Making of the Ent - Painting
Making of the Ent
Finishing the modelling is a misleading success. Painting Gail was a challenge of its own. So I took the path through the vibrant atmosphere of the woods of rhythm (by putting on some Forestdelic music) and dreamed of colors and patterns to fill the white skin of my canvas to bring it to life.
|Real tree bark|
Painting the textures started in the park actually. I took my camera and headed for some trees... old trees. My aim was to get a realistic texture basis from where I could go in with variation depending on the surface I wanted. After catching some lovely tree bark and some stones, I headed back to the computer to paint Gails body with some reality. It started with some adjustments in Photoshop. The Gamma value was adjusted, as the colors in the RGB screen space would not reflect how it is in reality. Next I took decreased the level of highlights to make the texture more flat.
|Real mossy tree|
|Texture applied to model|
Features of special interest
|Chipped of bark|
|Crack and spot marks|
While giving a very nice look, the steps above still don't give a realistic surface. I know, I know, what on earth could be realistic on a non-existing creature. Well, in this case I mean mainly the uniform surface. Existing or not, Gail would surely have some distinguished features, like scars, cracks, burn marks and spider webs.
Adding those I choose the method, that I would add color to the mesh and some depth also. This means for example burn marks would also be a darker tint of the base color, but at the same time also sink into the surface a bit. On the other hand spider webs would tint the surface very light and rise out a bit in level.
Finally we come to the hair... excuse me, I mean moss, grass and willow. However on Gail these are distributed like human hair and this is also the intention. Imagine how odd we look if we are stripped of all our hair, that's how Gail looks now. Obviously these details give a huge amount of extra to the appearance. Based on the originals I modeled different types of moss, grass and willow with Zbrush fibers. To stay somehow application independent I'll go more into modeling detail here. Grass is the most simple.
When applying I also created a second hair on top of it, which meant to represent the little flowers of the moss. Those are basically only thin stems with a petal on it. I tried to put these unevenly distributed on one side of Gail thinning strongly towards the head. Finally the willow, which I imagined as hanging organic stuff, which distributes mainly on the ivy but also other parts. Therefore the width and depth was somewh
at altering all the way and the color was dead brown. Distribution I set evenly there.
Lighting and rendering
After finishing all above processes I was very excited to switch on all sub-models and layers to take a first render. I was really comfortable with the result and the Forestdelic guys loved it. I just needed to adapt the lighting to the final scene. Altogether I used 9 lights to simulate the desired environment, which resulted from the appearance of the Forestdelic webside. The result was the following:
SummaryThe journey with Gail had benefits for all parties and was equally fun to experience. Gail had the chance to be created and can now roam the rhythmical woods on the Forestdelic website. I on the other hand had the chance to optimize processes and workflows for such a complex task, which turned out to be equally fruitful. Starting from a rough sketch seeing how each level of detail adds a subtle amount of individuality and contributes to the final picture. Progress is made in small steps, never try to make a huge change in a sub-step process. Keeping that in mind I'm proud to say that almost no rework on anything was needed, which is a great achievement in such a project.
All that said, thanks for reading through the end and see you soon in other articles.