[WIP] Balloony shading advice wanted


Hello folks!

I am kind of hoping some of you might be able to help me out with some artistic shading-advice over here.

The Info:
I am designing the artwork for a poster (and printed commercial stuff in general) for a little stage-show opening up here in Stockholm - Sweden in about a month.
No need to get inte details about the show, but just so you get the pictire, it is a kind of one-man “stand up”-comedy with a little band-thing.

The Image:
What you see down here is not the entire image to be on the poster (i´ll show you more of it as it progresses), but generally the main motif. It is a charicature model I have made of the writer/star of the show, and he is supposed to be a balloon, floating in a rope tied to the ground far below.

The Issue:
The issue here is that it is important for the rest of the image that it is obvious that he IS a ballon, and not just appears as a cutted-out face against a sky backdrop.
At first my idea was to use the painted textures of his face just vaguley in the background of a more balloon-like shading “on top” (so to speak). But I found it elementary to bring forth the face-texture to maintain the likeness of the guy it is portraying.

The Question:
So I am now trying to find some way of introducing balloon-like surface-features to the thing but I can´t seem to come up with a good enough idea to do this. I´m pretty much dragging sliders back and forth at random, so I thaught maybe some of you might have an entertaining suggestion? How can I add “balloony” surface-features to this face, and still keep the facial-shading strongly expressed?

The Sub-Question:
I actually don´t find it that important to ADD stuff in order to amplify ballooniness if one finds it obvious that he is a balloon as it is. This is supposed to be an “artistic” :arteest: image so I am not after a photoreal suggestion to what a guy actually would look like if his face were to turn into a balloon ;). So my sub-question is; do you find it obvious enough that this is a balloon?

Ok… thanks for any input on this.




Hey Chag !
Cool pic :slight_smile:
For the ballon idea, If I were you, I would scale down the face a little but keep the overal size of the head.
So that you got more the idea of “inflated”, more ballon IMHO.
For the texture, 2 ideas :

  • Add more fresnel effect.

  • Try a false specular or reflection with a window shape (square with cross), just like in comics or cartoon. (gave me good results)

Also, I would give a try to some little transparency (very few)

Already good pic anyway :slight_smile:


Hemm, rereading your thread, I precize that it already looks like a baloon :slight_smile:


looking at the piccy you provided i’d say work on the specular channel. the window effect is spot on, facial. I would go for that effect too. a little edge transparency maybe…


i think the mesh could be rounder : now it’s again a face (without deformation). the end seems to be added with Ptoshop, a good deformation can correct this.

I’m agree about transparency : when you blow up the ballon the plastic membrane became finer ( with kind of little cracks).


send that in to the LW gallery when you are done!:buttrock:


Currently i think it looks like the head has been added in photoshop as vbk stated

I think that perhaps the valve could be moved to a lower location like his chin. Then you could show some stressing on it as it forms the shape of the head.

If you know what i mean (see the VERY rough sketch :))


Thanks for the good input guys =)

I am currently taking on some other instances of this composite but I will get back to this head very soon.

Hey Facie! I like your second post the most… will pay special attention to that. Mhhihi… no just kidding, I think it will be critical to do some adjustments here, since there is some doubt in the obviousness of the guy being a balloon.
The idea of shrinking the face is a good one I think, and I will give that a good go. Just hoping the UV´s allow that kind of stretching, since I doubt I will have enough time to repaint the images.

I was on the window-reflection track before, but found it (while enhancing ballooniness somewhat) to be a too confusing detail. With the sky and all around him it made no sense where that “box” came from. Actually the band aid on the forehead (where I exposed the reflection, obviously) is a very (perhaps a bit too???) :arteest: :arteest: :arteest: idea of compensating that reflection (Call me NUTS!!! but I kind of liked it)

vbk!!! & Bytehawk - I have been playing with transparency. but didn´t get it to work, mainly because of the hair. But I think you have a key input there although. I will get back to working on that, maybe letting it be transparent only in some areas, excluding the top of the scalp somehow.

TheFreak - On the spot you are! Will definately try fixing that. Making the valve-transition visible is vital here! Thanks for the sketch.

Proton - Thank you man. I hope I have time enough to make this worthy of that.

Thanks again guys. Updates are to come!


Hello again people.

I have now set up a demonstration of the complete composite. I have only yet done minor changes in the balloon-department. I have increased the specularity somewhat and pulled the valve forward. I also rotated the head slightly in order to make the transition visible. I think I can pull it a little further though.
The head (in relation to the face) is also somewhat larger, but very little, since the likeness of the guy it is supposed to portray takes demage from that. A pity, since ballooniness really increased when I scaled it up :hmm:

With the other instances of the image now under control I will run loose on this darn balloon all I can to increase it´s ballooniness before I go on making full renders.

(Some might notice that I did follow the “late” Mark J Taylor-trick and stole a model for the little devil below… though I found it wise to steal from myself instead of others (The devil is made from THIS GUY if you haven´t seen it before)

Here is a larger image

Comments and crits very welcome (especially those telling there is no question that is a balloon will be extra appreciated :slight_smile: )



Hey turning out nice, could almost feel the weight of this anvil :smiley:

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, seriously…

I don’t see that much difference according to the texturing (yeah spec) , but I like the story the compo is telling :slight_smile:
The devil who release and the paradise who blows the balloon, that’s quite excellent !

IMHO, the guy who doesn’t recognize that it is a balloon has serious eyes problems.


I like this image!!
it is a balloon quite right, except for the fact that balloons
cannot have a head shape so easily in real.

I like very much the devil and the divine hand with the sting.


this is not a photorealistic, but artistic poster work, so
I can only say : Cool!!! :thumbsup:


He, he That’s pretty cool man I dig it!


http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87601 :wink:


Allright, after encouraging words from you guys I finally decided the ballooniness obviously was there.

Some time has passed since I wrapped this project, but the final poster just got finnished. It was sent for print yesterday.

To wrap this thread; here is how it turned out.



Excellent Man :slight_smile: …and there’s no doubt :thumbsup:


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