ArtStation Challenge - Shinobi Jiro

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WallStaringCat polycounter lvl 2
Hello all!

It's been awhile since my last post here. I've started on a character for the Feudal Japan Challenge on ArtStation and I'll be cross-posting updates and breakdowns here too! 

You can see more breakdowns and WIPs on my submission here -->

Part 1: The Concept

Drawn by the very talented Justine Raymond -

I was immediately drawn to this character for his backstory and just general appeal. Plus the thought of doing realtime feathers seemed like a really fun challenge!

Part 2: The blockout!

Otherwise known as the ugly duckling phase haha! Pun definitely intended!

At this point i was only worried about getting proportions to look decent. So everything was about major shape changes, and making sure his silhouette looked like a Crane. Later on I would start to work on his form to match concept better. Everything started with simple Zspheres.

His beak was particularly difficult since it required really clean geo. I used Panel Loops in Zbrush to achieve the desired effect.

Part 3: Panel loops Tutorial

I LOVE panel loops. I use it much more often than the extraction method as I feel I get much cleaner results with more customization from it. I created a little mini tutorial below, but there are many more in-depth tutorials online that go into more detail as to what all the settings actually do.

I'll post another update tomorrow with the next part of Jiro's high-poly blockout!

Thanks for viewing, and feedback (as always) is greatly appreciated!


  • WallStaringCat
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    WallStaringCat polycounter lvl 2
    Here is part 2 of Jiro's Blockout: For the feathers I created a couple variations and placed them all manually around some blockout geometry. It was a tedious effort (about 2-3 hours total since I made a few mistakes along the way) but with good reference and patience, I feel like I did a decent job! For the final low-poly I plan on baking some of the feathers down, while keeping his primary feathers as cards so they can be rigged individually.

    For creating the feathers, I used a fantastic tutorial by Manuel De Jorge -  Which details how to create a feather Insert Mesh brush in Zbrush.

    I also made some adjustments to his overall shape to make him look a bit more imposing.  

    Lastly I worked on his feet! 

    Not much else to say other than I decided not to go too crazy on his feet scales since they will be covered by ankle guards later. However I used a masking in zbrush to very quickly sculpt out some of the more prominent scales, rather than rely on just alphas. 

    Unfortunately I will have to leave the sculpt for now, as I will be away from my computer for a couple weeks! But I will return in November to continue work on this guy!

    I hope this information was useful to some of you guys! And as always, feedback is greatly appreciated.
  • deanmay
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    deanmay triangle
    Really appreciate the panel loops breakdown, that's super helpful.  Model's looking real nice too!
  • WallStaringCat
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    WallStaringCat polycounter lvl 2
    deanmay said:
    Really appreciate the panel loops breakdown, that's super helpful.  Model's looking real nice too!
    You're very welcome! ! I love panel loops haha! And thank you very much for the compliment, working on Jiro has been a lot of fun and I'm really excited to get back to him. 
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