This is the first contest in which I am participating. As I am usually uncomfortable showing my work, I decided to overcome that self boundary and take part in the challenge. I chose the Lizardman concept, I took it as a personal challenge since I have never worked on a creature in the past.
Update - 18 Jul 2021
Last progress update before the renders. [Visible at the end of this post]
Once I was satisfied with the 2nd level of detail, I refined every part one by one with the final level of detail that I was aiming for. Since I wanted to have clean hard surface parts, I did retopologize the armors ( forearm armor, shoulder pad, shield, upper leg armors) using 3D Coat and subdivided them directly in Zbrush.
I also posed the little dude on the back in a more active way, and I tried to define his head better.
It was the first time for me to work on 3rd level of detail: skin. In order to achieve the skin detail, I purchase the Zbrush SKIN Brushes pack from Pablo Munez Gomez on Zbrush guides ( https://www.zbrushguides.com/zbrush-skin-brushes-pack/ ).
I tried to use the brushes however I could and added the wrinkles at the very end. It was also important for me to use Layer so I could control the intensity of details and easily assess the need for more or fewer details.
And some final progress view between last update and now.
For the final renders, I decided to use Keyshot since it seemed the easiest way to get a high res sculpt rendered.
I also tried to use Polypaint which, in my opinion, gives a different look to the character.
I decided to include both Keyshot and Zbrush renders, since there were some differences within the colors between the two software.
Update - 2 Jul 2021
I'm pleased to showcase my progress from the past week.
As I mentioned in the previous update, I have started with blocking out armors a second time and creating the overall silhouette that I liked.
I quickly noticed that I wasn't going to be able to work long on an unposed character. Since I am not building a game-ready mesh, I decided that it would be wiser to pose it now, as some part of the armors deforms a little with the posing.
My process was quite simple and the images are self-explanatory, I decided to pose the body without any accessories first. And then, I added the armors and start defining them one by one slowly. This process takes longer because symmetry is off, but it needs to be done this way. Otherwise, posing can be a struggle without a low res version, some areas would be deformed and would need to be remade again.
You can also notice that I've only placed armors on only one side, my plan is to mirror at the very end when I consider it done, so I avoid making the same props twice as much as possible. I started using polypaint for the details on the armors, which will be extruded later on
Update - 23 Jun 2021
As I showed in the last update, I chose one block out and decided to refine the volumes of the body.
Before going into armors, I needed to lock the body (including anatomy, proportions, posture). In order to do that, I asked and received great feedback from my surroundings, mainly about the body posture, so it has been the biggest change.
In order, the images below are
1.Before receiving feedback
2. After feedback implemented
3. Reshaping the whole character
4. Zremeshed the whole character and created polygroups for easier muscle selection.
Let's now get into the most interesting stage of building a character for me: the 2nd level of detail. That's the stage where everything is coming together, where most of the work is being done, and where most of the fun happens for me.
So, once I was happier with the body, feedback being implemented, and the shapes being in a stage where they will no longer change drastically, I decided to start blocking the armors a second time.
On the side, I also decided to work further on the head and test out some skin texture, it's still very much a work in progress, but I am happy with the direction it's taking.
Update - 16 Jun 2021
New update today !!
I was so excited to start sculpting, I finally started off on the block-out stage.
When blocking out characters, I am usually aiming for 2 to 4 blocks out, this helps me to iterate on mistakes made on the previous block out, implementing missing volumes, and calibrate the proportions better. Each block out shouldn't take longer than 3 hours, it's supposed to be a fast-paced stage.
For this character, I made 3 block-outs and chose the 3rd one to continue further with, since I felt it was the most accurate in terms of silhouette and proportions.
I don't have a specific way of blocking out, I tried to use spheres and approach the whole body very theoretically, but I didn't like it and just got into pure sculpting.
From the chosen block-out, I am rounding off some areas, and defining them better, without going into details too fast. (Also the little guy got sculpted in the meantime !).
Then, I decided to place the armors as a first try, in order to have a better overview of the character and understand what could be efficient when I will actually be making it.
Update - 11 Jun 2021
I had to make the tough decision between the amazing concept of Princess Barin and the Lizardman. I decided to challenge myself with a creature and picked the Lizardman, with his funny little dude on the back.
I first started gathering references for anatomy. (As an addition to the Pure ref board, I have Anatomy for Sculptors and Michael Hampton, figure design and invention, open on the side)
Once I had some references, I decided to deconstruct the concept in 2D before starting sculpting.
My first sketch was to understand the volumes that flow around the bones.
The second sketch was more focused on bone structure where I tried to point the landmarks of the rib cage and the pelvis area first.