Hi there, I am Donald D.G. Chen, working for Saint Jiabao, a Chinese animation and 3D technology development company. As a supporter of Pixologic, we strive to promote the use of ZBrush
technology in China. I myself is also using ZBrush to do creation and production. Now I would like to present some of my works for Dunhuang. I hope you guys like them.
The caves of Dunhuang (created in 4 A.C. – 14 A.C.), located in the west of China, have been recognized as world cultural heritage by UNESO. This group of works is digital restored statures
created for China Central TV documentation Dun Huang. Because ZBrush makes modeling and texturing so easy, I used it for all sculpting works, and it has made an important in the project.
Even though I still need to spend a lot of time studying while creating. I feel that sculpting a real stature by free hand is something really amazing.
Those are 3 statures in the most glorious No. 205 cave of Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang. From left to right they are: Bodhisattva, Sakyamuni and Kasyapa, all severely damaged because
of inappropriate deeds. All facial features and arms are damaged or lost, and colors are all flaked off or faded. Our task is to make complete and brand new in virtual space again, just like
the picture below.
First, we will draw a picture of possible targeted result. I used Chinese traditional writing brush to paint on Chinese paper. The damaged arms were intensively studied to determine the original pose.
Above are some of the details of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes No. 205. In ZBrush I used Projection Master to determine the coordinates of textures, arranged accurate positions
of them in ZApplink, and applied textures on the model in ZBrush to check position, sizes and directions.
The hair of Sakyamuni is in very complicated shape. I created a simple geometry in 3ds Max (lower right corner), and further refined it in ZBrush to final result. During the course,
I used I used ZApplink to interact with 2D software so that I can draw accurate masks to ensure good control of edges in ZBrush.
This is the curtain below the cushion, which is composed of multiple objects, and they are editable separately.
Kasyapa is the student of Sakyamuni. These are some details of Kasyapa. It is created in a similar process, the difference is I have applied some scanned hand drawings as texture.
This is the head of Sakyamuni. Penance have made him appear old, so I deliberately sculpted his wrinkles very deep, just like using a graver, and his courage and fortitude was well expressed.
The cloths of Sakyamuni are the most splendid and most difficult part. The outer part is called Kasaya, a patchwork outer vestment. The texture of the Kasaya is not created in computer.
I made a few tries and found only Chinese writing brush could help me simulate the wrinkles on the fabric, so I applied the paintings to the model.
In this picture you can see the polygroups of the Kasaya. This is a whole piece of fabric so I separated them into around 10 Polygroups so that I can quickly hide some of them when they block my view.
These are some details of the fabric. I have studied a lot of ancient Chinese sculptures; my conclusion is that Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes No. 205 are featured with very classic
characteristics, and the fabric wrinkles demonstrate supremely high artistic level.
Shoes of Kasyapa, I used ZBrush to adjust the details for the front and top of them, so they take on a very natural look.
This is erosion effect on Kasyapa generated by program texture. It will be better if I had time to adjust the level of the effect for each separate part.
Bodhisattva’s position is only lower than Sakyamuni, and had man’s appearance at the beginning, but later transformed into female-looking. Those are some details of Bodhisattva.
Just like other models, this one is created following the same modeling and texturing process. The head, body and cloths are all made in ZBrush, whilst other parts that need not to
be sculpted, like jewels, ribbons, hair and the platform are all made in 3ds Max.
The head of Bodhisattva is facing a little bit sideways, and it needs to be seamlessly connected to the body. I imported the upper part of the body as reference. Hair is separate and
only act as reference. After the face is completed, I will make another hair piece and install it with the face piece.
The legs, cloths and fabric on the platform are the more difficult parts. I spent a lot of time to process the order they are placed, and made various tries when sculpting. In general
more time is spent on thinking than on doing.
Skirt part which connects upper and lower body, has very nice shape that conveys beautiful rhythm.
This is the main stature in cave 285, carved in 6 A.D. Now the face part is severely damaged and both hands are gone. I added all details in ZBrush, and rendered animation in 3ds Max.
Face seems so calm and quiet. Some features are further refined in ZBrush.
This is the base model of the body. I tried to maintain the mesh even. First I drew the mask for the fabric wrinkle first, intrude them and then did some adjustments. This type of
wrinkle follows earlier style, which is very different from the one in cave 205.
Although head part need to be created separately, I still made a complete simple model for it so I can conveniently compare the proportions, but I left it simple. Sculpting an entire
character with a intensely subdivided single mesh will undoubtedly slow down the system, sometimes moving the viewport from the feet to the shoulders seem like climbing a hill.
This hand features the early elegant style. I am trying to retrieve the lost elegance and state of comfort.
I am very grateful for the handy tools that Pixologic has provided. One by one, ZBrush makes impossible things reality. The only thing I need to think about is, next step what I want to do.
Copyright Claim: Above works are created and presented by Beijing Saint Jiabao Digital Technology Co., Ltd., and have been authorized to Pixologic, Inc. Other individuals or
organizations shall not put them into use for any purpose without authorization from Saint Jiabao. All Rights Reserved.