Wild Embrace: African Girl and Elephant

Wild Embrace: African Girl and Elephant

by lunayoon on 17 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

This is a portfolio created as a journey to become a digital sculptor, and it is the first project made at SF Film School. It is a piece that expresses the intimacy between an indigenous African girl and an elephant.

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I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase my artwork at the Rookie Awards.

I began my journey as a character sculptor by starting with an elephant sculpture. The sculpting process started with ZBrush, using a Sphere and then progressing with Dynamesh. Once the basic form was established, I worked on expressing the asymmetry of the ears and immediately began the retopology process.

I started the retopology process with 3D-Coat and used Maya's QuadDraw to finalize the retopology of the asymmetrical parts once the symmetric parts were finished.

After retopologizing the mesh, I brought it back into ZBrush and used Projection to transfer the details back onto the mesh. I then used Alpha Brushes to add finer details, which I created by extracting photos of actual elephants in Photoshop and making my own brushes.

Once the detailing was complete, I unwrapped the UVs in Maya and sent the elephant mesh back to ZBrush with UVs. From there, I extracted a Displacement Map and Normal Map.

I extracted Highpoly and Lowpoly OBJ files from ZBrush and used Substance Painter to perform Meshmap Baking. I then proceeded with texture mapping and focused on depicting the parts with mud.

Next, I used Maya's Xgen to create eyelashes, nose hair, and tail hair for the elephant.

That's how I completed the elephant sculpture.

After completing the elephant sculpture, I started working on creating an African indigenous girl.

 I used ZBrush's default woman model for the body and started the face with a sphere. I used Dynamesh to sculpt the basic form and then proceeded to do retopology work in 3D-Coat.

After retopologizing, I proceeded with color mapping. For this, I used 3D scan data to transfer the color to the body that I had created.

However, I didn't use the scan data as is, and instead, I did some retouching. I looked at actual photos of African indigenous girls and added mud tattoos on the face, dirt on the body, and burn marks on the skin. I also adjusted the roughness to make it look more realistic. I put in my best effort to make it look authentic.

African indigenous people have many colorful accessories. To create these, I used Maya extensively. I made use of Maya's mash feature, and added details to the mud-clumped necklace by taking it back to ZBrush. The rope and aluminum necklace challenged me, but I eventually succeeded in creating it. The hippopotamus horns were created in ZBrush and then decorated in Maya.

And I used Marvelous Designer to create the skirt. The skirt was simple, so it was easy to make. Again, I proceeded with texture mapping in SubstancePainter.

I added the final touches to the girl's curly hair, eyebrows, and mud tattoo. I adjusted the materials to enhance the realism and as a result, I completed the creation of the African indigenous girl.

After completing the character, I used MotionCapture and KeyFrame Animation to create a simple animation and scene. For the background, I used Megascan and SpeedTree.

To depict the sky and clouds, I utilized V-ray's new feature, which is a fantastic technology.

I would like to express my gratitude to SF Film School and its staff who made such a wonderful experience possible.

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