This was a long project that spanned two terms of 3D classes. I had no prior experience with 3D software before last September, so this was the project that really taught me a lot about Zbrush, Maya and Substance Painter in about 6 months. The classes were taught by Nenad Peric, a great teacher and a great guy.
(Scroll down if you just want to see the final results)
Me and my wife came up with the concept for this character together and I decided to surprise her by using it for my big 3D project, but I had no idea it would take that long!
She's an aspiring children's book Illustrator: Nina Ramos
The Zbrush Stage
I had some idea that this program was great from watching some videos, but I really enjoy how it feels to use it and how powerful the program can be.
I started my sculpt by blocking in using the orthographic view, but at one point of the process I decided to deviate from the concept a little. When I got to finalizing the hair, I used Dylan Ekren's HairTubes Brush on top of a base volume to add some clumps of hair. I also did some polipainting within Zbrush and found it extremely fun, and it added a lot to my sculpt.
Retopology in Maya
The winter term started introducing my class to Maya, we had another project that taught us about the interface and modeling here, and then moved on to doing retopology on our character.
Now this was a beast of a subject (and program) to start learning, I know I still have barely scratched the surface. After a while just using the program and studying the topic, the whole process started to feel a bit more natural (as we get used to the shortcuts and find out what tools we have).
After having some cleaner topology on my baby, it was time to mess around with some colorful checkerboard textures, put on some music and do these UVs, cutting our model into pieces that make sense so the texturing process would easier.
Textures in Substance Painter
Oh man, this program felt great to use. I used some generators to make procedural textures for snow on boots and pants, and I used an edge wear generator alongside a linear gradient to give the hair some color variety. I was extremely happy with the results from the program, but there was still one last challenge left after this.
Rendering in Arnold
I used a simple 3 light + dome light for my render. I set up a few cameras in advance and rendered a few views. Fun fact: The render took almost 2 days in my 'ok-ish' notebook, who would have thought, huh, at least now I know.
These are the final images, I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.
Thanks to everyone who read the full project, it has been a journey to make this, and I can't wait to do it again.
Here's a bonus project, the one I learned a bit about modeling in Maya
*This one isn't fully finished yet, I came up with the design and did a painting of it in Infinite Painter, then did some orthographic views to help me model it.