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Making Of 'Demon Hunter'

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Date Added: 24th October 2013
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Brahim Azizi takes us through the methodology behind his creation, Demon Hunter, inspired by artist Mike Butkus.


In this 'making of' I am going to show you the steps I went through to create the final render of my image: Demon Hunter.

My first goal in this project was to develop my own skills and to learn more techniques to achieve a more realistic effect in my work.

I have a drawing and painting background, and am used to dealing with artistic colors, lighting, mood, value etc, though now I have moved into the world of 3D, I need to learn both artistic and technical skills.

Step 1: Motivations and objectives

This character was inspired by a design by Mike Butkus, one of my favorite artists out there. His character really captured my imagination when I first saw it, and I decided to do a 3D version of it. He actually really liked my render, so I want to thank him here for giving me the chance to sculpt it.

With Mike's concept, I had to think of a story behind the character and focus on the overall look I was going to give him. The character reminds me of an ancient Chinese culture, so I had to go from there and think about the style or mood of fantasy characters. The style of online MMORPG game Asura Online was really a great source of inspiration for me.

I then started to gather some references that could help me in this project. The most important thing I had to focus on was the anatomy and form, because the first thing that captures the viewer's attention is the big muscular hand. I wasn't planning to create the exact same proportions as the concept, but started with a general idea and went straight from there.

Step 2: Sketching in ZBrush

I started sketching inside ZBrush with a basic base mesh, as the character was in a human form. If the character is something else, I tend to start from scratch.

So from that basic humanoid shape, I tried to make a simple rough form with good body proportions, without focusing on the anatomy at that stage, because I would be working on it after posing.

Sculpting the basic form with a ZBrush base mesh

Step 3: Retopologizing with ZRemesher

After the rough sketch was done, it was then time to do the topology with ZRemesher. This tool is very useful, quick and powerful, and with a few parameters you can get a nice topology. Before ZRemesher, I used to work with Topogun, and I still use it for tweaking because ZRemesher is not 100% perfect so it's necessary in this case to use a different software to get what I want.

I used PolyPaint in the areas that need more topology in it, like the hands and the face, and also played with the Color Density. I also used the ZRemesher Guide to start drawing lines that guide my topology flow.

Then I did some tests with the other options until I got the right parameters for the target polygons and AdaptiveSize, and then let ZBrush do its magic. After that, I exported my model to Topogun to do some tweaks in topology.

Tweaking the topology with the ZRemesher function in ZBrush

continued on next page >

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