Old God in the Woods

Character Breakdown

Andrey Dobraeb


Andrey Dobraeb

3D Artist


Hi all!
My name is Andrey, and I am a 3D Artist from Russia. I am a self-taught artist specializing in Character Modelling, with a preference for fantasy and dark fantasy styles.


I really liked Thiago Lehmann’s work and wanted to try recreating it in 3D. I was especially interested in the moss and armor legs.

Thiago Lehmann’s ArtStation

Design Concept

When I choose the next piece to create in 3D, I always look for something fantasy-style, as dark and mysterious as possible. As a result, my choice fell on the work of the wonderful artist Thiago Lehmann – “Old God in the Woods.”

When working with other people’s concepts, I always try to reproduce them as closely as possible to the original work.


  • ZBrush: Creating high poly sculpt and detailing.
  • Substance Painter: Baking and texturing.
  • RizomUV: For UV mapping.
  • Marmoset Toolbag: Rendering video format and images.


When I start a piece, it is nothing like what I imagine. However, step by step, I try to get closer to how I see it. In the future, I compare the result of where I started and where I finished. It’s nice to see the character take on detail.

At the beginning of the work, I determine its size and proportions, namely the basic shape. Then I start working on the details. When working with them, I do not focus on the number of polygons, as they can be reduced later.

In this work, it was interesting to make the leg armor plates, since there were quite a lot of them, and it was necessary to preserve their silhouette.

In my work, I usually use standard brushes such as ClayBuildUp, Move, SnakeHook, hPolish, TrimDynamic, Pinch, Inflate, and DamStandard.

Low Poly

The low poly of this character was mostly done using Decimate in ZBrush. However, I made the plates on the legs with low poly initially to maintain their shape when textures were baked on them later.

If you are doing static work, this technique will work well for you, but if you are doing work with added animation, this topology will not work.

You will need to do this manually.


To create the UVs, I used RizomUV. This program is good for quickly creating UV maps. If you do the work yourself, this method is ideal for you.

However, for production work, I cannot recommend this method.

Baking & Texturing

I really like the texturing stage as it starts to reveal your character completely. When working with the textures on this character, I used various materials and masks, making him very similar to the original work.

When working on metal, I needed to convey the effect of antiquity, as if the character had been in a dream for a very long time and then woke up.


To start with, I used Bronze Corroded material, which lightened it a little and removed various chips, making it smooth, as it was in the original concept.

Then I created a red fill layer with 10% of the base color. Next, I added moss (the material itself can be found on the official Adobe website).

Afterward, I created another fill layer of gray color with 78% base color with a multiply overlay effect to darken it.


Finally, to highlight the shadows, I used the Mask Builder Legacy generator in black base color and metallic. To create the chips and cracks, I added a fill layer with a black mask at the end. In the mask itself, I created a fill with Grunge Scratches Rough added to it, placing it on a Tri-planar projection.

I used this metal as the main one for the entire character.

However, I made the plates on the legs a little different. To emphasize their depth, I used the AO generator in dark green, metallic, and base color channels.


Then I manually made holes for the ropes using height. After checking with the original concept, I drew the rest of the drawings on the plates from the runes.

Then I added some moss and created a fill layer with a light green color, with a multiply blending effect.

Then I added a fill layer with a dark green base color in the Mask Builder Legacy generator with a blending effect of 10%, and a fill layer with a dark gray color in the Mask Editor with a multiply of 23%.

At the end, I also added chips and cracks on the base metal.

Cloak Moss and Moss Character

To create the cape, I used a plane in ZBrush. Having made the base, I duplicated it seven times, slightly changing the position of each plane.

I did this three times to create multiple layers that would then become translucent and create a depth effect.


I gave each plane a separate color using autogroup and then painted it with polypaint from polygroups.

I did the same to create a layer of moss on the character itself.

However, to ensure it was positioned correctly, I used the Dynamics gravity feature, employing fabric simulation. Collision Volume was made plane separately.

Inflate was set at 0.3. Then I combined everything into one mesh. UV mapping was done the same as with the character. I used the same moss material as on the character, just adjusted its color a little to match the original work.

First, I added an opacity channel to the project. Having turned it on in the material itself, it immediately became translucent. I then touched up the edges with the Artistic Soft Fingers brush to make them look more natural.

I repeated the same process with the moss on the character.


Rendering & Lighting

To render the character, I decided to use Marmoset Toolbag 4. It has everything you need to present your project well. I used key and edge lights when rendering.

I then added additional lights to create beautiful shadows and highlights. In the scene, I used camera settings of 130mm. Such settings usually give the character a more massive appearance.

If you are creating an object in 3D, I highly recommend recording a video for the character. For example, I have wide and close-up shots. This allows you to enjoy more of all the work you have done so far!



I really enjoyed making this character, as I learned many new things that can be applied in future projects.

I also want to thank GameArtist for the wonderful opportunity to share my work process with others!