In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a scary Halloween card! As usually we will use 3ds Max to create all the necessary 3D objects and Adobe Photoshop to post-process the image. So, let’s get started!
Final Image Preview
Halloween Card Tutorial
Open up the Photoshop. Create a new document that has 1000×707px. I chose these values because the standard A4 sheet of paper has the same ratio (210×297mm). I have just decreased the height and width to 707px and 1000px and then rotated entire canvas by 90 degrees to make it horizontal.
Go to ‘View -> New Guide…’ and create a new vertical guideline in the middle of the image (type in 50% and hit ‘OK’). We’ll create front side of the card on one half and the back side on the other half. It doesn’t matter which half will you choose for each side because you can easily swap them later and print as you like.
Before creating anything 3D let’s just draw everything that we’ll need later. I’m talking here about a shape that will be used to create pumpkin’s face. It’s quite simple. Just grab you pen tool and draw some scary face. Then click right mouse button and choose ‘Make Selection…’. Afterwards create a new layer and fill the selection with black. Save your face as an separate *.jpg file.
Open up the Adobe Illustrator and paste there the image you’ve just created. Go to ‘Object -> Live Trace -> Tracing Options…’ and hit ‘Trace’. Once you do it your drawing will become a vector shape. Save it as *.ai file (choose the oldest version of an Illustrator because 3ds Max usually has some problems with the newer ones).
Open up 3ds Max. Go to ‘File -> Import…’ and import your vector shape from the previous step. Delete everything that you don’t need (borders for instance) and extrude your shape by choosing ‘Extrude’ from the modifiers list.
Now it’s time for a pumpkin. It’s a very simple model so I’m not going to post here detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create it. Just use a sphere with 64 segments, flatten it a bit and use ‘Edit Poly’ modifier (select some edges around to scale them inwards) with ‘Scale Tool’ to make it look like a pumpkin. The upper part of the pumpkin can be created using ‘Extrude’ and some basic tools like ‘Move Tool’, ‘Rotate Tool’ and ‘Scale Tool’. Add it a couple of modifiers like on the image below to make it differentiated. Once you have your pumpkin done scale it down to 97% holding shift key and go to ‘Create panel -> Compound Objects -> Boolean’ to cut it out of the bigger pumpkin.
Hit ‘M’ and choose the first material slot. Now follow the screenshots below to create two materials. Don’t forget to assign it to your pumpkin. Also, remember that you have to give apropriate polygons material IDs in order to use Multi/Sub-Object.
Place your extruded face shape as I did inside of the pumpkin. Go to ‘Create panel -> Compound Objects -> Boolean’ again with pumpkin selected and choose your extruded shape to cut out the hole. You should now have
Once you have your pumpkin completed create a ground plane and a wall behind it. For lighting create a spot light above the pumpkin and turn its shadows on (I suggest to use VRayShadow). Also, put one omni light inside of the pumpkin. Use VRay as your rendering engine. I turned global illumination on as well as environments. You may also try to render it using HDRIs.
Paste the render into the Photoshop. It’s a bit empty around so I suggest to use a paper texture for the background. I’ve downloaded mine here: http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/free-high-res-grungy-paper-textures. Paste it into the Photoshop and desature it as well as make it darker by going to ‘Image -> Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast…’. Now place it on top of your render but you’ll have to use an alpha map for you pumpkin in order to cut it out and paste it on top of your previous render and the paper texture. This way the texture will make entire scene more diversified except disturbing the pumpkin.
Once you’ve done it all it’s time for details. Create a huge circle using ‘Elipse Tool (U)’. Open up layer styles and turn on ‘Outer Glow’. Give it a fairly high size and a white color.
Create a new layer and draw lots of small white dots on it. Go to ‘Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur’ and blur it with angle set to around 78 degrees and distance to 999 pixels. These dots are going to simulate volumetric lights. I’ve also added a text sating ‘Have a Scary Halloween’ at this point.
Finally, I’ve added some spider webs. I found that free vector shape on the Internet.
That is all for now. I hope you like it. Happy Halloween!