View Full Version : Fume, Alex Alvarez (3D)

01-11-2008, 10:05 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/gallerycrits/3688/3688_1200049514_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/gallerycrits/3688/3688_1200049514_large.jpg)

Title: Fume
Name: Alex Alvarez
Country: USA
Software: Maya, mental ray, Photoshop, ZBrush

Character portrait made with Maya / Zbrush / Photoshop. Workflow was 5minute boxmodel in Maya, sculpt in Zbrush, retopo in Zbrush, UVs in UVlayout, detail in Zbrush, light/render with Maya/Mental Ray, composite in Photoshop. I then shot photos of smoke specifically for this image that were then composited... so no, not Maya Fluids. Wish I had that kind of time... heh.

01-11-2008, 11:19 AM
I like so much, great idea : 4* :)

01-11-2008, 11:47 AM
That looks creepy, cool idea :)

01-11-2008, 11:55 AM
Hah, that's great! The character's lines and form seem to mimick the smoke around him and the top of his head looks like a melted ashtray. Great job compositing the real smoke; there's some nice color shifts to it. 5*

01-11-2008, 12:01 PM
Awsome picture, good strong meaning to!

01-11-2008, 12:33 PM
hehe original picture, I like it a lot. Maybe a bit darker backround would work even better (more intimate, more depresive)

01-11-2008, 01:01 PM
is future of smokers :) nice work very good light:thumbsup:

01-11-2008, 01:13 PM
Great job, love his expression and smoke a lot :thumbsup:

01-11-2008, 01:17 PM
Nice! I think using the smoke photos was a wise choice... the realism of it really works.

01-11-2008, 01:36 PM
really nice picture!

I like the message and the implementation of the smoke self made footage.

I also love the woody feeling texture :)

01-11-2008, 02:13 PM
amazing....amazing....always impressive works from you Alex

01-11-2008, 02:18 PM
hi alex, congratulations for a good work, there is a exceptional modeling here, only two details, the skin on the chin looks to me a little flat and the forehead looks burnt, but its only my appreciation... over any crit i think it`s a great work.. ciao

01-11-2008, 03:01 PM
Very cool. Unique and fresh. Nice job!

01-11-2008, 03:04 PM
nice advertisement for no smoking

01-11-2008, 05:47 PM
box modeled in 5 mins... u jus had to throw that in our face!? lol... once again uve made something very inspirational . your level of skill has been godly for a while, now its godly+3. /bow

01-11-2008, 05:52 PM
Cool! Great concept idea - excellent smoke!


01-11-2008, 06:43 PM
Fantastic Character

01-11-2008, 07:31 PM
Another Alvarez masterpiece, great work on compositing the smoke :) , care to share some of your secrets?

01-12-2008, 04:45 PM
Yes Alex this is a very good piece!

01-12-2008, 06:29 PM
Thank you so much everyone!!!

konjo: well, when I say a 5minute box model don't be intimidated... I really do mean 5 minutes... made a cube, extruded some faces, done... I could have done the same thing with Zspheres but I prefer to box model my base in Maya. Then once the primary forms are blocked in, I retopologize... The idea is that if I want to use Zbrush to 'design', then I don't want to have topology in place yet as it will feel restricting. But thank you very much for the kind words... :)

TravelGuide: The main thing with the smoke was to shoot the photos with a black background and to backlight the smoke so that the background stays dark. Therefore it is easier to comp it. As far as comping it, the smoke layers are pretty much all set to the 'screen' blending mode. I combined elements from about five different photos... but I probably took 300. Just too easy to click click clik with the camera. It was fun and I got some really beautiful pics. Smoke can be quite pretty.


01-12-2008, 06:47 PM
very cool looking, awesome work man. I assume the message of this image is dont smoke cause you'll turn into this, haha.

01-12-2008, 08:28 PM
I think you really did a great job on this one!


01-12-2008, 08:40 PM
Excellent image! This fella doesnt seem to be enjoying the smoke. Awesome composite by the way, the integration of the photo smoke with the picture is really cool. Even if smoke isn't that hard to get into the compo though, it was done very tastefully.

I gotta a question. After retolopogising you make the uv mapping? I mean, you make some basic box modelling, get into zbrush, make the overall blocking, retopologise, get the uvs done, and then sculp from there? Would that be how you workflow goes? more or less?

01-12-2008, 08:58 PM
may I ask for a quick making-of of the smokes?
beautiful work done there. gratz.

01-12-2008, 09:04 PM
I love your ideas!...STRANGE but unique and awesome! :thumbsup:

01-12-2008, 09:26 PM
Love it.
Fantastic work, I really like the striation in the skin, like muscle fibers mixed with polished stone.
Great design and character.

01-12-2008, 10:00 PM
That looks great, very successful character :)

01-12-2008, 10:02 PM
wow amazing, great and different, but 5 min? its abnormal, are you a alien? hahahah :)

01-12-2008, 11:06 PM
Keep them coming Alex, Awesome man.

01-12-2008, 11:21 PM
Masterpiece! Congrats :thumbsup:

01-13-2008, 12:03 AM
Woa... great pic! Very stylized and creepy. Excellent job mate :thumbsup:

01-13-2008, 12:07 AM
awesome job man!


