Took about 30 minutes to establish the anatomy of this creature in zspheres first, I found this to be a really enjoyable way to start off a design instead of the 'pull and dynamesh' technique as this gives more of a sold structure to work with and forces you to think more about the shape and intentions of the design. This is going to be a underwater parasite that attaches itself to hosts to use them for their biological benefits, here it is using a human to enable itself to breathe without being submerged in water, making it capable of going onto land.
Have began to encorporate more ZBrush and Keyshot into my workflow lately and trying to get out of my comfort zone that I was starting to find a bit to 'samey', I love the simplicity of them and helps insanely well in producing faster concepts, this is just a test I did and took about 3 hours in total. I will next show my process in Photoshop where I will begin to composite photo textures to prep for painting.
This is only a raw render in Keyshot that will serve me as my basis for concepting in the next stage.
After the models UV'S unwrapped (using the magical UV-Master plug in) I got straight onto polypainting which I just love from a 2D artist persective, in my opinion its the most fun stage for me as its where its no longer just a '3D' model and it starts to look like a character. The polypainting provided a great map for me to start laying out photographic textures in photoshop, and hey ho thats it done! Final stage left: Pose, light and render, although not sure which 3D app to use for which renderer but will definitely soon find out. As I do not want to spend much more time on this, once rendered I will likely paint-in the environment (2D).
Showcasing the 3 steps to this concept that was a much different process compared to my other artwork but was absolutely a very fun and creative change that I will probably experiment with again.
Step One: Character bust modelled and rendered created in 'Sculpt+' for iPad.
Step Two: Digitally painted over using 'Procreate' For iPad.
Step Three: Transferred over to my laptop, more painting, grading and texturing finished in Photoshop.
Added piping to the model that I wanted to look a little bit like a tentacle so less mechanical and more organic so I created the pipes in 3ds max than took them ZBrush, remeshed the whole model which gave a 'ripple' like effect to the piping, once the low poly model was remeshed I started to build up the detailing again, its on its '3rd' subdivision and I hope to take it to at least 5 or 6 so still more detailing to go, once that is done I will be doing some fabric work in marvelous designer just give a little more depth to the design.
Just have him a flat clay render in max to just see how some parts react with light, this has made me go back to just refine some of his clothing as it just needs a little more finesse mainly on the collar/edges. He is now at texturing stage then once that is done will pose and take it further in photoshop by giving it more colour and texture turning the whole thing int0 a concept.
This is where I am currently at with this character in zbrush, spent most of today fleshing out the proportions (about 5-6 hours total) so they look correct (even though he is oddly shaped he still needs to look balanced). I am pretty happy with the result for the body/face all that is left is a little more detailing for the skin and fabric with some additional props added (belt etc) then we can start to unwrap the mesh and move onto texture stage. As you can also probably tell he is very much a character that has similar mannerisms and a style that could fit into the world of 'Aardman'.
Just a quick bust sculpted on my lunch break, I started off with just a z-sphere - quite like where I am going with this so will more than likely take it to a further level of detailing, where you can see the multiple 'circle' shapes on the sides of his head will be inserts for large cables/plugs to go into (I will more than likely do in maya or max), I want him to look like he is being supplied an energy-source of some sort that is keeping him alive in this mechanical-suit, the look is very much inspired by the bio-mechanic style seen by the likes of Giger.
Sometimes to take you out of a painting you may have been working on for a couple of days its good to take a break and stretch the attention span muscles by trying out something different but very quickly just as an exersize, it can be a good insight into how you work when you limit yourself to something as small as a half hour - 1 hour.
Just a 'work-in-progress' stage, I am pretty happy with the creature design the next stage is the background scene, set in a small town and from the perspective of towns-people as they witness the horrors.
I see this as personal learning journey in terms of designing non-anthropomorphic figures - as well as improving painting skin/muscle.
Delighted to say I will be attending the FMX Conference this year, (The last time being 2012... crazy!) so I am super excited to check out what programs they will have in store as well as see what innovative work is being done in both the art and technology industries, meet some great talent and hopefully get some great advice too... obviously will be great to get to be back in the beautiful city of Stuttgart again which will be a treat.
Would love to know if anybody would be attending that knows what to possibly expect in terms of what the programs/talks might involve, feel free to leave your comments below!
Website is now officially online, still some subtle tweaks being made and much more work coming along very soon so make sure to watch this space! - Sam
After looking at my older work (during the student days) I decided I wasn't happy with my current portfolio, and in fact I couldn't actually remember the last time I had created art for the pure enjoyment of it, rather than for the sake of trying to pay bills. So I decided that as I was creating this website that I will also create an artbook, this book will be entirely personal work and will have absolutely none of my older work in there (unless its to point and laugh at it). It is going to be a collection of many cool, odd and strange things from many creatures and funny-looking characters to sweeping landscape and other worlds that have been brewing in my imagination for some time. I am very excited to see what I can bring to the table and hopefully be able to say I created something I was proud of, wish me luck and I will keep you posted!