3D character and Creature Artist
Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Arnaud Lonys gave a talk on the way he modeled his version Nute Gunray from Star Wars. The artist guides you through all the major stages of production.
Hi, my name is Arnaud Lonys and I am a 3D character and creature artist based in Belgium. I studied 3d computer graphics at La Haute École Albert Jacquard in Namur (Belgium) during 2012~2015. After My graduation I started working at Luc Petit Création where I worked on different shows. Nowadays I work as a freelance 3d character and creature artist.
This artwork was made for the CG+ Star Wars reimagined challenge where we had to redesign a character from the Star Wars universe.
I wanted to redesign Nute Gunray as a sith lord which I found was a good contrast with his original character where he is more of a servant of the sith’s.
So I gathered all the references I could about Nute Gunray. Took a lot of reference from the Star Wars books I have but also from the internet.
So I made a collage of all the internet references and kept my books near me and started working on the sculpt.
At this point I had not yet a concrete idea for the background but I wanted to have an image where we could feel the vibe of Star Wars episode 7 that just came out at the moment of the contest.
I usually start my sculpt with dynamesh in Zbrush. I roughly blockout the anatomy and clothing in symmetry first so I can try out different ideas.
As he is more of a humanoid kind of Alien, I based him on the human anatomy. When I got a good idea of what the final design will look like, I did a quick retopo with zremesher as it’s meant to be a still image in the end.
Then I start posing him and retouching the sculpt. The challenge here is to find the good proportions and forms but also to find a good looking and powerful silhouette that reads well.
I gathered as many references as I could of his face and tried to achieve the likeness.
First blocking in the basic forms and shapes then adding his eyes and secondary shapes and finally tertiary details with skin pores and wrinkles.
For clothing I used Marvelous Designer because it gives very realistic results. I started with the blockout of the cloths in Zbrush and drew down the cloth patterns afterwards in Marvelous Designer.
After I have the desired results in Marvelous Designer, I export the meshes back to Zbrush and do a quick retopo and UV’s. The boots and belt where done in Zbrush.
I used a mix of polypaint and Substance Painter for this piece. For the body I projected photos of random pictures on the model to get a base color and some variation in the color. Afterwards I polypaint where needed and add some details.
I used Keyshot as renderer because it’s a really easy and fast way to make a keyframe. I exported my model via the Keyshot bridge and once in Keyshot I assign all my materials and tweak them as needed. Then I do a quick test render that I use in Photoshop to paint the background. I use a mix of foto’s and painting for the background. I chose a central framing of the character to emphasis his power. Once I am satisfied with the background I reimport it in Keyshot and try to match the lighting of the background with my model. I use an HDRI map an add lights where needed. Once everything is in place I do a high resolution render and I composite all the render passes in Photoshop. Finally I add some details with foto’s and painting.