Creature Demoreel - Stefan Klosterkötter

Creature Demoreel - Stefan Klosterkötter

Welcome to my entry for the Rookies Award 2022! I like to share with you my demoreel which I created last year with a focus on texturing. It sums up my VFX education at PIXLVISN media arts academy.

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With the following I would like to give you some insights of  the student projects I worked on during my 18 months of VFX education at PIXL VISN media arts academy.

Fascinated by the moving picture my whole life I developed a ongoing passion and strong motivation to work in the VFX industry professionallyDuring my studies, I got into the fantastic world of texturing and decided to specialize in this discipline. The attention to detail and the story behind every single Asset is what exites me the most.

Feel free to check out my entry from last year as well where I already covered the first of my demoreel projects

The Stegoceratops

The idea of creating a dinosaur for my Demoreel was born early on since these creatures fascinated me ever since. In addition to that they feature surfaces of particular interest from a texturing perspective like scales, leathery skin, osteoderm plates or gigantic teeth and claws. 

animations created by Isabel Wanner (first) and Mrinal Soni (second)

Pose created by Jacob Döhner 

Concept | References 

looking for a sutible concept I found this amazing concept by tapwing which inspired me a lot. I love its proportions, posture and color variations. First I did  an extensive research and tried to figure out where the different parts of this fictitious dinosaur are coming from. 

concept of an reimagined "stegoceratops" by tapwing 

The fictitious Dinosaur is a combination of the three genera, the Triceratops, the Stegosaurus and the Turanoceratops

Modeling | Topology | UVs

Even tough my focus is on texturing I decided to also include the modeling process since it’s vital to understand the close connection between modeling and surfacing. In my opinion it’s a big plus for a texture artists to have a solid understanding of form and anatomy. 

matching the reference: I tried to align the skeleton with the concept to get the proportions right 

constantly checking the silhouette view in ZBrush is a great way to make the creature work as a whole

I approached the dinosaur modeling by first creating the skeleton then attaching a muscle system to the bones and finally adding the skin on top. It’s a time consuming process but adds a lot to the realism and believability of the model. This workflow is inspired by the amazing artist Gael Kerchenbaum.

With a model which has all the primary forms in place the process of crating a good topology and UVs comes next. This is a important stage which shouldn’t be rushed since having a topology and UVs makes you life so much easier later on. Therefore I brought the model with the new UVs and topology back into ZBrush and reprojected the sculpted detail on it.

In a second pass of sculpting in Zbrush I added more surface detail to finally come up with the model wich I used for texturing


Before starting with the texturing process, I like to do a detailed plan to break down all the tasks and try to foresee any upcoming issues. 

For this creature I used the amazing texturing xyz scans to drive the displacement details

Rigging | Animation

For this project I had the pleasure to team up with my amazing fellow students. 

It was very a very cool collaboration with Kerstin Tillmann doing the dinosaurs Rigging. Especially for the modeling it was so nice to get constant feedback for creating an rigging friendly topology. 

Animations were created by Isabel Wanner and Mrinal Soni. The posing of the model for the Titel render was created by Jacob Döhner

Dragon Vs Lizard

For this project I joined Jacob Döhner who created a very cool Hunting sequence featuring a dragon and a lizardlike creature for the texturing of these two creatures. For more insights of the development process of this project please feel free to check out Jacobs entry too. 

I found this project particularly interesting because it features two creatures at the same time. 

Since the models were already given I could start right away with the texturing process. The two creatures are coming from Ara Hokhikyan included in his  rigs on Gumroad.

It was a lot of fun to brainstorm about the creature's appearances. I not only thought about which textures could be used I also took the environment they are living in into consideration.How does this sparse, rough and rocky landscape shape the appearances of their inhabitants ? What will appendages like horns and teeth look like. 

For creating the Lizard, the Prey of the Dragon, I looked at frogs and lizards since I imagined him to live in a wet and shady environment as well as having some kind of camouflage skin fitting the environment to be protected from airborne predators like the dragon. I imagined the lizard to live on rocks and in caves hidden away from the sun, therefore having a pale greenish and wet looking skin surface. It's a lizard like, hunched creature moving on all fours equipped with sharp claws and teeth as well as defensive spikes on its back. 

The Dragon, majestic, mighty and powerful is unquestionable the strongest being around. Despite this he also has to deal with this rough mountain environment. His scales are worn and broken in some areas and he isn't as massive as some of his kind. While texturing the dragon I had animals with scales like reptiles as references. 

For the shot Ivan Pechalin was responsible for lighting and compositing. The environments were done by Jacob Döhner and Tim Jagodka

Chester the Chimpanzee

For this project I was responsible for the texturing of the chimpanzee.

Laura Ludwig created the layout, lighting and compositing for this cool jungle shot. For a very nice breakdown of the chimpanzee project feel free to check out the entry of Laura

Jessica Wicher created the Grooming for the chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee model is a high-detail sculpt from Christian Leitner

reference board for the texturing

Thank you!

At this point I want to say thank you to all  all the people who supported me along the way!

A big thanks to Kerstin Tillmann, Laura Ludwig, Jacob Döhner, Ivan Pechalin, Tim Jagodka, Isabel Wanner, Mrinal Soni and Jessica Wicher for the amazing collaboration on these projects!

I also want to thank Christian Wachter, Fabrizio Meli, and Robb Innes who supported me during my time at  PIXL VISN!

thanks for your time and feel free to reach out to me for any further questions !

[email protected]

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