Making of ‘The Princess’ by Marcos Nicacio

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.


image_01_refrence_sketch.jpg (640×618)


Modeling :

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).


image_02_character_head.jpg (640×1144)
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


image_03_body_dress.jpg (640×701)

I also used the box modeling technique for the arms


image_04_hands_arms.jpg (640×452)

Setup :

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 .


image_05_rig_setup.jpg (640×502)


image_06_head_expressions.jpg (640×749)
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.


image_07_texture_hair_material.jpg (640×686)


image_08_face_uv_map.jpg (640×478)
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





image_09_uv_map_editor.jpg (640×1035)


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.


image_10_lighting_rig_setup.jpg (640×1035)



image_11_lighting_vray_settings.jpg (640×515)

Composition :

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


image_12_composistion.jpg (640×734)





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