Orc Summoner

Character Breakdown

Anton Krasko

19-2
246

Anton Krasko

Lead 3D Character Artist

Introduction

Hello, everybody. My name is Anton Krasko, and I live in the city of Minsk.

I started doing graphics in 2009 as a hobby, never thinking that it would become my profession and something I would enjoy. I began working professionally in graphics in 2012 and have been working with characters for the past 6-7 years.

During this time, I have worked on many projects, including cartoons, advertisements, mobile games, and AA/AAA games. In my free time, I try to dedicate time to do something for myself, something for the soul.

Project

I made this character for our internal project, but unfortunately, it was not announced. The concept of this impressive character belongs to a 2D artist.
Link to ArtStation.

We, together with the team, put a lot of effort into creating a diverse group of orcs.

The first thing we set out to do was to come up with orc goblins that would be different from the classic Warcraft and The Lord of the Rings goblin orcs, but we couldn’t help but be inspired by these amazing universes and many others.

19-1

As we worked, some details were changed for the best result.

Tools

  • Zbrush
  • Marmoset Toolbag
  • Substance Painter
  • 3D Max
  • Photoshop

Reference and Inspiration

My main sources for references in creating the character were the games World of Warcraft (WOW) and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR), as well as numerous references from other artists.

Additionally, I used real-life references to achieve authenticity, and the works of other artists helped inspire me and find new solutions in terms of style, anatomy, and other elements.

10-3

Sculpting

Sculpting has always been like meditation for me. I love the process where I can stay for a long time.

It is at this stage that I emphasize the character, details, story, and the character’s journey. During the process, I always think about how to significantly improve my design.

I often use brushes like ClayBuild Up, Move Topological, Clay, Slash 3 and Inflate.

Skin

I had the task of creating three different classes of orc goblins with the same body – Warrior, Summoner and Marksman, but I wanted to diversify them somehow so that they would differ from each other a little so that their appearance reflected their fate.

I used a body scan and completely reworked it into a suitable form, silhouette and plasticity, mainly using standard brushes. To create the skin detail, I started from large to small and used many different alpha brushes and displacement maps.

I also went into Substance Painter and made several tile maps for greater variability of the skin texture. The whole process of creating the body I did through Layers.

In this screenshot, one of the skin structures I created for an orc-goblin summoner.

For a satisfactory and suitable result, I reviewed many references of skin diseases, wounds, and defects in order to achieve an interesting and grotesque skin surface.

Emphasizing the fact that in the conditions where he is, it is difficult to survive, but he has long since adapted to it and his wounds and diseases no longer bother him much.

Armour

In creating the leather armor, everything was quite simple.

To begin with, I made a base, and then I found a solution to blend various displacement maps of different animals such as crocodile, various lizards, and dragon skin.

4-2

As for the skull, I took a scan and heavily reworked it to fit and satisfy me in terms of design as a headpiece. I made the bones from a simple sphere.

Staff

I created the silhouette and overall shape for the staff handle from a simple primitive.

After achieving the desired result, I selected several wood textures, converted them to black-and-white textures, and applied projection mapping.

Then I went to Deformation and used Inflate, and further refined it with some brushwork to taste. As you can see, nothing too complicated.

12-4

As for the staff skull, I took a scan and heavily reworked it regarding design and silhouette.

13-2

Fur

When creating fur, I was limited in time, so I didn’t use tools like Ornatrix or FiberMesh. I always have pre-made surface elements for fur and hair.
I attached several different elements to the cloak and simply copied them.

Then I refined them with the Move/MoveTopological brushes. I also always have ready-made fur textures, significantly speeding up my work.

UVs & Baking

I use 3Ds Max for retopology, the entire character ended up being 57K tris. While creating the low-polygon model, I pay attention to its silhouette.

For the necklace on the headdress, I decided to use geometry because this necklace is part of the portrait area and I didn’t want to use a plane for baking; the same applies to other necklaces.

UVs

For creating UVs, I try to separate elements in a logical way (torso/head/clothing/fur, etc.) and to maintain an equal pixel ratio whenever possible.

17-2

Baking

After comes Baking, a pleasant phase for me. I create it in Marmoset Toolbag, one of the best tools and baking interfaces in my opinion.
If everything is set up correctly, you just need to press one button (but not always).

I like the results it produces for Cavity/AO/Convexity/Curvature/Normal/Normal obj, but I bake some maps in SP.

18-3

Texturing

For texturing, I use Substance Painter.

One of the most exciting processes for me is texturing, where you can see your character come to life.

I recommend starting with setting up the initial base textures in the first pass and then transferring them directly to Marmoset or UE to do LookDev during your texturing process so you can track where your textures are going and control the texturing stage.

I start with a base color and use several different masks, such as Cav/Curv/Convex/Ao.

At first, I make textures as procedural as possible and use different textures as masks, which helps achieve the best result.
At the end of procedural texturing, I move on to more detailed texturing and approach specific details, drawing by hand.

For different elements, such as fabric, leather and wood, I use Quixel Megascans textures, and then I add a large number of different layers, where I emphasize the shape and add dust, dirt, scratches, and various damages.

I also create many color variations to achieve realism in the skin and other elements. Experimenting with photo textures can lead to interesting color solutions. Textures of metal, concrete, dirt, and more can be used – don’t be afraid to experiment.

Additionally, for more convenient and fast texturing, I always make a copy of the character and spread out all the details so that they are further apart from each other.

This way, I have more control over my work, as well as speed and convenience.

Rendering

For rendering this character, I used Marmoset Toolbag. Ray tracing helps to achieve a good result quickly and effectively.

And here’s the final character!

7

Conclusion

Thanks a lot for reading till the end, I hope you learned something new, and remember, “Big things start small.”