Now comes the hardest part: setting up the skin shader. For this image I used the Vreel Skin Shader, a plug-in shader for Cinema 4D that allows you to set up different layers of skin and which also includes a SSS effect. It is possible to setup parameters for specularity, surface and translucent. The shader is loaded in the Luminance channel.
Here is a first test render of this shader where only the color map is loaded.
As you can see, most of the texture has been ‘overwritten’ by the shader. That’s because I only loaded a color map until now. In the next picture I used an epidermal map and a subdermal map mixed together with a weight map. All maps are modified versions of the original color map.
This is how the luminance channel looked like after loading the different maps. The default color map is loaded into the standard Cinema Color channel.
The final skin shader is made up of 6 different channels: Color, Diffusion, Luminance, Bump, Displacement, Specular and Specular Color.
I quickly modeled a simple shirt, took it into ZBrush, divided it a couple of times and sculpted some cloth wrinkles with the Inflate brush. I also modeled the arms and shoulders and composed everything together in Cinema. There was no need to use displacements on the shirt; I simply exported the high-resolution mesh from ZBrush. I have a lot of memory, so I don’t have to worry that my computer might crash. There is almost no difference in render times between the low- and high-resolution shirt.
The texture for the shirt has been created by playing around with some filters and by using the “dodge” and “burn” tools.
For this image I couldn’t use the Global Illumination system because Vreel Skin doesn’t work with GI, so I had to use standard Cinema lights. I created a 3-point-lighting with:
1) Main Spot @ 115 %
2) Fill Area @ 95 %
3) Rim Spot @ 190 %I also include an area light
4) with very low intensity, placed below the model to simulate bouncing light from the bottom.
All lights use soft shadows and “Falloff” is set to “Inverse Square”.
Now comes the funny part: the hairstyle and the beard. I used Cinema’s hair module for this job. I created two additional maps: an alpha map for the beard and one for the hair. Both maps were loaded into the “Density” channel of the hair objects. Unfortunately the density map will not take effect in the editor view. It will only be visible in the final render. So I would suggest setting “Display” in the “Editor” tab to “Hair Lines” if you have enough memory in your computer.
I created eyelashes and a wet layer for the eyes. For the eyelashes I selected an edge loop around the eye, created a spline from it and pressed the “Add hair” button.
The render with Vreel skin shader and displacement took about 4-5 hours (1h30min without displacement). I rendered the hair and beard in a separate pass and composed both in Photoshop. Further more I rendered an Ambient Occlusion pass and multiplied it over the picture. I wasn’t happy with the way the eyes looked, so I copied parts of an eye photograph over the image. I finally did some color correction, applied Gaussian Blur to simulate DOF and added a grain layer. Here is the final image.
Thank you for reading my “Making of”. I hope it was any help for you. For further questions you can contact me any time.
Keep on rendering!