Character Modelling

The Monster aka Steven Jerry.


Below is the completed Monster loaded onto sketchfab, some changes were made during the design process meaning he differs in model and concept art.

To model the monster I used a combination of zbrush and maya, with photoshop for the textures, the same technique I had used whilst on placement only this time I had a much greater knowledge of zbrush than before.


I attempted to sculpt the character from scratch in maya by importing the images planes but quickly realised that the roundness of the overall character could be achieved more easily by using zbrush zspheres.


Below are some links to tutorials I followed to get back my bearings whilst in zbrush – it had been a while since I had used it.

Digital Tutors:

The tutorial above covers creating a character form start to finish, starting with zspheres to block out the character and converting it to dynamesh to sculpt features and details, this is the process that I applied.

The tutorial below was helpful as it contains useful tips and tricks for modelling in Zbrush with dynamesh and zremesher.–cg-31593

The tutorial below is more of a timelapse of a 3D artist creating a character using a zsphere system, it has no sound, which I personally prefer when looking for tutorials on youtube – this tutorial allowed me to pause and skip through to whichever stage I myself am currently at.

Importing an image plane into zbrush:

To start in zbrush I imported image planes so that I would be able to keep the sculpt as close as possible to the original design. I built a rough model out of zspheres, making sure than I had my symmetry option turned on, seeing as he is symmetrical – there was no point in having to model two halves, or modelling on and then duplicating that half and combining them.

Once happy with the base zsphere mesh I then previewed the structure of the model by pressing A – just to make sure I was happy with how it would look once converted to an adaptive mesh, zbrush would create a skin around the base armature – adjusting the density of the mesh in the adaptive skin settings allowed for a high poly mesh to be previewed. I adjusted the value of my density to 5 to give myself more polygons to sculpt with and converted the model to an adaptive skin, once converted these lower subdivision levels were deleted as they wouldn’t be needed.

Before converting to dynamesh there a few settings that need to be adjusted. Geometry > Dynamesh > turn off the project option and then increase the resolution, generally to 1024 and then convert. Dynamesh is a tool that allows artists to sculpt without stretching the current polygons/mesh. From here it was then a case of sculpting on the base model to create the final Monster.

Below are some references for keeping my topology tidy:

Luckily this model’s overall shape wasn’t anything too crazy meaning that it wasn’t too difficult to keep his topology neat, although he did have quite a high poly mesh, but this mean that the model didn’t have to be smoothed when placed in the scene.The topology was important for rigging and Scott had mentioned to make sure that the model had plenty of edge loops, especially on the arms…

Pixel logic’s website had a little on topology and re-meshing which can in handy later:


Progress of model sculpt:


Using image planes within zbrush

Image planes allowed for the right shape to be developed form the beginning, as you can see above he wasn’t quite right yet…

well into the sculpting process
side profile of early progress
1st complete model

Feedback I received regarding the first complete model was that his belly wasn’t quite there yet and that his jaw needed to be developed more, I took on board all of the criticism and carried on sculpting.

A little to sharp!
Jaw development
A fat lower lip
one side was to be raised

The screenshots above show the development of the monster’s jaw, from a sharp outline to something much smoother and that helps add to that dumbness and innocence we felt from the concept art.

shape development


A little less perky this time

Along with developing the mosnters overall shape, I started to blend the lower lip in with the rest of the jaw, the previous attempts at improving the jaw were a little too much and didn’t quite fit with the original design.


Above is the final model in maya, after being unwrapped and retopologised in zbrush, UVs below:


Sketch Fab links to the rest of our models:

Kimmy: Modelled by Matt, rigged by Scott, animated by myself

The clock: Modelled by Hannah T and rigged by Scott

Link to Scott’s post on rigging the characters:

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