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Creating reptilian monsters

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(Score 4.86 out of 5 after 21 Votes)
| Comments 5
Date Added: 4th November 2013
Software used:

More detail

I worked this way over the whole of the model's texture, using some alphas of alligator's scales and other animals. The most important thing to remember is to take care that the details don't seem fake.

Examples of the textures used on the head

PolyPaint and textures

To paint the creature's textures I used PolyPaint and one alpha to give color variation to its skin. It's very important to keep this variation and to contrast darker areas in lower parts of the model, so you get more volume in the sculpture.

Using PolyPaint to give color variation and volume

Baking maps

After I finished the PolyPaint, I Unwrapped it and baked Cavity and Displacement maps to use them in the color textures later to get more detail.

Unwrapping and creating maps for the texture


When posing the character it's nice to think about the camera angle and to look for some references. Also, you have to pay attention to the line of action and do some tests. To pose my creature, I used Transpose Master, and used masks and Rotation to pose each part of the model following my references.

Using Transpose Master to give the creature a convincing pose

When I finished the pose I used Decimation Master to export the mesh. I was doing a still image and not an animation, so I didn't need to worry about the final mesh.

Note: Always check the Keep UV option, so you can use your textures.


I used the basic 3-point light concept: key light, fill light and rim light. Then I added some additional lights to light up some of the darker areas. It's always good to get some references either from photographs or other artists' work to help with lighting the scene.

Using the basic 3-point light system to light the scene


The shader I used was the FastSSS2 from V-Ray.

Shader settings for the texture

Rendering and composition

After all these processes, I rendered some passes for the final composition so I could have more control in Photoshop.

Rendering passes to help with the texturing in Photoshop

After that I got some images from the internet so I could use them in my composition. I wanted to create an ambience and not just a studio background.


The most important thing is to keep studying and working, because that way you will see an evolution with each model. Here is my final image:

The final image

Related links
Tiago Oliveira's website
Tiago's inspiration: Jaemin Kin's art

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Ff14 on Mon, 23 December 2013 5:11am
"The first stage involved creating the basic shape" ...speechless...
JediSaiyajin on Wed, 04 December 2013 8:51pm
So I followed your instructions on the first part Sphere > Instant Monster > Detailed monster monster and this is what I got.. Thanks for all your help :)
Lou Mareno on Wed, 20 November 2013 2:09pm
Amazing zbrush work, hell of a job thx for posting this great character Lou
MattZero on Tue, 12 November 2013 11:07pm
How did you resolve the seams once you split the body up for higher res sculpturing?
Sersal on Mon, 04 November 2013 2:08pm
man, you are one of the best, but, where is the tutorial...?
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