So I was Twitter-stalking Autodesk Mudbox god Wayne Robson, who in the parlance of Roast Beef Kazenzakis is “a main dude of Mudbox”. I’d noticed him tweeting about the last in a series of tutorials he’s been doing for 3DCreative Magazine. The latest issue contains his final tutorial for 3DCreative: a female werewolf. Wayne was kind enough to share with me (and all of you) a 2oMB 2438 x 3000 pixel render of the completed werewolf. You can click the version above for a smaller JPEG version, but avail yourself of this link [12MB .zip] if you want the XXL version. If you’d like to see how he created it, you can download 3DCreative issue 062 for a sensible £2.75. You can also check out more of Wayne’s excellent work at his web site dashdotslash.net.
When Blizzard announced that their upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm would feature a werewolf-like race called the Worgen, I got excited, and I don’t even play WoW. It was weird, though, that all of the concept art and screenshots were of male Worgen. “Where,” the Internet groaned, “are the lady-wolfs“? Oh, wait, here they are.
As reported by The Escapist and several other sources, Blizzard recently released these “work in progress” images to show the character models and the way they’ll look in the different armour types (probably, that is– these are subject to change). Click on any of the images below for a (much) bigger version.
Trusty Werewolf News friend ArcLight sent me a link to this fascinating CGSociety feature article about all of the CG work (and politics) that went into the transformation scenes featured in “The Wolfman“. The article includes extensive comments by Rick Baker (who, as you probably know, designed the Wolfman’s look and the practical makeup effects) and Adam Valdez (the Visual Effects Supervisor at Moving Picture Company, the group that did the CG work). Here are some choice excerpts:
Drawing on his years of experience and success to create a character he had loved since he was a boy, Baker requested “a couple of weeks to do some designs, a range between man and wolf. I did a number of Photoshop images and ZBrush sculptures ranging between Del Toro and a wolf. In other words, if man was one and wolf was ten, was the Wolfman a five, or perhaps an eight? Well upon viewing my designs they said it wasn’t anywhere in that range.” Baker was asked to do additional concepts showing steps within that range to narrow down the final design. This happened repeatedly until the point where Baker told them there simply wasn’t an in-between left.
Nothing like design-by-committee to ruin a project!
[Says Baker:] “I had a great time working with the folks at Digital Domain on the CG Benjamin Button character, I would have liked to have contributed the same way on this film.” One scene that he felt could have worked particularly well using animatronics and makeup was the scene where Del Toro is strapped to a chair surrounded by doctors, since the chair offered plenty of space to hide the hardware and it would have been easy to digitally remove any visible mechanics.”
That’s probably my favourite scene in the movie, and it blows my mind to imagine how much better it might have been if Baker had been able to work his magic.
Johnston wanted to see how the transitions would look in action, so animators were given rigs that could do rough deformation and transformation work. [Says Valdez:] “In the middle of that we had to start over, because Joe wasn’t happy with what he was getting. There were a few rounds of discussion about whether or not Benicio Del Toro, who played the Lawrence aka Wolfman, should turn into something else on the way to becoming the Wolfman, so rather than traditional close-ups of bones stretching and hair sprouting he might turn into something resembling an almost fetal orc-like creature.”
I wonder if that “orc-like” concept was used for the creature that appears in some of the movie’s dream / hallucination scenes.
There’s a ton of down-and-dirty CG modeling talk near the end of the article, so if Maya and ZBrush are your thing, you might want to get a napkin ready to mop up the drool. Now stop reading this post and read the article!
Canadian artist Mathieu Aerni is coming at you like a northern bullet with this killer image of William (who you might remember from such films as Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and When Harry Met Sally). Mathieu posted this on his CGPortfolio back in November 2009 and it’s been my desktop background ever since. William was sculpted and textured in ZBrush and given some fur in Photoshop. Check out some more renders on Mathieu’s site, and while you’re at it have a look at some of his other work– chances are good you’ve seen his work in a feature film in the past year.
Remember earlier in the week I was asking if anyone had a larger version of the Gladiators V Werewolves artwork I posted?
This is Longscar, created by Martin Rezard in zbrush and Photoshop. I found this posted on Creature Spot, a “gallery, a blog, and a spot for all creature fans to flock to.” Awesome site, awesome artwork and hopefully indicative of an awesome movie!
Daniel Lamontagne sent in this video of a 5-minute speed-sculpture he did of a werewolf, using ZBrush (which you might remember as Rick Baker’s weapon of choice for The Wolfman concept art). It’s rather amazing to watch how a few simple shapes can be poked, prodded and massaged into a detailed 3D model in less time than it takes for my tea to steep. Nice work, Daniel!
In the past, special effects legend Rick Baker has expressed a cetain reluctance about the use of computer-generated creature effects in film. Apparently this hasn’t stopped Rick from messing around with ZBrush, and he’s been sharing his progress and experiments over at the ZBrushCentral forum. Starting two weeks ago, he started posting concept art for The Wolfman. Judging from some of his back posts, these are probably proofs-of-concept instead of anything official, but it’s really exciting to see the different stages of the creative process getting posted to a forum by the artist. Amazing stuff!