Idea and Concept
I made this piece for fun and I used it as a chance to become familiar with modo. The idea was to create a picture with cartoon aliens. To enhance my creativity I put on a crazy music album called "Ziltoid The Omniscient" and began sketching thumbnails with pencil and paper. First I started to play with different shapes for the head. Then I went on to the body.
After some minutes of experimentation I end up with an organic, rectangular, asymmetric head with big eyes and a small body. I decided to stay a bit more in 2D this time so I opened Corel PainterX and painted a more detailed version of the thumbnails.
It was important for me to make some design choices before going into 3D. Shapes, lines, colors and words are excellent tools for that. I decided that green would be the main color for the characters, along with a combination of yellow and oranges. The green color gives me the idea to make some scales in the Emperor's head. Maybe this came into my mind because green = lizards = scales.
For the eyes I painted around a thick black border to emphasize them. I went back and forth between the design and story. Design gives "food" for a story and story for design. So who is the Emperor? A mad alien from a distant galaxy, whose goal in life is to eliminate the evils of the universe. But most of the time he brings disaster, so even some powerful beings fear him. He is called Emperor by his two loyal soldiers (Fig.01).
After I'd finished with the 2D sketches, I knew the picture I wanted to create. The Emperor in front of an open gate, with his two loyal soldiers by his side.
I did the head first in ZBrush. The only thing that I needed to do was form the shape. I started with a PolySphere and DynaMesh'ed it. The brushes I used were Move, Standard, TrimDynamic and ClayTubes. Any time you hold Ctrl and click and drag on the canvas, DynaMesh rebuilds geometry without stretching the polygons (Fig.02).