Making of ‘The Princess’ by Marcos Nicacio
Software Used :
3ds Max 2009, V-Ray & Photoshop CS3
Introduction & Refrences :
Hello guys, my name is Marcos Nicacio and I’m here to show you the process I used to create my recent work: The Princess.
This project was requested by Nitroglicerina studio, and they provided to me a sketch (Fig.01). I was then free to create my vision of a classic princess in a white and gold detailed dress.
I started modeling the head using the poly-by-poly technique and always following the original concept. Her main characteristics were the facial expression and fleshy lips, and I wanted to make these elements very clear.
Once I was happy with the head, I moved onto modeling in the hair. In beginning it was a challenge because the hair is a weird shape with curly parts. I took the polygons from the top of her head and detached them to make a new mesh and give the right shape to the middle part. After that I created splines for the curly parts and extruded the front polygons with the Extrude Along Spline tool using the splines as references (Fig.02).
The body was modeled in a different way; in this case I used box modeling to give volume and afterwards I refined the shape to the silhouette that I wanted
I also used the box modeling technique for the arms
The rigging wasn’t just made for posing her, but for animating her too . I used bones, shapes and helpers as controllers and morph target animation to establish the facial expressions .
Texture & Shader :
Texturing for me is one of the most technical parts of creating an image. I started by texturing the hair and for this I created a color and bump map (Fig.07). I adjusted the UVW mapping according to each hair part, and with the shader I wanted to give a reflection that suggested she was using too much hair spray.
The body texture was a Blend material with two V-Ray materials and one mask. The V-Ray materials have the same maps, color and bump, with different bump and reflection levels for the gold and opaque parts. The mask was for the gold floral parts, which I wanted to give more highlights to.
The arm textures I applied in another material ID using the same shader I’d used for the face
Lighting & Rendering :
I used two V-Rray lights to light the scene (Fig.10).Both lights had 32 subdivision sampling to cast soft and clean shadows. The front light was stronger than the back one to give a highlight to her face and I also left the environment very dark (Fig.11) because I wanted to give a dark mood to the scene, to match her expression and secret smile.
The composition was simple, but effective, and I got the final mood that I wanted.
First I did a pure render in 3ds Max. The result was good, but some corrections needed doing. So in Photoshop I did some color, brightness and contrast adjustments to give more life to her. The next step was add a layer in overlay mode and paint some highlights to show the front light was stronger and make the gold parts shine even more. And finally I added a painted shadow over the background
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