Javier Dapena Galán
by dopee on 15 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

This is Wednesday, my entry fo the Rookie Awards 2023, I felt in loved with the character when i saw the Netflix series and with the Jenna Ortega interpretation. Here is the process and the final result!! I really enjoyed doing it , hope you do to !!

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First, I started picking most face (fronts ,profiles, 3/4..:etc) references as I can, trying to maka the likeness the most similiar posible. Later , i picked the hand references, which made me learn how that "undead" skin works and finally the clothes one , that i used mostly to understand the patterns of the wool and the particular tie knot .

High poly Sculpt

The next step was the high poly model with all the skin details and breakdowns, that step was really really hard but really funny at the same time, Jenna Ortega haven´t got too much skin irregularities and that thing make difficult to highlight the volumes.

The hand and the clothes were extremely easier than Wednesday, for the logo of Nevermore Academy i used an alpha with a mask for extrude it later. I use a different technique for the wool of the sweather , i modeled all the topology of the wool spiral to later projecting it in the sweater.

Skin Details 

For the pores and the extremely fine details i have used different skin alphas mixed with the texturingxyz_fem20s_01_cut, making sure that the pores are not equal in all the faces and the skin get variations , always taking care of the brush strenght, because later I will export the DISPLACEMENT MAP in 8k.

Topology and Uvs

Next step was the most simple and "boring": The retopology and Uvs , i always do the retopo in Maya with the Quad Draw tool and Uvs whit Uv Editor. I divided the tools in polygroups and distributed they in 6 tiles.


And we arrive to the most artistic part of the process  in my opinion, to give color , textures and life to the character . I have been using Substance 3D painter since i started in 3d world and i am totally in love with the program. The Wednesday skin is fully hand painted playing with light skin shades, reds , purples and browns.

Thing, was strange to texturize, because it seems like it hasn´t got Subsurface Scatering, and the color of the  veins stand out on the skin, but finally i get it. For clothes, the 90% of the textures are procedurals mixing smart masks, smart materials, materiales and different patterns.


And we finally the most controversial, difficult and disgusting step: grooming with Xgen. Well, in this step i get the braid guides from the original topology of Zbrush, using Surface to Curves Tool and Curves to Guide Tool.

The rest of the hair is basically patience and moving the guides gently to get the hair form, using the most common modifiers of Xgen: noise, clumping and cut and sometimes mixing more than 2 or 3 cumplings and noises to finally get that realistic hair variations and clumps.


Final step before rendering and composting, the lightning is probably the most important phase of the whole project, for that character i have been using 4 points of light, the principal one in the left side, another one in the back to highlight the silhouette, the purple light for the right side of the face and the last point at the other side of the back which is activated depending if the hand is or not in the render.

For the global illumination i always use a SkydomeLight with an hdri and i like to decrease the intensity to 0.1 or 0.2 to focus on the auxiliar lightnings and get a more realistic ilumination.

Render proofs and Composition 

In the end, i create multiple cameras and take some renders in different planes to realize what are the best. When i have decide the planes i activate render passes in AOV's window, generally Ao,Specular Indirect, Specular Direct, Z-Depthz, Mask and the beauty one. I used Photoshop to composite the final image.


And after all the work , the final renders are here!! Enjoy 

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