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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
We’ve talked with Vladimir Silkin from Plarium about his most recent character study, where he created a crazy zombified version of ‘Bebop’ from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He gave a detailed look at the character model creation, the materials, and little touches, which helped to create this stunning monster.
I started learning 3D when I was studying at Kharkov National University of Radioelectronics. At first, it was just a hobby, but then I realized that 3d is what I really want to do and that radio-electronics is not my thing. I got to know 3ds Max back in 2003 and then started doing it professionally in 2005.
Bebop Undead | Comicon Challenge 2016
Scrolling through Facebook at night, I stumbled on post from GameArtisans about Comicon Challenge 2016. I always wanted to take a part but had no free time. As I’m a fan of TV series and games with zombies, the challenge’s topic was definitely my thing. I haven’t slept that night, thinking on the comic character I should choose.
I thought the most popular will be Batman, X-men, Superman, so I needed someone unique and charismatic. When I was a child, I loved TMNT and its characters, especially Bebop and Rocksteady, so I chose Bebop, collected references and defined his appearance.
I came up with a story of a battle between turtles and him, which led to Bebop becoming a zombie and defeating them.
As originally Bebop was a punk, who turned into a mutant, I wanted to bring that punk theme from 80’s and 90’s.
First of all, I collected Bebop references and some pictures for additional objects and accessories. This stage is important for defining character’s final look. Pinterest and PureRef can help you with that.
Next comes a quick 3d concept in Zbrush with Dynamesh. The original plan was to make him one scary evil pig, but then I kept forming the sculpt and made him look more like a wild boar.
I continued with his body and some basic proportions to have some starting point. Then I made a quick 2d sketch to check the final image.
I sculpted his head, but the result wasn’t good enough for me. That’s why I decided to sculpt it again from the beginning, changing the snout, position of his eyes and head’s form. In the end he looked like a mix of boar, pig and man.
Then I added some asymmetry, leaving him without left ear with Bebop’s left eye covered with hematoma and pus.
From the very beginning, I knew his final zombie look shouldn’t be defined by the missing limbs. Instead I used torn clothing, bruises, special color for his body and some additional zombie accessories.
Chains, badges and rivets are the signs of the punk theme. Chains were created in 3ds Max with PathDeform and Spline. Handcuffs were made with TurboSmooth. His Vest was modeled in 3ds Max with some additional elements added in Zbrush.
I created one spike and continued with UV-mapping. Then using Select and Move multiplied this element across his vest. Body’s retopology was done with 3ds Max.
I worked on texturing in Substance Painter, starting with smart materials and adding layers with dirt, dust, etc… This software gives you lots of possibilities; you just have to know when to stop not to spoil your model.
Bruises and Wounds
First I modeled these details in Zbrush and baked a Normal map. Then in Substance Painter I added dark red fill layer with high reflectivity and low height. Then painted bruises and wound by hand where needed.
When I’ve finished my work with textures I exported them with PBRSpecGloss for Marmoset Toolbag 2.
When building your textures, it is important that Roughness map is not too uniform. Also, your objects must come with different reflectivity, so that there’s a contrast between dim and glossy surfaces. For example, clothing material absorbs and disperses light, so its Roughness is white with value at 1.0, while setup for metal is different.
Substance Painter gives you the ability to edit your textures and see the changes real-time.
Bebop’s rig is made with Biped in 3ds Max.
Then I used Marmoset Toolbag 2 for rendering. The final model has muffled light with some additional light sources.