Discover how to create minute sci-fi detailing in Henrique Naspolini's workflow breakdown of his female sci-fi character, Baby Cakes...
In this article I will go through the steps of making the Baby Cakes game model. It will cover high-res, low-res, custom alphas, posing and Rendering using softwares like ZBrush
and Marmoset Toolbag
The idea to make this character came when I saw its concept, by Trevor Claxton
, on the internet. I thought it was such a fresh and awesome design that I just could not hold myself back from doing it. Also, the challenge to recreate such an amazing piece was another important motivational aspect.
The concept by Trevor Claxon
The first thing to do was to get the proportions of the body right. In this specific model I used a female base mesh that I have made before and imported into ZBrush. That allowed me to save some time and jump straight to the proportions and silhouette I needed. I used the actual concept as reference. Even though the concept was not in a modeling pose, it was good enough to extract some information from it, like leg size, waist size, and torso size. I really wanted to get a narrow waist, thick thighs and small feet. It was important to get a solid body base because it served as reference for everything else on the model.
Getting the right bodily proportions
Once I was happy with the body proportions, I could then move on to the suit blockout. In ZBrush, I duplicated the body SubTool, went down the 2nd subdivision and the deleted the lowest and highest subdivisions.
Then I masked the whole body but the head (1). After masking I clicked Hide Point, to hide the head, and then Delete Hidden, to get rid of the head. That left me a second SubTool with only the body (2). Now with a basemesh for the suit I could start blocking the shapes and details out of the suit with brushes like Standard, Clay tube, Clay Buildup etc (3). Then it was just a matter of adding and polishing the shapes and details (4).
Blocking out the general shapes in of the suit
After sketching out all the details of the suit, I used Decimation Master in ZBrush to lower the polygon count.
Decimating the mesh to reduce the polycount
Moving to Maya
Then I imported the decimated mesh into Maya (1) and started remaking the suit with Maya's new Modeling Tool Kit (2) until I had all the parts of the suit rebuilt with a cleaner topology (3).
Working with high-res topology in Maya
Heading toward the end of the high-poly modeling stage, I made some custom alphas from 3D models to add the final details on my model. In the image below you can see the 3D models on the left and the correspondent alphas on the right.
Making alphas for the final details