Making Of: 'Close to the Edge' by chainsaw|clausen

in digital •  9 days ago

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Hey steemians,

here is the announced Making of for my artwork 'Close to the Edge' I've posted last week (https://steemit.com/art/@chainsaw-clausen/close-to-the-edge-nudity-by-chainsaw-or-clausen)

Idea and Concept

My intention was to create an image with a girl which is sitting at the window on a rainy day. But that's only what you see at the surface. If you go much deeper into the image, you'll find a huge space for interpretation. I want to give viewers a wide range of possibilities to read the image.
First of all I've made a simple sketch to bring my idea on paper. It was a really fast and simple sketch and... ok I'm not good in sketching. So I work out the concept in Photoshop and started with the modeling in 3ds max.

fig01.jpg

Modeling, texturing and shading

Background:

At an early stage I had decided to create the whole background in 3D. No photo or matte painting but rather a real 3D modeled background. I wanted to have the full control about lighting and depth effects so I needed to create a background that looks like a big American city but not especially like New York, Chicago or another one. I had used Google Earth to find an interesting street network, which I could use as reference and build up the ground/ base.
fig02.jpg
I had also used Google Earth and Street View to find some interesting building shapes and recreate them as 3D model but with different textures on it. I copied and divided most of the buildings and used a "random face selection" script to get separate window faces.
fig03.jpg
I made a diffuse texture for all buildings, for the most buildings a "window illuminated" diffuse texture and an opacity map that I also used as reflection color map. To have more control about texture sizes and quality, the most textures are tillable and not bigger than 512² pixel.
fig04.jpg
All in all over 40 different buildings in 3 categories. Low buildings with 2 to 4 floors, middle buildings with 10 to 20 floors and high buildings with up to 70 floors.
fig05.jpg

Finally I placed them on the ground. (The blue areas were filled with simple textured boxes for shadows and reflections.)
fig06.jpg
In the next step I filled the rooftops of the buildings with stuff like water tanks, air conditions, antennas and sat dishes, generator boxes, small gardens, smokestacks, rooftop windows and ladders.
fig07.jpg
After that I filled the streets with life. That wasn't really important but funny. So I built 4 simple cars, streetlamps and traffic lights, placed some standard trees and mapped some people on planes.
fig08.jpg

In the last step I created a simple environment (only for reflection) composed of a panoramic sky, a panoramic skyline and a ground plane with city top view texture, set a bunch of lights for illuminating the streets and a daylight system for lighting the whole scene.
fig09.jpg

Foreground:

I started with the most important part, the girl. To save a bit time, I decided to used an old model which I used for my image "Michiko" (you can find it on my website). I had reworked her modeling, uv-mapping and rig. The rig was simple (Biped and skin modifier) but good enough to bring her in a sitting position.
fig10.jpg
The next step was to export the mesh and work out all details in Sculptris. I'm a rookie in such sculpting-stuff but it works very well.
fig11.jpg

I really like the mental ray skin material and so the next part was to create the textures for the skin shader. I painted in Photoshop layer by layer my textures for overall diffuse color, unscattered diffuse color, epidermal color, back surface color, specular weight and bump/ normal map and put it all together in the skin material.
fig12.jpg
I played around with the settings to find the optimal-looking result.
fig13.jpg
Finally I gave her an ear pendant.
fig14.jpg

After that, I modeled the apartment and window. The apartment itself is just a box with different material ID's and one side open for the window part. The window was done in three parts, the window seat which got an arch & design material with a high res wood texture, the mullions and the window-glass with a thin border. They also got simple arch & design materials for blurry metal and glass.
fig15.jpg
I made a simple version as a collision-object to simulate a blanket with SimCloth on it. I had exported the result to Sulptris to fix some little defects from the simulation and folds with hard edges. After importing, I separate a small part from the mesh and create the blanket border.
fig16.jpg
The tillable texture was made from a scanned part of one of my towels.
fig17.jpg

