Making of 'Alien Baby'
This alien baby was an old idea, which I first sculpted with clay five years ago. The clay sculpture was now a good reference for this 3D project - in fact, it was the only reference (Fig.01)!
The base mesh was done in ZBrush 3.1 with ZSpheres. This is a fast way to get basic meshes for biological forms. As the mesh was so basic, I had to modify it in 3ds Max. I extruded some parts like the fingers and the shoulder bones, which is easily done in Max. I also added some new splines to the mesh. This is important in some mesh areas where the faces are too big; you have to be careful to get a steadily going mesh (Fig.02).
Back in ZBrush, the alien got six mesh subdivisions, and I started sculpting all the details. I used mostly the move and standard brushes at this point (Fig.03).
After the main details were finished, I exported the lowest mesh division to make the UVs. Of course it's possible to generate the UVs in ZBrush, but I wanted to get maps that I could easily modify in Photoshop later if necessary.
When you export a low poly-mesh from ZBrush and later re-import back to ZBrush with new UVs, it is very important to switch off the UVs in the tool rollout bar, otherwise you get a broken mesh (Fig.04)!
For posing the alien I used the masking and rotation functions in ZBrush. After posing I added some last details to the body like folds and skin structure and made some corrections (Fig.05).
For painting the alien I used only polypainting in ZBrush. I started with the veins and subsurface red flesh tones. After that I overpainted that slightly with the main skin color, but only faintly so that the veins could shine through (Fig.06).
The ambient Occlusion map was a mix of the displacement map and an ambient occlusion map which was generated with mental ray in Max. This gave the map more details.
The displacement and specular maps was generated in ZBrush. To get the structure for the specular map I used the cavity masking option in ZBrush.
All maps were exported from ZBrush. The maps have to mirror vertically when you export them (Fig.07).
Scene in 3ds max
In Fig.08 you can see the positions of all lights and the camera. For the reflections I used a reflection color in the render settings. There is no sunlight!
All other objects in the scene were built in Max, the plate with box modeling and the band with a spline object (Fig.09).
Here are the maps for the scene objects. The right one is the reflection map for the plate (Fig.10).
The plate shader was quite easy build, as you can see in Fig.11. It only had a reflection map. The Skin shader was the standard Vray Mtl and for Subsurface Scatter I used the translucency function.
In Fig.12 you can see the displacement settings for the alien. It's always important to remember to set "shift" minus half of the "amount" way!
And that's all (Fig.13).
I hope you found this making helpful and if there are questions left, feel free to contact me.