First time doing one of these challenges, and I’m a little late to the game but very excited to get started, especially with this really fun brief.
I really wanted to do a modern day gender swapped version of a very well known character, Dracula, but with a twist. Drac has finally awoken after having a bit of a lie in (roughly 200 years…) and has found herself in the modern day. Wanting to fit in and learn about modern society, she enrols herself in high school and is now living as a (somewhat) normal person.
I have a lot of cute and fun ideas for this sculpt, like a backpack with bat wings, a little bat keyring, a plasma juice box etc. I think the most challenging thing will be conveying that its Dracula and not just a generic vampire, so I’d like to incorporate little personalised “Drac” items to make sure I get my point across.
I’ve made a bit of a mood board to dump some ideas on (enjoy my terrible handwriting) which includes some of my style inspiration for this project. This will definitely be a stylised character, so I’m taking a lot of inspo from my fave artists like Yulia Sokolova, Paul Deasy, Stephen Anderson, and Shane Olson.
I’m really excited to get started, and hopefully make a nice portfolio piece!
Super rough sketch of what I’m imagining her face is going to look like. Trying to incorporate little details like the bat wing shaped tufts of hair, the D on her choker necklace, and some other vampiric aspects like the fangs, red eyes, and pointy ears.
Ideally I’d love to add a lot of small details like hairclips and cute earrings, but it’s going to come down to time, and all that stuff can be added fairly last minute.
Next step is blocking out her body and starting to sculpt the face!
I like it! it has a really adorable feel to it! cant wait to see the finished version
maybe the D could have some red jewels at the center or around the edge?
That’s a good idea! Would definitely make it stand out more too
Spent a few hours today sculpting the head and ears from scratch, and I’m really happy with how its turning out so far. I think its keeping pretty close to my concept sketch. The ears still need cleaning up, and the hair is just a very rough shape at the moment.
I started the body off with a base mesh but the proportions were crazy, so I’ve gotten it a bit closer to where I want it now. Next step will be adding the detail to the body and combining everything together.
The poly paint is also not necessarily a permanent addition as I’ll probably be texturing in Substance, but I hate staring at a character with no eyes haha
I’m having so much fun with this, so two updates today!
Wanted to do a draw over of my rough plan for her outfit. I wanna add lots of fun details like a little school emblem on the jacket etc. but I haven’t quite decided what I want that to look like yet.
Added some more detail to the body and got the proportions to a place I’m happy with, I think her legs and torso were too long before.
Hair is still a work in progress (hair is just one of those things I struggle with ) but it’s going better than I thought.
Added a bit more poly paint, even if I don’t end up using these textures it’ll give me an idea of what to do when I get to Substance
I personally like where her hair is at. I’d maybe even emphasize the bits coming off the sides into more of a batwing-tip-shape to really drive home that this character is dracula. Otherwise, really excited to see the finished product!
Thank you! And yeah I definitely agree, the batwing shape needs to be more defined. Hoping to get that done today!
Got some blocking done for the clothes today, still have a lot to add like the lapel and pockets on the jacket.
I’m happy with the rough shape of the hair but I do wanna make the little wings more defined, and I want to go and add in some detailing to mimic hair texture, and maybe a few wispy bits so I have something to play with when posing.
Hoping to spend the next few days working on the other models for the backpack, plasma juice box etc.
All in all, things are going pretty smoothly. I really like her little face! It’s so much nicer working with a character that’s at this stage because I can start thinking about her personality and how I want her to come across in the final render, which is a lot harder to do with humanoid characters when they’re still in those earlier sculpting phases.
Started on the backpack and the juice box! Sigh Wish I hadn’t made the bag so cute because now I want it irl
I gathered some refs for different bags that were bat like, and then picked the elements I liked from all of them and drew out my concept sketch. I also threw a coffin bag in there, which made me change my idea for the little keyring, so now that’s going to be a little coffin.
I modelled the bag in Maya and then took it into Zbrush so I could adjust it to fit her body better. I like the positioning of the wings and how they look from the front view.
Juice box was also modelled in Maya, and I’m really looking forward to coming up with a fun packaging design for it, so that’s next on my list of things to do
This weekends progress!
Did a draw over on the plasma juice to give myself a better idea of what it’s going to look like. I think it’s going to be a really cute detail.
