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Making Of 'The Hulk'

By Fabricio Torres
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Date Added: 22nd June 2009
Software used:
Softimage, ZBrush, Misc
309_tid_final=.jpg

Intro

Hi, my name is Fabricio Torres and I'm a freelance 3D modeller.  In this 'Making Of' I'm going to walk you through some of the steps of creation of my Hulk model.

Initial Idea

This project started as a personal challenge.  The new Hulk film was to be released and (again) I didn't like the way he was portrayed.  I do understand the idea behind the concepts, with Hulk being a "realistic" character, but I wanted to see more of a comic book beast, with everything over-exaggerated.  And as everyone else was creating Hulks at the same time, it added another task: not only to develop my own design, but to create something different - something new!  And as I was trying to enter the toy market at the time, I decided to make it like a diorama/collectible statue, and I set my mind on the fact that he wasn't going to look just like a super bodybuilder - he had to be the buffest guy ever!  I also thought that it would be cool to have his arms really long, with short legs and a tiny head, kind of like a giant gorilla in human form.  Some research on Google provided sufficient references for the body and expression, as well as the debris that I wanted to place on the model's base.

Modelling

OK, so most people have asked me why I chose to start with such a simple base mesh (Fig.01).  Well, the answer is that I think it's faster and more enjoyable to block-out forms in ZBrush.  You see, at this point, I didn't have a concept in mind, just a general idea of the overall look.  It would have been a huge waste of time and effort to define the proportions and volumes on a low poly mesh if I wasn't sure where I was going!  With that said, I also think it's a lot easier to retopologise things nowadays, rather than start modelling from scratch.  Believe me, from someone that came from the pre-ZBrush era, to build things from nothing using a cube or placing polygons on an empty viewport is not fun (although some still think it is, of course).

309_tid_fig_01.jpg
Fig. 01

After importing the base mesh into ZBrush, I started messing with the "move", "clay" and "standard" brushes to add volume.  I didn't go too high on subdivisions and tended to work a lot on the existing polygons before subdividing the mesh again.  The main focus at this point wasn't detailing; it was on the shape of the silhouette and volume - the fewer polygons, the better! As you can see (Fig.02), I made his mouth open from the very beginning because I wanted a screaming Hulk.  There was no need to model his mouth closed and then pose it later if I already knew the final expression I wanted!  I also I avoided the 'T' pose because his deltoid muscles were so immense that they would look awful!

309_tid_fig_02.jpg
Fig. 02


With the overall shape and proportions already set, it was time to retopologise the model and continue sculpting with a better distributed base mesh.  For this I used Topogun (a powerful software - still beta, but very stable and full of nice tools).  I imported pieces of the ZBrush model and quickly established an improved mesh with correct edge loops for animations and a more balanced poly distribution (Fig.03).

309_tid_fig_03.jpg
Fig. 03

When I was satisfied with the result, I re-imported it into ZBrush and re-projected all of the details from the old mesh onto the new one (Fig.04).  To do this, append the new base mesh as a Subtool and subdivide it once, then hit the "project all" button, and so on.  What this does is to shrink wrap one mesh into another.  Take care with stars (five-edged vertices) though, as they usually react really badly when doing this!  To help keep things in order, remember to store a morph target before projecting the details; if something looks bad, paint it with the "morph brush" and save your work!

309_tid_fig_04.jpg
Fig. 04

With all the details sculpted on the ugly base mesh on my brand new one, and with everything looking right, I continued subdividing and adding details (Fig.05).

309_tid_fig_05.jpg
Fig. 05



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(ID: 135330, pid: 0) AdamRodgers on Mon, 23 July 2012 3:56pm
Wonderful work and great explanations.
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