The original idea was to create a realistic mummy, but one that's not too scary. I wanted to show my mummy in a typical daily situations. Once I had created it, the first situation which came to my mind was the mummy tripping over its bandages. I wanted to use him outside of the serious and sometimes terrifying situation in which mummies tend to always be thought of. Nevertheless, my aim was to create an interesting and funny character, but at the same time to emphasise that the situations aren't the normal ones that you would expect for such a character.
(Fig01 – 02) Before starting with the creation of the mummy, it was a good idea to look for images which could give me interesting ideas which could be reinterpreted, and from which I could take inspiration from, not only for the shape but also for framing, lighting and everything else that an image can communicate. And for that I went to Google for an image search!
(Fig03 – 04) For the modelling I started with very simple forms and added the details later on. Usually I'll start with a cube or from a single face in order to create the base geometry with as few polygons as possible. In this way you can keep the mesh of the model in order.
Little by little, I was working towards a low poly humanoid figure. I then had to define the points at which it was going to be deformed, once it had been rigged. For this, the edge loops are very important; for example, in order to arrange an elbow to react correctly at every point once it has been bent. Another very important thing is that you have to maintain your model as "all quads”, meaning that all of the polygons of the model have to have 4 sides. This is useful for the better handling of the rig and for a better compatibility between the very many sculpting programs.
Once I had finished my model I exported it as an .obj file so that I could handle it in ZBrush, and so I could paint all the veins and muscles, and all those things that would be very difficult to create in polygons.
After getting to the level I desired, I could then export a displacement map and apply it to the mesh which I modelled earlier. In this way you can obtain a light model in the rigging and animation phase, but at the same time you can get a very high detailed render. Another advantage is that you can modify it very easily with the photo editing programme of your choice.
(Fig05) As far as the rig was concerned, I used biped by Max, which is really good for humanoid forms.
The big difficulty was creating the bends in such a way that they could follow the model without going crazy. Therefore, in the rig, I had to spend a lot of time weighing all the single unmanageable vertexes, using very many skin morphsto handle difficult situations.