major part the presets are using Monte Carlo instead, along with some other tweaks to the settings
such as a low RPE setting along with shading and lighting samples, the
great as they are. If you dont require
render times are brought down from in excess of 16 hours to under 3.5
renders in excess of your active screen hours. This is worth remembering when using LightWave if you are
resolution, you can simply save the preview rendering in it.
render. If you need high-resolution output

then the ofine render can be used for
nished output H. Grade your renders There is no J

doubt that the results that can be
Alternative shading and obtained from LightWave, KeyShot and
rendering in Bunkspeed Pro Bunkspeed are fantastic, but one of the
After importing into Bunkspeed Pro, as with biggest mistakes to make is to assume that
KeyShot, you start by dragging and the process ends there. I nd just adding a
dropping materials onto your model. The little chromatic aberration and noise to the
library of supplied materials, environments, image is enough to take away the clean CGI
and backplates is enough to cover most look. Also adding a colour tint to make it a
requirements. Parts of the model can be little less neutral is a great way to achieve
hidden to gain access to parts otherwise this. With the aid of a depth pass, you can
blocked from drag-and-drop operations. also add depth of eld, which is pretty
For rapid turnarounds without crucial for LightWave renders, as rendering
compromising quality, its a great tool to DOF in LightWave is still prohibitive of your
use, even if its not exactly cheap I. precious time j.

3D Art & Design 159

Whether theyre realistic or fantastical,
develop your environments with our tutorials
162 20 steps to better
environments 184
Improve your terrains from concept
to completion

169 I made this Rue de Seine

Viktor Fretyn talks through his art

170 Underwater landscapes

Create a realistic underwater scene 162

175 Gallery Dennis Kaya

Taking a look at Neon City

176 Create a desert landscape

Blend 3D & matte painting techniques
to produce a Mars-like landscape

181 I made this Under the

Southern Highway
A bleak yet beautiful scene

182 Create trees in Unity

Get to grips with Unitys Tree Editor

184 Futuristic cityscapes

How to create a floating city

190 Sculpt beautiful terrains

Create picturesque terrains in Unity

192 Design an epic Vue 169

Key steps to building an epic

197 Gallery Lee Griggs

We look at Lee Griggs spooky scene

From planning to
rendering and post-
production, you will learn
all the techniques 176

160 3D Art & Design

Lighting can make or
break a scene, whether its
a realistic, fantasy, surreal
or sci- landscape

3D Art & Design 161


20 steps to better
Consumed 2012
The concept for this image came from wanting to
create a piece dedicated to a person who lived below my
apartment, who suffered from Alzheimers disease
Toni Bratincevic is a senior environment modeller at Blizzard Entertainment in the
Cinematic department. Hes a self-taught 3D artist with almost ten years of
professional experience

his tutorial will cover the making of Consumed, focusing mostly on my personal

T approach to the modelling process. I will show how basic modelling is done in 3ds Max
using some simple techniques, and how ZBrush is used to sculpt the character and additional
objects featured in the scene.
To finish up I will quickly go over some procedural texturing techniques to add dirt layers on wood
and will show you how V-Ray RT can be used to set up lighting in an interactive way.
Im using ZBrush primarily as my sculpting tool, but I also often rely on its texturing and UV
unwrapping tools, as well as its geometry optimisation tool, Decimation Master. So lets begin!

162 3D Art & Design

20 steps to better environments

3D artists explain the

techniques behind
their amazing artwork

Artist info
Toni Bratincevic

Username: InterceptoV
Personal portfolio site
Location California, USA
Software used
3ds Max, Photoshop, ZBrush,
V-Ray RT
Expertise Toni works with
environments professionally,
and is currently focusing on
character modelling in his spare
time to introduce more variety
into his portfolio

Find screenshots of Tonis

detailed edits, including his
render settings

3D Art & Design 163


Concept Software used

in this piece
A basic concept for this
image was drawn on
3ds Max Photoshop
paper with pencil a few
years ago. It was just a
simple sketch that
captured the general ZBrush V-Ray RT
idea. I later added colour
in Photoshop.

