Making Of 'Tortured Souls - Petite sœur'

The concept

The idea for this model came from Clive Barker's universe. I'm a true fan of the first Hellraiser, and the "Tortured Souls" figurines. So my intent was to create my own vision, while respecting Barker's original concept.  I wanted to create a mysterious figure -- disturbing and attractive in the same time -- captive in a hybrid and tortured body.

Overall workflow

When I started to work on this model, I decided to use Zbrush as much as possible with an aim of exploring a maximum of available tools. The model is done in a lot of parts (head, arms, breast, teddy bear, clothes and accessories), to improve computer resources and allow greater detail for each piece.
To adjust the various parts consistently, each step was started with a picture of the previous step as a projected background (e.g. the clothes). That makes it possible to obtain a rather good precision during the final assembly

The head

The head is based on Zspheres, in a very simple setup. When I found the broad form, I start subdividing and refining the mesh.

For the mapping, I used AUV Tiles, which I find to be very fast and effective. Thanks to ZAppLink, you don't need to unwrap UV's and paint the flat map in Photoshop. The time saved is great. Diffuse and bump maps were both painted with ZAppLink.

The arms

Like the head, arms were based on a Zsphere setup. When I had a very low poly mesh, I moved point after point to adjust the topology. Then, I subdivided, moved points, subdivided, moved more points...

Textures were painted the same way as for the head, using ZAppLink.

The chest

a. Zsphere setup
b. Convert to polymesh
c. Move points, delete unused faces
d. Refine and add details

The clothes

For modelling clothes, I used a cylinder converted to a PolyMesh.  I used the front and right views of the torso as a background (placed on another layer) to adjust the clothes. The depth information of this background was extremely helpful, compared to standard flat reference images, allowing the current part to be perfectly adjusted for the body.

Teddy Bear

Export / Import

Each part of the body was exported from ZBrush at subdivision level 2 or 3, then imported into my animation program. Normal maps were generated with ZMapper (I don't use displacement mapping; I think it takes too much time to compute and render). If needed, at this point I tweaked the pose by moving vertices. Then I added some accessories like the chain.


I use a 4 points lighting.

Skin Shader

I use the MR'SSS Fast Skin Material, with some tweakings. I plug the normal map mixed with the bump shader into the 'Bump shader' slot, and the diffuse map in the 'Overall diffuse coloration' slot.

Final Render

So, I launch the final render with occlusion in another pass...

...and compose the final image in Photoshop.

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