Lucas, The Boy

Lucas, The Boy

Daniel Goh
by danielgh on 21 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Lucas, The Boy is the character I worked on for Pit | CGI Animated Short Film.

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Lucas, The Boy. Protagonist for "Pit" a Student animated short film.

I was the character artist in charge of Lucas for this project. I went through the entire pipeline from Concept Sculpting, ZBrush Sculpt, Retopology, UV, Texturing, Shading, Grooming and the overall Look Dev!

Concept Sculpting

In the very first week of pre-production I started with compiling a bunch of sketches done by the Illustration team and going through them and identifying things that would fit the character. I also put down notes for various things and compiled the references that I thought would be helpful.

There were some things that "survived" through the process, like short pants, messy hairs and a plaster somewhere on the face. But there were things that didn't make the cut like the oversized hoodie.

These were the concept models and progress during the Pre-Production stage. I was still unfamiliar with Lucas as a character, but as time progressed I slowly added more and more details to the character model until it is what you see now! I also received many orthographic views and worked closely with Illustrator Character Artist, Leonard Ricky Santoso which really helped in improving my final 3D Zbrush sculpt!


The first "groom" started with me experimenting with a few methods. I initially began with Geo-to-Maya Hair 2 using hair cards. It was easy to use but I quickly realized that it wasn't gonna work out as Lucas had curly/wavy hair which was hard to do with the tools I had. So I had to quickly learn XGen (as I had no prior knowledge of XGen before this at all).

I learnt the basics of XGen in a night and continued tweaking the basic groom the next day, taking about 10 hours just to get a "basic blockout" (ah good times). I then just kept improving the groom guides until I was satisfied and it looked right.

Post Production

After pre-production, I still felt that Lucas wasn't "there" yet and that I could still push the visuals further. 

So I spent TONS of time reading up on VRay materials and watching countless XGen tutorials to hopefully further my knowledge to make the final model look better. I also tweaked the eye shaders and further improved the quality and details of various things like his shoe, clothes and skin shaders.

I also decided to add 2 different texture variations for Lucas. I wanted the audience to also see the visual progression/difference of Lucas from the beginning of the film to the end.

These are the texturing details up close. Textures were fully done in Substance Painter and exported with 4K Maps (better more resolution than less).

And finally,

Here is Pit! We also submitted Pit for The Rookies Awards 2020. Be sure to hit the high five there too if you really liked it! 

Thank you!

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