Figure Work

Skull, 2019 – a project dedicated to practicing organic sculpting, to be used in various other projects. Sculpted from scratch and retopologized in Zbrush, unwrapped, detail map transferred, and rendered in Maya. Additional textures created in Substance Painter.

Skull near completion with jaw and teeth in Zbrush.
Skull UV unwrapped in Maya after remeshing in Zbrush.
Skull without and with detail map transferred from Zbrush geometry using Maya’s map transfer tools.
Render of the skull in Maya. Material setup includes the detail normal map, a diffuse texture (stylized bone texture from Substance Painter) and a small amount of subsurface scattering.

Eye, 2019 – a projected dedicated to creating an eye to be used with any number of other characters.

The first step in this project was creating the eye geometry in Maya. I chose to create four independent meshes: the cornea, eyeball (sclera), iris, and lens. I then UV unwrapped each of them to prioritize the forward half of the eye.

Eye geometry, with the iris selected in green.
Eyeball (sclera) UVs, with the back (inside-head-facing) half scaled down in the lower left corner.

Next I painted textures for each mesh, using Substance Painter for the color, and Zbrush to add fine detail that was baked into normal maps.

Iris in Substance Painter, with the normal map baked in Zbrush applied.
Eyeball in Substance Painter, with only the base color visible. Large veins are heavily exaggerated here, and were made much lighter in the final texture.

My last step before setting up materials in Maya was to create a simple blendshape rig for the iris so it could expand and contract believably.

Iris blendshapes at neutral (left), dilated, and contracted. Normal maps on the eyeball are heavily exaggerated here, showing all the small vein detail from the first version of the eyeball materials.

Finally, I set up materials for each mesh. The eyeball and iris each have a normal map for fine detail and a scattered diffuse texture for color, while the outer cornea layer has a normal map and a roughness map (to reflect light differently on the surface of the sclera and the surface of the iris / pupil). A simple animation showing the materials and blendshapes in action can be found at the beginning of this post.



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