Michael Martel Character Art
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Michael Martel Character Art

Michael Martel
by michaelmartel on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

A collection of Characters I worked on over the Year.

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Foundation

Through a single decision, you taught me the significance of conviction and sacrifice. You offered me an alternate path in life. You are the foundation by which I build my character. For that, I am forever grateful.

I made this portrait as a gift to my Dad to personify the importance of his influence on me. The goal of this project was to nail down a likeness and capture realistic skin detail. I was able to achieve this level of detail through the guidance of Tran Ma and Miguel Ortega while attending Gnomon School of VFX.  

The mesh was sculpted from scratch in Zbrush. I used texture XYZ assets to paint the skin in Mari, while the clothing was textured in Substance. All clothing textures for all projects were made from base materials I built in Substance Designer and finished in Painter. The final render was in Vray Maya. 

Render Turntable 

Key Reference 

Pahaat Táraha' (The Red Bison)

This project was inspired by the game Hunt Showdown. I built a character through the aesthetic of this game while limiting the character design clothing motifs of the Pawnee Tribe. The goal was to accurately match the art direction of the game while making a believable yet dramatized presence. 

For example, a Viking character in games is a representation of the idea of what a Viking is. It's not a perfect representation of what an actual Viking is, may act like, or had looked like. It is the exaggeration of distinguishable features of said culture pushed to a level that may extend the viewer's disbelief. So my goal was to achieve that but within a different culture and within this game. 

Reference 

120,000 Polygons 

 The head was sculpted in Zbrush with guidance from both Glauco Longhi and Tran Ma. Clothing made in Marvelous Designer, Maya, and Zbrush. The Low Rez was built in a combination of Maya and Topogun. While texturing was done in a combination of Mari and Substance painter. The final render was in Marmoset. 

 The head was sculpted in Zbrush with guidance from both Glauco Longhi and Tran Ma. Clothing made in Marvelous Designer, Maya, and Zbrush. The Low Rez was built in a combination of Maya and Topogun. While texturing was done in a combination of Mari and Substance painter. The final render was in Marmoset. 

The Forgotten ICE Giants

This project was inspired by the cut location from Demon Souls. The Ice giants were not added to the game so I took on the challenge of visualizing what they may have looked like based on what little was shown of them in-game. 

I thought that if they lived up north to avoid the expansion of humanity perhaps they would have been able to avoid the same destruction as they did. Also since their arch stone can not be found maybe they collectively broke the stone and adorned it on their armor to gain power or protection of some form. Also since the bodies in Fromsoftware games tend to be slender I took more of an avatar approach to the anatomy than a stereotypical hulking giant. 

The Character was modeled in Maya, Marvelous, Topogun, and Zbrush with guidance from Damon Woods. All texturing within Substance painter. Final render in Marmoset.  

Thank you for checking out my work!


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