I also did some more work on the jacket, and ended up giving it a popped collar as a reference to the classic Dracula cape, and I ended up deciding to go with a simplified version of the crest that was created by Universal for the Dracula films for the jacket emblem. Another detail I’ve been thinking about adding were little hair clips, and I thought it might be interesting to call back to the origin of Dracula by taking the jewels from Vlad the Impaler’s portrait and seeing what they’d look like as bobby pins.
Still gotta finish the hair and start properly sculpting the clothes
This is turning out really nice. I did the sculpt, its cute. I like the theme and what it was crossed with.
I think if you can slightly open her mouth to expose her teeth even in a neutral pose that would help drive home the vampire theme, its a vampires main characteristic so I think they should be seen right off the bat.
Yeah I definitely agree. Still need to add the mouthbag etc. But in the final pose she should have a opened mouthed smile kinda like the concept sketch
Hello! It’s been a while since I updated. Haven’t made as much progress on her as I’d have liked by this point but there’s still time, and while I’m grateful for my actual job, it does make time a bit tight for working on personal projects haha
Decided to just get on and do retopo on the body so I could go ahead and add in her mouth bag, so I can then sculpt her fangs etc. Retopo could be a bit cleaner but after sitting in TopoGun all afternoon, I just wanted to be done with it. Have only used TGun a couple of times before this but Zremesher was giving me nothing as per usual, and I find Maya’s quad draw is just so awkward sometimes.
The torso, arms, and legs are possibly a bit too high poly, but I can always clean that up later. The main thing was getting the face done, so now I dont need to worry about it.
Started refining the clothes like making her skirt pleated, and began to clean up the blazer. Also added the little hairclips just as a nice small detail. Hair is still not done I keep just putting it off.
Hoping to dedicate some more time to her over the weekend, really want to get her clothes sorted.
I’m also trying to think of other details/accessories I can give her, so if you guys have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!
Great job on the face! She’s so appealing Keep up the good work
Took a step back from updating this thread because I think the pressure of it was getting to me a little, but now I’m back!
Got a lot to upload so here we go:
After I finished up the high poly sculpt I did retopo on her in Zbrush and for the more tricky stuff, Topogun. I lined up the high poly and low poly in Maya and then keyframed it so that I could have the regular Tpose and then the exploded version for baking and texturing.
I then went into Substance and did the baking and texturing. I think this is where I started to get a bit anxious that she was too simple, because you can only do so much with a school uniform, so I decided to make it a bit more interesting with gradients.
The crest for the jacket:
Tpose in Marmoset before additional details:
I decided to add some additional details like the chain, earrings and bats later on, which I modelled in Maya.
Next was posing in Zbrush, which I admit is one of my weak points . It’s something I wish I’d left more time for myself to do, but now I know for next time!
Something I actually wanted to do was model a little road for her to be standing on, because the scene I was trying to create was her walking to or from school. Ultimately though, I didn’t like how it turned out, but I’ll put it in here anyway:
I might attempt to redo it in the future because I kinda wanna render her in Arnold, but she needs some tweaks before then
Sculpted in ZBrush
Additional details in Maya
Retopo in Topogun
Textured in Substance Painter
Rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 4
Here’s Dede! I had so much fun doing this, and I can’t stress how much I learnt as well! First time doing a character for real time, and first time using Marmoset. It’s really great seeing how she developed and what worked and what didn’t, and I’m grateful for the really fun brief.
For the love of god, have more than one concept sketch. I would have saved a lot of time if I’d even roughly sketched her whole body.
I’m not a massive fan of my UV map layout, think they look a bit messy, but that’s an easy fix for the future
Practice posing more. I wish I’d given myself more time to pose her, and also got more references together for it.
All in all, I’m really proud of her, and feel like she shows a lot of personality which is really important to me. I haven’t been using Zbrush very long so I came at this project from the angle of trying to create a loveable and appealing character, because I knew I probably couldn’t compete with other people when it came to technical execution.
The most important thing is I learnt so much, and I can take that onto future projects!
Thank you to everyone who’s been following along with my submission, and best of luck!
This turned out absolutely beautifully! glad you got the final version uploaded!
Thank you! There were a few times where I thought I wouldn’t finish, but I’m so glad I did!