I am going to share with you here my experience regarding the making of “Ollie Shuteye and the Spooky” in ZBrush. I hope that you will learn something interesting!
The idea about this work sprang from my son’s stunned look, when I showed him an ant…Such a simple thing! Life is the most real inspiration! And so to my mind came up Ollie Shuteye, who with his little flashlight is showing to the Spooky the land where the children live!!!...
Chapter 1 Modeling:
Step 1 - Sketch
In the beginning everything starts with a sphere. So that’s what I started from as well. The most convenient part in the initial modelling for me turned out to be dynamesh in zbrush. I have two stages of work while modelling. The first one I called the sketch. During this stage I modelled the silhouette as a whole and the basic form of the character or the composition. Once I’d done the sketch, I chose, while they were still in dynamesh, to change their poses, because they wouldn’t be rigging in any other animation program. After their composition was ready as a whole, I moved to the second stage.fig001
Step 2 - Dynamesh/Zremesh
Holding the separate parts on separate layers, I duplicated each one of them (for example the head only), after which the second mesh was Zremesh to the lowest possible level of resolution of the polygons. Subdividing it at least to level 5, I left only two objects included – the original one / dynamesh / and the new one with the new retopology and on each one of the levels from 1 to 5 I gave a project from the dinamesh object to the object with the new retopology through the use of NoiseMaker and FiberMesh.Fig002
Step 3 NoiseMaker
By using NoiseMaker in ZBrush one can achieve amazing results with an excellent effect and fast ‘modelling of a given surface through the use of Alphas. In ZBrush Centra there are good enough Alphas. Just experiment with the slides. Use a particular Noise and then add on top of it another with a different size and mix them. You will see that experimenting could result in various interesting things. If you don’t like any of them, just remove it and add a new thing. And don’t forget before that to make UV in the UV master in ZBrush. Thus Noises, which you add with the UV button included in NoiseMaker, will spread out evenly along the mesh.Fig003
Step 4 FiberMesh
After placing Mask on the spots where you want to have Fibers, I personally always start with the basic Fibers from ZBrush, after which I experiment with the slider button, as the main parameters which I use are ***1089;***1072; Lightbox/Fibers/Modifiers/-maxFibers,Length,coverage,gravity. When I find that something is interesting I save it and make a separate lear with the next fiber. Thus the hairs become various and interesting. In nature there is nothing identical. In the same way by using FiberMesh are made the fireflies and the dots. There are certain, more specific settings there though.Fig004
The same is with the grass. With Zremesh don’t forget that, there’s a very fast and good rounding of the forms. As well as with the deformation tab Relax/Polish/Smooth.
Step 5 Bump/Alpha
I use it very often for the modelling of the bump of the given Mesh Alpha, created by photo reference, as well as ready brushes from ZBrush.
By changing the button of the brush from freehand to drag, don’t forget to separate the different parts of a particular Mesh into groups. By having groups, it will always be easier to work with modelling as well as with texturing.Fig005
Chapter 2 Textures and polypainting
Step 6 polypainting
I very rarely use a photo when creating the texture. I prefer that almost everything is polypainting painted by hand. If I use photographs, then I always reduce the brush’s opacity and add Alpha, so that only certain effects could be seen. With polypainting, I stick to the nature’s basic principle – everything has its primary colour. Having applied it, almost every time the work with layers, which I can control as I reduce the freckles on Ollie Shuteye’s face or increase them. I use Alpha almost always as a type of dotting, spots or small veins in order to create the skin effect. In the end, I slightly sum the things up by using a common colour with very light intensity.Fig006