Digital artefact – Dragon speed sculpt

While creating a dragon sculpture within Zbrush, I decided to record the process on quicktime. The reason for doing this is so I can go back through the video and see what techniques I used and how I might of completed the model in a more effective manor. The video is sped up to x2000 speed, as the original sculpt took around three days to complete. I went into this particular model without any previous plans, as I find that if I make it up as I go, I get a better result.

(0:00 – 0:22) – In the very first few seconds of the video I am creating the basic head shape for the dragon, at this point I had already decided to create two layers of teeth for him. Instead of using the standard brush to create the teeth, I decided to put the extra effort into making them separate objects, so that They could be

(0:23 -2:04) – After the shape was created I decided to immediately put teeth in the model, this is usually inadvisable until the whole body is created at lest at a basic level. I decided to put them in to get a better idea of what I wanted to model.

(2:18 – 2:55) – Here we can see me making a start on the rest of the model. To begin I created a long, basic neck for the dragon. After Z-remeshing him I decided to add a bit of detail to the head, this was later re designed. For this part I mostly used the clay buildup, inflat and move tool to get the basic shape of the body, feet and tail.

(2:56 – 5:05) – For this part I simply spent a few minutes fixing toes as well as ankle and thigh detail. Due to the increasing amount of remeshing in this section, the facial details degraded, requiring me to revisit a few places.

(5:06 – 6:16) – Since the basic shape of the dragon was created by this point, I felt it safe to add more detail to the model. After this point there would be no need for any remeshing, so I decided to start with toe and back detail.

(6:17 – 7:14) – At this point I moved straight to the facial area, removing the original three eyes in place of one bigger eye. I created a strong brow for him as ell as eyelids. All that was needed now from the face was tweaking in the lips and gums. Using the move tool I created a simple spine that I would tweak with the inflat tool to make in wider.

(7:15 – 8:39) – In preparation for the wings, I created some frontal muscle with the help of the clay buildup tool. After the surrounding limbs were created, I started work on the wing bones, these were fairly simple to do due to it only requiring the move tool and the Z-remesher. The next stage in creating the wing sheets required me to export the whole model to blender, in order to accurately place a plain mesh on the wings.

(10:22 – 10:44) – Here we can see me revisiting the mouth area of the model, adding detail to the gums and tongue.

(10:45 – 12:11) – At this point I had decided not to import the wing sheets I created in blender, this is due to them not importing correctly. At the start I am adding some more detail to the wings and modelling in some wings sheets.

(12:12 – 12:56) – At this point I wanted to start texturing my model., you can see me colouring the eye and adding detail around.

(12:57 – 14:36) – This point is where all of the main head detail comes in, at the start you can see me using a strong bump alpha on the dragon, to give the look of scales. After that I found I wasn’t happy with the horns, so I created new meshes that overlapped the old ones.

(14:37 – End) – To finish off the model I experimented with a few colours for the main body. In the end I picked a dark burgundy colour. I finished off final tweaks to the wings and tongue, and made use of the RGB smooth to mix a few colours together.

In the end I was quite pleased with this model, despite it being very time consuming. If I were to re do the project I would probably change up the main body to be more muscular.However I think this project has helped me a lot in understanding the tools and techniques of Zbrush


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