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Making of Helena The Archer

Helena the Archer is a project I made for fun. The inspiration behind her came from Korean online game artworks, where beautiful girls dressed in armor and carrying weapons.


Helena the Archer is a project I made for fun. The inspiration behind her came from Korean online game artworks, where beautiful girls dressed in armor and carrying weapons. Of course I also add a little touch of my taste in this artwork. As for the falcon, I simply wanted to make a companion or a pet for her.
The softwares that I used are 3d Studio Max 9 for modeling, Deep Paint 3D and Photoshop for texturing and compositing , and also Vray for rendering.

Concept Design

These are my concepts for Helena the Archer. Few tweaks were done for the armor. There’s no particular concept or reference for the face, I just tweaked proportions until I am satisfied with it.
At first I wanted to make an eagle as her pet ( as you can see in this early concept ) but initially I changed it to falcon, simply because there is already many artwork involving eagles. I also wanted to make the falcon as a mount but dropped this idea and only made it as her companion.


The modeling part is the most time consuming of all. First I model her full body including simple hair and clothes. Then after some suggestions from friends, I tweaked the body into a better and more mature proportions.

The technique that I used were polygon modeling. I modeled half of her body and face, and then applied a symmetry modifier and Turbosmooth on top of my model.
For the armors, I model them from a single plane, and then I cut and connect the edges to follow the shape in my concept. Last, I applied a shell modifier to give a thickness to it.  Same technique applied to other props like her belts and straps.Hairs are done with plane and opacity maps. Eyebrow and eyelash are also done with the same technique. I find this faster than using hair and fur in max.


Basic texture for the face and the body were done with Deep Paint 3D. It’s really helpful to paint straight to the mesh, instead of having to paint on the UVs as we normally do.

The falcon were a very challenging part to texture. That’s because I had to paint all the fur into its body ( I didn’t use any images accept references for this process ). Again, Deep Paint 3D helps me to achieve this.The fur on the wings of the falcon were placed one by one. I made 2 textures for this, the light color for the bottom part of the wings, and darker one for the top.

For the armors, I bake a dirtmap using plugins called quickdirt. The results is a base texture with dark and light areas ready to process in Photoshop. Next process is overlaying the texture with images of metals and dirts. I also apply a layer of yellow to give overall color to the texture.Speculars are simply a desaturated version of the color(diffuse) map, but with an little adjustments on the brightness/contrast. Here’s how my model looked after the texturing is done.

Lighting and Rendering

The lighting is actually quite simple. I use 2 Vray Light positioned in front and side of her. I also use an HDRI images to get a good reflections on shiny parts as armors, bow, crystals, and eyes. Vray were used to render this scene. Again, nothing special on the settings. I just keep the settings as default, accept for the antialiasing and skylight settings. I changed the antialiasing filter into Catmull-Rom to get a nice and crisp rendered image, and giving an HDRI maps on the skylight and reflection/refraction slots. Here’s my final render without any post production editing.

Post editing

Post editing is a very important step in making this artwork. I compose the final rendered image with background that I painted in Photoshop. I also did some colour correction for the characters, giving her a nice and subtle green glow to match the background. Here’s my final artwork with compositing, and some detail shot of her.

About the author

My name is Marthin Agusta Simny. I’m 24 years old and I live in Jakarta, Indonesia. I work at Funline Studio as 3d artist, in charge of modeling and texturing characters and props for game. 3d have always become my passion and I always try to improve my skills by creating personal projects.



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Portfolio: http://3dsquid.deviantart.com
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