3D for Beginners: the Close-Up

Senior Year by Essentials

3D art can seem a little intimidating for beginners, and getting all the 3D models for the scenes you want to make takes time. Since perfect posing, collecting a library of 3D assets, and advanced lighting take a while to master, more than a few beginning 3D artists have thrown in the towel after just a couple tries.

The Close-Up Portrait is the perfect artistic exercise for beginners and relatively new 3D artists. Close-Ups give beginners all the opportunities to make a meaningful piece of art, but don’t require tons of 3D assets, advanced pose techniques, or a beefed-up system to handle the rendering.

Instead, Close-Ups are made out of simple ingredients: a 3D Character, Hair, and an Outfit. That’s it. Backgrounds are easy to add and adjust (many successful closeups use a totally dark background, a single color, or an HDRI for quick and easy rendering), which means you get to spend your time — and artistic effort — focusing on small details that help build your 3D skillset. A Close-Up asks for careful tweaking in the face of your figure, which helps you learn technical dynamics of posing without making you worry about custom building and applying realistic poses to an entire 3D figure.

The Close-Up Portrait is also a great way to make 3D art on a budget! Because a Close-Up is so specific in its focus, you don’t need to buy an amazing Environment or tons of Props to make a meaningful scene — instead, you can just use your favorite character, dress them in their best outfit, and get to creating.

A Closer Look at Three Amazing Close-Ups


by rrllim

About this Close-Up

Supermodel uses Sonja HD for Genesis 8 Female with Karla Hair for Genesis 8 Female(s) and a shirt to stunning effect. The subject (the model) looks at the camera face on, with impeccable lighting details noticeable on her hand, lower lip, cheekbones and particularly in her eyes.

How it works

This Close-Up employs photo-realism and what seems like an intimate moment between close friends. The subject addresses the viewer by making direct eye contact, and with careful posing looks like she was just caught off-guard and smiled before the camera.

The subject is the main focus of the image, and all other elements are supporting details, including the intriguing and dynamic pattern of her shirt, hair that is both pretty and unkempt, and a background that supports the figure visually.


New Character – Radu

By James47

About this Close-Up

Radu is a deceptively simple image featuring a character, beard, a trace of hair, and necklace. This Close-Up employs dramatic lighting on the left side of the face against a dark background to create dynamism, and to call attention to the subject’s eyes, which also use careful lighting.

How it works

This Close-Up employs a carefully posed face that shows a depth of emotion and a background whose contrast supports that emotion. The subject in Radu looks directly at the camera, and the quality of the details in the face — especially the mole/beauty mark — serve to make this Close-Up read like an IRL photograph.

The lighting, the astounding detail of the individual hairs and stubble on the subject’s lower face, and the subtle expression combine to form a photo-realistic masterpiece. And, because of the strength of the expression, realism is further pushed — this subject isn’t happy, and not entirely sad, but somewhere in between. That in between is what makes this image seem so human.


Viking Handmaiden

by RichardC

About this Close-Up

Viking Handmaiden shows a subject who’s dressed in historic folk-style clothing. The subject is neither smiling nor frowning, which nods to historic portrait photography, and her the reds and grays of her outfit work in a complementary nature to the greens and blues of the background.

How it works

While Viking Handmaiden may seem like a very complex image, it makes use of a character, hair, outfit, and HDRI. Aino HD For Genesis 8 Female is combined with Anita Hair for Genesis 8 Female(s), and finished with the Viking Handmaiden for Genesis 8 Female with dForce Cloth and Fur and a corresponding background image.

Here too, lighting and careful poses are used to create a mild tension that in turn makes the image all the more successful. The expression calls up historical photographs and folk portraits, and the folksy/viking/medieval feeling is reinforced with a period-inspired outfit and a background HDRI that supports the subject matter.


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Share your Close-Up with Daz!

Is your Close-Up ready for the world? If you have a character study, close portrait or subject you want to share, or want artistic feedback on your 3D art from our worldwide community of artists, the Daz Gallery is always open for submissions.  We can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

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