3D Art Process for Commissions
This is a general rundown of my process, exact steps may vary since every image is different. I try to explain the progress and intentions as best I can when I provide WIPs and updates.
General Summary (or TL;DR): 3D blockout consisting of characters and basic background followed by costuming for characters. Details are added afterward which mostly consists of filling out the image with props and environment. Basic color is then established with focus on composition and coherency for the image. Afterward, lighting and finalizing colors and materials. Then, the image is rendered to move into the final stage of post-production.
Once I have an idea of your image, I will provide to you several basic 3D ‘sketch’ images (blockouts) for you to choose your composition and camera angle. Composition can include character placement, basic posing, etc. This also establishes a starting point for your image to make iterations and adjustments.
Very basic. Working from your chosen image, I establish simplified characters and background. Basic character posing, positioning, body shapes and height are set here. Composition will start to take better form. This step provides a better feel for the scene and composition. Additional posing will be perfected after costuming (adjustments such as body language, gravity, character interaction, etc).
Adding clothing, props, etc. to characters within the scene. This can be basic to get a feel for the character, where more details to them may be added later. Usually without color/materials to solidify the characters’ silhouettes.
Details can range from more costuming to added background props, expressions to characters, fixing poses, etc. This is where your image will really start to take shape. This is sometimes combined with the Color step.
Basic color and materials are added to the 3D objects. Some color/materials are not indicative of the final product until the Lighting stage (next step). Images can start to look ‘busy’ in this stage, but that is resolved in Post-production.
This will be the first time you see the image rendered. Rendering is the process of converting the 3D scene into a 2D image, calculating lights, shadows, materials, etc. to create an accurate representation of your image before Post-production. Color and materials are finalized in this step. Basic lighting is blocked out with focus on composition and bringing out the characters as much as possible.
Finalizing for Render
It is very difficult to change anything past this step, so it’s important to get everything as close to perfect as you can here. This step consists of polishing, final adjustments or additions such as props or character expressions. Additional lights may be added as well. This is where the image will be prepared for the full size render and Post-production.
This is my bread and butter and where my images shine the most. Here you will see depth of field (background blurring), depth for the characters to stand out, lighting enhancements, effects, stylistic effects (like more painterly), hair, clothing adjustments, overall general 3D fixes and a lot more. Images can completely transform into something special in this step.
You can see the final image for the piece on the left here.