Hello! Im currently a first year student at The Animation Workshop. This project was made over 4 weeks at The Animation Workshop. The brief for this was a Bipedal character rendered in Arnold as a clay model. This was the first time trying zBrush sculpting and it was an amazing learning experience.
Special thanks to Pat Imrie for showing me the ropes for zBrush and giving me feedback during the 3D phase and Kenny Anderson during the Concepting phase.
I started off in Maya making a base mesh, so that it had the correct scale and also having a solid base to work from in Zbrush.
I then refined the silhouette in zBrush, so that it had the correct proportions for my design and the muscles placed correctly.
In maya I would do the Retopology with the Quad Draw tool, so that the topology could bend in the right places, when it was time to pose. At this staged I also created all the Armor and UVs, so that It was ready to be exported back into zBrush
Last stage was Sculpt Detail and Posing. I exported the Low Poly base into zBrush. Split every Armor section into its own tool, so that I could control the subdivision level easier and the performance of my PC wouldn't drop to a grinding halt. I would then pose the character in zBrush.
Would I have to do it again I would have done the posing first, then do the split and done the final sculpt detail last.
Rendered in Maya with Arnold.
Back to Maya I imported the new posed mesh from zBrush and added the normal and displacement maps into the shaders. After this point there was a lot of adjusting of mesh and height values due to the displacement clipping some GEO. Especially the wraps due to them being too thin. My teacher suggested making them thicker for next time, that way I could avoid too much readjusting of GEO.
Below you can see the Concept Phase of this project.
I started off by writing down things I wanted for my character such as genre, weapons, media, story, anything that could help me start off the design process. Almost creating a little mini brief. The keywords I landed on was:
Knight - Infused Armor - Menacing - Cultist - Game Character - Boss type
Using a 3 color value scheme it was easy to throw a lot of different variations of designs down. I know I wanted a humanoid character, so that I could work on the anatomy during the sculpting part. So having a base I could design clothes from worked pretty well.
I really liked the cleaver behind his back, as it helped break up the silhouette. Unfortunately, I never got around to making the cleaver. Definitely a project for another time.
I picked the elements I liked from each thumbnail. I picked some animals to help with the shape design of his helmet as it would be a selling point of the character. I then fleshed out the design more, trying to keep the balance of shapes and not go too crazy with detail.
I ended up with the design you see in the 3 color variations. Picking colors for him was quite difficult, I like the two first ones, but I thought there was something special and unique with the last one, since you don´t see that scheme much. Also I think it sells the more decayed undead part better, while the first 2 is a bit generic in color choices.
While the design changed a bit during the 3D modelling phase I feel that the same feeling is still present in the 3D version. I learned a ton with this project and I'm taking everything I learned into the next one.
...and thats it!
Thank you for taking a look at my little project.