Creating sci-fi characters
Fuad Quaderi shares his 3D-Coat workflow for creating awesome sci-fi characters
Step 1: Rough concept
I create the initial mesh with the Sphere tool and my knowledge of design language. I don't use reference images while I'm working - I just trust my brain to explore forms and rhythms. This initial sculpt is the most important step of the work, because without it you have no form to separate and add details to!
I like the Sphere tool for making my favorite shapes and concepts because it's so soft and flexible. I like using 3D-Coat because it has a strong sense of workflow, and voxel sculpting allows great flexibility for making hard surfaces.
Step 2: Dividing your mesh
This step is one of my favorite parts to work on. The Hide tool is so fast for separating shapes! Select the Hide tool to hide your visible shapes, and then go to the Voxels tab to select the separated parts. I mark the parts with different colors.
Step 3: Smoothing
After dividing your mesh, you need to smooth the shapes with the Res+ tool (resampling). I may also use Res+ during the previous step for smaller parts, because sometimes I might miss fine details.
Step 4: Fine details
My scene can become too heavy if I work on fine details in Voxel mode, so I set the mesh layer to Surface mode. LiveClay is the best tool for adding more details. (See the picture for my LiveClay settings and the results I get with them.)
Step 5: Sharp details
Sometimes I need to add some industrial, angular shapes on my surfaces. In such cases, Vox Extrude is so helpful and fast. I can explore many ideas with it. (See my Vox Extrude settings in the image.)
Step 6: Final mesh
After all that, I have a detailed and polished mesh without any blank or incomplete parts! My mech designs can take a minimum of half an hour to make and up to four or five hours for fine details in most cases.
Step 7: KeyShot
After checking all parts of the mesh, it's time to render! I import the mesh into KeyShot and play with different materials. In the image, you can see my environment settings and all the materials I've used.
Step 8: post-production
After rendering in KeyShot, I take the image into Photoshop to add finishing touches like surface markings, glowing lights, and a subtle vignette effect.