The Pied Piper of HAM-elin


I’ll be reimagining The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Emphasis on the “Ham”. I actually almost went with the other sinister tale called, Fitcher’s Bird. Could be a good prompt if you haven’t decided on one yet.

I’ve never modeled a 3D character before so I’m using this challenge to push myself to do just that and hopefully learn some new skills. My background mostly consists of modeling real-time 3D hard surface objects and doing illustrations.

I dove right into sketching a character tonight after doing a little research on the story and gathered some reference. However, I decided to take it back a notch and restrict myself to just silhouettes, and explore shapes before I get to far ahead of myself with details. Glad that I did because I think I got some interesting results in return. Should be a fun process!

Goodluck Everyone!



Had some spare time tonight to further explore some of my ideas.

Experimenting with a brass instrument that would work in tandem with the characters main magical flute/recorder. How they are connected I haven’t solved yet. Perhaps they are also magic, sits on the back connected by a series of tubes, or isn’t even attached at all? Might just stick to the magical flute/recorder for simplicity sake though. However, I like the idea of having a brass bell in the shape of a rats ear that could give an interesting silhouette.

Hoping to narrow down on the next batch so I can move forward to blocking out a model, but this is what I have so far! :slight_smile:


cool concepts! :smiley:
i like the one in the middle on the top

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Thank you Nerei! I appreciate the feedback :slight_smile:

I have decided to go with the concept that has the long skinny legs. I’ve started blocking out the form in ZBrush.

Having never built a 3D character or anything from scratch in ZBrush I went straight to the FlippedNormals tutorials on sculpting. And I’ve also just been watching a ton of the Pixologic livestreams trying to pickup useful information that I can apply to the process. Have learned a ton in a very short amount of time. I’ve only really ever utilized the program for final touches on my high poly models (Edge wear, cuts, scratches, or any other detail I want baked). So this is all very intimidating for me!

So to begin, I had initially done a blockout with ZSpheres and was having a lot of fun moving the parts around so easily!

However, after seeing a few videos of Paul Deasy modeling in ZBrush I decided to go with his blocking out process. I noticed that he usually started with a basic sphere and just stuck to the move and smooth brush. Duplicating his shapes and using the IMM brush then hitting Split Masked Points/Split Unmasked Points (Screenshot of the subtool/split menu) to separate the newly created object.

He kept repeating emphasis on keeping the shapes very low poly so the curvature will be nice and smooth along the way and easier to manage with the smooth brush.

Basically, I learned that you can build a shape then add a new shape (on surface of geometry) or duplicate previous shape so that it doesn’t disturb the shape of the existing form. Such a clever way of working.

Very impressed with what everyone else has created so far. :sweat_smile: Trying to use the intimidation as fuel to push further! But mostly importantly I’m having fun and learning so it’s a win/win for me.

Here are some screenshots of my current WIP:

Had some time tonight to work on the arms, legs, and a basic looking shirt/tunic.