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A Dark Souls-Inspired Character Created in Maya, ZBrush & Substance

3D Artist Kua has showcased a new Dark Souls-inspired character Butcher of Darkness and shared a small breakdown of the project.

A 3D Artist known as Kua has revealed a new menacing-looking character, inspired by the Dark Souls 3's Champion Gundyr. The new character, named Butcher of Darkness, was created using Maya, ZBrush, and textured in Substance 3D Painter. This is the second character in the artist's portfolio inspired by Dark Souls, with the first one being Kua's previous project Adrenaline.

Luckily for us, the artist has agreed to join us for a small interview to tell us more about the character and share the working process behind the Butcher of Darkness.

The Breakdown

My real name is Le Minh Hieu but most people know me as Kua, I am 22 years old. I am currently working as a Painter for Bombus. I am a self-taught artist, all the 3D-related knowledge I have gained is mainly from small tutorials on YouTube. I also took a short basic course on Maya.

Talking about starting the Butcher of Darkness project, it was made because once a friend of mine introduced me to Dark Souls 3 and said: "This game might suit you." And like that, I fell in love with the game and its art style.

I really want to express my feelings through the art of darkness, through warriors who silently strive in the lonely darkness until they reach their goal and step out into the light!

I've started researching Dark Souls characters and Dark Souls storylines through the internet and art books before continuing to play those games, so I could get organized and create my own characters.

Talking about the Butcher of Darkness project, I was inspired by Champion Gundyr from Dark Souls 3 and some other characters from other games made by other artists. Here are my references:

But in the process of designing the Butcher, I had to change the design quite a lot to make it the way I wanted. Here are some of my first ideas:

After going through a lot of iterations, here's the final result:

Regarding the software that was used to create the character, I used ZBrush and Maya to create the high poly for the character and Substance 3D Painter to create textures and renders.

As for the character's armor, I first blocked out the ZBrush side to create the cubes and then switched to Maya to process the mesh then switched back to ZBrush to detail the armor. Here is an example of that process:

After all the high poly was finished, I did the mesh creation step to bake the textures for the character. Since I didn't intend to mess with the game environment, I simply used ZRemesher for that and then projected it all back with high poly.

Then it's time for texturing. Unfortunately, I won't be able to explain the texturing process because I'm colorblind.

The last part is rendering the image. I used the standard environment in Substance for rendering. I had some effects set up and rendered and then took everything to Photoshop for editing.

And that's it!

Kua, 3D Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Sergeev

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