Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wonder Warthog, part 4 - sculpting a head design

(I'm redesigning, modeling, and rigging Gilbert Shelton's classic cartoon character, "Wonder Wart-Hog.")

finished head design

I've moved into the sculptural phase of my head design, building on my sketches and anatomical research. I'm still working out what the head is going to look like, but now - by moving from 2D to 3D - I can review my design from all angles. This is a problem-solving development stage, and this head will not be used as final geometry. The final head will be modeled from scratch, along with the rest of the body, with greater complexity, after all designs are finalized.

This is a useful design phase for an imaginary creature, where anatomical proportions need to be invented, but wouldn't be necessary for an existing species like a human or a warthog.

development of base mesh

First, I create a low-poly head. I start with a cylinder, extrude the snout, and continue to extrude and split polygons until it resembles the character.

development of detailed head

I make sure the UVs are laid out nicely, then subdivide, refine, and try to bring out some personality. Details like lips, eyebrows, and bone and muscle definition are developed at this stage.

Lastly, the wrinkles and skin texture are added. (See top image.)

alternate shape

This is an alternate head I developed alongside the other one, with proportions closer to those of the original Shelton character (rounder head and longer, thinner snout), just to consider other options.

next: render designs
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