Creature Concepts - A work in progress
It has for sure been a few months since I have had a chance to organize a project to post, but here I'll try.
For about 2 months or so now, a friend of mine who works for a visual effects company asked me to join him, as creature concept artist, for a short film that will later be put out by his workplace and kickstarter.com. As I have only been using ZBrush for a little over a year, this represented a great opportunity to use ZBrush for initial concepts, and flushing out models for this task. I would love to mention more on the project, and it's story, but I will have to be a bit tight lipped for now.
Our first concept was something of a creature that would float along with tentacle like arms. So I made thumbs in PS, and started in on a body type.
After choosing a direction for the body style from thumbnail sketches, My friend (Art Dir.) and I chose to go along with the indicated 'D' pattern.
Since this creature character will more or less float in a plume of smoke, I imagined some tentacles and more or less a set of vestigial legs and arms. Still early at this point, and lots of room for play.
As I have come to learn over time and practice (a few user group meetings and tutorials I will thank later), I start exploring our head shape and thinking of the devices that will give the form a character.
More exploration, and lots of iterations come and go. We still had a lot of room to work on this concept as I push further.
After a few versions and turns, I do some checks and decide to play with a few materials and BPR render settings in prep for learning how to more proficiently use some of the Render, Material, and MatCap settings.
About this point, I have had a few different progressions going, but My AD and I really started to think that we were getting holed into a direction that was a bit too anthropomorphic, and so I then decided to gather an image board for ref rethink some of the elements one would find in Sea or insect shapes and textures..
The next three images (below) for example became an idea for the head to draw in more Insect/Crustacean like design.
At this point, starting to get comfortable with classic brushes like the Dam_Standard, Standard, Pinch, Inflat, Clay tubes and Buildup brushes. Using them to more or less speed sculpt Maquette designs in frequency..
Note---> I would love to continue sharing the other WIPs in this progression, but I have to stop and continue on a second post. Rather sorry for the long wording and large images in advance.
In the meantime, please feel free to comment as always and crits are welcome!
After about that last iteration, I changed up ideas again, as the art directions conversation changes again. I produce another head and make an idea board of that from a BPR render and a little Photoshop paintover to think over the effect half of our creatures head and about how much obscurity would be seen on film..
Important steps happen, and changes yet again happen as I keep trying to push away from initial thoughts of the design. So I go back to the drawing board, sculpting out a new maquettes. However, next time around I chose a workflow that involves using dynamesh and designing some of the body parts in different Subtools..
I managed to record a bit of the sculpt from near beginning.
After quickly generating armatures, I would as many of you know work from the adaptive skin subtool off the zshere.
Pt. 1 https://vimeo.com/42874662#at=0
Pt. 2 https://vimeo.com/42991238
The Above we keep in the rotation of possibles, but time still allows us to push and break away a few more times. The visual discussion again tries to derive at less of a human based creature like a demon, or Ghoul, and again heavier on a more combined animal look. Lofty tentacles stay as an element, and more scrappy to under-developed arms and legs.
Time is getting down to the wire, and I'm starting to want to nail down an idea that will turn into the final.
So once again, I actually turn to paper, and sketch out a few things and come up with lastly (below) an image that seems to have struck a cord with my AD..
And now currently, I am sculpting out this idea as a final model having only worked out the first half of the main body..
For those of you who are among the patient, I have been livestreaming this work in progress (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) to my channel.
This project is still current, but I will be posting more shortly. I again hope that you will bare with the lengthy post, as I am anxious to share and receive crits from all of you.. Thanks again!
Last edited by koro; 08-11-12 at 04:36 PM.
Great to see your process and development.
Really digging your sculpts. Great work.
I was actually trying to sculpt out the heads of the tentacles last night, but had an error and lost my recording of the sculpt. Which is a reminder when exporting movies, that when the movie is set to export, DON'T TOUCH IT! Lol. I had devised a movie that used shadow box as the source of geometry for the tentacles head, and then poly grouped, and dynameshed. Since there are two types of tentacles on the creature, I'll try and capture it again later when sculpting. Going to try out using curves in there as well.
Dude I love your work its amazing