Hello there. My name is Leandro Pavanelli and I'm a freelance 3D modeler from Brazil. Red Beard Cop was a personal project that started as mix of the many studies that I wanted to do. For example, I wanted to make some studies of cloth folds, but didn't want to make just a shirt or a pants sculpture. I also have been flirting for some time with the idea of doing a nice jacket so I could practice sculpting some cloth folds and doing a nice leather texture. And since I'm a huge fan of real-time characters, I started to think about what kind of character I could do that may have all of those characteristics. That's when I came up with the idea of making a cop character.
With the idea of making a cop in mind, I started searching for references. I knew that I didn't want to make him look generic so I had in my mind the basic idea of giving some kind of different hair style and bear.
The clothing was going to include all of those studies that I wanted to do. So I just went on Google and searched for as many references as I could find of jeans, , shirts and leather jackets (Fig.01). I also started to look for references of the accessories (gun, badge, handcuffs and so on). I didn't need to look for reference for some of his accessories as I own things like the watch, bracelet, dog tag and sunglasses, so in that way I was able to put some part of me into the character.
High Poly Model
I started the high poly model by sculpting the body and the head. This is a very important part because it's at this stage that you will give the proportions to the character. So you have to pay a lot of attention when doing this to make sure your character has good and correct proportions. If your model doesn't look right at this stage it won't look right with clothes and everything else.
I made a very simple base mesh using ZSpheres inside ZBrush and then I started by sculpting the head because it's usually the most expressive part of a character. So I gave more attention to the head to make it look the way I wanted it to.
Then I moved on to sculpting the body. Although the majority part of his body wasn't going to be visible, I sculpted everything except for the feet. I think it was a great opportunity to practice and study anatomy. When modeling characters I always look for as many anatomy references as possible. I have a folder with tons of anatomy images so that was my main source of references, but I'm always looking on Google and in books for more because you can never have too many anatomy images to help you with your sculpting. ZBrush was used for all my sculpting on this character. The brushes that I mainly used were: Clay, ClayBuildup, Standard, Smooth and Move (Fig.02 – 03).