Author: Rico Cilliers
Software: Blender, ZBrush, Photoshop
Preface: MIchele Marcelli

"Browsing the web in search of good work to be observed, we found Rico Cilliers (present here on treddi the nick of RicoCilliers) twentysomething artist of South Africa (based in Pretoria) with 3d animation passion and character 2d / 3d since he was 13 years old. a lover of painting and traditional design, he approaches the CG in a natural way. his current main software Blender and Zbrush, as well as Photoshop, but in the past also worked with Maya, Mudbox and Substance Painter .

Rico feels lucky to work in the art, and as expressed in his own words, "I'm extremely lucky. My dream is to use my art to change the way people look at this world" ... I would say with good reason! !

With this Making Of, created especially for, we will try to understand the workflow Rico observing technique and peculiarities. We just have to wish you a good read, hoping to convey the desire to grow, explore, model, and share! Good fun!!! "


Hi everyone, my name is Rico Cilliers and I live in Pretoria, South Africa. I'm a freelance 3D modeling and texturing artist.

I'd like to show a bit about how I created my "Black Man Portrait". For this artwork I used Zbrush to sculpt, and blender to texture, shade, light and render the final image. I used Photoshop to do the compositing work afterwards.

I started with some reference images from Google, which you can see below:


I sculpted the face from a default sphere in Zbrush, and modeled the shirt, hat and glasses in blender:



I then detailed the shirt and hat in Zbrush, adding seams and cloth wrinkles, as well as some subtle wear and tear.


I also added a fibermesh hair system in Zbrush, in order to preview the face with hair,

to get the "look" I needed. This was just to make sure I was on the right track.

More detailed hair would be done later in Blender...


I detailed everything and fine tuned the pores on the skin.


I imported the High-poly meshes from Zbrush, and proceeded with manual re-topology and UV unwrapping.

I also added more wear on the hat and shirt



For the eyes, I modeled some "tears fluid" to add detail and emotion.. and also to make the eye look more natural.

I also added some wear and tear to the rims of the glasses.


For the main diffuse map, I used a variety of techniques... I used light skin, because there aren't

many good quality black skin textures. I painted these roughly using stencil painting in Blender (similar to projection painting in other 3D texturing apps). Once I'd painted a rough base layer, I used the clone and 

smear tools to remove all artifacts etc. I also used the FTexDraw brush with alphas applied to layer on more detail. I used the mask brush to isolate different areas.


I used Gloss/specular, diffuse, normals, and displacement maps for the skin.

SSS and specular maps were generated from the main diffuse map. The Normal map was baked in blender at 8K resolution.


I set up the main Subsurface Scattering (SSS) shader for the skin using the Cycles renderer nodes.

I used a basic 3-point lighting setup, as well as an HDRi image for reflections, and some mesh-lights for the glasses reflections.




For the hair, I used Blender's powerful particle system and hair tools with these settings:


From there it was just a matter of test rendering until I got the look I wanted. The final render was 500 samples, rendered in layers and composited together in Photoshop.


Compositing in Photoshop:


Final render:


That's it! Thanks so much to for asking me to do this Making of. I hope you found something of interest! :)

-Rico Cilliers

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