For the eyes I just did the main eye cavity and then, starting from a box sphere (as I did with the shell), I created the external eyelids and then duplicated that tool to create the internal ones.
The whole model was done following a "waterproof policy” so that it could be printed in 3D. For that, it's extremely important that every tool is done with completely sealed geometry intersecting each other (Fig.07).
The other elements in the image were done with the use of ShadowBox and the cutting tools in ZBrush. I just created some "For Sale” alphas in Photoshop to project over the wooden surface of the sign (Fig.08).
Before I started to detail I did a quick unwrap with UVMaster. It's amazingly fast and with the symmetry and polygroups options, plus the control painting, you can really get some nice results (Fig.09 – 10).
Detailing the turtle took a lot longer than sculpting it. I used some alphas to create the pattern's variation on the character's skin, but everything had to fit together. This meant I had to manually verify everything and it was quite a complex map. I didn't want to have strange overlapping alphas projected onto the turtle. It just wouldn't work (Fig.11).
So, if I was going to have to draw the whole thing (mainly the big plates) I made sure I had a texture saved that would allow me to quickly recover that mask from polypaint. You'll see this further down.
For the shell I used a different approach. I found a great photo of a shell from top view with good resolution, which was perfect to texture and why not to sculpt too? So I went into Photoshop and worked on it to create a displacement map which I used as an alpha with the Standard brush in DragRect (Fig.12).
After that some corrections and further refining were needed. One of the most interesting things about detailing the shell was the way I quickly managed to give it a feeling of combined plates. I did this by masking the single plates individually and inverting the mask, and with a little inflate, move, rotate and scale they just came out and fit to each other.