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THE SAGE OF THE FOREST
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THE SAGE OF THE FOREST

by Rafa95 on 26 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Original creature, incarnation of the tree known as Yggdrasil, based in norse mythology. With a really interesting history background that will transport you to fantasy and help you understand its own design.

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THE SAGE OF THE FOREST

Character i came up with inspired by norse mythology, but reinterpretating it in a completely new and original creature with his own mythological background.

Yggdrasil was considered to be an inmense tree in norse cosmology, which held 9 worlds spread through its branches and connecting  them at the same time. This premise, made me think about something, how was order  maintained over this huge universe? . In every mythology, from greek to egyptian,  gods incarnated as animlas or human beeings to interact with their creations, so, why couldnĀ“t Yggdrasil, an all mighty  tree, appear personified as a creature?, so hi could walk through the 9  worlds, and enjoy what they had to offer. This  hypothetical creature whose characteristics would remembered of an anthropomorphic beeing but with resemblance of  his true nature as a tree, with roots and branches through his body. It was with this  appearance he visited regularly each corner of his branches, getting to know  every creature, element and land that composed them. 

Some people claim having  found him inside the forests, but just reaching to see him for a few seconds before desappearing from their sight, this is assumed to be because forests are the pleaces were he felt most confortable and relaxed, and were he could interact with the animals, been those the purest souls. As his ultimate goal was to order this universe, he proceed to leave one of the mandrakes that grow on his back branches, and plant them in the ground wherever he found trouble through the lands he visited. An interesting fact about the Sage of the Forest is that he carried a wooden staff helping him to walk , crowned by 9 stones representing each one of the world, which shinned depending on the world he was in at the moment.


PROCESS. SCULPTING.

Sculpted  with Zbrush in a T-pose. I decided to represent him as and old anthropomorphic man with roots around his body and branches growing from his back and head, his limbs ended as roots too.  Adding some lines through his body as a kind of  driud motifs to enrich the magical image i wanted to transmit. Mandrakes grow from his back. 

All this design  elements are justified in the summary above. 

PROCESS. UVs AND TEXTURE.

I made the UVs in Maya and handpainted the textures with Substance painter.

When i finished Collegue, i started working as an scenic painter, creating sets and props for theatre plays, musicals and operas, where i had to handcraft multiple finishes just with color and texture, so i decided to incorporate this experience to the process of this current project. Based on trees, rocks and other forest and nature elements i chose the character colors, as for the eyes i used a black sclera as some animals have, which results really stiking when looking at them, whereas the iris were thought after the ones of the most important person in my life, which by chance  are the same as the color of Midgard, where we live in.

Including all this personal details in a character is something that i think every artist should try, to transmit their own soul to their creations, is like giving life to them.

PROCESS. XGEN HAIR.

This was my first experience with Maya Xgen, and i learned a lot from it. I will surely  work with it in the future. 

I tried different hair colors, like ginger, due to his norse origin, but finally i decided to use grey and white, because of his ancient age.

PROCESS. FINAL RENDERS.

The ilumination is thought to represent the Sage  appearance from inside the woods in the forests, with a faint light. Like people normally reach to see him.

FINAL VIDEO.

Includes render passes and turntable of the character.


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