Neytiri from Avatar
The idea of creating an Avatar render have been floating around in my head for a while, and almost every time I am about to start a new project, I´m thinking ”Should I give the Avatar a go?”. The thing that always stopped me have really been doubt on both skill and tools. However, since this September, I´ve been studying Computer Graphics, and learned a lot about anatomy and basic art theory, so I thought that I now had the skills to at least try.
What made me start this project now was that I thought that my computer couldn’t handle the high resolution 3D meshes I needed to create, and the amount of hair, so I wanted to push my hardware to the limits. I then had an excuse to buy a new computer if the project failed ;)
What worked, and what didn't?
Well, I was wrong when it came to resolution and amount of polygons the computer could handle, at least in this portrait. Creating the rest of the body below the shoulders would be impossible. I also tried to create hair again, which I´ve tried before, and failed, and it didn’t work this time either. But, I experimented a little, and thought that I might be able to model the hair, and use a hair-texture to give the illusion of real strands. So I made some braids and by them selves, they looked pretty good. However, when I started multiplying them on the head, the frame rate started dropping pretty fast, so eventually, I decided to use my new Wacom tablet and paint the hair in Photoshop instead. I have rarely painted digitally before, and I’ve always used a mouse on my previous renders, even the sculpting, so this was a challenge to get used to.