Creative ESSENCE is a new series for publishers Ballistic. Famous for the d’artiste books, this latest addition to Ballistic’s ever growing collection of high-quality titles has been long awaited by digital modellers and artists alike.
Aimed at mid to advanced digital artists, this book focuses on how to create a convincing 3D human face. The specialist team that has helped create this book include Peter Levius, co-founder of 3D.SK, whose files are included on the ImagineFX DVD, Paul Fedor, artist and director at Sony’s PlayStation 3 cinematics department, and Steven Stahlberg, co-author of the d’artiste Character Modelling book.
Split into several chapters, the book begins with a look at the photography techniques used during a photoshoot, including the lighting set-up and photographing facial elements.
The second chapter looks at the modelling stage of creating a convincing character. It explores designing the structure of the face, working with low poly models, detailing in ZBrush, normal maps and cavity maps. The third chapter concentrates on UV mapping, with a very informative section exploring the effects of working with skin using false colour and diffuse maps.
There is also a section on how to create a texture map for a face, which explains how to work with high-resolution textures, how to create a bald map, and the use of convincing bump and specularity maps. There are also more detailed sections on how to create a convincing eye, how to properly use sub-surface scattering, and the secrets to creating life-like bruises, black eyes, scars and aging details.
The book only uses one model throughout, which results in a very detailed guide, but some may find the lack of facial variety unstimulating, and there are no sections that look at male features. Despite that, this is a great book for experienced modellers and texture artists, and another fine addition to Ballistic’s growing library.