Ray Rossetti
by raro on 15 Sep 2023

The crocodile was my first Demo Project created towards the end of my studies at PixlVisn. I learned the workflow of painting Displacement Maps in Mari and sculpting voer and further details in ZBrush, before heading back to Mari for Texturing.

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The Nilecrocodile is my first attempt at a really realistic creature. I wanted to recreate this specific species with accurate anatomy to strengthen my sculpting and analysis skills, as well as get a deeper understanding of the Mari Workflow and using TexturingXYZ.

Responsible for Sculpting, Texturing, Animation and Lighting/Comp.

Rigging by Tilmann Eubel.

I started out with the Z-Zoo Alligator that consists of ZSpheres and reshaped it from there. Going from big shapes to smaller shapes. Once the base was set I concentrated on proper topology and UV Layout. The UVd model the got into Mari where I projected details of the Body with TexturingXYZ. Since there were no appropriate Scale Textures to use I sculpted the Head details by hand, as well as the arms and legs in addition to some detailing and changes in the body. The Mari displacement map was mainly used as a base to sculpt on top off and figure out proper detail resolution and the Workflow from Mari to ZBrush to Mari.

A great plugin for this process was the UDIM importer by Jake Harrell.

Mari Process

Like with the sculpt I started the texture form the gorund up. Getting the base colors down and adding details and grunge maps on top of each other. A lot of help were Masks I exported out of Substance Painter to get nice and quick variations and still have some kind of control over it. Throughout I always went back to revisit the model with proper references to check the accuracy of the sculpt, which is why there is a big difference between the current state and the earlier Base.

A fun challenge were the dots of the crocodile. A Detail you wouldn’T think of right away when thinking about a crocodile, yet they are quite present in all the refderences. I sculpted in some of them, but decided to put some more procedural dots onto the mesh.

In the final Reel I have the Environment Version of the Crocodile. Marc Peskoller was kind enough to share with me his own procedural ground shader which I changed to fit my crocodile setup. He also helped Layouting the scene.

Shoutout to my tutors James Schauf, Tom Herzig and Giorgio Lorenzetti for their feedback and guidance. And Zak Boxall for his helpful Creature texturing Tutorial, from which I was able to get a few tips and tricks for this project.

Over all this was a greta experience. I am happy how it turned out and excited to use my new knowledge for upcoming projects.

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