Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Gathering reference images, part of Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush Photoshop and Maya.
The basic anatomical structure of our Dewhopper is kind of like a cross between a lizard, a frog, and a rodent type animal. Before I get into the details of the design, I want to find reference images of those kinds of animals. Doing this, it will help me get the subtle nuances of the anatomy in a believable way. As much as you may know about animal anatomy, there's always something new to be learned by looking at the actual animal rather than relying on memory. I like to use Google Image Search to find reference.
I am just going to go to Google and click Images. Just start finding and saving as many pictures as you can that might relate to your creature design. So I am just going to search for lizard. So right off the bat you can see that there is some really interesting images, this one might be good for the skin texture or for the way that the anatomy works in the joints and the fingers. Something else I'd like to do is search for large images. This helps you find images that only have really high definition, resolution so you can see every detail.
A lot of lizards and amphibians have limbs that are very tube like and undefined. However, I want my creature to be a little bit more anatomically detailed and interesting, because of that I want to find pictures that reveal muscle and bone structure more than average. So this limb right here is great for this scaly skin texture but there might be other images that are better for muscle structure. So let's just look through here and see if we find any. So with this one you can kind of make out calf muscles and biceps and deltoids, so images like this can be very useful when you are sculpting the musculature of your creature.
I am including some images that were very helpful to me as exercise files. You can also check out video footage of similar animals to get a sense of how they move. YouTube is a great resource for this. Even though we won't be animating the creature in this course, video reference is very valuable for helping us to understand the anatomy that goes into the various movements that your creature can perform. The importance of reference cannot be understated. This is another aspect to creature design that you may not ever see when looking at other people's designs.
It can be easy to think that the professional concept artists just invent their designs out of their imaginations. The reality is that they spend a lot of time studying nature and real animals in order to create believable designs.
- Brainstorming and refining a character concept
- Installing custom brushes
- Optimizing tablet settings
- Posing the ZSpheres in ZBrush
- Sculpting muscles and midsize shapes
- Working with DynaMesh
- Using GoZ between ZBrush and Maya
- Creating topology for animation
- Sculpting fine detail
- Cleaning up a mesh in Maya
- Creating the UV layout
- Lighting and shading
- Painting texture maps
- Posing with Transpose tools in ZBrush
- Batch rendering a turntable animation
Skill Level Intermediate
1. Preparing Your Workspace
2. Designing the Creature
3. Basic Sculpting in ZBrush
4. Basic Modeling in Maya
5. Creating Topology for Animation
6. Creating the UV Layout
7. Creating a Pedestal Environment
8. Lighting and Shading
10. Posing the Model
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