Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 410

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Photoshop, 14 × 20″ @ 600 ppi.

 Here's another detail from my Justice League: Classic print. Hawkman replaced Hawkgirl from the Modern version, so the wings were much the same, although I did brighten them up a bit to match the lighter tone. This time around, I had much better models (including texture maps) from 3DScanStore.com, as well as fantastic rendering software, Marmoset Toolbag. I sculpted the helmet in ZBrush and pasted it onto a head I had previously made. Marmoset has a library of 3D backgrounds that wrap around the models and create realistic lighting situations — this is especially useful with reflective surfaces. Below is an "exploded" view of the finished product, with each layer in Photoshop offset to reveal the process.


  1. Paolo, how much time do you spend putting together reference vs. actually drawing/painting? Do you think you could still do your work without all the 3D models, etc?

    1. My favorite answer: it depends. But I kept decent records on one of the characters. Shazam hours:
      pencil: 2.5
      sculpt: 12
      paint: 7

      In that case, I really wanted to get better at ZBrush, so I invested a lot of time getting the ref as close to the final as possible. The result was a very fast painting. Hawkman (with his wings already done) took about 14 hours, but I can't remember how long the helmet took. I'm guessing about an hour.

      I used to do all this without 3D models, but I'd still use real-world models and maquettes.


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