El Chupacabras - Part 1

August 19, 2013

Latest Post My epic journey from Orchard to Orchard by Owen Soule

A new week and a new cryptid; the second part of the CG Society ZBrush course focuses on the chupacabra!  For those who don't know of the chupacabra, allow Wikipedia to enlighten you:

The chupacabra or (Spanish pronunciation: [t?upa'kaß?a], from chupar "to suck" and cabra "goat", literally "goat sucker") is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas, with the first sightings reported in Puerto Rico. The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. 
Physical descriptions of the creature vary. It is purportedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.

That's all well and good, but for me there can be only one chupacabra, the X-Files version!  That's likely because the first time I heard the term was in the El Mundo Gira episode of X-Files way back in 1997.   Here are a few choice screen shots from that episode for your pleasure:

The chupacabra brothers hit the road, coming soon to a goat field near you!

Ah yes, as much as I considered simply creating a sculpture of Eladio, I resisted in favor of something more beastly.   For week 5 our goal was to find reference, do some sketching, do some speed sculpting, do some kit bashing (a term I never heard before this week, which basically means combine various sculpts into one concept), and get out all of our ideas.  The end result of these ideas would be a rough base mesh to take into week 6.For reference I first started with dogs - greyhounds for speed and bull dogs for jaw strength along with awesome jowly bits.  I also included a bizarre hairless bear, a sun bear, and some warthogs.   The sheet was rounded off with some other random forms that may or may not come in handy:

Fuel for the chupacabra animal blender!

The instructors first step was to do some sculpting in ZBrush, however I opted to do sketches first because I feel like that works better for me.   I did however employ his method of copying a concept in photoshop and warping/scaling to generate some other ideas.  I really like that process and it works fast to generate ideas:

Chupacabras galore!

I went a bit heavy on the greyhound influence, which can also be seen in one of my earliest ZBrush sculpts Dog-man, but heck I live with a greyhound so might as well use him as reference!    Why did I pull pictures off the internet of greyhounds instead of using my own?   Laziness, but here is one blurry one from my phone:

Our greyhound, Diffy, eating a couch?

Here is more of an action sketch concept, I like this composition and think I'll aim for this as a final product in ZBrush:

8 essential vitamins and minerals, delicious!

Looking at this now it is clearly inspired by my couch cushion eating dog!   Though I think the paws and face could be more menacing.  Alright, that's it for my week 5 - since I'm behind in this course and haven't begun a base mesh yet I'll just include that with week 6.  Stay tuned for more el chupacabras coming soon...

Owen Soule

Published August 19, 2013