Hello! My name is Vicente Sanchez, and I am a 3D Character/Creature Modeller graduate from Think Tank. Currently I am working at Industrial Pixel VFX, a Vancouver based 3D Scan Data Company. I would like to share some insights into the process of creating the “Demon Hound”. For this project I used ZBrush (Modelling/Texturing), KeyShot (Rendering).
The model I created is based on a concept by Anastasios Ginois, a creature artist whose work I truly admire. I felt immediately drawn to the flow of form, pose and aggressive nature of this beast.
Modeling part 1
I started out using ZSpheres to quickly define the main shapes/silhouette, using mostly the Move, Dam Standard and a Custom version of the Clay Buildup. This is for the main body. The teeth, eyes, nails and backplates were added later. Afterwards, I subdivided the mesh a couple of times to define the shapes at a higher resolution. This allowed me to run ZRemesher and get a better mesh for further sculpting and refining anatomical features, which are crucial for believability.
Modeling part 2
Additional mesh parts were added once the main body was blocked out. ZSpheres for the tongue and Insert Meshes for the teeth and backplates. Starting from a sphere and using Dynamesh, basic teeth and a backplate geo were created. I ran a ZRemesh to get a new geo once the basic shape was done. Now an Insert Mesh Brush can be made. It is necessary to create a duplicate of the mesh and delete sub levels, so the Insert Mesh Brushes can be applied. Once the new geo is added I hid the duplicate body, leaving the new geo (in this case, the backplate and teeth). We can then adjust all the pieces using the Transpose Tools once they are in place. The eyes is the same process, only an external mesh was imported. UVs are created for each piece using Headus UVLayout, one map per object created.
Once all the pieces are in place, it’s time to start sculpting in some finer details. Skin folds, small scars and other imperfections. For this I keep it simple and use ClayBuildup, DamStandard, Orb Cracks, Standard and Inflate. As the final step before posing, I activate surface noise and add overall passes of variation to the skin. Using a soft intensity and variations in the noise scale to avoid having the same even distribution.
For posing the Demon I used a ZSphere Rig, it is quick to set up, simple to use and allows for enough control to achieve any pose.
At an early stage I already had envisioned this demon as a thick skin creature, with scarred skin, the elephant and rhinoceros came to mind. Before beginning to texture I gathered references and resources for the process.
The first step was to define a base color and fill the entire object. From there, the texture was built up using different tools.
By assigning alphas to the standard brush and setting the stroke to DragRect, I could apply textures to my surface. This can be in different combinations, depending of the source being used. Fine detail was added using greyscale images, and color detail using texture images. Also, at the very end I added a final pass in which the color image would also contribute to the fine surface detail in volume. All this by swapping on and off the RGB and ZAdd buttons. For the finishing touch, I added a couple of grunge/noise alphas with the surface noise to give the entire body surface a slight variation.
The maps were exported with multi map exporter for future use in Keyshot, once the texturing was done.
For the final stills I used Keyshot. It can handle big meshes and run quick renders. The process for this was straight forward. A translucent material was used for most of the parts, then assigned the corresponding textures and an environment HDRi for lighting the scene. I quickly tweaked some render settings and waited, but not too long. The final color adjustments on the renders were done in Photoshop.
Check out more of Vicente’s work on his website HERE