Dylan is a 3d artist now working at Reflexive Entertainment in Lake Forest, CA. (Their latest project is a strategy game called Star Trek: Away Team.) Dylan received a MFA in computer animation from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and has a background in illustration. In the future, Dylan says he'd "love to enter the film industry at some point, as a character modeler/texture painter. To be honest I'm not sure which appeals to me more, modeling or texturing, I love the entire process." You can see more of Dylan's work on his web site, www.Dylan3d.com.
Dylan usually tries to get "a lot of reference, the more the better," when planning a project. On this project, he had only collected reference for modeling the head, because "this was originally only supposed to be a head study, a personal experiment with black and white painted textures. I liked the result so much I continued on, making it up as I went. Not a technique I would usually suggest."
Dylan is traditionally a NURBS modeler, but he's recently learned to model in polygons. He likes the advantages of polygons that you can add details where they are needed, and that polygons don't suffer from visible seams as you sometimes get between NURBS patches. He usually models in NURBS, laying down the general shape, then converts the surfaces to polygons, goes in and adds the detail work, and finally merges the vertices into a continuous polygon mesh. He used Maya Cloth for the clothing.
Most of the modeling detail work was done by pulling vertices, and using Artisan to smooth out pinching and irregularities. There are no displacement maps, and he's never had good results using displacements in Maya. Most of the detail work was created using bump maps.
Even though he started from a reference shot, Dylan could not find anyone with the skin texture he was looking for. He ended up using the charcoal tool in Fractal Painter to create the pitted skin. He created a tiling texture in Painter, and brought that into DeepPaint 3D, where he used the clone tool to transfer the painted texture onto the model. His conclusion on the technique: "There are easier and more efficient ways of texturing but you have to remember this began as an experiment."
The background is a photo he took in a local bar. He made it grittier, added contrast and desaturated it in Photoshop, and he modeled the bar itself so the character could cast shadows upon it. Regarding the Maya renderer, Dylan says "I've learned you can get a lot out of the Maya renderer if you're willing to wait, such as using dome lighting to fake radiosity and bumping up the shadow filter. These look nice but take an ungodly amount of time to render."
Dylan rendered the hair out separately, and composited it onto the image as a post process. As a final touch, he also added some film grain.