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Cartoon Critters: How to Stylize and Create Animals - Emu

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Date Added: 5th April 2013
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I converted the ZSpheres into a mesh and continued working on the character. I decided that my character should have hair so I made a mesh to represent it and blocked in the main parts to better understand the proportions. I also decided that my character should have some kind of scarf on as the references of the emus had a lot of hair around their neck, as if they were in constant fear of catching a cold (Fig.04).


I moved the model to 3ds Max and continued working on the design by blocking out the big parts but not concentrating on the details. This is also the time when I started thinking about the color of my character. Though natural emus are a gray/brown color it would not be the best solution to leave it like this and so I decided to change the color scheme. I roughly colored the character and it seemed okay to me (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

After that I made a draft render and took it into Photoshop. I added some details quickly, just to have a sense of what the finished character could look like. I was very aware that my emu looked a bit like a chicken (don't get me wrong - I like chickens). I also didn't like the proportions so I made some improvements using the Liquify filter in Photoshop. By the way, for those of you who can't find it anywhere you have to download it separately for CS5 from the Adobe site. As far as I remember it was included in the standard CS4 pack. But this is one of those "must use" plugins when designing a character. It means you can quickly and easily change the proportions of your model without having to spend much time on it. You can use this chance to spend 15 minutes thinking about where you want to head with your character, then you can remodel it later. It is always a good idea to exaggerate the key features of your character as it will help people to relate to your design better. As you can see I have made the neck and its legs much thinner and the body smaller, thus adding a desirable contrast to the character. The combination of a heavy head and huge feet on a thin neck and legs makes the character look the way I wanted it to (Fig.06). And now it didn't look like a chicken! Great!

Fig. 06

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Ray Quinn on Wed, 25 September 2013 1:41pm
Hi, Can you tell me how you made the fur? I felt that your tutorial seemed to jump to a furry, textured image from the zbrush default look and im confused.. Could be me being blind but just thought I would ask..
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