During the creation of this portrait I developed a workflow that involved rendering out several images in Blender than layering those images together in GIMP. The video shows each separately rendered element building to the final composite with the layer blending mode and opacity noted for each. This technique is obviously best suited for still images, but provides a number of advantages:
- Creating duplicates of the head model for each hair particle system, with emitter rendering off and the hair layer masked by the original, gives just the visible portions of the hair against transparency and allows tweaking of each hair element without having to re-render the entire scene
- Reinforce the bump and ambient occlusion by rendering images of the head model with a straight white material with just the bump applied and a material with just the baked occlusion texture
- Control the overall look by adjusting the blend mode and opacity of each element and tweaking elements “by hand”, such as erasing/subduing areas of specular highlight
This breakdown does not include any of the modeling process. The base mesh was created by a combination of box modeling and sculpting, then retopologized and detail sculpted with Blender’s Multiresolution modifier. Scuptris was used to sculpt the bump mapping, using several skin texture brushes.