Here is my latest personal work "Who Is Spock". I wanted to make a Mr Spock of our day, so he could something like a simple astronaut, or even the original Mr Spock himself, who has come to pay us a visit from the future.
So... who is Spock?
Research and Concept
I started the work on Spock mostly for fun, after watching some of the great episodes of the original series of Star Trek. In the beginning I thought it would be just a great modeling practice subject
I searched all over the internet for references, but didn't found as much images as I expected to, so I thought that I should try a different approach. The best one that came to my mind was to bring Spock more into the present time. It seemed better to bring him to present then to make some Sci-Fi image or some retro image, as it would look like I was just copying the Spock from the TV series.
So I got some astronaut pictures from Google, and with the references of Spock I'd already gathered, I started modeling, bearing in mind that I was building my concept on the run (Fig.01). I usually build my concept as I'm modeling. Sometimes this works better, sometimes not, but it gets me to the modeling part more quickly, which is the part I like the most.
I started the modeling with a standard Silo base mesh, and imported it directly into ZBrush for refining. I like to work in ZBrush as soon as I have the chance, because it's so artistically friendly and lets me put in the base form in a very short amount of time (Fig.02).
This model was done in ZBrush 3.1 so I worked mostly with the Standard brush, the Clay brush, and the Move brush, to build the base form. Now that the new ZBrush 3.5 is out, I work with the same brushes, but I love the new refining brushes which I like to use from the beginning to the end of the project.
So, after I felt that my model was "in character" enough, I checked my topology to see if I could build the UVs. I found that it was better to do a fast retopo so that the model could be easy exported to 3ds Max without having a huge number of polys, so it would be easier to make the UVs (Fig.03).
I then exported the retopologized version of the model from ZBrush to Max, and built the UVs. It's very important to have good UVs for the face if you are planning to do a render where the face is the most important thing in the composition. I saved my UVs at a 4k resolution, so I could be sure that I would be able to capture enough detail on the normal map (Fig.04).