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I started this piece with something as simple as a Z-sphere (Fig.01a). Playing with the Symmetry tool, an idea was born (Fig.01b)! Z-spheres are simply awesome! They allowed me to build the body of my concept in the fastest way - ever (Fig.01c) - and with a clean mesh, too (Fig.01d)! The UVs were done in 3ds Max, and I added the left arm and the hat before starting to sculpt the details (Fig.01e).

Fig. 01a
Fig. 01b

Fig. 01c
Fig. 01d

Fig. 01e

Once I'd imported my Subtools (Fig.02a), I got sculpting (Fig.02b)! I still didn't know at this stage how the final picture was going to look ... but ZBrush allowed me to change anything at any time - very quickly (Fig.02c)! So I started looking for a cool facial expression; I knew this was going to be the most important thing to have in a fun image (Fig.02d - e)!

Fig. 02a
Fig. 02b

Fig. 02c
Fig. 02d


I did the texturing using the poly painting technique in ZBrush - it's a great tool for achieving something quickly (Fig.03)! I could then make tweaks later on in Photoshop, using the normal map, displacement and cavity to get something more accurate, and to add extra details. I usually paint with the "Toy plastic" shader - it keeps the colours true, and I got good specularity and bump. You can paint fast with the colour spray mode and some alphas; i love beginning the texture work in ZBrush because you don't have seams to worry about and you see the result directly on the hi-res mesh!

Fig. 03

The same thing was done for the other objects in the scene, except that some were done in Max with the good old poly modelling technique, starting from a box (Fig.04). When I don't want to spend too much time on my UVs, I use the automatic mapping in ZBrush. If your model is very low poly it's usually not so bad, and with the poly painting there are no seam issues!

Fig. 04

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