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Making of PhotoRealistic Actress In 3D
Making-of by CG artist, MAX Wahyudi
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Making of by MAX Wahyudi


Reference

Finding good reference is the key to making a good likeness, for that I always use screen captures from movies because sometimes you can find shots where the character turns and the camera distortion is always the same and predictable. The only drawback is the low image quality, but in my case it's totally fine because you can't find high resolution images of her anyway.

Reference Image


Modeling

I use an old base mesh and jump straight into zbrush for tweaking. I keep the reference image open and tab between it and zbrush when sculpting. It's alot like life drawing, where you alternate between looking at your work and the model.
After I'm satisfied with the sculpt, I import the file into Maya and try to match the camera with my reference then make a direct comparison in Photoshop by placing the two side by side. This process can take quite a while, especially if you are repeating the process with different reference images to make sure the model is accurate from multiple angles.
The eyes are important as a tracking point when matching your camera, since their size and location are usually the same on every human. So its generally a good place to use as reference, because you know with some certainty that it is one of your only constants.
Try to keep the textures as simple as possible, because otherwise they will interfere with the model











In my opinion the mouth area is the most important part of nailing a likeness, so I composite my 3D render into the lower part of the face on my reference image and (hopefully) it still looks like Ingrid Bergman. Wire of the whole Scene

Eye

The Eye ball consist of 2 parts, the inner part used a SSS material and the outer part used a PhongE material. The Attribute on SSS doesn't seem to matter that much, as long as it gets the Scattering effect it should look fine.




Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Texturing

Texturing was probably the easiest part of this model. Both epidermal and specular map images pictured here are actually the original size that I used, even for the 2500px wide render. The dark area above the lips is because of her skin tone on that area, so it's not neccesary the same with everyone

   Texturing was probably the easiest part of this model. Both epidermal and specular map images pictured here are actually the original size that I used, even for the 2500px wide render. The dark area above the lips is because of her skin tone on that area, so it's not neccesary the same with everyone

Note:

For the high resolution image, I used photo texture as a bump map, for the standard one I usually only use procedural fractal on Maya. The map that I connected to the ambient slot is a samplerinfo node connected to a ramp to simulate the peach fuzz effect.
The scale parameter in the SSS shader is dependant on your model size (my head model is 2 units wide, and I used 40 as the scale value)
  Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Hair

I used Shave & Haircut to create hair, and it's the most frustrating part of creating this image. My only suggestion is try to avoid using it and use the standard grids and transparancy map instead.
As for my hair setup, I created couple of hair nodes for different part of the hair, and rendered using the buffer method for much faster (less realistic) result. The lighting setup was different than the head because it wasn't giving me the result that I want, because of that I had to create fake shadow for the head, and composite the hair in post.



Lighting

I used 3 Area Lights with Final Gathering for the head. For the Final Gather setting, the Max Radius and Min Radius are the ones that really effect the results, and they are depend on your model size....unfortunately I'm not an expert on this, so I can't really explain the specifics.
Because of the SSS bug in Maya 2008 (very slow to render and produces weird artifacts when rendered with Final Gather), I rendered the head and hair in Maya 8.5 instead.
The background was rendered in Maya 2008 with a different light setup.

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Final Image

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge




Author: MAX Wahyudi
Website: MAX Wahyudi
Email: maxwahyudi@yahoo.com





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