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The character Jack is the result of months of research and development by Salvo Severino. Because a photorealistic human is considered the most difficult thing to create in 3D, he chose to tackle the toughest challenge possible to sharpen his skills.

Salvo Severino lives near Catania in Italy. He studied at the Institute of Art, and started his career in arts as traditional painter/illustrator. Later, he bought a computer and started to create digital illustrations with Photoshop, and then eventually using 3D software. He now works for an italian company, creating characters and character animations. Salvo dreams of someday working on CG movies in California. His web site (under construction at the time of this writing) is at web.tiscalinet.it/sethos.

This head is pure 3D, with no cheating or photographs. It was modeling and rendered in 3D Studio MAX version 3.1, and textured with maps that Salvo painted in Adobe Photoshop.

Salvo began his visual research looking for photographs of old men and women. He then created the head through spline modelling, with the Surface modifier. The deepest wrinkles were created in the model itself, and the minor wrinkles were left for the bump map.

Click here to view his materials and texture maps in a new browser window, and continue reading this while it loads. The head material is a Multi/Sub-Object containing 14 different materials. Salvo painted many texture maps, using photographs for color reference as he painted the color map, shinyness, specular level, diffusion, luminosity, translucency, bump, and reflect maps, and many masks to blend different materials together. He used 7 or 8 different mapping coords, the first is cylindrical, which includes the entire model and is used for almost the 80% of textures. Another cylindrical mapping was used for the nose, because the first coords would not work properly in this area. The others mapping coords are common planar projections used for ears translucency, the top of the head, teeth, tongue etc., except for the eyes which have spherical mapping. In all, there are 21 textures used. There are 11 2D and 3D procedural textures (noise, cellular and gradient.)

Each eye was created using 2 spheres, the first one is a bit bigger and has 12% opacity, a high specular value, and a bit of reflection and bump. The inner sphere has the colour texture, diffusion and luminosity. The inner sphere is double-sided, and geometrically concave in the iris area, with a hole to simulate the pupil, showing the 2nd side of the material (internal) that is completely black (without spotlight nor luminosity.) It is possible to animate the hole wideness to simulate pupil dilation. The eyelashes were modeled as geometry, although all of the other hair was created with an evaluation copy of Shag:Hair by Digimation.

There are 4 lights, the brightest one projects shadows, the other 3 give a natural lightness to the skin, although they also illuminate the interior of the mouth. The shadow is an area shadow powered by Blurís RayFX engine. The face is designed to respond realistically to any lighting design, so he could choose his favorite one. There is genuine translucency (a thin-surface translucency available through Max's raytrace material) in the ears, and Salvo is developing a new model which will also have nostril translucency for a warmer, more realistic look.