Nicolas Brunet explains the process he used to create his artwork Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk and shows we can survive after creating a hair and fur scene...
This artwork was initially created for a 2010 CG contest made by the website 3DVF about the theme: ‘Alice in your Wonderland'. The contest ran for several months, and I worked on the project in my spare time. It's on that particular project that I really tamed the hair and fur process.
Lewis Carroll and the real Alice are sailing in a boat, their reflections representing the Mad Hatter and Alice respectively. Water also acts as a mirror in which the elements appears from the universe created by Lewis Carroll.
Due to the visual constraints created from the swirling of the water I was afraid that the reflection was not sufficiently visible and difficult to read. So my second idea was that Alice and the Mad Hatter are lying in a boat, along with the Cheshire Cat, and sailing in the moat of the Queen of Heart castle among the decapitated heads.
The original sketches of the idea for the scene
Initially I thought of using a realistic style for the characters but I quickly abandoned the idea because it didn't suit the mood of the project.
Cloth research for the characters
Head research for the two characters
The process was the same for almost all the elements of the scene; an Editable Poly object modified using visual references, and for some models, a jump into ZBrush
to add details.
Cloth simulators were used to give good shapes to the clothes, which were then refined in sculpt mode. In order to put the characters in place, I created a quick rig and skinned the bodies. The easiest character to work on was the cat, his body was modeled in the final position and skinned along a spline. The decapitated heads are from the Mad Hatter model with a few variations.
Working on clothing for the Mad Hatter
Working on clothing for Alice
Sculpting the Cheshire Cat
The decapitated heads were modified versions of the Mad Hatter's model