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Based on a concept by Xa, ‘Butterfly Girl’ was modeled using ZBrush and Maya, and rendered in ZBrush. While Ladislas didn’t originally intend for the final image to have a 2D feel, he felt while working on the sculpt that the graphic touch and the unusual elements of the design lent themselves well to a flat illustration.
Using the posterization effect combined with various tweaks in the materials, Ladislas was able to get almost the final result from ZBrush itself. He used a combination of the Skin Shade 4 as a base material and rendered straight from ZBrush using Sharpen in the BPR filters. For the beautiful soft effect, he added a glow (from ZBrush BPR filters) and the Wax material. All that was required from Photoshop in post was some erasing of the tree and adding a background color!
Check out the turnaround of the ZBrush sculpt and wireframe: