After this, I took a quick render and then exported the image into Photoshop to assess how the model was progressing and to do a quick paintover. This paintover consisted of me adding some basic grass and earth textures to help in the visualization process of the scene. To my surprise, as I began painting, cloaked elements of the composition made themselves apparent as I made the decision to accept and magnify their presence in the image. More specifically, some of topology of the landscape began to resemble certain anthropomorphic/zoomorphic forms found in nature called simulacra. In essence, I ran with this idea and established a basis for the tree trunks I would be including later on.
Back in Maya, with this idea fresh in mind, I shuttled my mesh over into ZBrush via Go-Z to begin the block-out process for the arboreal entities. Using ZSpheres, I began to create the eight different life forms I'd envisioned, making sure that their position and shape complemented one another with respect to the surface on which they were placed (Fig.04).
Next, utilizing the new DynaMesh function, I established a basic shape for each of the beings. I would like to emphasize here that although the sculpts were kept simple during this step, it was still important that I took my time to establish a nice sense of form. With the Standard and Clay Buildup brushes, along with Trim Dynamic, in hand, I was shooting to convey human/animal features filtered through a tree trunk's weatherworn perspective (Fig.05).
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