Lessons on Stylized 3D Character Production

Lessons on Stylized 3D Character Production

Alana Plantes shared some techniques she used for the creation of heavily stylized 3d characters. She talks painting, modeling, and design.

Alana Plantes shared some techniques she used for the creation of heavily stylized 3d characters. She talks painting, modeling, and design.


Hello, I’m Alana Plantes I have 24 years old and I live in Brazil, I’m graduated in Graphic Design and currently work as Art Director in a Content Agency. I have not yet worked on projects in the 3D area, so far I have only done some modeling studies.

Well, it all started when I was just a little girl, and my biggest fun was drawing out in my whole house. At the time my dream was to be an illustrator, but over time I stopped drawing and did not believe that one day I could live on art.

I have worked on several things even in the financial area. In 2012 I entered the Faculty of Graphic Design and I started working in an agency where I met André Castro (now my mentor), it was he who showed me Zbrush and I loved his work. At the time, I thought that 3D was based only on polygonal modeling, but I saw that I was mistaken. It was a year or so later and I saw that he was going to give a Creature Design Class with Zbrush at the R.evolution School, that’s when I saw an opportunity to do something new and since August of 2016 I’m studying 3D. I feel that I have actually found something that I identify with and that I want to pursue as a career.

Yeah, it was a project I developed at school, I relied on Jason Nguyen’s concept. In this task my main goal was to train folds, modeling accessories and give an impression that the Tinker was actually made of wood.


Well, I based on an already existing concept, my initial concern was to leave it as close as possible to the original. At first, the model was very different from the final image. But during the class of the modeling, I received suggestions from friends, and I wanted to make some changes where I found it necessary to leave the modeling with a more beautiful silhouette and at the same time add items like the most elaborate tool bag that makes him tell a story.

1 of 2
1 of 2


I love this idea of many small elements and I think this makes all the difference in the final design. In this project I already tried to fit each element during the modeling, I broke the symmetry of the model still in low polygon to facilitate this process. The bags, boots and glasses were the items that took longer, because they were things I had not done yet, so I had a bit of difficulty, but in the end I think the result was very interesting. 


The paint I did all through the polyband of the Zbrush, I used shades closer to a more reddish skin tone, and in the grooves of the skin I painted a darker tone than the skin using the CavityMask, and at last, I dared and illuminated some parts of the skin.

In the texture of the skin I applied a Wood Alpha and used the Dam Stardand Brush where I found necessary, the idea was to make the drawings in his body more sticks to give a more rustic. In all the bags I applied a Seam Brush, and on the clothes, I wanted to apply this brush of different color to give a greater contrast.


Well, I’m still finding out how Marvelous Designer works, but I can already do some pretty cool things about it. The pants I made in the Marvelous and then made some bending adjustments on the Zbrush. I already started T-shirt in Marvelous but I did not like it very much, so I ended up doing it all in Zbrush, the sleeves I tried in different ways to do in Marvelous, but they always got looser or more moving than I was looking for.


My solution was to make a cylinder in Zbrush, give a Zremesher, use a SelectRect to hide the sides and make Polygroups with the shape that I needed to delete. After that I hid all unnecessary Polygroups and gave a Delete Hidden. After this process I gathered the sleeve in the T-shirt and adjusted to adapt better to the body of the model.

Final Render 

The rendering was done only with Zbrush and Photoshop, I have exported several BPR RenderPass with lights front and back and from all sides. 8 RenderPass Basic Material and Reflect Map, and 1 Toyplastic to the eyes. That way I have a greater control of all the lights.

After that, I composed the RenderPasses in Photoshop and used Blending Modes in the layers as Screen, Lighten and Normal. In this process I take about 2 days, because I always try to take the time to see the final render and change it as needed. Finally I added Noise, Shapen and Color dodge in the eyes. And that’s where the magic happened.

Alana Plantes, Character Design Student.

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev.

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Comments 1

  • Manakur

    Só vim dizer que isso é um lixo do caralho e que também, ninguém mais se importa com competições em sites voltados para 3D (isso é coisa do passado filha) e, nada vai ganhar com isso (no maximo um trampinho de freela). Seu instrutor é um analfabeto 3D que não sabe pronunciar o nome das ferramentas e nem do softweare corretamente. Você , ele e muitos são sem talento e fica postando no face como se fosse uma foderastica da industria de games que nunca será. Acorda!



    ·2 years ago·

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