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In this video, we'll make a kind of simple bump map. This allows you to create bumps and hollows for details within a silhouette, like cheeks and noses. These can be then lit up to create some nice 3D lighting effects. To illustrate using a simple example, I'm going to create a disk and apply the lighting.
Looking in Render view, and as expected, the Normal Map has bevelled the edges. And with the default Normal Map properties, it kind of looks a bit like a medallion or coin, which is what I'm going for. So I'll refine those, so it's more coin like, and I'm going to add a Tone Shader too, just to give it a more complete effect.
Remembering that the Tone Shader is just like the Light Shader. It's got all the same properties, except it applies shadow instead of light.
Now back in the Open GL view, in order to carve shapes out of this coin, I'm creating a new colour especially for drawing in what will soon be the carvings. Now the colour is bright green for now, but later I'll make it invisible.
Oh incidentally, I've drawn the coin base on the Colour [Art] sub-layer. I'm adding the carving art on the Overlay sublayer. Just to keep them separate and easy to change if necessary. So now that I've drawn a simple little design for the coin, I'm going to use this art to carve out these shapes. Bearing in mind here that I want the green areas to be carved out. And anything that isn't green will remain raised. All I need to do is go into the Normal Map properties and scroll down to the Override Modeling by Colour section here and click on Add Colour.
My scene palettes are listed here, so I'll just need to select that bright green, so Harmony knows which colour to carve with. We can kind of see the effect, but it's obscured by that green colour. So I'm going to go into my palette and turn its alpha down to 0. And there's the coin. I can now move the Light around and see the Volumetric Light effect working. I can also now adjust the depth of the carving, using the Carving-Adding depth slider. A value of 0 is the deepest carving, whereas the value of 100 doesn't carve at all. And you can add other colours for more complex carvings with multiple depths.
Here I've used the coin colour itself with a depth of 50. So I can have higher and lower values for more detailed carving.
Now to do this for a character is exactly the same process.
You can create eye sockets, cheeks, brows and noses using colours that add carvings and bumps to the Normal Map. For this character, I want to add hollows for his eye sockets, bumps for his cheeks and some shiny lenses on his eyes that reflect the light source. To the Normal Map properties, I've added the skin colour and set it to a depth value of 50. So they'll let me carve hollows from the skin with values under 50 and add bumps to the skin with values over.
Now just a reminder that these colours are using the Normal Map values above, which are very soft and they give these smooth subtle contours to the character. But for the eye, I need sharper contours. And because it's a special case, I'm putting the eye on its own layer and I'm going to give it a separate lighting setup, just so I have maximum control over important attributes, like the contour height, the smoothness and the reflectivity.
Now when you're doing this, finding the right effect is just a matter of being in Render mode and refining your Normal Map and light values. It's also a good idea to constantly move your light peg around and watch how it looks with different light angles.
Next: A Cutout Rig