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Cartoon Critters: How to Stylize and Create Animals - Mosquito

By Marcos Nicacio
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Date Added: 12th March 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, ZBrush

The same technique was used on the antenna, arms and legs. I extruded them and gave them shape by selecting vertices and scaling them. The accessories like the hat, scarf, glasses, wings and little spikes on his body were also modeled using this technique.

For the hands and feet I changed the way I modeled. I started with a box to model the hand, foot and fingers, and used the Connect tool to adjust the edges and create the shape I wanted. To attach pieces I used the Bridge tool (Fig.03).

1682_tid_FIG03.jpg
Fig. 03

The mosquito's hair was made using the Hair and Fur modifier. First I took the polygon on top of his head and added the Hair and Fur modifier to it, creating the hair and pulling it all to the front with the Translate tool in the Styling tab. Using the Puff Roots toll I gave the hair some volume. Then I used the Translate tool again to brush and shape the hair into a 1950's style.

Texturing and Shading

To start the texturing process I opened the UV using UVW mapping and an Unwrap modifier. Firstly I applied the UVW mapping and used the mapping mode, which is more compatible with the object shape. You can see how I did that on the mosquito's arm in Fig.04. I added an Unwrap modifier to make a few adjustments with the Relax tool and weld the unattached vertices.

1682_tid_FIG04.jpg
Fig.04


Next I split the mesh into named parts like the body, head, hand, leg etc. UV unwrapping can be a little bit boring and slow, but it will become easier with practice and there are specialized pieces of software that can help speed things up. Once the UV was done, it was time to start texturing.

I'll show you how I made the Color and Bump maps that I used to texture this character. Firstly I exported the body mesh as an OBJ file to paint in ZBrush by selecting the object and exporting the selection. Choose the OBJ extension, choose ZBrush as the preset and Export.

In ZBrush subdivide the mesh seven times and change the shader to the basic material so you can see the color better when you use the Polypaint tool. I used this to block in the color and add details like the little dots and scratches on the mosquito's skin. By creating the Color map in ZBrush I avoided having problems with seams in my texture (Fig.05).

1682_tid_FIG05.jpg
Fig.05

The next step was to export the color texture from polypaint with a resolution of 4096 x 4096 to Photoshop and do a few little adjustments to the brightness and contrast. Still in Photoshop I separated the color texture into folders with the name of each part of the body on them to organize the files and have maximum control when I added details (Fig.06).

1682_tid_FIG06.jpg
Fig.06





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 250578, pid: 0) Jsin on Sat, 08 February 2014 11:48pm
nice render...but the character doesn't work for me. Mosquitoes are horrible little blood sucking parasites, so it would make more sense to make it more of a creepy (yet still cartoony) character. Even The Count on Sesame Street doesn't look that perky because it wouldn't be believable to even a child over the age of 6 or so.
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