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by PaulVarious on 4 Nov 2023

With great pleasure I present you "APO". Check out the whole post to discover the key steps in creating this piece! Hope you like it!

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With great pleasure I present you my last project done following Nikolay Naydenov's tutorial. It was based on the concept "APO" by ArtofMaki (

I worked on it focusing on consolidating my workflow trying to improve as much as possible. I'm responsible for all 3D aspects and, in this post, I am going to show the main steps in creating this character.

Hope you like it!

As reference I tried to use only the material offered by Nikolay's tutorial. I focused on obtaining a silhouette as similar as possible to the one of the starting concept while trying to get a realistic output in terms of proportions.

I sculpted the entire character in Zbrush. For the hard-surface parts, such as the weapon and the armor pieces, I mainly used the Z-modeler brush. 

I started by creating the blockout with big simple shapes and then added more details following also some of the Marco Plouffe's (Keos Masons) techniques.

You can see some examples of my approach below.

I created the character's hair using Xgen in Maya. 

I started by sculpting a basic shape in Zbrush. Next, I imported the shape into Maya and utilized it as a point of reference to create curves. These curves, in turn, served as the basis for generating the Xgen's guides.

For the final shading I exported the UVs of the hair into Photoshop where I created some simple gradients, paying attention to the direction of the hair.

I sculpted the head in Zbrush. I started with a sphere and then added the primary and secondary shapes while increasing the sculpt definition with Dynamesh. I used the R3DS Wrap tool to apply the head mesh from the 3D Scan Store and added the last details with the help of brushes and alphas. 

Once ready, I used the model in Substance Painter as the High Poly to bake all the necessary maps such as AO, Normal, Curvature, Thickness and all the others maps which have proved to be very useful during the texturing process.

I focused a lot on the textures of the skin and took inspiration from Jared Chavez's workflow to create the textures of the subdermis.

I rendered the character in Marmoset Toolbag 4. Ray Tracing feature helped to bring out the best quality renders. I experimented with different settings and lighting until I got the desired result.

You can see more breakdown images below.

Thank you for watching!

If you want to check out my other works don’t esitate to visit my Artstation profile.

All the best, Paul Various

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