What is the most efficient way to add a lot of details?

Hi, I’ve just signed up on this site and recently started working on my portfolio. I wanted to ask what do you think is the most efficient way to add details to a model. I’ll give you an example: I have to model a dragon how do I add scales over the entire surface of its body so that it is realistic. I also attach my Wip below and I’d like you to give some advice: how can I improve it?

Immagine 2023-08-22 192641

Well surface details can be in different forms, but in your case its mostly scales and lizard skin. i recommend following Dan Katcher’s workflow from one of Zbrush summits. it was something similar to this:

use scale alphas in combination with spotlight, stretch the alpha on the skin and after you are finished just drag the scales out using a move or the displacement brush.

and if i want to just give some hints, remember that scales are most beautiful when they follow a flow and have a pattern. they have direction and grow and shrink in size as you follow that direction. try to look at real life lizards to get some idea of how it should look like. now Dan’s workflow allows for this, but it might be a bit time consuming.

u can also use contrast in deformation menu in combination with morph targets to amplify the details further.

i hope this helps!