The stuff which is located in front of the girl was the next step on my to-do list. I searched for a while, to find the right references for the medication cans and pills, texture references and information's about the pill-size. I really like high detailed 3D models, so I modeled the pills and cans as detailed as possible.
fig18.jpg
The cocktail glass and vodka bottle was simple lathe objects where I used some photo-references for modeling. The relief-like effects came from a normal-map I painted in Photoshop also the other textures.
fig19.jpg
The Last object was the fashion magazine. I'd used a stack of box-objects with different thickness for the pages and another poly object as cover.
fig20.jpg

The lighting for the whole foreground was very basic. (A: A daylight system for lighting the scene and girl from the back. B: A yellow/orange area-light to lit up the back of the girl and simulate a floor lamp. C: A grey/bluish fill light. D: A bunch of lights to lit up a bit more the skin and nails.)
fig21.jpg

Rain on the window glass:

The rain on the window was the next thing I had to do. At first I had searched some reference material, made some photos and studied how water/ rain works on a planar glass surface.
fig22.jpg

As I had understood how it works, I started to make some different sized drops. Small sized, middle sized and big sized drops.
fig23.jpg
To get a realistic looking result, I had started with a simple plane which I had divided randomly. Then I had used the scatter-tool to scatter the big and middle sized drops along the edges with a little variance on the X-Axis.
fig24.jpg
I had taken a second plane and divide them also but with a smaller distance between the edges and scatter the small drops along the edges also with a variance.
fig25.jpg
The scattering results I had converted to an editable poly to fix some parts which were buggy. (For example: The red circled part)

But I wouldn't have only hanging drops on my window. So I had created some drops which are currently weeping down.
fig26.jpg
Finally I split of the drops in 4 layers(red, green, yellow and blue) to have more control about the density in the post-work.
fig28.jpg
And made a fifth layer for the long weeping drops.
fig27.jpg
The material itself is just an arch & design shader with reflection, refraction and an IOR-Value of 1.33.

Hair:

Last but not least I had created the whole hair stuff for my female character to finishing the modeling, texturing and shading stadium. I started therewith that I had selected polygons from the head, separated them, reworked the uv's and painted an black/white map for the hair density. I had split up the poly-object into five parts and added to every part the hair modifier. Part one for the upper right hair, part two for the upper left hair, part three for the back part of the head, part four and five for the sideburns hair. Then I had created the spline-cage to form and style the hairs on the right, left and backside. Also for the sideburns hair I had created two spline-cages.
fig29.jpg
The following hair parameters I had used for all hair parts with some variations like hair count etc.
fig30.jpg

I had made a copy from my hair-poly-objects and split them also up, added the hair modifier and create spline cages to style the fluffy hairs for the back part of the head and the upper right side.
fig31.jpg
To get a little more variation I had added some hair wisps based on a spline-cage with hair modifier.
fig32.jpg
In the next step I had created the pony tail. I placed a round poly surface at the back part of the head and added hair. I used this as pony tail "core" hair. Around this strand I had placed a couple of spline-cages with hair to style the final look of the pony tail.
fig33.jpg

On the front part of the head I had placed some spline-cage based hair wisps and finished the hair style with a scrunchy
fig34.jpg
I had made with SimCloth.
fig35.jpg

For the fine body hair I had paint a simple black/white map for the hair density, added the hair modifier to the body and controlled the length and direction with a simple spline-cage.
The hair for the eyelashes and eyebrows also be based on spline-cages and separated poly objects.
fig36.jpg

(Note: The whole hair was made with Hair&Fur. So I didn't use any special hair plug-in/ tool.)

Rendering and Post work

Background:

The final Size for the image was 3512 pixel to 4968 pixel. I'd used mental ray as render engine with basic settings so there was nothing special to talk about. I had rendered the whole background with all lights but without the illuminated windows. They were rendered in an extra pass also the specular highlight. Two more passes were rendered for the ambient occlusion. Both with different distance-settings. The last two passes were used for the fog and the z-depth I'd used for depth of field effect which was done in the post.
fig37.jpg
All the layers I had composed, added some extra layers for smoke and other little details and pre-color corrected. Last but not least I had added the depth of field effect. You can compare the before and after in the image below.
fig38.jpg

