Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creature Week

Here's something I did last week. I wanted to create a creature portrait per day for five days using Zbrush and Photoshop.

I went to this Creature Design Workshop at FZD  last year and man it was awesome! The speakers were Neville Page and Ben Mauro. Neville Page! I was geeking out the entire time. He is one of my biggest inspirations. Go check out his website here:

and Ben Mauro's :

The technique I used is what Ben showed us and the workflow is very simple. It goes like this. You  sculpt something out in Zbrush based on one of your sketches. Once you feel like you're done (it doesn't necessarily have to be a very polished sculpt) then you render out a couple of passes using different materials (the default Matcaps and Standard ones)  and comp them in Photoshop and viola!

Here's my end result. Be sure to check out the Hi-Res images here: http://bit.ly/XmuZ5F

So it's four steps:

01. Do some sketches. It's the most fun part. Again, it doesn't have to be super detailed but usually if you do most of your figuring out at this stage it get's a lot easier later on. Which I should have done. Anyway, here're some thumbnail sketches and a color thumb. Speaking of which, one of the main reasons why I wanted to do this was so that I can be more familiar with colors. How I decided my color was by referring to an artwork or image that I really liked and use it as a guide for selecting my colors. There's still much to improve.

Thumbnails really help since you don't have to worry about the details.
Plus you can flip them around in all sorts of ways and come up with shapes you like.

02. Get your sculpting on. This is also a very fun part :)

03. Render out the materials you want. Most of the labels refer to how I used them in Photoshop and not the actual name of the material.

04. And finally you just press the magic button in Photoshop and you're done! :)

It's mostly playing around with different blending modes , painting and erasing stuff, adding textures and happy accidents. Let's not forget the most important of them all... Lens-flares! :P

Here's a simple progression
A photo of myself for reference.
I have a small mirror in front of me which I make faces at.
 I don't think it likes that very much :)

All in all a very good learning experience. Here's to less excuses and creating more monsters in the year ahead. If you have any critiques, suggestions comment below or send me an email. Bye!