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Making Of 'Soul Jailer'

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Date Added: 26th April 2011
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This all started as a small competition between fellow artist friends. We decided to work on an Underworld character, each with its own job and characteristics. I decided to make a Soul Hunter, who then became a Soul Jailer. The idea behind this character was to overdo things and try to make him as disgusting as possible. A perfect fit for the Underworld! This was the main reason I went for pig features, and made him fat and dirty. In this short Making Of, I will show the workflow I used to create this character.


I'm not very confident with my drawing skills, so I had to take a different route when it came to creating the concept. First I drew some silhouettes. After I had a general idea of how he would look, I decided to work on a quick sculpt in ZBrush and draw over it in Photoshop (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

Working over the sculpt helped me create a better view as to how the character would look, and how the accessories would fit with him.

Base Mesh

I first started off with ZBrush ZSpheres. I don't really use them much, but I wanted to try them this time and I'm very happy I did. ZSpheres helped me create a good proportional mesh (albeit with messy polygons) (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

After I had a nice looking silhouette and proportional model, I sent it back to 3ds Max and started retopologizing it there (with the help of Wrapit). I really enjoy face extrusion when modeling. It really helps archive an organic flow of the polygons.

It didn't take much and at the end I had a perfect mesh with good polygonal distribution and flow. I tried to keep it all quads and with the same density all over the mesh (Fig.03).

Fig. 03


This is where the fun part began. I exported the new retopologised mesh from Max into ZBrush. When sculpting, I always want to make the most of the subdivision I'm working on. So it takes me some time to move into the next subdivision without finishing detailing the current one.

I started off using the Clay brush. It's a great brush to go crazy with the forms, and most of the time it will help by causing some happy accidents.Claytubes is good too, but I rarely use it and only in places that need a rough look (Fig.04).

Fig. 04

When sculpting, I had symmetry on all the time. Since I wanted the model to have an asymmetrical look at the end, I decided to only have symmetry on for the third and fourth subdivision levels.

While shaping th eface, I used the Move brush a lot. Raise an eyebrow here, move a face feature there.

When it comes to the clothing and accessories, I took different approaches for some of them (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

Accessories like the big chest in the back, keys, shoulder pads, chains, chainmail, weapon and jars were modeled in Max and brought back to ZBrush for detailing. The leather cloth on the face and clothes on the waist were modeled in ZBrush using its own Retopology tool to create new geometry. It's a quick and effective way of creating fitted clothes within ZBrush and with a correct poly flow.

The stitches for the leather were created in Max with the help of the Lines tool. I'm actually in love with this tool since it would have been hell to create each by extruding a cylinder. (The best part is that you have a lot of control over how the line will flow).

After sculpting all the subtools, I decided to poly paint them to give me extra control over my texturing process. This really helped,especially with the organic and leather parts (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

continued on next page >

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