From my reflection environment (page 1 of this tutorial) I had rendered a 360° panoramic image and combined it with my final background layer to get an environment-map. So I could use it for the reflection and refraction in the foreground materials.
fig39.jpg

Foreground:

The next part in my compositing was to render the raindrops on the window. I had used the environment-map in the rain material for reflection and refraction and rendered the rain in 5 layers with mental ray. I had played around with the density of the drops to find the final look. To finishing my rain layer I had add a little bit wave-filter to get more variation to the drops and the edges of the drops.
fig40.jpg

Also for the other foreground render-layers I had used mental ray as render engine. Just the hair layers were rendered with scanline. I had put out layers for window-reflection, girl with the objects in front of her, extra light fall-off, extra skin-gloss, hair shadow, ambient occlusion and hair.
fig41.jpg
I had put all this layers together with the background and raindrops.
fig42.jpg
Then I had painted and fix some little details and added the fur to the blanket. That was a simple "trick" and I want to enable you a closer view to it. I had six times copied the blanket layer and used the sprayed-strokes and ripple filter effects to it, with different settings and directions. At the end I have blended these six layers together and had a nice fluffy blanket.
fig43.jpg

To finish my artwork I had use the color correction tools to get the final color scheme and contrast.

fig44.jpg

Some Info's and Facts

Project period:

I had begun to work at that image in October 2010 and finish it in March 2012. I hadn't worked continuously on that project. Most of the time I had worked in my spare time at the weekends and between March 2011 and October 2011 and made a creative break.

Polycount:

Around 3.5 million polygons for the background, raindrops and foreground together.

Some details in hi-resolution:

fig45.jpg
(Right-Click on the image and click 'View Image' for full resolution.)

fig46.jpg
(Right-Click on the image and click 'View Image' for full resolution.)

So, I hope you enjoyed the Making of 'Close to the Edge' and thank you for reading.

Feel free to comment, ask if you have questions, upvote and share.

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very pretty!

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thank you. :)

Nice work man, that is really cool! Never actually seen that sort of 3d graphical rendition. It is amazing how many steps there were.
P.S. This post should be NSFW.

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thank you. I hope some other 3d artist will find the way to steemit in the near future to share there work.
p.s.: is there any option that a post will shown as NSFW? haven't actually found it.

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I believe you make a tag NSFW. I am not sure though!

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alrighty! next time I will do so. thank you.

Wow awesome digital renditions ... looks like SO SO much work!

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thank you. so much feedback is overwhelming.

Mind Blown! Detail is Out of this World... You got Talent my friend...

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thank you. :)

Looks great mate, rain drops look so realistic.
Awesome job.

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thank you. the raindrops was one of the hardest parts in this image. I've researched and study for a week (maybe) or so too understand how water (especially rain) works on a window. and needed some tries to get it right.

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Yes I bet, rain is very unpredictable and making it look real would be hard.

OMG, what a phenomenal thing! The image itself is beautiful, but your very detailed step-by-step process is astounding! And what mad skills you have as a modeler! Many, many kudos for this stunning piece of work!

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thank you. I appreciate your compliment. :)

Amazing amount of detail, research and work for this. Simply Amazing.

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thank you. :)

Pretty cool stuff. Alot goes into an image the we take for granted.

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thank you. maybe a lot but all this kind comments and response make that worth.

This post has been resteemed by @minnowsupport courtesy of @juliakponsford from the Minnow Support Project ( @minnowsupport ). Join us in Discord.

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and again... wow. thx. :)

wuaoo que increíble post, estoy maravillada , realmente mereces una gran felicitación, cuentas con mi voto y resteem, ahora te sigo, saludos

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muchas gracias! no hablo español, pero google me ayuda. ;) (I hope it was correct translated.)

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Lo escribiste muy bien (you wrote it very well)

What a work and what a post! I resteem it.

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thank you. and thx for resteem it.

Waw!!!!

that's a wonderful job, you should not be here. you deserve to taste in 🧐 Marvel Studio.

Resteemed 🤓

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haha thx buddy. yea working for Marvel would be really cool.

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Good Work, i’ll followed you!!!

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thank you. you're welcome.

This is absolutely incredible. Welcome to Steemit, looking forward to seeing more from you.

