A fairytale portrait

By paying attention to the details at each stage of your modelling, texture-building and rendering process, you can really bring your character-based illustrations to life.

Nature is absolutely incredible, but people can often take it for granted. As an artist you should constantly be observing the world and taking what you need from it in order to render lifelike images. In this tutorial, we'll not only be putting your observational skills to the test, but also your modelling and texture-painting skills, by creating a female's face with a fantasy twist.

The process of creating the fairy's face is divided into several steps. While the production may seem as simple as mapping the realistic textures over the objects, the reality is more complicated.

A perfect combination of texture maps, texture quality, lighting and rendering is needed to enable the realistic portrayal of objects and characters. Each of the topics above is extensive enough to have books written about them - so we recommend you research them all thoroughly if you're serious about creating great-looking 3D art. Here we'll be using 3ds Max and Brazil r/s to create our 3D character's face. We'll be concentrating on modelling, UVW mapping and texturing the face, then you can tackle the rest of the fairy on your own.

If you're a beginner at texture painting, it's fine to combine photographs or images of body parts. We recommend, however, that you delete the shadows. Complete the texture and save it as a JPG (it could also be saved as TIFF). Then apply this image in the Diffuse box of the Material Editor and edit UVWs using Unwrap UVWs. There's no correct order in which to do this process. You can edit UVWs in Max first and then draw the map in Photoshop.

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