Nov 072011
 

As many of you already know, the second session of my online Digital Figure Sculpture course is underway. A group of artists are hard at work learning new techniques in ZBrush and studying hard to make great progress as figure sculptors. To give everybody a taste of the types of projects they are working on week-to-week, I have started a blog where I will post updates as the course progresses. If you have an interest in ZBrush and figure sculpture, check it out.

Digital Figure Sculpture Course: Weekly Blog

Week 7 Exercise - Refining the full figure sculpture in ZBrush

Weekly Fragments:

During the first half of the course, students complete weekly studies that focus on areas of the body in isolation. These are a few of the ZBrush exercises that students are shown how to complete.

Zbrush Figure Sculpture Course weeks 2-5

Nov 072011
 

Week 3 Exercise - Arms and Forearms in Zbrush

This week artists refine their knowledge of the forms of the upper arm and the forearms. In Zbrush, they start with ZSpheres and build a shoulder “fragment” that is cutoff mid-chest. From here they sculpt the forms of the arm flexed to 90 degrees with the hand supinated (palm-up). Once this sculpture is complete they transpose the forearm from supinated to pronated and adjust the forms and flows of the muscles accordingly (paying special attention to the new alignment of the flexor and extensor muscles of the forearm). One final transpose extends the arm at the elbow, and all the forms of the upper arm – biceps, triceps, brachialis, are modified.

Nov 072011
 

Week 2 Exercise - Scapulohumeral Rhythm

In the second week we continue with the torso, but now focusing on the articulation of the shoulder as the arm is raised. We do a comprehensive investigation of what is known as the “scapulo-humeral rhythm” – the ratio of scapular rotation to arm elevation. Students sculpt a torso with the arms at the side and them modify the sculpture moving the arms through 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees of rotation. The 0 and 180 extremes are shown above. In ZBrush artists start with a base mesh and use Transpose and masking to rotate the arm and scapula in the correct ratio. Each pose is stored on a ZBrush layer, and the subdivided mesh is sculpted at high resolution to capture all the subtleties of the muscular forms at different articulations. Students are lead through the exercise by a series of videos showing Scott sculpting the torsos in ZBrush.

Nov 072011
 

Week 1 Exercise Torso Fragment in Zbrushclick for larger

During the first week of the Digital Figure Sculpture course students concentrate on sculpting one male and one female torso. They work on the torso in isolation in order to focus on the task at hand, without distraction from unfinished areas like arms, hands, and heads. The torsos are created using ZSpheres as a base and then refined using Zbrush’s new DynaMesh feature. There are short technical how-to videos that explain the new features of Zbrush and then a comprehensive Working Example showing Scott creating the torso above from start to finish.

Jun 212011
 

mermaid digital sculpture using Zbrush
click for larger image.

Here are a couple images of a digital sculpture that I did for a ‘recently released pirate movie’. At the time the film was in early preproduction and this piece was more speculative design than anything concrete for the film, though it is loosely tied to an event in the script. The piece also has thinly veiled references to Damien Hirst’s infamous pickled shark sculpture. For more details on how I created the sculpture keep reading below.

Continue reading »

Mar 122011
 

Digital Production Magazine - Zbrush 4 review article

The April 2011 issue of German film/VFX magazine Digital Production features a full-page Hephaestus image to introduce their writeup on Zbrush 4. The image is backwards but otherwise looks good. Their article gives a great overview of Zbrush, my digital sculpting tool of choice.

Aug 062010
 

Zbrush Digital Sculpture - Hephaestus of Greek Mythology WIP
click for larger image

Here is an early preview of a new digital sculpture that I am slowly working on. The sculpture is of Hephaestus, the smith god. Time permitting I will try to post some early sketches and other works in progress. Check back soon….

Feb 192010
 

Here are a few images of the sculpture, shown in clay above, which I unveiled during my lecture at the Tate Modern on “Bit to Atoms – The Process and Evolution of Digital Sculpture“. During the lecture I talked about the process of making the piece – first creating a digital maquette in Zbrush to establish the balance, weight, and proportions of the figure, and then using that digital data as a guide for constructing the full-sized figure sculpture in clay.

Feb 172010
 

zbrush digital maquette using Zspheres
click for full image

Here is a little digital maquette that I knocked together a few months back to test some new functionality in Zbrush 3.5R3. Timelapse videos of the construction/sculpt will be available as resources in the Online Anatomy Course.

Apr 132009
 

sculpture of the death of the centaur Chiron

click for larger image

Here is an image of my latest digital sculpture, The Death of the Centaur. The sculpture depicts the moment when the king of the centaurs, Chiron, is struck down by an errant volley of Hercules’ poisoned arrows.

Chiron originally appears in Greek mythology as an exemplar of wisdom and learning, tutoring many of the legendary Greek heroes including Achilles, Jason, Theseus, and Hercules. He meets his end at the hands of Hercules who, during a skirmish with unruly centaurs, accidentally wounds Chiron with an arrow poisoned with Hydra blood. Being immortal Chiron can’t die, but lives in agony until he selflessly barters his immortality for Prometheus‘ freedom (note: I have take small liberties with the original story in my depiction of events). Chiron subsequently makes appearances in other stories including Dante’s Inferno, where he guards the seventh level of hell, and in Goethe’s Faust.