Archive for the ‘sculpting’ Category

Old king

February 21st, 2012 No comments

This sculpture is still a work in progress, but so far it’s been both challenging and rewarding. It is of course very much influenced by the works of Alan Lee and John Howe.

At the same time I was playing Skyrim a lot, and all the while I was thinking “man, I really wish they had put some more care into the characters’ design“. It’s as if they were trying to be as generic as possible (cf. Dragon Age, etc…), in order for none of the characters to really stand out. The job they did on the creatures and environment on the other hand is truly outstanding.

And I since I’m back from Frankfurt I wanted to thank again Crytek (Cevat of course, but also Chris and the gang!) for a very fine time at the studio. I will now proceed to reveal everything I saw there. Mmmh…? What do you mean “NDA”…? Oh.

Categories: sculpting, update, Zbrush Tags:

Detailing the Garthim

January 20th, 2012 3 comments

I’ve started detailing the Garthim model. It’s a lot of fun. I’m still learning Zbrush so I’m testing things and experimenting with alphas and different types of brushes. But I’ll get there eventually.


The interesting thing to note is that this is still the Dynamesh I started with. I haven’t had to break the workflow and retopologize anything (well, actually I started to but then I stopped when I realized that it wasn’t really giving me anything more). That in itself is a boon. Of course if this model were to be used in a game, then it would have to be retopologized for animation…


Since I sculpted each limb from a simple sphere I was able to maintain a fairly detailed surface on each separate element. Which would not have been possible had I tried to sculpt a single contiguous mesh. Along the way I also discovered (call me a newbie) that Zbrush’s entire display system is not at all based on the graphic card but rather on the CPU and memory. As a consequence you could sculpt in a window as big as your desk or small as a stamp post the refresh rate would be roughly equivalent. Color me surprised!

I’ll try to post some kind of “making of” pictures from the sphere(s) to the final model…

Categories: sculpting, update, Zbrush Tags:

Back to Zbrush (WTF!)

January 18th, 2012 No comments

So I finally relapsed into Zbrush. Yeah, I know. It still remains one of the most unintuitive and tautological programs I have ever used but I’m biting the bullet because of Dynamesh. It’s a new feature added in the latest version that fairly closely replicates the Sculptris paradigm: you don’t need to care about topology, you just sculpt away. So I started working on this Garthim sculpture (from The Dark Crystal), learning some of the brushes along the way. It’s by no means finished (I quickly threw a darkish material on it). I’ll try to refine it and paint it in the next couple of days.

Categories: sculpting, Zbrush Tags:

Fishboy in Mudbox

November 23rd, 2011 No comments

It’s official: Fishboy is now a Mudbox citizen! He still remembers Zbrush but overall he seems pretty happy in his new environment… 😀

Categories: sculpting, update Tags:

Retopologized frog

November 17th, 2011 No comments

Here’s the retopologized version of the frog sculpt. I split the UV tiles in two; one for the body, the other for the head and arms (the vacant space will be filled by the eyeball texture later on). Not too sure about the size yet (1K, 2K?). Surprisingly the detail and texture transfer from the original mesh to the new one went without a hitch. I like Mudbox more and more! :)

I’ll have to install the new CryEngine SDK version before I can try and play with real-time rendering. But that’s for later…

Categories: sculpting, update Tags:

Frog-thing texture done (?)

October 19th, 2011 No comments

I think I’m almost done with the frog-thing base texture now. I’ve picked up a couple of things while painting it, so it should make subsequent jobs easier. Just a precision here, since I was asked about it today: the texture is entirely painted by hand, layer by layer (no use of photographs)… :)

Categories: sculpting, update Tags:

Frog process

October 17th, 2011 1 comment

I wanted to start right away sculpting my frog-thing, and I didn’t want to spend any time modeling first something in Maya. So I started with a default human male model and shaped it into what I needed. Of course, at some point I had to send the model to Maya to rework the fingers and toes, but that was more or less painless.

I still have a lot to learn regarding the software itself, but I enjoyed the process. For example I had to stop for a while to create UVs (in order to be able to paint on the model), and I discovered after the fact that you can actually create automatically UV sets for your model, just with the click of a mouse! Doh… Anyway, the sculpt is far from finished and the topology will have to be reworked before it can be rigged…

Categories: sculpting, update Tags: