How these 3D characters and scenes were made

I put together the ‘Showcase’ gallery section of 3D World issue 224, the September 2017 issue. The 3D artists behind these wonderfully imaginative 3D environments and characters gave me loads of information about what inspired them to create the artworks and technical information about how they brought them to life.

There was so much informations from some of the artists, they could have written a tutorial rather than a gallery blurb. I had to cut the information right back to the most interesting and pertinent bits. Here is some of what they told me…


Deep Hovel by Scott Stadick

“Something about secluded or lonely dwellings is extremely romantic to me, so the subject matter tickled my fancy,” says Scott Stadick, who created Deep Hovel as part of the recent Artstation Ancient Civilizations: Lost & Found challenge. “How awesome would it be to have a little wrecked ship converted into a home to live in and explore the surroundings from day to day, or drink tea then take a swim?”

Scott drew on his architectural experience to create the navigational hologram on the ship in AutoCAD. The Blizzard Entertainment environment artist intern says he spent around 120 hours building it. He used ZBrush
and Photoshop to create most of the scene, with Marvelous Designer for the curtains. Scott says he referenced the Blizzard style of straight lines over long spans and an emphasis on readability.

“Competitions offer a fun reason to explore new or more efficient ways to complete something you like,” he says.

Ambassador by Tristan Schane

For visual artist Tristan Schane, sculpting his Ambassador alien with ZBrush’s sculpting and detailing tools was a little like sculpting with clay – and the realistic folds of cloth were the most enjoyable aspects to create. “I like to challenge my ability to represent different fabric types the same way I like to tackle different anatomical or skin surface concepts,” he says.

“I had a very specific idea in mind for the surface of the tunic I wanted for this guy. I was sort of imagining an alien aesthetic for what a formal costume might look like. I wanted a design that was more organic than high-tech and also a fabric with a surface that was like an exotic tree bark or something. I had the striated surface in my head,” says Tristan.

Eucalyptus by Sam Nassour

Basing his creation on an illustration by artist Wiebke Rauers, Sam Nassour created this cheeky koala in short chunks of spare time, spending about three days in total on it. “I wanted to experiment with ZBrush’s FiberMesh to see if I could create a convincing- looking, stylised fur with variable lengths, density and directions that I can control,” says Sam. “Getting the attitude of the koala right was also a key goal, besides the fur.”

“I’m always very inspired by nature, plants and animals. I love the amazing variety of life forms we have on our planet. I’m also inspired by history and different cultures,” says Sam.


Zerit by Yannick Vincent

Based on a character from Massimiliano Frezzato’s comic Keepers of the Masers, Yannick Vincent made Zerit in pockets of spare time totalling about a week.

Yannick makes CG characters for a living and is inspired by comics or concept art. He starts by blocking in using Mudbox before sculpting further and adding UV and texture work in Maya. He uses Yeti for hair and fur. “For a character like Zerit, furry parts are really important, so it’s better to block in the grooming, even if I have to change topologies after.”

Adjusting the eye catches was his favourite part of creating this character. “It’s a very important part when you draw or create a character, to make him come alive.”

You can read the rest in 3D World issue 224 and more from 3D World magazine on

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