Welcome to Issue 49 at the start of what could be a rainy September for us here in the U.K.! Rainstorms galore today, so my advice: stay indoors and enjoy our September issue, with contributions this month from Hao Ai Qiang, Jose Alves da Silva, Joseph Harford, Bruno Melo, Richard Tilbury, and more!
We’re loving this month’s cover image by Jose Alves da Silva – he’s put together a fantastically detailed “making of” article for us all over on p.60, so be sure to check that out if, like Jose, you’re interested in adding believable hair to your character creations and want to avoid some of the pitfalls that are inherent with any first time trying out a new technique! We hope to have Jose back with us again as he’s currently building up a stunning portfolio that we can only imagine is going to keep on impressing. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more from him in the future!
Our interview feature this month is with the very talented Chinese artist, Hao Ai Qiang, who has contributed to three of our Digital Art Masters books already, and is really a master in his own right when it comes to creating realistic still life scenes. Hao is a very deep artist who is clearly inspired by the Masters, but who also draws upon memories and his past to create the powerful, nostalgic imagery that you’ll see in his portfolio of works. To see just a sample of his work and to find out more about the fascinating artist behind it all, check out his interview on p.6.
So tutorials! What have we got? Well, we’re mid-way through our four current series’ right now, with part three of our Next-Gen Character Creation tutorial series where this month, Joseph Harford gets to finishing up the high-poly modeling in ZBrush (p.78) in preparation for the next step: mapping and unwrapping (coming next month). So follow Joseph on the last leg of his ZBrush sculpting journey in this issue, before we invite Gavin Goulden, James Busby and John Hayes back to the party next month to take us into the other software versions – 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave and modo – where we’ll map and unwrap ourselves silly!
What else? Remember those Manimals? Well, we’ve got more of them! Yup, Bruno Melo is back with us again to take us through the creation of his rather amphibious-looking man. Bruno has this time gone for a more stylized approach to his last (see his Bird-Man creation in the June 2009 issue!) and has created a body-building toad-like creature that you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley, that’s for sure! Flip to p.40 to follow Bruno’s latest workflow when merging animal features with those of humans for interesting results!
3DTotal artist, Richard Tilbury is also back again to bring us two inspired Photoshop tutorials for 3D artists! We’ll see how to add lighting and particle effects to our 3D renders to improve our scenes without even touching the original render – a completely nondestructive way of working which will speed up your workflow and yield some stunning results. Simple methods with great results – check them out on p.30. Then head on over to part two of the Custom Textures tutorial where Richard looks at how bump, specular and overlay maps can be utilized in Photoshop to create the illusion of detail without adding additional geometry to your 3D scene (p.52). It’s all about saving time and increasing productivity, so we hope you’ll enjoy the introduction of these Photoshop tutorials in 3DCreative!
The Gallery this month features new work from Jonathan Simard and Pascal Ackermann – check out our pick of the month over on p.18. And be sure to stick around for next month’s issue, too, as we’ll be interviewing Blur artist, Sze Jones, mapping and unwrapping with professional character artists, looking at adjustments and layer styles in Photoshop, creating an “insect-man” in ZBrush, wrapping up the final stage of our Custom Textures series, and Zoltan Miklosi will be bringing us the making of one of his stunning Neo-Renaissance characters. Till then, enjoy this month’s issue! Ed.