Fantasy creature sculpting
Rishikesh M Nandlaskar explains the sculpting techniques behind his fantasy forest goblin creation
I usually make the basemesh in Maya and get it ready to be sculpted in ZBrush, but for this project I used ZSpheres to make the basemesh.
I started sculpting on the base mesh until I felt it was time to unwrap and pose. The rest of the detailed sculpting would follow later. It's important not hesitate when changing proportions and forms in the process, I just kept visualising the form and how it read in the concept artwork.
I unwrapped the model in Maya because I could quickly get it done as I'm familiar with the software. UVMaster in ZBrush is quicker though, and sometimes I use it in other projects - it depends on my mood as to where I unwrap my model.
Posing using Transpose Master
I also started posing the model using Transpose Master. After posing was done, I moved on to adding details to
I used SprayStroke brush and Alpha07 in ZBrush to paint the basic colors and get the overall character covered. Then I moved onto painting in layers.
ZBrush has made it very easy to extract different maps together using the Multi Map Exporter.
Setup in Maya
Most of the time, real world scale is necessary to get good results in your rendering. I calculated that the goblin character was around 2 feet tall in a standing position.
I usually don't use displacement maps as it takes lot of time. Instead I exported SubTools from ZBrush to Maya with details on it. Subdivision levels will vary from SubTool to SubTool as per the distance of the details from the camera. This saves on a lot of rendering time, especially when the project is for a 3D illustration and the camera is fixed.
Rendering with V-Ray
V-Ray Rect Lights and Sphere Lights were used to light the scene. Lots of test renders went into process before I finalised the lighting setup. For the grass, I used V-Ray fur which is super fast and gives really good results with
Render passes were rendered in Maya and Photoshop was used for compositing all the render passes from Maya/V-Ray. A bit of color correction was involved too to get the desired final output.
To convert the concept art to 3D, its important to keep the essence of the artwork, because if it has been approved, it will clearly have excellent qualities – such as the proportion, forms and shapes, or gesture and the pose.
It's also important to get the anatomy right to keep the shape and form true to the artwork. It's easy to divert from a concept art and call it an improvised version, but I personally feel that keeping the real essence of the concept art is also important and is quite a challenge. Once that is achieved and approved then the model can be