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The making of 'Kroenen'

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Date Added: 27th June 2014
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Sergey Romanenko takes us through the creation of his interpretation of the classic Hellboy character, Kroenen...


The character was designed as an entry to the Comicon Challenge 2014. It was my first experience of taking part in such an event, and my sole purpose was to just level up my skills. I learned about this contest only 2 weeks after it started and spent the whole 2 weeks selecting a character. There are too many comic books out there for just one person!

I ended up with Kroenen of the Hellboy universe. He's not a mere mortal ? he's a German WWI vet, resurrected with a dark ritual. He hides his visage behind a mask, and his body behind metal gear, which maintains the remains of his life force in the effectively dead body.

Kroenen is known for his love of melee armaments, but, as the contest conditions demanded to alter the character's outfit with the author's own design, I decided to add an addiction to flight and pyromania to his melee obsession. It was an interesting touch, and the steam-punk elements of his outfit were literally screaming to be transferred onto the all-new rocket backpack.

The concept

After studying a ton of references and taking a couple of concept drawing lessons, I started creating the first sketches. After wasting several hours, my only outcome was a collage in Photoshop and a simplistic 3ds Max model. Anyway, I'd developed an idea of adding the backpack to the outfit design, and later upgraded that with the Reich eagle wings and the flamethrower control system on Kroenen's arm.

The basic 3ds Max model showing the general form and new backpack


I won't describe every modeling stage, because there are tons of lessons on this topic and it honestly didn't require a lot of skill ? mostly time. In this tutorial, I'll just focus on what really matters.

I used the Human ZBuilder plug-in to create the character's body. It's a very simple and handy plug-in, which allows the creation of anything between a male, a female and an ape (well, just a humanoid with an adequate topology) by simply moving the sliders.

Using the ZBuilder plug-in to create a humanoid figure

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Dooing on Fri, 09 January 2015 10:54am
Thank you very much ! It's really helpful !
Renderfiend on Sat, 28 June 2014 5:21am
Superb work man!!!
Renderfiend on Sat, 28 June 2014 5:15am
Excellent work man... thanks for showing us how you created this!
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