I decided to get my feet wet in the digital painting and sculpting application ZBrush after seeing so many awesome creations online by artists who use this app.   I'm hoping I can use this application to create the base mesh for the Licorice Merlin character in my upcoming short by the same name.   I may also sculpt some other random stuff because it is so fun to play with!

As a first muse I decided to tackle an old concept sketch (circa 2002) and breathe new life into it with ZBrush.  The sketch is of Herbie, an inter-dimensional troll from the short film I co-created in 2003, Diode Reflex.   At some point I'll post the whole Diode Reflex here, but alas the world is not yet ready, so Herbie models will have to suffice for now.

Apparently requesting cigarettes was big in 2002, who knew?

This turned out as a really good project to learn ZBrush with because the sketch was pretty simple.  Here is base mesh in ZBrush after creating the basic shape with ZSpheres.

Base mess and concept, doesn't he know smoking is bad for you?

From here it was a bit more sculpting and some interesting details starting appearing.

Kind of looks like the Ghostbusters logo?  Too much Ghostbusters as a child left deep scars...

As with all things, the devil is in the details, so many hours rolled by until the below model came to life.  I must admit it was pretty darn cool to see the original concept for Herbie now in 3D!

Should have posed him with arm outstretched, doh!

Since just seeing a screenshot does not do the full model justice I created a turntable, for your pleasure.




I liked this so much I created an updated version with sound here

And for added fun... a Maya render of Herbie on a C.H.U.D. inspired background.

How does he keep those shoes so clean in the sewers?

Finally, a comparison of the ZBrush model with the Maya model used in Diode Reflex back in 2003, man that old Herbie has still got it!

Separated at birth?

Getting to know ZBrush and creating this model took about a week working on it part time as my schedule allowed - the original Herbie model took muuuuuuch longer than that - so ZBrush ftw!
Keep your eyes open for more ZBrush sculpts and for more on Licorice Merlin!