So, Larry's redone headshot.
This was where I was at at my last update:
I wasn't happy with the head shape. I tried to fix it but realized I'd be better off starting from scratch again. I worked on getting the shape right in two dimensions before making it right in the third:
Eventually, after a lot of mucking about I got something close to acceptable:
I then started work on the mouth. This time I went for a more negative expression:
Next I made the eye sockets a similar way to last time and added eyes and the eyebrows.
At this point I realized I was still unhappy with the mouth and the surrounding area so I tweaked it a bit:
Then I started texturing. I didn't bother UV mapping this time as for this it's just unnecessary. I chose a more vibrant shade of green with less blue this time.
The thing that really seemed to take it to the next level was removing the specular highlights from all the materials except the eyes (specular highlights are just white points of light that make an object look shiny) and replacing it with a setting called 'clearcoat' which gives the model a slight iridescence (where it looks different depending on the angle of illumination, like Kevin's feathers in UP or a fancy car paint job) and is a much more subtle and pleasing effect. It stops Larry from looking plastic and fake.
Next I set up lights which was just simple two point lighting and set the render settings, which were pretty much the same as last time.
Like last time I brought all four render passes into photoshop. I set the ambient occlusion pass to 'multiply' again to bring some shadow to the mouth and add definition to the nostrils and take the glow away from around his eyes. I also did some minor manual clean up of errors caused by my imperfect topology. This time I just used two of the textures I used for the background, setting them to 'luminosity' and an opacity of about 20%. What the luminosity blend mode does is blends the layer based on how light it is, whilst ignoring any color values so it means the textures won't affect the color of my orange background, but they will affect the lightness, giving me a nice subtle effect without looking like I've just slammed a random texture down.
Here's the finished image (not full size):
All that's left now is to make some 3D text, which hopefully I should start and finish today, to turn it into a poster.
I'm happier with this image. There's no totally awful glaring errors like last time and I think the material settings I used this time help elevate it from looking like a bad game model to something actually halfway decent. The topology and expression still aren't perfect but I think it's close enough for me to move onto the main image now.