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Making characterful monsters

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Date Added: 16th September 2014
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Freelance character designer, Henning Sanden, talks us through his ZBrush, MODO, MARI and Photoshop pipeline in the creation of his dramatically-lit and textured comedy monster, Moody Conrad...


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Experimenting with shapes

I absolutely love to sketch in ZBrush ? it's a very zen experience for me. I often simply doodle around, and occasionally get something interesting that I can turn into a final piece. This was one of those sketches. I started out with no idea of what this was going to look like, simply pulling and pushing shapes using the Move and Clay Buildup brushes. Once the sculpt was working, I took it into Photoshop to paint over it. For me, this is a really efficient way to create concepts.

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Concept creation can be done very efficiently if you combine the powers of sculpting in ZBrush with painting in Photoshop

Refining the model

At this point, I started to refine the sculpt. Still though, the only thing I cared about was the form. I carefully checked the silhouette at this stage to make sure it was as strong as I could get it. You should really consider a model to be a 360-degree silhouette. This way, the model will work from every angle.

During this stage, you don't put in any details, like pores and fine wrinkles. Think about the big masses, like the underlying skeleton, muscles, fat and skin. The number one beginner mistake I see is to put details in way too early without a working model underneath.

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Only work with big shapes and check your silhouette often




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