There are a lot of talented artists on the internet - but Lance Phan is something special: he's a guy who does caricatures of random strangers....as 3D CGI Pixar-esque animated characters. And it's just as impressive as it sounds. Here are a few of the best ones:



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via @lance_phan



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And as a bonus for those interested, Mr. Phan described his artistic process like this:

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It seems there are many 3D artists and students on Imgur, my last post gets a lot of questions about the process so I'll give you some information in this post.

Because this kind of art is very complicated, I only create the visible parts, things that are out of frame or hidden behind the character are ignored. Complicated pictures like in a shop full of items or in the street full of buildings and people will take massive time so I'll have to pass such requests.

Software used: Blender, Marvelous Designer, Photoshop.

If you're a Blender user, you'll probably understand the following steps, if you're not a Blender user, I hope you can figure out the equivalent steps using your softwares

1 - In Blender, I sculpt dynamic topology the character in A pose (arms 45 degree straight down) and mouth open (it's way easier to sculpt the lips with the open mouth). When I reach a decent amount of detail, I retopologize the model into all quad mesh and unwrap UV

2 - Normally, I paint 2 textures, the skin color and the glossiness map and then use the textures in the skin shader. Sometimes, I paint a make up map and use it to mix the skin color with the make up color. You can see the node set up of the skin shader in the picture above.

3 - I use Blender's Rigify addon to rig the model, no weight paint, just the simple automatic weight.

4 - I animate the model into the pose of the picture, if the deformation look weird, I use a shape key to correct the deformation. Then export the model in OBJ format and the animation in PC2 (point cache 2) format. Then I switched to Marvelous Designer, import the OBJ and the PC2 files and proceed to sew the clothing. I'm not a tailor so I can only sew simple clothing, complicated things like massive wedding dress is beyond me. For simpler clothing, I just sculpt the whole thing instead of sewing in Marvelous Designer.

5 - I import the clothing from Marvelous Designer back to Blender to begin the hardest part: the hair. The whole process is all about selecting the right chunk of hair and use the comb tool to move it to the right place. Selecting the right hair is very tricky and require a lot of improvisation. At this stage, the hair preview in the 3D viewport look nothing like the result, so I can only guess the result and comb the hair with faith.

6 - It's time to create objects in the background. Trees and bushes look complicated but simple to create (only a couple of clicks) because Blender has a tree generating add on, man made objects take much more time because I have to create the detail manually. A whole car is way beyond the grasp of the cartoonize project.

7 - When the scene is ready, I move on to place lights and camera for test renders and set up post process nodes.

8 - I look at the test render, go back and tweak step 1 - 7 until I'm happy with the result. This part is not the hardest but it takes most time, the picture can never be perfect, there is always something to improve so at some point, I decided that the piece is good enough and move on.

9 - Set high quality render setting and render the final image. I guessed the setting so that the render takes around 1 or 2 hours.

10 - Finally, I edit the picture some more in photoshop, most of the time, I only apply a few color filter and a smart sharpen filter and it's done.




For more art by Lance Phan, follow him on Facebook and Instagram!