Hi, I'm Jean-Michel Bihorel, a French computer graphic artist based in Istanbul, Turkey. As working for commercials and agencies is not the most fun thing in the world, I tend to make personal projects in my free time to keep up my interest in computer graphics. This picture is the result of one of these projects.
This character was designed for a short film that I am working on with a team of friends. We started this project because there was a chance that our team would get separated soon and we wanted to make a project together before each of us continued on our own roads.
None of us were junior anymore and everybody had his own point of view on what should be done in terms of scenario and visual look. For a time we struggled to find something that would suit all of us. It's why this character was not born so much from an original idea, but more from a desire to find a common area of interest for our team. It is not the kind of character I would usually design, but I'm pretty satisfied with the result.
During the very first stage I used a little piece of software called Alchemy to output a lot of variations of the same idea to test out the possibilities. Lumok was initially taller as we can see in the sketches of the first version (Fig.01), but during the process of modelling the character I changed my mind and decided that it would fit the story better to have a small, chubby character.
It resulted in a much cuter and friendlier character (Fig.02 – 03).
As the character had to be integrated into the real world, I had to include enough references to real things to make him believable. So, alongside the modeling, I was doing a lot of research into references for every single part of the character (Fig.04).
For the model, I started everything as a rough sculpt in ZBrush with a ZSphere sketch that I refined to a point where I was satisfied with the proportions. Then I retopologised all the pieces in Topogun (Fig.05)