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The Monkey King
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The Monkey King

Dani Marti
by danimarti on 27 Jan 2021

Hi everyone! I started working on a new character, the Monkey King.

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Update - 5 Mar 2021

Inspired by the Balinese Culture this is my interpretation of Hanuman, The Monkey King. His weapon is a Keris, both weapon and spiritual object, the Keris is considered to possess magical powers. For this weapon is very important the blade, the handle and the sheath. And finally I added a plumeria flower in his ear, the plumeria is used in ceremonies and offerings. The white and red colors of the flower match the colors of the Indonesian flag. All Sculpted and modeled in Blender, textured in Substance Painter and rendered in Marmoset.


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Update - 26 Feb 2021

Hi everyone, today I have been working on facial expression and pose.

The saliva material is working but I think it can be improved.

By the other hand, rendering with fur or without it changes so much the character... It looks more evil without it, isn't it?


Update - 25 Feb 2021

Today I have been working on my textures and fixing the fur that was overlapping some areas of the armor and accessories... I think this step is almost done, so I will be moving forward to pose and start making weapons. 


Update - 23 Feb 2021

Hi everyone! Today I have been working on the pose, I'm not a rigger nor animator, so this was very challenging for me even using references.

So far I think this is the pose (or very similar) I'm going for... Next it's going to be texturing, polishing the pose and adding some facial expression, and then create some cool weapons for this guy... still lots to do...

I started to texture my character. Here are the first renders testing skin texturing...

I used Substance Painter for the textures and Marmoset for rendering.


Update - 17 Feb 2021

I fixed details in the hair and fur in the head and added the rest to the body. I feel there are some areas that need some work, especially some transitions from hairy to bald... Those are hard cards not hair particles.


Update - 16 Feb 2021

Today I started to play with hair, I'm making my hair with "hair cards" ... This is very early in the process but I think it's a good start.


Update - 15 Feb 2021

Today I finally finished my low poly. I separated all my meshes by materials and I'm ready for texturing. I won't spend a lot of time in the body because it will be mostly covered by fur.

First render of my low poly with maps in Substance Painter.


Update - 12 Feb 2021

Hi! Today I have been working on optimizing the Helmet mesh. The High Poly was around 5,300,000, Mid poly at 78,000 and the final Low Poly at 27,000. Still very high for an accessory, but I don't think I can't get it lower without losing too much detail.


Update - 11 Feb 2021

Hi everyone! This week has been very slow process, I have been retopologyzing and baking my maps. It's still a work in progress, I would like to optimize much more my models to lower the poly count, especially the helmet that is still crazy high. This is how it looks so far...


Update - 5 Feb 2021

In this update I have been polishing the armor pads, added more detail and worked on the helmet and details.


Update - 4 Feb 2021

Today I started blocking out the armor, accessories and adding some detail...

I still need to work on the helmet and weapons...


Update - 3 Feb 2021

Today I have been working on clothing in Marvelous Designer.

I made a Sarong as you can see, next step will be retopology and modeling some armor for the upper body.


Update - 2 Feb 2021

I have been working on the mouth and teeth. I'm planning for the final render a pose where the character will be showing a very aggressive attitude with the mouth open.

Here are some references. Again I'm trying to blend monkey and human features.

My high poly sculpt

My low poly model


Update - 1 Feb 2021

Following the idea of blending human and monkey features I enlarged hands and feet but keeping the human anatomy.

Then I started the re-topology. High poly had 5,510,762 faces (triangles), low poly has 5,690 faces (quads).

And I unwrapped my model for the UV, this is just the body. I plan to split my model in 4 materials, body and mouth/teeth/tongue, eyes, hair and finally clothing and accessories. I made the face much bigger because I want to make some close up renders of his face, and I want to have a higher resolution. By the other hand I laid up all my islands following the same direction to avoid issues later when texturing.

I baked my maps in Marmoset. So far it looks like maps are good ...


Update - 28 Jan 2021

In this update I fixed a little bit the proportions, specially the distance between eyes because although monkeys have smaller eyes and they look closer to the nose, I'm trying to blend human and monkey features. My main monkey reference is the Macaque, typical monkey in Bali, not the chimpanzee which has more similar features to humans.

Then I started to add more details to the face and body such as wrinkles and skin details. Those details are helping to sell better the concept, I think once I start to add hair that will help even more...

Hand Details

For the hands, I decided to look at gorilla hands as reference. Macaques have very small hands and don't fit so much with the style I'm looking for. So again, mixing human and monkey features...


Update - 27 Jan 2021

Hi everyone! I started working on a new character, the Monkey King. It’s a character I’m making for the Art War 5 contest from Cubebrush (here is the link if anyone want to join the contest: https://forums.cubebrush.co/contests/art-war-5)

Here are some of my main references. 

That’s a real statue from a Balinese Temple. I will use it as inspiration for my character.

I started sculpting the face. It has been challenging because I want to make an “humanoid” monkey man, so mostly keeping the human anatomy but with monkey features. I don’t want my character to look like I attached a monkey head to a human body. I have been smoothing some of the strong features of the monkey and mixing it with the human anatomy. Here are the results so far…

Monkey Head Reference

My Head sculpt