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"About the burden we humans have to carry ...”

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To begin, I want to thank IT’S ART for running this contest and all the sponsors for their fantastic prizes. I’d also like to thank everyone who voted or commented on my entry.

The first thing I created was the quasi-standard model for the kids, which I used to make several children. The mesh was done using Poly-by-Poly in C4D and then exported to ZBrush. In this case, I wanted to make it a little comic-like, so I made bigger heads and didn’t made too many details.
Basemesh and SculptingSkin Texture

I also used ZBrush to paint the skin textures with “Polypainting”, which I prefer for this purpose because it does not work in UV-Space. Moreover, the tools (especially smooth) are not bothered by the seams of the UV-Map. In addition, color cannot be pulled accidentally to other areas in view. You simply paint on your mesh as if with a brush on an object in real life. “Transpose” is another great feature of ZBrush; it allows you to pose your character instantly without the need to make a rig with all its subsequent complications.

For the satchels, everything is geometry, including the stitches, zipper and so on. I cut the child’s mesh into several pieces, simplified the geometry and exported everything to ZBrush, subdivided 2 or 3 times and added some folds and creases. I exported the subdivided mesh back to C4D and added details like the seams out of this geometry, and as a last step, seamless textures (based on photographs and scans) for each part.

This technique makes it easy to create more clothes from the same material. The skirt on the dreadlock-girl is based on the same textures, but I modified the color using the Map-Editor of fryrender.

Satchels: Modeling detailsJeans: Mesh, seamless textures excerpts

For the pants on the red-haired guy, I used a different but more common technique. I matched photos with the UV-Layout and made a Normal-Map using ShaderMap Pro.