I always wanted to ask more about your workflow and I can see know your technique is really solid and obviously based on years of experience. I really like to do stuff like that but I'm not able to leave to comfort zone for a really long time...
The truth is, when you start feeling comfortable in a tool such as ZBrush, it's really: creativity's the limit. It's a powerful program and things can be approached in many different ways.
Personally my boundaries in creating a style, lie in the fact that I have to work on a given mesh, so it's not like I can change the polygon flow, silouette and so on, still there's room for customization and creativity (as in here). Mostly, to create this kind of effect, I use masks and alphas, most of the details are creating with alphas that I previously made in ZBrush itself, so it's almost like having a high density geometry to paste on your mesh, but it's an alpha .
There was a moment in my life that I think I cannot improve more my skill because my learning curve start to be too flat. Then, a morning, I rise and shine and in a couple of hours I modeled thing I never imagine I'm able to create ... That's is the miracle of the Human. Sometime we can really push further our limit. We need only two ingredients : patience and commitment
Doing a tutorial from start to finish is very time-consuming, even because it would focus on the tools we use, but maybe we can post a step by step sooner or later. Also, the main model is polygon modeling, the details shown here were sculpted in ZBrush, it's quite a different process, is there anything in particular you're curious about ?
We may be a bit slow sometimes, lots of things to do but we try to answer to questions and nice comments. Anyhow, if there's something specific you'd like to know and we don't answer feel free to poke us a bit .
I see. The main model is actually modeled in Maya, so, to sum it up: you need a modeling tool for your model, you then have to rig them in Poser or DAZ Studio. It's quite a process but there's a lot of tutorials about this online (among the others, a series was just released at RDNA by a fellow content producer). It really depends on what your skills are and what kind of time you have for such a hobby etc. .
There are a lot of good tutorial and to be honest I don't know what you really may need. Anyway, the best place to start is zbrushcentral, their official web site. In the forum there are a lot of good tutorial.
Hi Jaqui, notice only the displaced details were created in ZBrush (version 4) while the mesh was created in Maya (of course in here you see it divided several times for the details to look good). We create items for the Poser markets so they're rigged for Poser and DAZ Studio, therefore yes, they are animatable.
I have a small question for you - How (in Maya) did you get your displacement maps to function correctly? I always find that mine blow out so the character I am detailing looks like a balloon (Yes, I know this is actually typical but I always struggle to get the thing to work, then don't use it because it doesn't work for me) - I have tried to get it right! Is there a trick that you know of that you wouldn't mind sharing? Am very curious as to know what I am missing.
To have a good displacement in maya you need only to do this : open the attribute editor of the diplacement image, scroll down until you reach Color balance. Set the alpha gain to 0.040 and the alpha offset to -0.020. It's half if you have the gray of the displacement to 12. You can play with this setting! Let me know if you need more assistance