Hello!, my name is Vicente Sanchez, I am a 3D Character/Creature Modeller graduated from Think Tank, currently working at Industrial Pixel VFX, a Vancouver based 3D Scan Data Company. Here I would like to share some insights into the process of creating the “Demon Hound”, for this project I used ZBrush (Modelling/Texturing), KeyShot (Rendering).
The model I created is based on a concept by Anastasios Ginois (http://mavros-thanatos.deviantart.com/gallery/), a creature artist whose work I truly admire. I felt immediately drawn to the flow of form, pose and aggressive nature of this beast.
I started out using ZSpheres to quickly define the main shapes/silhouette, using mostly the Move, Dam Standard and a Custom version of the Clay Buildup (This is for the main Body; teeth, eyes, nails and backplates were added afterwards). Afterwards I subdivided the mesh a couple of times to define the shapes at a higher resolution, this allowed me to run ZRemesher and get a better mesh for further sculpting and refining anatomical features, which are crucial for believability.
Once the main body was blocked out, I started to add all the additional parts to the mesh. For the tongue I used ZSpheres then followed the process I used for the body. For the teeth and backplates I used Insert Meshes. Starting from a Sphere and using Dynamesh I created a basic teeth and Basic BackPlate geo, once the basic shape is done I run a ZRemesh to get new geo. Now we can create an Insert Mesh Brush, which allows dragging a mesh onto another surface, for this it is necessary to create a duplicate of the mesh and delete subd levels, then the Insert Mesh Brushes can be applied. Once the new geo is added we can hide the duplicate body and delete hidden, leaving us with the new geo we added, in this case the backplate and teeth. Afterwards once we have placed all the pieces, adjusting them as we go along using the transpose tools. For the eyes is the same process, only this time an external mesh was imported and from that the insert mesh for the eyes is created. UV’s are created for each piece using Headus UVLayout, one map per object was created.
Now that all the pieces are in place, It’s time to start sculpting in some finer detail, skin folds, small scars and other imperfections. For this I keep it simple and use ClayBuildup, DamStandard, Orb Cracks, Standard and Inflate. As the final step before posing I activate surface noise and add overall passes of variation to the skin, using a soft intensity and variations in the noise scale to avoid having the same even distribution.
For posing the Demon I used a ZSphere Rig, it is quick to set up, simple to use and allows for enough control to achieve any pose.
At an early stage I already had envisioned this demon as a thick skin creature, with scarred skin, the elephant and rhinoceros came to mind. Before beginning to texture I gathered references and resources for the process.
The first step was to define a base color and fill the entire object, from there on the texture was built up using different tools.
By assigning alphas to the standard brush and setting the stroke to DragRect, I could apply textures to my surface, this can be in different combinations, depending of the source being used. Fine detail was added using greyscale images, color detail using texture images, and also at the very end added a final pass in which the color image would also contribute to the fine surface detail in volume, all this by swapping on and off the RGB and ZAdd buttons. For the finishing touch I added a couple of grunge/noise alphas with the surface noise to give the entire body surface a slight variation.
Once the texturing was done, the maps were exported with multi map exporter for future use in Keyshot.
For the final stills I used Keyshot, which is well known for being able to handle big meshes and run quick renders. The process for this was quite straight forward, just using a translucent material for most of the parts, I assigned the corresponding textures, assigned an environment HDRi for lighting the scene, quickly tweaked some render settings and waited, but not too long… I took my renders into Photoshop did some final color adjustments.
Check out more of Vicente’s work on his website HERE