This creature was designed for a short film that I wrote two years ago. His race is Quelonian, a reptile species that has evolved with the course of time. They live on an aquatic planet, where the cities are floating on water. Looking for alternative resources, the Quelonians created the Spatial Scout Program (SSP) and here is where our character comes in. He is a space scout. I have always wanted to make characters that fit into some story; it's easier and more fun this way.
The first step was to draw as many sketches as I could: sides of the figure, proportions, face details etc. I am not a professional concept artist, but I always try to draw the best that I can so that I have a better understanding of what I'm going to create in 3D (Fig.01).
Fig. 01 - Click to Enlarge
I also did some test color in Photoshop (Fig.02).
Fig. 02 - Click to Enlarge
In this Making Of I am going to explain the texturing process in more detail, since I made a retextured version of Sanlik using textures from the 3DTotal Textures collection.
I collected some references of animals like amphibians, reptiles and birds, which helped me a lot to understand how the skin should look and how to adapt the details on a humanoid body (Fig.03).
Fig. 03 - Click to Enlarge
Modeling and Sculpting
Having all the references set up and all the sketches, I started with a very basic base mesh done in 3ds Max and then imported it into ZBrush to start the sculpting process. At the beginning, I focused on the gesture of the character, paying attention to all the proportions and the silhouette.
Anatomy is very important even for non-human characters as this always gives a more realistic feeling (Fig.04).
Fig. 04 - Click to Enlarge
When I'd finished with the gesture, I analyzed the figure to see if all the scales looked nice (Fig.05).
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Fig. 05 - Click to Enlarge