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thank you. I really appreciate to be here on steemit. it's a nice and well connected community with lots of support for each other. I'll definitely post more artworks in the future. but also tutorials and making of's to show how I work.

Was für eine tolle Arbeit Du leistest,faszinierend.Wird belohnt..volles upvote und Resteemed

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Hab vielen Dank. Ich weiß das wirklich zu schätzen. Es freut mich wenn meine Arbeit gefällt und geteilt wird. :)

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Very impressive work. Thanks for giving us an insight into how it is achieved

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thank you. I think it's important to show how things are made. especially for people how are not into 3d computer graphics. but also how those which are, it could be interesting.

This is insane, I have no words mate your work is unbeliveble,fantastic

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thank you. :)

Wow! Thi is proof of HARD work! The result is awesome!

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thank you. yes it was a huge amount of work but I think was worth it.

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Completely worth it! I wish you lot of success!

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thx. that's kind. :)

Wow, amazing work and thank you for sharing the process!

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thank you. danke... freut mich wenn es gefällt. :)

Wow, the amount of work you put into this is astounding! Congrats, I used to do 3d as well, mostly metal models for clothing like buttons.

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you are a tiger ... :)
a lot of workkkkk..

blessings my friend

autenthic machine

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thx buddy. :)

wow... this is so very much thorough! i loved that girl... although, if I may ask, why did you create those police cars and street-level items? i don't see them anywhere

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thank you. sure... most details in the background are invisible in the finished artwork because there blurred or covered by her knee but I'm crazy and wanted as realistic as possible. :D

street-details.jpg
(Right-Click on the image and click 'View Image' for full resolution.)

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holy shtt! are u serious?? oh wow now THAT IS attention to detail! bravo!

i dont even think Pixar or Blizzard pay that much attention to detail :D i loved just to see that full-res street-view --brilliant

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thank you. :)

Holy smokes this is an amazing post! You do incredible work!

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that's really kind, thank you.

Impressive work! Inspired by Weird Science?

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thank you. not sure what exactly you mean. maybe you can explain it a bit more? :)

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It's a joke. The image is from the movie Weird Science (1985) about two nerdy guys modeling a woman on their computer. Back then, computers were rudimentary in CGI, compared to what can be done in 2017.

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Ahh.. alright. now I get it. never saw this movie before but I think I should. trailer looks on a strange way really funny. :D

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It's a classic teenager comedy, you will enjoy it, I guarantee it 😁

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Wow very creative @chainsaw-clausen, I bet that was an enjoyable one to make, you are very talented.

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thank you. enjoyable? yes! the whole time.. no. :D sometimes I thought to myself: 'damn image. it is too much.' but step by step it was worked and I felt really lucky as I was done. the journey is the reward, you know.

Wow, perfect modeling and rendering, following you!

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thank you. :) nah...not perfect. but I was satisfied.

Wow, wow, wow, wow fucking WOW!!!!!!
Your artwork is incredible!! I am blown away by you skills. Amazing how you can get your images so realistic. This is actually insane. Thank you so much for posting such an in depth article on your art. I love reading all the behind the scenes to the art rather then when someone just posts one photo of a completed piece. :)

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Oh Wow.. I really appreciate your kind words and be delighted that you like it. thank you. :)

This is simply AWESOME!!!

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thank you. :)

Thank for sharing the process! What an incredible amount of work for this illustration!

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thank you Hélène. you always welcome. :)

This is such great... I am really impressed. Good job.

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thx buddy. I appreciate this.

I'm totally surprised you posted a shaky, I'm so happy to have posted a so good one

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thank you. :)

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oh wow..that's nice. thank you.

A lot of details. Interesting that you build it out in 3d. I think it was worth it because it gave you the volumetric fog and depth that makes it awesome. That's the kind of thing that takes passion.

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thank you. yea that's right and a complete 3d background also give you more control about everything. and (beside the fact that I'm a bit crazy) is it a good opportunity trying new techniques and learn new things.

Serious shit. I admire anybody who can put so much work into a single piece! Inspiring! Thank you

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I thank you, for your kind comment. :)