Always be
Start the layout and modelling prepared
Establish the scene and create models for the environment The rst steps are usually
the most important when
creating an image
especially one that is more
complex. These are the
stages where everything is
established in a broad
sense: the composition,
distribution of objects,
forms, basic light setup
and colour correction for
the nal image. Its
essentially a simplied
draft version of what the
end result will be. After
this point its just a matter
of being patient and
detailing all the objects,
textures, materials and
light to bring the image to
the nal version. If you
A dont feel comfortable
with the layout youve

completed and you cant
Scene blocking After gathering my various pencil sketches together, I set up the imagine it as a nal work,
a Simple objects to stage the
scene and build the layout
then try starting from
basic layout of the scene and stage the camera. This step takes me around ten scratch and beginning
minutes. Im not wasting time keeping topology clean and making good UVs. At this point Im everything again in a
b The basic lighting setup to
starting most of the objects from a simple box and using poly-modelling tools like Cut, check which objects are diferent way. Imagine this
Extrude, Bridge and Connect. Im aiming to model all objects that will serve as starting points more in focus process as paving the way
to the nal product after
for the high-poly modelling. Its also during this stage that I dene the basic camera position
c Models from the layout are which you only need to
so that Im building the scene based on what I see. I will also establish the basic composition exported into separate take steps forward!
during the process a. assets for detailing

b 03 Organise assets I prepare separate les and

model objects for the scene. The fridge, which in

layout was a simple re-modelled box object, is exported to a
Basic lighting Next I establish the overall lighting of the scene. Although some separate scene named Fridge_V01_01.max where I can
artists tend to create lighting in later stages, I usually decide to work on it as soon as I re-model and detail the object. The layout model of the
create the layout. Lighting along with camera view will dene what parts of the scenes are fridge is positioned to t the layout scene but when I export
more visible, what will be in focus and what I should concentrate my time modelling and this placeholder object into the new scene I reset all the
texturing. This basic lighting is done with a couple of V-Ray area lights. One light uses a transformations so its positioned at the origin where I did all
warmer tone and serves as a primary to illuminate areas where the character should be, while the re-modelling. I merge this model back into the original
others are used as ll lights with cooler colours b. scene and align it to the layout model of the fridge C.

164 3D Art & Design

20 steps to better environments

Detailed modelling
Re-create your models from the initial layout to perfect the level of detail

04 Pose the character Although my original layout

didnt have a character, in the later stages I decide
to add one. My intention is to sculpt a character in ZBrush, so
06 Shape rocks
In ZBrush I start
with a Cube3D made into a
I create a base suit model in 3ds Max, starting from a box mesh by pressing Make
and using standard Edit Poly tools. If youre using ZBrush, a PolyMesh3D. I subdivide it a
base model can also be created simply using ZSpheres. After couple of times while having
completing an unposed base model I use the Move, Rotate Smooth turned of for the
and Scale tools with Soft Selection active to position the rst two levels of
character in the scene. I make the helmet completely in 3ds subdivision. After that, using
Max. It has a totally clean topology since I use a the hPolish, Clay Buildup,
TurboSmooth modier on top of the model to achieve Pinch and Dam Standard
smoother surfaces d. brushes, I sculpt a couple of

variations of stones that I
Sculpt detail with ZBrush I export the base use around the scene. UVs
character model into an OBJ format (using the are also done in ZBrush
ZBrush preset). In ZBrush I merge the OBJ, subdivide it a using the UV Master tools. I
couple of times and, using brushes like Move, Clay Buildup, use the Decimation Master
Smooth and Dam Standard, I sculpt all the wrinkles and plug-in for ZBrush to
details on the suit. Once Im done sculpting, on the rst level optimise meshes and reduce
of subdivision I use UV Unwrap in ZBrush to create simple mesh complexity. Once the
UVs for the character. I could export back to 3ds Max on one objects are decimated I
of the lower subdivision levels of the objects and create a export them as OBJ les and
Displacement map. This time I choose to export the highest merge them all into a 3ds
level to keep all the details Ive sculpted, since with Max le where I can
displacement you always lose some sculpted details e. continue texturing f.

08 Tear of the light box panel To peel the light box