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Create a Game Character: Jouster - part 1

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Date Added: 13th August 2013
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Step 3: Block in the form

We'll ignore the head and face until later and just concentrate on the body for now. Turn on Symmetry (X) and start adding some mass to the arms, legs and torso with the Move, Clay and Inflate brushes. The figure underneath the armor has stylized proportions, so we'll be able to push the shapes a bit further than normal.

At this early stage I like to keep my subdivisions low and mainly rely on the Move tool to push and pull the shapes. To make it easier to adjust the torso, hide the arms by Ctrl + Shift + Alt-dragging a selection around the arms.


Step 4: Check the silhouette and proportions

The body won't be seen under the armor, so it's not necessary to add much detail. Instead, focus on getting the main forms and proportions looking right. To help visualize the silhouette of the character, I like to toggle (V) between the default black and white colors. Having the character filled with black helps you to be able to see the overall shapes more clearly.

To help check proportions, you can load the concept art into ZBrush using Spotlight (Turn On/Off Spotlight: Shift+Z, Show/Hide Spotlight Wheel: Z) by importing the image into the texture slot, then selecting Texture > Add to Spotlight.

To be able to sculpt while Spotlight is turned on, set Brush > Samples > Spotlight Projection to Off. Alternatively, you can use the See-through feature of ZBrush to see the concept art behind the ZBrush window. From here, you can adjust the character's proportions to better match the concept art.


Step 5: Sculpt your landmarks

As I said previously, the body's proportions are stylized in the concept to allow for the armor suit. The shapes through the torso, waist and hips have been exaggerated slightly, and the legs and arms have been made longer. Using the Clay and DamStandard brushes, begin hinting at the underlying structures, like the collar bone and ribs, as well as the knee and elbow, to be used as landmarks to help guide where the armor is going to be placed.


Pro tip: Transpose tools!

The Move (W), Scale (E) and Rotate (R) Transpose tools are a great way to quickly make large proportion changes to the mesh. You can either use the Mask tool or the Transpose line to mask an area by Ctrl + clicking and dragging on the mesh. Then using the Transpose tool to move, rotate or scale the mesh.


Click HERE to see the next part in this series.

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