Sculpting Spring from Dr. Slump
Discover the process on how I created Spring from Dr. Slump. The following nine videos, each one with an average length of 35 minutes of content, shows how I developed this project using ZBrush and Photoshop while covering the following topics:
- Blockout Modeling
- Showcase my sculpting techniques
- Blocking with ZSpheres
- Cloth Dynamics in ZBrush
- Rendering in ZBrush
- Managing BPR Filters
- Compositing in Photoshop
If you want to dig a bit deeper on some part of the video that has not been so clear on the timelapse, you can watch the full process in real-time on the following videos divided by chapters.
The Resuming Timelapse
Resuming timelapse of 5 hours of work, showing every aspect of the character creation. Discover here my workflow, starting from blocking out the model, passing thru the sculpting process and ending with the image composition.
Although the results are appealing to the eye, this workflow is not compatible with industry production purposes, because the resulting topology and the UV mapping are not optimal. This workflow is only for personal works, concepts, illustrations or 3D printing prototypes.
1. The Blockout Modeling
On this video I show how I do blockout with primitives the basic shape of the character before I start sculpting.
When I start a project, I like to have several references to look at. In this case I'll be showing the image I'm using as a reference on the Spotlight, but in fact, I have a bunch of them on the other screen to easily consult when necessary.
Believe me when I say that researching for lots of reference images before starting your project is a good practice, surely it will help you to see the whole project more clearly.
Also, I work with the Spotlight and TimeLine. These two pieces together permits you to choose a point of view where you will place a keyframe on the TimeLine, move the viewport to work in another area and when you finished your work there, easily come back to the point of view where you have placed your keyframe before.
Finally, I weld the head primitives together and I add some material to smooth the transition between them.
2. Sculpting the Head
With the basic shape of the head, now I can start adding some parts of the face. I take the sculpture brushes and with the help of some more primitives, I do the chin, the mouth, the ears and finally the nose.
3. Modeling the Glasses and the Scalp
We don't know how the spring's eyes are, in fact, one of the things that makes her the way she is, are this big brownish glass. To explain it fast how I made them, I use a torus primitive for the glasses mount and a sphere of the crystal.
For the scalp, I use a half of a regular sphere, because the direction of the edges are useful to create any type of hair collection.
4. Making the Hairstyle
One time the scalp is placed, I crease the edges where a hair flake will be placed. In the video you will realize that there are some options that allows you to create curve strokes from creased edges, this will be useful to place all the hair flakes once.
Then I use the move topological brush to slightly displace every hair flake and create some variety.
5. Sculpting the Body and Belt
The head is mostly done so now it's time for the rest of the body. At the beginning, I merge the torso with the legs and start sculpting the body to clean up the transition and I end up sculpting her back.
After that, I show you another way to block out the arms using ZSpheres. I usually blockout my characters using primitives, but ZSpheres are another good way to this job. It's indispensable to know how to work with these techniques and sometimes can be useful to make a combination of both.
Finally, I add the belt and sculpt the bow wrinkles.
6. Adding the Sandals and Vest
Here I start with the sole of the sandal, extracting the shape of the feet and making a quick retopo with ZRemesher. Then I continue with its straps and defining the fingers of the feet.
To create the vest I make a duplicate of the body and I sculpt what would be the shoulders. Then I start cutting the mesh to define the overall shape of the vest, finishing again with ZRemesher to have a decent mesh to work with.
I try the "Cloth Dynamics" that is a new feature in the 2021 version of ZBrush. At the start I find it hard to get used to it, so I decide to polish the shape with the "Move" and "Smooth" brushes and finally make the final touch with the Cloth Dynamics.
7. Sculpting the Hands
Now it's time to do the blocking of the hands, I will start with the basic shape and I will go progressing with sculpture, merging pieces together and welding them all. I continue by modeling the sleeve to integrate the hand with the model.
One characteristic that makes spring who she is, is that always brings some cookies on her hands. Once the overall shape is done, I made the bites with the "SliceCircle" brush.
8. The Polypaint and Final Details
In this video I made the vest card that contains this Japanese letters and the hair clip which it simply is a sphere with a cylinder.
One thing that I already forgot and I realized that was missing, is the neck of the kimono. To make it, I extract a triangular piece of the body to maintain its shape and I ZRemesh it to increase the resolution of the mesh, so now I can paint the black strips with a solid and crisp edges.
Finally, the Polypaint on this character doesn't have much secret.
9. The BPR Filters, Render and Compo
I always like to play a little with the BPR Filters before I do the final render. It only works when you are in render preview. It allows you to make adjustments and add some cool effects like the Ink effect on the borders. I play as well with the lighting sources and render configuration until I'm satisfied with the render results.
I'm used to use the "ZBrush to Photoshop" plugin to extract a multitude of passes and send them to Photoshop. In fact, I have a quick button for this purpose on my custom UI. This way I have infinitely more control over the final result in Photoshop.