I grab some wip images when I was sculpting, I used these images for this Making Of, maybe I need apologize for my English first, I hope you can get what I mean with my bad English
The first thing I was doing was searching references, I googled a lot of De Niro's pics and evaluate which one will be the best for DeNiro's look, first time I saw the black/white one I knew it was the one I was gonna do, I think it has a very fascinating express and can capture people's eyes quickly.
Also I needed more reference especially at this age, it's not possible to find nice enough pictures on internet, so I decided to find a movie of him , Righteous Kill, and grab some very nice pictures of him ,especially the side view of him, and it's very close to his age in the black/white picture.
For My experience, you should select 1 or 2 or 3 pictures for the main reference, and other pics just for finding forms and shape connections. 'cause pictures from internet always have very different focal length, and may lead you to the wrong place.
In this case , I use those 3 for my main references.
Next I was going to start to work on it.
After the head was good, I started to wok on the hair.
I used maya hair system for hair.
The method I modeled hair was base on layers, first I did a general shape of hair with some polygon planes. and then I started to split those meshes to more detailed hair planes.
I analyzed the photo and found that at least he has 3 different kind of hair, 1 is black, 1 is grey ,and 1 is white, so there's at least 3 layers. After this I added some messy hair, and some little hair at hairline area.
You can see the main layers of hair I did:
By the way, the hair shader for black and grey were Vray hair shader3, but the white one is default hair shader. I found it's hard to get "white enough" look by Vray Hair shader3.
Next is texture.
I didn't spend much time on texture, 'cause it left little time there.
The shader for skin is Vray Fast SSS2 shader.
The last thing was lighting . It was simple setting, see blew:
Hope you like the work.
PS, here's a Gif of my sculpting process.
I have a Chinese version for the Making Of that I shared with my friends on my blog, if you're interesting in it, check it: