For the modeling part, I usually start with DynaMesh or ZSpheres in ZBrush, but in this case I started with creating a base mesh in Luxology modo. This is my favorite software for poly modeling at the moment.
I used the standard tools. I started by creating a box, and after that I used the Edge Extend, Edge Slice and Bridge tools, then drag, weld and merge. I really like the Flex tool, the different action centers, the falloffs and mesh cleanup. In modo it is not necessary to create an instance or reference a copy of the mesh to work symmetrically. Even if the symmetry is broken I can easily fix it with the Symmetry tool. Modo also has great sculpting tools that I use very often (Fig.02).
For the sculpting I used Pixologic ZBrush. My favorite brushes are Clay, Inflate, Pinch, Damien Standard and Polish. I always try to reach maximum detail on the lower geometry resolution, and after that subdivide and go to the next level. This way, the sculpting is much cleaner and easier, and it also spares my computer resources. In ZBrush I extracted the bracelets from the base mesh. At the final stage of the sculpting my model was about 2,250,000 polygons (Fig.03).
ZBrush offers a very handy way for posing your characters: the Transpose Master. It's very easy to mask a part from the mesh by holding the Ctrl key down whilst dragging the Rotate, Move or Scale canvas gyros. After clicking once with the left mouse button and Ctrl key, press on part of the mask to blur it, which also creates a soft transition in the deformation of the mesh. This is much easier than building a complicated rig in some of the standard 3D software.
However, in this project the idea was to create a still image, not an animation, so building a complicated type of rig wasn't necessary. Maybe someday I will create a short animation with this model and I will build a rig for it, who knows (Fig.04).
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