In this Making Of, Oleg Nikolov talks us through his steps to making this whimsical character, from his inspired concept, through modeling and texturing.
Music has always inspired my art. Maybe because I play with a band in my spare time, or maybe because there is a connection between the different arts. When I play music, I take a break from 3D and also use the time to recharge my creative batteries. I received my first acoustic guitar as a gift when I was 12 years old.
In the image Bagpiper I wanted to create a fantasy creature that is a mixture between a musical instrument and a wood nymph. It is part of a series of images inspired by music. The instrument is a pipe; it's very well known in Bulgarian folklore and is often used by the musicians here. I wanted the instrument to have more pipes than the original because the creature has more hands. Having multiple pipes helps to provoke the viewer's imagination until they can "hear" the indescribable melody he is playing. The creature is a keeper of the forest; it communicates with the forest spirits, calling them with his pipe and bells, and they dance their magic ring dance around him...
In the beginning of serious 3D work it is always good to make some preparations, such as finding good reference images for the anatomy, specific types of dress, armor or adornments etc. It's important to make a rough sketch that explains the silhouette of the character, and some specific anatomical characteristics to check the composition and light. It's not necessary for the sketch to be very accomplished; it's enough to be explanatory for the artist himself (Fig.01).