Here’s another entry from Rakan Khamash, a 3D Generalist and Art Director from Jordan. We are happy to see several submissions of him in this edition of META. Rakan created another 3D character named “Robocat” which he created after seeing the amazing 2D concept by CreatureBox. Here’s the link to his META 2017 submission: http://metalentsawards.com/en/contest/view/3538.
Let’s find out the process of making Robocat from concept to final render here:
Step 1: Modeling
“I started with a character concept by CreatureBox (they are one of my all-time favorite artists). I start by creating simple blockouts of the different shapes and parts in MODO. I continued to add the components but I didn’t focus too much on the details, which came later; it was much more important to get the proportions correct and closely follow the concept. I kept symmetry turned on as I find it easier to model with it on and then break symmetry once I had finished the modeling and get to the posing stage. With the bulk of the character modeled I moved on to adding the little details such as the grill in his nose and his spine. The next bit of modeling was a lot of fun because the concept sketch only has the front view; this meant I could give my imagination free reign to design the back of the bot. I added parts and details that fit with the look and feel of the original concept but also added my own little touch.”
Step 2: Look development and color
“With all the modeling done I moved on to posing Robocat and connecting the free floating parts to the body. I decided it would be much easier to model these parts once I had finished posing the main parts such as the arms. I also started testing different lighting option to find the mood for the final image.
As the concept is in black and white I was able to use my imagination to shade and color the character. I tried different colors but found that yellow really made the character pop, so I went with yellow and orange shades. I also made a base for him to stand on.”
Step 3: Finalizing details and pose
“For this step, I finished all the little details and refined the pose. I added some back pipes and also remodeled the base so that it matches the overall look of the model and original concept. I often go back and forth adding and deleting details on my models, I do this because I’m never 100% sure about which angle the final image will be taken from so I like to make sure that the model is finished and detailed from all angles.”
Step 4: Light setup
“Lighting setup is an important part of any piece of work. To light this scene I placed two area lights on the bot’s left and right, one directional light on shining from the left side to highlight a focus point on the eye, and finally, one spotlight with volumetric from the back to give him a soft rim light with a few light rays. This helps to add some depth and separate between the background and foreground.”
Step 5: Setting up shaders and materials
“For this step I added materials and shading to the model. I did most of the parts with procedural texturing, I didn’t bother with UVs. MODO is really great for this type of texturing. To make the dirt and scratches I used an AO map and set it on the edges with a darker color, this is a cheap hack but works fine in most cases.”
Step 6: Raw render
“The final raw looks a bit washed out, which is fine for this stage because I try to get 60 to 70% of what I need for the raw render and then do some post work and tweak things. I did a few render passes (Color, AO, Material ID, and Shading Incidence). The depth was rendered in MODO with 1024 AA samples to get a clean result. This is one of my favorite steps to get stuck in to, I did the final color grade and added some extra punch to the image, as well as sharpen it a little bit and focused the light around the model.”
Step 7: Adding the last details
“Looking at the results of the previous step everything looks great but is there more that I could add? I realized that Robocat looked too clean for a robot so I decided to add some dirt and scratches here and there on the model to add some realism; although not too much as I didn’t want to overdo it. With the dirt added I was happy with the finished result. Thank you for reading this making of and I hope it has been useful to you.”
Middle East Talents Awards team is grateful once again to witness another submission from you. Creating 3D characters can be a challenging task but more important is that we continue to learn and enjoy the creation process. Wish you all the best in the competition and your career.