This Making Of will show the different stages of the complete artwork from a basic 3D mesh, adding details using Mudbox, to rendering the final model in 3ds Max with Brazil, and with completed textures in Photoshop. Firstly, I must give thanks to the great artist Carlos Huante for inspiring me to create my 3D artwork; I am a huge fan of his work and I have learnt a lot about anatomy, creature design and colours from his work. I find his creatures awesome, and they have a great sense of anatomy and organic form even if they are a fantasy concept. So, hats off to Sir Carlos Huante (Fig01)!
First of all, I started modelling the base mesh with proper mesh flow in 3DS Max using polygon tools, starting with a box. I also kept in mind that the model had quads only, and no tris, as it was to be later sub divided in Mudbox (Fig02).
Once I was satisfied with my base mesh, I started doing the unwrapping for the mesh in Max using the unwrap tools. I made sure there were no overlaps or stretching in the UVWs, because good UVWs are a must for every major step ahead in the process, whether it's normal map generation or texturing. So, I spent quite some time on this boring process (Fig03).
Once I felt that the UVWs were good enough, I started preparing the model ready for exporting it into Mudbox for high poly detailing. As you can see in Fig04, I set the pivot point of the model to the centre and all coordinates to zero. You can also see that the model is half built at this point, which is because, after looking at the concept, I decided to model just half of the creature and then mirrored it later on. I also planned to show just the profile of the model, as it is in the concept (Fig04).
Fig05 shows a screenshot of the OBJ export options. This model, with complete UVW mapping, was ready to go into Mudbox in .obj format for a higher level of detail (Fig05).
As you can see, the base mesh was successfully imported into Mudbox, and I prepared it using a proper naming convention - which is very important because everything should have a name (Fig06). Now the fun begins! Mudbox Rocks!