Eon (Illustration) Entry: Rene Valencia-Arellano


Rene Valencia-Arellano is entered in the “Eon Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Final Render…


Well… Im a novice in this, but we have to start at some point, right?

Traditionally, the promotional artwork for books or movies always portray the main characters and some images like locations, enemies, etc… to offer the viewer a big picture of the stuff.

Let´s take a look at the story…
An unidentified misterious asteroid appears in earth´s orbit, creating tension in the already stormy political weather between the supreme potencies.

The asteroid appears to be the rest of a high evolution technology culture, an american physics scientific by the name of Patricia Vasquez is taken to the asteroid to try to unsolve the mistery on the last chamber inside the asteroid… a hallway several kilometers long, apparently infinite… bigger than the outside of the asteroid itself.

Further research shows that the asteroid is not an alien work… it was made by humans from the future after a nuclear war. Patricia has to discover how this asteroid is linked to the present.

Now, back to the idea… So, to me, to make a summary in just one frame of the whole story, the best image would be miss Patricia in her futuristic lab trying to figure out what the asteroid really is… this is a clear message, but we still dont “reveal” the whole thing, i want to send the message that this journey is just beginning.

So, in the concept art I draw the main character (it took less than 20 minutes and it shows :frowning: ) in the location, figuring out if she should have floating screens, or a desk which is all screen… at the end i liked the idea of an intelligent map, like a hologram of the rock, reflecting all in her glasses, while she adopts a thinking pose… im still thinking about incluiding some esoterical symbols on the scene, to add drama to the role of Patricia.


I noticed the challenge on monday, so there`s no time to waste; I actually think about concepts while I ride on the bus to the office and start modeling during my lunch hour and late at nite.

I divided Patricia into parts because every part needs different amount of detail.

It was Mies van der Rohe who said “God is in the details”… I would say “Thank God for the ZBrush”.

These images are raw polygon (from my first session modeling), next step will be to zbrush’em for the details.


Just a test of Patricia`s lens…


Well, until today I was able to work some more. Some ideas are clearer, this is the modeling stage of the lab where I´ll sit Patricia to study the asteroid. One more analysis table and her chair are still to come to complete the lab geometry, but I felt the need of make this upload.

I added bevels on almost all corners, because the effect of the light is more pleasent and it renders nicer. I`ve notice that when modeling nothing should be as sharp as a knife, not even a knife.


this file didnt upload right…


Well, I went for the cyberpunk/anime look with Miss Vasquez; This is the first preview of the character. The model was built in Maya and then Zbrushed and textured.

For the hair, I took a really easy way I found in here…

A) Make Live the surface that you want to add hair

B) Draw the “root” of your hair do on the surface

C) Now, pressing “C” add the main hairs of your hair do (the C key snaps the new point to the already draw line). These are the keys that will drive your hairdo, draw some of them…

D) Well, now open the Visor window and select the brush of hair that you want to apply; Now select one of the roots for the hair (one of the first lines that you draw) and go to the paint effects menu and then go to “Curve Utilities” and select “Attach Brush to Curves”… A stroke will be created in the scene, attached to the curve you selected.

Now select the curves attached to your root and again go to the Paint Effects menu and under “Curve Utilities” select the “Set Stroke Control Curves”, the hair will be created. Repeat this process for the other (or others) root of your hair.

To adjust the length, shape, width and other forces on the hair, select the stroke and go to the attribute editor; under the brush name go to the “Tubes” option and open it, locate the “Behavior” option and open it too, then go to the option named “Forces” there modify first the “Path Follow” and “Curve Follow” to mold the hair, start increasing the values with small numbers… and voila, there you go.


Well, this is the first preview of Patricia. As I want her glasses to reflect the hologram on them, I made a very reflective shader for the surface, this is a test of the hair too.


This is the model of Patricia`s hand after texture. Then back in Maya I added the bones after looking for some reference on an anatomy book. I like to work on the hypergraph to make easier the process of selecting the bones to make the poses.


At last, the whole geometry on the same scene. Now I`ll start the texturing and lightning process, and look for some more angles to make the stablishment of the scene. this is a capture from the perspective viewport.

Any comments are welcome.


I wanted to post my first test render. I just added the textures and the hair. My next step will be to adjust the lightning and the composition. The lightning will tell me if I need to adjust any textures.

This is just a simple test.


I like the reflections on the glasses… but I also think that the glasses distance the viewer from your character somewhat. If you’re doing such a character-centric piece, you really want the viewer to associate with and relate to the main character… But sunglasses and mirrorshades keep the us from seeing the eyes (as they say, “the windows to the soul”) and make the character come off as distant, unapproachable, and cool (in both meanings of the word.) It makes her feel more like a cyberpunk heroine than Patricia, but that’s just my opinion.
But anyhow, the lighting is very cool (again, in both sensed of the word! :slight_smile: ) Good luck finish it!



Well, this is another test render. the hair is different from the last shot and the lightning is improving. I realized that I still have to add some geometry and details like the info that now appears next to the asteroid. Well, I`ll still have to make another test with Patricia without glasses, to establish a connection with the viewer (thanks for the advice walrus!), I needed to make this upload just to feel that Im working…


A screenshot of the hypershade as it is now…


The main source of light is the hologram, for this I used a spotlight with the fog effect activated.

Next, I dragged 4 area lights: one comes from top to the face of Patricia, this is the more intense area light, in the style of the impressionism style; another area light is used on the side as a fill light and one more for the backlight.

I also added an ambient light for the overall.


This is the second to last step in the journey. Here Im making the color adjustments in Photoshop. Basically Im playing around with layers and blending modes and with the hue control to obtain the look that I want.


if you are going from left to right I like the one on the bottom left, though it makes her hair to red I think. I am guessing that is a hologram , the thing that looks like a chunk of ice? are you going to put an image in it that she will be looking at? I think it might more clearly define it if you do.


My setting of the story is on a dystopia. I went for the cyberpunk/anime look for my illustration and Patricia is the heroine of the tale.

Here we see Patricia in her lab, isolated from everything… trying to figure out what the asteroid really is.

I made her use glasses to emphasize her concentration (and because the reflections look cool). The blue flood of light is based on what that color represents: the confidence, strenght, technology and idealism.

Patricia`s hair color is a blend of different tones of red to represent the strenght, energy and leadership.

On the roof I added a kabbalah as an evolution metaphor (according to the kabbalistic cosmology, the tree of life corresponds to ten levels of creation), over Patricia`s head are the top most sephiras or states that represent the sublimest; what is completely incomprehensible to man (kether). The understanding (binah) and the wisdom (chokhmah).

As a final touch, I added some depth of field to center the focus on Patricia`s eyes… the human side slowly emerging over the science (the glasses).

Understanding is a human skill, not scientific.


Well, greetings to everybody. This is my first challenge and I learned a lot from it, can’t wait to start working on the next one.


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