Creature Look Developement



This project in creating a creature with a realistic look and feel to it was one of my wishes. The job is to create our desired creature, texture it, shade it , light it and render it and finaly compositing the creature with a life backrground plate. This project will definitely expose me to the challenges of observing the irregularities in human and animals. On top of that taking me to the next level of texturing and shading.


Reference Images


click on image to see more image references.

These references are for me to have a full understanding of my creature, "ROD", and how he is going to look like, feel like and dress like. With the help of this images, I will be able to mimic realistic textures, shaders and physic of ROD.


Polygon Mesh of ROD in Zbrush



Working on the Hands

Working on the hands was the 1st step to know UVs and texturing. It gives me the ability to focus and handle the details thats being realize when studying the hand. Click on link to view a the video. Moreover, through this process I finally found a comfortable method that help me in laying out my UVs.


Working on ROD's Eyes




ROD is a very hard working person and he travels. In addition he is a tough man as he use to be a warrior serving in the last battle his country was in. Currently, he has no family and hence live his life by working in the docks wherever the cargo ship goes.

His eyes are meant to be tired and filled with experience when one looks at him. There is a sense of lost but confidence at the same time. He is always searching and looking ahead.

This two references gave the the eyes I was looking for ROD.

The 3 images above shows the stages eye area of ROD, these are just 3 different selected stages of creating the eyes.

They have one major problem is that the eyes are no picking up the shadows.

the trick is to turn up the shadow depth in the LightShape node. The defualt is set to 1. we have to set it to 2 or 3 to allow the light to pass through more than one layer.

Click here to See a detailed video of the eyes.
















Subsurface Scatter


Skin was one of the toughest part. I am using metalrays subsurface scatter shader to work out the skin shader of my character. This shader has tremendous amount of control over the different layers of skin. Each layer have to be studied and investigated thoroughly in order to really understand the shader and gain control of it.


Click on each image to view full image.



These are the diffuse or color maps used in the diffuse layer and the epidermal layer. It will act as the major and overall base color map of the creature.

The left is the face color map. The right is the body color map.

This are the subdermal map of the creature. I had veins painted into this layer as veins lay under the skin.
These are the subsurface scatter maps. These colors will come through as the subsurface scatter color and whereever there are blacks or darker color the scatter will either be taken out or toned down.

The problem here is geting the consistancy with colors in those maps. While painting I was not able to look at the previous map being painted as time was not on my side and it never will. I would say this maps are not final and there is more work that have to be put into it. However the render turn out pretty ok at the moment.


Working on Displacements


Please click on individual image to see the larger version of the Displacement maps.

These displacement maps are created with the help of Zbrush.


Integration Process

I started of with one key light and 3 other fill lights. After several test and feedbacks from my professor, I ended up with 2 key lights and 4 other fill lights. Its weird to have 2 keys but just having one doesnt allow me to wrap the light around my character, this was something new and exciting as I personally felt that I have gain more insights about lighting and it will definitely help me out in future works.
Turn Table of Rod

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Some Close Up Shots


One thing I realize, although I have painted my textures at 2k, when I was doing this close up shots. Some of my textures still don hold up. Moreover, I tend to see more mistakes. I guess, these textures need to be look into once again and require more detail work on it.

Currently, I know I have achieve new standards in modeling and textureing however more can still be added onto this creature.


Personally, I feel I have some control over the shaders but not total control yet. Things are still not showing up as I have expected. Expecially the subsurface Scatter and Specular on the skin. I have spen alot of time on it and I will have to spent many hours more to really figure this out. Moreover, on the modeling, more details need to be added and some anatomy issues like the triseps that connects with the elbow needs some work.

During the process of creating this creature, Painting was my worst enemy as I am not use to the brush and not use to coloring. Time was also a factor and switching between a History Class, a Scripting Class and this class was a difficult task as each needed its own period of time to get warm up and get focus into the subject.

In Conclusion, I really love this creature and will definitely improve on it. 3 to 6 months down the road its my target to have a whole new set of work including this creature in my new DemoReel. Maybe it will be integrated into a life shooting with camera move. :)