A 3D workflow with Mickael Lelievre
Mickael Lelievre (aka Art of Abby) shares how he modeled the awesome Batbadass in ZBrush
I am always looking for new ideas and concepts to work with; these sometimes simply pop out of my own imagination and others need I need to draw out by hand first. However, from time to time I find something that speaks to me from other artist's work. This was one of those times!
I was in awe of a sketch of Batman by Joverine. I knew straight away that I just had to sculpt this character; his posture, head and expressions, along with the proportions, were what drew me to this image. I have looked at lots of ZBrush tutorials from artists such as Rafael Grassetti, Furio Tedeschi, Marco Plouffe; there is so much to learn from them and they have given me ways to use ZBrush more efficiently.
I started off with making a bust of the head to see if I could quickly capture Batman's expression. I used the Move, hPolish, Clay Buildup, and Clay brushes to create and develop the head and expression. Using DynaMesh in ZBrush I roughly sculpted in the basic proportions of Batman quite roughly. I had his proportions and all the rest in mind.
Modeling and detailing
I have now developed several ways of using ZBrush and find that modifying alphas of a brush is great for not getting lost in the panels of brushes that ZBrush has to offer. The Standard, ClayTubes and Clay brushes are handy for efficient construction; our control over them is high because we can change their alphas when necessary. Understanding and modeling correct anatomy is also a crucial part of any character sculpt; you need to give the body weight and plausible structure, as well as correctly positioning the weight according to the pose. Bearing can make or break a model.
Gumroad allows us to apprehend with "ease" the PolyPaint along with the BPR render. I sincerely suggest this tutorial, as it is pragmatic and reassuring. Everything comes more naturally as soon as we understand its ways and uses.
Rendering and compositing
I used Rafael Grassetti's tutorial on rendering to help me understand how to use PolyPaint and BPR render. I found that having watched the tutorial I was able to use them more naturally and understand their possible applications. Once I had all the passes I needed, I put them together by building a stack of layers in Photoshop. By using the Layer and Clipping masks I was able to play around with the lighting and reflections as well as the textures and colors.
With all the passes and lighting sorted all that was left to do was fiddle with the levels and curves in ZBrush to add texture and a certain depth to the image. I hope you have found this quick workflow useful.