[Warlock Challenge] - [Zia'ka]

EDIT (5/12)
Adding a recent WIP render, so this thread’s image isn’t my not-so-good quick-concept drawing xD

To start with, the concept for this character is NOT mine - she was created by Chris Zito (https://twitter.com/CzBacklash) as an NPC for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign ran by Team Four Star.

While I have drawn on some of the various fan-art for inspiration, as well as her official portrait, she is described largely as looking like an Indian Black Cobra with arms, dressed in a set of patchwork robes/cloak, with numerous piercings and gold studs along her hood. She is a Warlock in the D&D tradition, a magic user who draws their power from an otherworldy creature–a giant fire/earth elemental serpent called ‘The Collective One’

I’ve only been able to work on this for an hour or two per day, but for less than a week of sculpting I’m pleased with the progress so far.

First I made a quick sketch how I’d like the final image to be laid out. Its rough, but gives me something to aim for.


End of Day 1

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End of Day 2

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End of Day 3

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End of Day 4

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Kinda mid-way through Day 5


Its still technically Day 5, and I may still work on this more tonight, but we’ll call this End of Day 5 xD

Looking forward to the (helpful) criticism and turning this into a (hopefully) very nice sculpt!

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Hey, interesting character you’ve got here. I really like how the head is coming along, although tweaking the body proportions might help to improve the sculpt overall. I’m not sure what kind of style your going for yet (realistic or stylised) but the hands and arms feel too large at the moment. Also the abdomen area seems very elongated and a bit narrow especially at the hips and ribcage. Something similar to this might be good reference to base the anatomy and proportions on:

Also when sculpting the breasts remember that they’re basically hanging fat lol. Gravity plays a big part in how they’re shaped. Anyway good luck, this could turn out really cool by the end XD

Hey Tom, thanks for the critique! I totally agree on the arms/hands, at least from the elbows down needs to be much smaller. I’ll probably tweak the proportions on her torso a bit still, but as she’ll have a robe on (hopefully in the next few days) I’m not going to stress about the anatomy there too much. Once she’s dressed I’ll have a better idea what areas to focus on.

After a couple weeks of being otherwise pre-occupied, I finally got around to addressing a few things here. Made the forearms shorter, did a retopology pass (might need to go back and fix a few things still) and took WAY TOO LONG in Marvelous Designer trying to make a simple hooded robe that actually fit some semblance of correctly. Going to fix a couple proportion issues, address the hands, and then try to get some secondary details back in.

Minor update: sliced the robe into uneven patches and added big loose stitches that I’ll make more ratty/uneven in ZBrush. Decided it was easier to do this is Marvelous vs ZB or trying to do it all in texturing

Given there’s only a week left in the competition, I decided I ought to cut my loses and finalize the base sculpt. Got her UV’d and, after some amount of issues pertaining to Substance Painter and UDIMs, I finally have some maps baked out and am ready to start texturing. With any luck I’ll have her rigged up and posed in the next few days and have ‘final’ textures for test renders and tweaking by the weekend. Think I’m going to forego without all the extra stuff I had planned in the background…ah well

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I don’t know why, but I’ve been working under the assumption that this was due yesterday. I was SO thrilled when I double-checked over the weekend and realized I still have another week and a half to fix this up!

Got her rigged up in Houdini (weighting still needs a little work) and am making headway into a first pass at textures. Currently little more than layers of downloaded materials with masks, but its a start.

The robe has also been converted to a vellum cloth, but I need to refresh myself on point constraints so I can keep it closed during the sim. Should be able to use a point-deform on the stitches easily enough…

I started doing a few test renders with what I have, hopefully to find issues before the very end and I run out of time. Such as various issues with the displacement maps (Substance can’t bake height maps for some reason, though it can export them; ZBrush destroys or ignores the UVs of my low-res mesh, so I can’t bake anything out from there; and Houdini’s maps for some reason have a faint impression of the low-res polygons visible in the displacement, which looks really bad…if I can’t find a decent baker, I may have to go without. The current renders are without, and they don’t look too bad :open_mouth: )

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great! He got kind eyes) About displacement maps,Zbrush do it great,with proper uvs on model and project the details from high poly to prepared model,usually it works well

Thanks! Yeah, ZBrush usually makes really great maps, it just wasn’t importing my UVs for some reason. I’m guessing either ZBrush isn’t good with UDIMs or doesn’t like the way Houdini writes the UVs to file. In any case I got the Houdini baker to work (turns out the low-poly needs point normals instead of vertex normals to bake properly)

Got her posed up (still going to tweak her left hand a bit) and am now in a stage of finishing textures, fixing small mistakes, sculpting up the ground a little and polishing a few things before the deadline.