I love sci-fi images, games and movies, so I decided to have a go at creating an original character that could be part of a bigger universe. I decided to create just a bust to push some techniques on a smaller scale. I really wanted this to go in a direction that I had never tackled before in order to learn new methods. In this Making Of I will be breaking down my general workflow for this image. I will try and focus a little more on the cool stuff, like the skin and rendering.
References and Concept
I've learned that good references are super-important in speeding up a workflow and also simply creating something that is aesthetically pleasing. I took inspiration from many places and people, but tried to combine certain elements while keeping my own creative spin on it. And here's my attempt at concept art (Fig.01).
To help me speed up the process, I started modeling the head from a base female head I'd made for a previous model. I then quickly pushed and pulled in ZBrush to get the general shape and proportions I wanted. I pretty much wanted her to have a mix of different features so she didn't look one ethnicity. Although obviously she's purple anyway so that helps (Fig.02)!
I then moved to the head gear and made a very low poly base mesh to work from. I knew what shape I wanted it to follow, but I decided to sculpt out some really rough ideas in ZBrush. Once I got a cool looking idea I wanted to follow, I brought it into Maya to create some nice topology. But I first used the Decimation Master plugin for ZBrush in order to get a polycount that wouldn't make my computer implode (Fig.03).
It was at this time that I quickly modeled the head jack piece. It's mostly just simple shapes like cylinders (Fig.04).
When I had a clean mesh for the head pieces, I started to model small details such as wires and vents. At this stage I was trying to be conscious of the silhouette and trying to be careful of not making too many messy details. It was tough coming up with things that looked cool, but at the same time believable. I found myself having to think about why things were in certain places and what uses they would have (Fig.05).