BWC 2008 - Nostalgia

Hi everyone, i’m new on this forum

I didn’t have the time to create a WIP for the piece i made for the BWC 2008.
Nevermind, i would like to share with you the techniques i used to create the image Nostalgia, that you can see on the BWC page. Actually there are 2 pictures entitled nostalgia. The one i created is the old guy summing up his past in front of the mirror.

I ll send, very soon, some pictures.

Here is the picture…


Prevously i used to sketch, and then, from this sketch, vertices by vertices i modeled the characters. I found this method accurate, but a little bit frustrating on artistic point of vue.

here, i used a different method.First i made a quick base mesh of the face. Then i sculpted a high resolution of it , and made a retopo to be properly deformed and to optimize the mesh.

By this way i got a low poly modeling of the head.

To catch details, i baked the details of the sculpted face on the low poly modeling thanks to a normal map.

I quickly made the hair: I applied the subsurface modifiers to control virtual vertices - then i paint on weight mode the area where i want hair. I create a piece of hair - i comb it. And here is the first part of the modeling.



To get the right smile from this character, first i thought that rigging would be the best, but, getting the best topology for a perfect deformation is quite long. I was lacking of time (Because i was working all day long at internship), so i sculpted the smile.


I try to figure out the type of lighting, and the shader for the face.

I used the 3 point lighting : 2 point light in front of the character , and 1 point light behind, forming a triangle. i enabled the sphere type for point light.

The lighting is the key of a good piece. Researching the best way to highlight a scene, to get the best shadows, reflects, is one of my priority. Without that, you would miss really the essence of 3D, and the ability to feel the volume and to create an atmosphere.
I spent some time on testing the light power and position.

Before explaining how i made the skin shader i ve got to explain my purpose on this piece:

Everyone, one day, wakes up, and see his face in the mirror, but … instead of seeing his face, he sees his past that have whitened his hair, that has altered his face. But the past isn’t always source of sorrow and pain. Sometime, you can have nostagia, and laughting at the thing that you ve done. Nostalgia is bitter and sweet. I wanted to get this bittersweet feeling to the spectator. This sorrow in the eyes, this smile on this lips. It 's quite hard to get the good look for this feeling.

Therefor, i wanted to create an Picture that doesn t dwell on details, and realistic thing that would misdirect this feeling. I concentrated on the feeling, and i avoided to make to many wrinkles. I wanted to give this old guy and second youth by remembering the past.
Have you ever noticed the some old guy may have a touch of youth in the eyes, when they remember good thing of the past?
That’s why made a lot of wrinkles for this guy. Maybe it would have been better…nevermind.

To do the shaders, i used subsurface scattering: parameters are quite tricky but with the blender manual, you can do it. And for the first render i used :

  1. Ambiant occlusion approximation
    2)nodes : glow compositing nodes - RGB curves - gamma correction
  2. for the hair i used strand renderer

Here is what i get


Now for the body and the cloth:

I created separatly the body from the cloth.

I made body, then i created the pijama.

Then with the same rigging, i rigg the body and the pijama.

I pose my character in the final position. And to get a good shape for the cloth i made a cloth simulation for the pijama : pinning the pijama on the shoulders thanks to weight painting mode, and pinning the buttons. Then i bake, it can take a certain time to bake.

I baked on 120 frames.


Now for the environments, i made the sink, by extruding forms for a cude and subsurfacing.
I didn’t want to get multiple stuff on the sink, that would made the image less pure, and more heavy.
The purpose is to see that when your life is ending, your are alone, and you are the only one in front of your mirror, but nevertheless, it’s when you re lonely, and when you at the end of your life that you may remember regret it and regret the great moments.

By the way, to express it i made a sober environement, and a deep dark blue background.

To create the mirror effect i used composited pictures.

I rendered the old guy camera in front of him : i stored in one render layer (multiple layers option in render settings)

then place the head in one layer, and rotate the camera, so as the camera would be just at the place of the eyes.

You get the picture of the sink that you see on the front of the final picture

and final i render the picture of the hand on another render layer.

I composite these three images - > i blur the hand and composite all the layers.

I export this picture in corel PAINTER, and i paint the backgroung with wet oily brush and wet palette knife to get the dynamic.

I painted also the dirt on the mirror and drop shadow to simulate the reflection.

Finally, on GIMP software, i get blue color tonality, and correct RBG Curve. Finally i got the piece Nostagia.

I think the modelling and rigging are great.

On my screen, the rendering appeared a bit dark though.

very nice work. Nice modeling.

Simpo: i agree, i noticed that problem. On my laptop, wich is quite new, i made all the work, and finally, when i watch the picture on a different screen , i ve seen that it was a bit dark though. It depends on the screen. That s the problem with the dark picture.
kkrawal and simpo : thanks for your positive comments. :slight_smile:

great work, the brightness seems fine on my screen. Good luck in the competition!