Aragorn

Character Breakdown

Zhixin Li

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Zhixin Li

Character Artist

Introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Zhixin Li. I'm a 3D Character Artist working for Tencent.

Goals

The “Lord of the Rings” series is one of my favorite movies, and “Aragorn” fascinates me even more.

So I decided to use 3D to restore the image and temperament of Aragorn in the movie as much as possible.

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References

Getty Images is a very good website where you can search for many high-definition stills and close-ups of actors. We need to find as many references as possible to help with later model production.

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Here is a selection of the images found for Viggo Mortensen.

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And many references to accessories like swords, rings, and arm guards.

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Software

  • ZBrush
  • Marvelous Designer
  • Maya
  • Substance 3D Painter
  • UE5

Face

First, I made the character’s face in ZBrush, using the base model to modify and adjust the similarity, and gradually refined the skin texture.

For the skin texture, I used TextureXYZ Vface, and the detail is amazing.

Clothing & Accessories

I made all the fabric parts in Marvelous Designer.

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When the completion level reaches 70-80%, I go into ZBrush to continue to refine the model, adding wrinkle details and damage effects.

Arm Guards

The pattern was a headache when making the arm guards because there was no high-definition material found.

I could only extract the blurry stills pattern in Photoshop and make it into a height map. Then apply and repair the pattern in ZBrush.

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Gloves, coat, rings, necklaces, and other jewelry were made in ZBrush. Because they were relatively small, I didn’t make them very detailed.

The sword was also carved directly in ZBrush. Fortunately, I found a great pattern reference.

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Lowpoly & UVs

Because this is my work, there is no limit on the number of faces in the model. I tried my best to show the details of the model in the low-model stage.

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Texturing

I worked on the texturing in Substance Painter. The color map of TextureXYZ Vface was used to optimize the similarity between skin color and character.

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When making the textures of the clothing, I made a lot of dirty details to restore the dirty and old effect in the drama.

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Hair

I used Maya XGEN for hair production. Aragorn’s hair has obvious characteristics, messy and greasy.

So to restore the effect, I went through several iterations and finally achieved a satisfactory effect.

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In order to create a reference beard effect, I also made two layers of beard to distinguish the colors.

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Lighting & Rendering

I’m using UE5 for rendering, and path tracing is a very useful feature. Compared to Lumen lighting, you can get a more realistic representation.

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I chose the metahuman lighting from the UE store for the lighting scene, and I chose two of the scenes as the basis to modify the lighting according to my needs, which is very convenient.

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I used UE’s Groom for the hair part, and it worked very well.

The result is a light and shadow effect that is close to that of a movie.

Conclusion

This is the general production process of this project, and I hope it can help you.

I will continue to work hard to make the next better character and look forward to it. Follow my Artstation account.

THANKS!