Making of 'Totem'
The Making of 'Totem'
In this DVD, Alex Alvarez shares his workflow and techniques for creating ‘Totem’, a commissioned 3D illustration for the cover of 3D World magazine. Over five six of lecture, Alex delves into all aspects of how the image was created. Beginning with the initial design brief of a ‘stone head in a jungle’, Alex began with a series of sketches for approval. The 3D development began with the head in ZBrush, moving to terrain layout and camera setup in Maya. The terrain was then sculpted in ZBrush to finalize the foundation upon which all of the plants and trees would be placed. Scene lighting was then blocked out using Mental Ray’s physical sun/sky system, while designing the areas of illumination and shadow using a library of trees created with Onyx. Plants and trees were created using SpeedTree, including custom assets such as hanging vines and ground ivy. The moss that grows upon the stone head, as well as the tree branches, was creating interactively in Maya with custom PaintFX brushes. Further areas of discussion include texturing, shaders, the SP Paint script, nDo, Quixel Megascan, ZDepth, Volume Fog and final compositing in Photoshop. As an intermediate to advanced level lecture, artists who have seen Alex’s DVD series on natural environments will greatly benefit from this detailed overview of his creative and technical process.