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Andromeda Unknown Creature Design Contest

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This is my entry for the Cg Society Andromeda Unknown Creatures Contest. I wanted my creature to be cute so I took reference from squirrels, lizards and a leaf-hopper nymh insect to create my creature. Because I found out about the contest late I only had three weeks to make my creature so I gave myself some design restrictions:

No grooming so I went for a reptilian type creature. (the tail doesn’t count :))

It needed to be small to help reduce the amount of detail needed.

Simply pose.

Simple environment

Remesh and retopo in Zbrush

Paint job needed to be relatively straight forward.

Try to stay in Zbrush and render out of BPR to save time setting up a Maya scene.

I was pretty successful with my design restrictions however I still got bogged down a few times. I wanted a chameleon style skin however after I had decided on that aesthetic I realised that in order to create form fitting scales it would have to be sculpted. I wasted an evening or two using an older technique of masking out the pattern of scales then inflating the mesh all at once to create a uniform inflation for the scales. This did not work for me as I couldb’t get enough resolution and I ended up created a VDM brush with a number of varied scales once I had created a small section of the scale pattern on his back I then used the new Xtractor Brushes to copy and duplicate that pattern over back, arms and head. I also ended up re-posing a few times and the extra set of hands took up a bit more time too.

The creature and background were sculpted in Zbrush, topology is done with z-remesher to save time. I’m a sucker for nice UV’s and UDIMs so I UV'd in Maya. Creature was Painted with Zbrush polypaint. Originally I intended to stay in Zbrush for rendering however I knew I could get better lighting in Maya so although it would require some baking of maps and scene set up I made the decision to finish the project off in Maya. The background was textured in Substance with a few iterations of the mushrooms and fungus were needed to get the look right.

After some render tests to get the composition feeling nice I took a very simple 2 plate comp into Photoshop to do the final tweaks. the tail was painted up for more vibrancy and the usual colour tweaks cropping etc.

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