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CGSociety has published an interview with Pascual Rubio Cervera, a 3D modeler, who has recently presented a mind-blowing photorealistic CG portrait, “Young Felicity Jones.” The artist has always had a passion for photorealistic characters since he was a kid. He enjoyed drawing portraits and analyzing them. Then he dived into CG portraits.
The artist gave a breakdown of his creative process. He finds and studies reference photos to understand the character and to achieve photorealistic results later. He observe faces to identify the specific facial traits that cause likenesses or disparities.
He continues with a rough model to lock in the overall look of the face, constantly coming back to the reference. Once he is happy with how the model is coming along, he starts grooming the hair, texture and shading. His main tools are Maya and ZBrush.
The artist also talked about how he dealt with the hair and eyelashes.
Since the portrait is so close to the camera, the skin and the details such as her eyebrows and eyelashes had to be spot on. I used xyz textures for the skin color and displacement maps and carefully studied the skin of the original Felicity Jones. I applied the textures in Mari and worked everything together in Maya through the lookdev process. Given the young age of the character (early 20s), the pore size had to be relatively small. In addition, it was important to keep her skin color in mind.
Regarding her hair, I always use XGen for my grooming and hair styling as it is amazingly powerful and it allows me to achieve the look that I am looking for. In this particular case for her eyelashes I used a thickness a bit higher than usual since technically she would be wearing makeup which adds an extra layer to the hair. For me, it was crucial to remember that when I do likeness, I am portraying actors and actresses whose facial features and hair are considerably enhanced by make-up, which naturally affects the look of their skin and hair.
Make sure to read the full interview here.