For this set of composites, I wanted to try some new things. I wanted to try out some leather detailing and try some hardsurface techniques.
Over the past 10 weeks I have been making a Fish Monster for a short film production. My responsibilities were to design, sculpt, retopologise and texture the Monster. Taking on board the feedback of both my team and other teams I have iterated and improved on the design.
For the first pass I rushed through and didn't come up with a proper design or colour scheme before texturing. As was pointed out to me, the uniformity of the scales and lack of apparent colour scheme are unappealing and lack inspiration. The fleshy parts around the face are too red and saturated and the scales are unreadable from far away. I took this feedback onboard and started my second design, keeping those design aspects in mind I attempted my second pass.
This design was received better than the previous one, I focused only on the torso to limit what I had to pay attention to, and focus on getting one UDIM tile perfect. A well thought out colour scheme on the body and the increase in scale size. Feedback I got for this pass was that the scales were still too small and uniform and that the skin could use more of a colour breakup.
After completing the final texture of the body scales I got feedback that the transition from hard scales to soft flesh was too abrupt and that a transition material could be a thing to try. I based this transitionary material off of rough Shark Leather. I used the Thickness Map I baked out of Marmoset as a base for the Scattering, I then clamped down the values and handpainted elements to help with the transition across UDIMS.
Overall I am happy with the final product and the amount of work I put in to get it there. The last bit is tweaking the Sub-Surface Scattering inside of Renderman to get a more realistic look.
I am currently doing my Major Production as part of my University Course. As part of my responsibilities I had to design and model a Monster from the Deep Sea.
I went through a couple concepts in 2d and finalized on this design.
However I was still unsatisfied about how it didn't look "fishy" enough. I then added, gills, armpit & hand membrane and changed the lips.
I was still Iffy on whether or not to add gills to the monster. I received feedback on the entire face saying that the horns didn't fit with a fish at all.
I took this feedback on board and redesigned the face a bit, I removed the horns and made the teeth thinner. I also reimagined the hard skin around the arms and legs to instead be hard scales. I took inspiration from an Angler fish when re-designing the face.
Satisfied with the 'fishyness' of the face I turned my attention to the rest of the body. I thought that Shark Scales would work really well for an aquatic predator. I made a set of 3 scales in Zbrush and applied it through a Nanomesh.
I found the uniformity and size to be too noisy and too dense. For scales this small I could instead do it in a texture . So I scaled the size up and decreased the amount of scales.
This was my second attempt at the scales, they were more obviously scales at a distance but it was still far too dense. Retopologising and UV unwrapping this within the timeframe was going to be impossible. I reduced the number of scales for use in retopo and UV unwrapping.
Finally, I have the finished High Poly in ZBrush
Expected problem areas
The glove is an expected problem area for the skinning of the character as it has to have the feeling of multiple layers of cloth stacked ontop of each other. Overall I just used the Geodesic Voxel method of skinning with some cleanup around the wrist
The Baggy Pants
I expected the baggy pants to be a problem area because of how floofy and wrinkly it is. Overall the skinning of it was very straightforward as it was just like regular legs.
I expected the haircaps to be a problem area because I would have to match the skinning to the original body exactly. I used a mix of Importing Skin Weights from the original body and Copy Skin Weights from the original body. For all the spline driven hair I had to repose it to add the feeling of some weight and motion. The Mustache bones aren't skinned to anything they are there for reference to keep the flow of the hair consistent .
The Tunic will be driven via a cloth effect in Unreal Engine 4.
Onto modelling a diarama and putting the character into Unreal, overall I am very excited to get this project done.