Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Project Overview: Nina from Black Swan

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full
(Score 4.96 out of 5 after 26 Votes)
| Comments 1
Date Added: 7th August 2013
Software used:

Hugo Guerra captured the grace and beauty of Natalie Portman's Oscar-winning performance in his latest piece.


Nina was the final exercise in my ZBrush Foundation class at Odd School, Portugal. For this exercise we were given the assignment of reproducing a full character illustration with ZBrush of a movie or game character. I wanted to pick a graceful female figure and to that end, the character Nina from Black Swan seemed like a great choice.


For this image, I picked a pose you can't really see during the movie but that is pretty common in ballet. I used a cosplay picture I found on the internet and sketched over it a bit over to understand the gesture of the ballerina. Since the body types of the cosplayer and Natalie Portman in the movie were very different, that was about all I could use that image for. The lack of reference material definitely caused the biggest challenges in this image.

As usual, I started with ZSpheres and tried to keep the sculpt symmetrical for as long as possible. I always try to get the shape right with the least number of polygons possible.

Based on the previous lazy gesture study, I started working on the main volumes and overall direction of the muscles. The arms and hands provided the biggest challenge, being stretched back and relaxed in a graceful pose at the same time. Understanding the flow of the body is vital, especially in such an image where the pose is so important.

Her body proved to be a challenge too, thanks to her very slender, yet muscular build. Finding the right balance was really hard, but probably the most rewarding challenge in the whole process.

I mostly used the Clay, Clay Buildup, Damian Standard and Pinch brushes for the organic forms.

Achieving a graceful, ballerina-like pose was challenging, but rewarding

Since the character is really young and the image was planned to be 2k pixels tall maximum, I didn't waste much time on small details such as wrinkles and pores. I just added a little noise to slightly break up the uniformity of the skin.

A young, small character doesn't require as much skin detail as a larger, older one

continued on next page >

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Related Tutorials

Making Of 'Sangyeng'

by Rebecca Puebla
published on 2009-06-16

Keywords: character, woman, female, warrior, samurai, tattoo,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (12)
Comments 0 Views 103672

Creating a Character From Scratch in Photoshop

by Stephan Williams
published on 2009-06-16

Keywords: character, creature, digital. painting, photoshop,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half (6)
Comments 0 Views 51615

Next Gen Character Chapter 1

by Joseph Harford
published on 2012-08-01

Keywords: character, creature, modeling,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star halfrating star none (6)
Comments 1 Views 198316

Making Of 'Under The Rain'

by Alex Andreyev
published on 2012-03-16

Keywords: scene, character, rain, umbrella,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half (10)
Comments 1 Views 70819
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Prometenn on Tue, 13 August 2013 12:32pm
Great making of!
Add Your Comment..