01-13-2008, 04:24 AM
Hi Alex,

This is my favorite piece of yours to date. Great work! :)

01-13-2008, 05:15 AM
Man, I just love this character. He has so much personality. Fantastic job!

01-13-2008, 08:57 AM
...Did you use him as an influence at all???

I think he did ;)

01-13-2008, 10:03 AM
Great work sir Alex :)

01-13-2008, 03:11 PM
Great work man! Any change you recorded your work in progress for Gnomonology?

01-13-2008, 04:30 PM
oo I see the master piece, congrat Alex , Master piece for Master artist!!

01-13-2008, 07:12 PM
Since your base mesh was a quickie ( you will be hearing that for a long time ;) ), maybe you should have put another five minutes on fixing the symmetricle pattern that goes stright thru the characters face, neck and chest.

IMHO itīs not on par with your other pictures.

01-13-2008, 08:55 PM
great stuff alex,
i love your style;)


01-14-2008, 12:08 AM
Holy shit...another awsome peace of work, supurb! You should release another tutorial after trin! Good stuff!

01-14-2008, 12:27 AM
beautiful work Alex as usual, the smoke composite in photoshop looks great with the model, the lighting and render very awesome, creats a very special mood for the whole image, great :thumbsup:

01-14-2008, 07:37 AM
Holy smoking portaits... thanks so much for the plug and kind words!!

A couple people have brought up the smoke and Chet Zar... I answered them earlier, but I know that people, myself included, don't always read every post in a thread. I am happy that people dig the smoke and aren't knocking me for using photos. At least they're my own photos... and made my living room smell like burnt paper + incense pretty strongly for about 24 hours. heh. I assumed that taking pictures of smoke would result in some useful source material, but I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful some of the results I got were, and how well they worked with the image. Burning paper + incense created bluish and brownish smoke that when swirling together with a bottom backlight really created some amazing color shifts. Now if I needed to animate this guy, which would be cool I think... an animated portrait hanging in a wall in a digital frame, I would have to go the fluids route... which at least would mean that this image will give me very specific direction and guidelines. It is amazing how your mental preconception of something as common as smoke can be blown away when you actually take some photos and study them... and the inherit complexity is something that we rarely take the time to stare at and study.

In regards to Chet Zar... I hugely admire and love his work (and even own one of his paintings). He just finished a DVD for Gnomon that comes out this month, so I had the opportunity to spend some time with him during the process. After watching his DVD a couple weeks ago, I definitely had the inspiration to create a smoking dude, so yes, the influence is most definitely there. :)

In regards to a tutorial for Gnomonology, I did not record myself making this, so if I do something, it will not be as thorough as things like the making of 'Jester', 'Smile' or 'Trin'. But I could definitely do something that explains in detail everything that I did... This week is looking to be pretty slammed, but perhaps I could do something soon.

Thanks again for all the feedback... it is hugely motivating for me to know that some people like my stuff. I really am hoping for this year to be my most productive, in regards to personal work. That's my new years resolution, for what its worth.


01-14-2008, 08:31 AM
smoke tricks, heh... 5 stars alex

01-14-2008, 12:39 PM
LOL, very funny!

01-14-2008, 01:08 PM
Congrats, master piece! Great idea, will show it to some smokers I know, jaja


01-14-2008, 02:01 PM
Great job. Would love to see a tutorial.

I def thought of Chet Zar the minute i saw the piece and went throught the posts to see if anybody else caught onto that.

Maybe a mention of him as inspiration in the initial post?

I actually thought you may have recreated one of his exact paintings actually. So the influence is clear.

01-14-2008, 02:40 PM
good one AlexAlvarez :thumbsup:

01-14-2008, 04:11 PM
Hey Alex! Great work...The image captures a nice moment in time. I can almost see him giving a lil' cough a second later.

01-14-2008, 06:22 PM
wow man very nice apeal to it. awesome job

01-14-2008, 06:57 PM
Nice piece.... He seems a bit in despair. I like that.

My Fault
01-14-2008, 07:09 PM
Beautiful work as always Alex. Your mastery of so many disciplines really shows in your work. You seem to spend more time creating and less time worrying about software.

Had never even heard of Chet Zar, so I am glad I read this thread and will definitely keep an eye for his DVD.

01-15-2008, 01:09 AM
wow. another one! that looks awesome! love ur style

01-15-2008, 03:41 AM
Great style and mood. Excellent work as usual.

01-15-2008, 03:46 AM
Great job! looks awesome.

01-15-2008, 03:42 PM
Alex did your character have any Derek Riggs influence? (Artist for Iron Maiden) I thought of Eddie right when I saw him.

01-15-2008, 08:55 PM
Amazing work indeed.

01-15-2008, 11:35 PM
It's the concept of smoking again; But this is really Great version. It's Masterpiece.

"May be some of the tobaccos companies would like to adopt this work to promote their products.";-)

01-20-2008, 09:30 PM
interesting subject... I was watching your jester tutorials recently and I couldn't help but notice how often you light up a cigarette. Hopefully you manage to quit someday before you end up like this!


anyway very cool

01-28-2008, 07:44 PM
Nice work! specialy the face expressions (eyes) :arteest:

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