The image on the left shows the sketches that this character was originally based on. The image on the right is one of several sketches/paint-overs I created throughout the modeling process to work out design choices.
Basemesh and Topology
Topology for this character was designed for a high-end vfx creature scenario.
The body was begun from scratch in Zbrush. Most other costume pieces were started in Maya, except for the cloak which was begun in Marvelous designer as a single piece of cloth, then tweaked in Zbrush and finally broken into sections in Maya. All retopology work was done in Maya.
To get as much detail in the head sculpt as possible I worked on a version of the mesh where the body and inner mouth was deleted. This way I could subdivide the mesh up to about 24 million vertices. The displacement maps from the head were then blended with those from the body in Mari.
To update the full body basemesh with changes from the head sculpt I wrap deformed the head basemesh vertices to an intermediary version of the head basemesh. When I need to update the mesh I bring the new head basemesh into maya and update the vertice positions of the intermediary head using the transfer attributes tool. The full body basemesh’s head is then updated via the wrap deformer.
For the eyes I decided to try using a detailed Zbrush sculpt with overhangs etc. The Basemeshes for the irises were then integrated into the inner eye geo, and mudbox was used to produce regular and vector displacement maps (vector displacement maps will be used for very close up shots). The Iris basemesh was created using Zbrush’s Zremesher tool as manual retopology proved to be overly time consuming.