Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Armored Lizard Beasts

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full
(Score 5 out of 5 after 5 Votes)
| Comments 0
Date Added: 21st June 2018
Software used:

Check out the armored lizard chapter from the "Armored Beasts" ebook and learn Zbrush techniques for creating your own beast...



Hi, my name is Bruno Camara and over the next few pages I'll be explaining the process I used to create my lizard character. I hope you like it!

The main idea for this tutorial was to come up with an armored creature of some kind, so I decided to create a reptilian beast that lived a long time ago, in a fantasy kind of era where there were few resources and constant conflict. The beast wasn't very intelligent and basically lived by fighting for food. He was always one of the first on the battlefield and his armor wasn't particularly strong or thick because of the lack of resources and the fact that the lizards can't forge metal. It was basically made of things he found or collected from dead enemies.

With this idea in my head I started to sketch some rough ideas (Fig.01). I created some messy silhouettes and then the character began to form out of these.

Fig. 01

Generally the first sketches you make are the most cliché ones. The more options and variations you sketch, the more interesting and original they become. In Fig.02 you can see the option I chose as the concept for my character, which I then developed into the final concept shown in Fig.03.

Fig. 02
Fig. 03

It is here that I defined everything. You don't need to do a detailed sketch or concept for your images, but getting some ideas down on paper may help. It helps me a great deal when I start the sculpting, as I already know what I plan to do and have things like scale and pose decided in advance. I always gather references at this point as well, as it helps sell the image and make it more accurate.


Then it was time to start the hard work. For the modeling I separated the character into three main parts: the head, body and props. Before anything else though, I started on the main base using ZSpheres (Fig. 04).

After building the structure I converted it to a mesh (Tool > Make PolyMesh 3D). I then started to define the proportions and general shape of the muscles (Fig.05).

Fig. 04
Fig. 05

Sculpting the Head

On this mesh I had already defined the shapes of the head, but I hadn't detailed it yet so I did a simple retopology to have a better base to start from (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

To make the retopology of any mesh, do the following:
1. Create a ZSphere and hit Edit
2. In Tool > Rigging, click Select Mesh
3. Select the mesh you will use to create the
new topology
4. Go to Tool > Topology > Edit Topology
5. Turn Symmetry on (if needed) and click on
the model to begin creating new geometry
6. Press A to see the new mesh
7. When you are done, press Tool > Make
PolyMesh 3D.

That's the process I used to make the new mesh for the head. This new mesh had some basic edge loops for a better flow and easy detailing in the future. Once the new topology was done I started to detail the head using a reference of a blue-tongued lizard and a Komodo dragon to help me.

The first one stands out among all other lizards because of his nice body texture and weird tongue. Since my armored lizard was going to be huge, at three or four times the size of a human, his skin would be more like a Komodo dragon's or a dinosaur's than a little lizard. Other references were used too, like iguanas and other lizards.

After gathering several references, I also downloaded several alphas related to lizard skin. You can find great alphas on Pixologic's website.

I started defining the main muscles on the head and neck and the folds of skin. I then moved on to the gums and tongue (Fig.07). The eyes were a simple Sphere3D object and the tongue was made from ZSpheres.

To make the teeth I masked the position of the teeth on the gums and used Extract to create a new subtool. Then using the Inflat tool and the Pinch brushes, I pulled and shaped each tooth (Fig.08). Like the tongue, the drool was also made from ZSpheres (Fig.09).

Finally I detailed the scales around the mouth and eyes manually. Basically I masked the mouth region where the scales would be, inverted the mask and used a combination of the Standard brush and Inflat brush to highlight the scales (Fig.10). I used this process for the major scales; the others I did with skin alphas (Fig.11).

I didn't spend much time on the shoulders as they were going to be hidden behind the leather clothes. In Fig.12 you can see the completed head.

Fig. 07
Fig. 08

Fig. 09
Fig. 10

Fig. 11
Fig. 12

Detailing the Body

The lizard's body demanded a mixture of human and lizard anatomy. To tackle this I collected as many references of human muscles and lizards as possible. I tried to create a strong body that looked balanced enough to carry the weight of the armor.

As I had already modeled a base for the body, I used it to begin to define the muscles of the limbs, but before I did that I deleted all of the head geometry as it was no longer necessary. I started with the arms and hands, and defined the muscles and veins (Fig.13). I then moved on to the legs (Fig.14), and finally the torso and tail (Fig.15). Some parts were not detailed as they were going to be covered by cloth and armor.

Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15

For the scales I used the same process as I did for the head. I manually modeled the main parts like the elbow and joints. For the rest I used a lot of alphas and adjusted any problems that arose.

The final body can be seen in Fig.16. At this point I had seven subtools: the head, body, eyes, tongue, drool, upper teeth and lower teeth.

Fig. 16

Modeling the Props

There are several props on this character. I divided them into five different parts and created them in this order: cloth, armor, shield, leather straps and weapons. For both parts of cloth I used Extract (Tools > Subtool > Extract). Extract is just great and really speeds up the workflow. At the lowest level of subdivision and with the Ctrl key pressed, I masked the rags of leather that I wanted to extract (Fig.17).

Once they were masked I clicked Extract. I set the parameters for Edge Smoothness to 0, Surface Smoothness to 0 and Thickness to 0.3. Depending on the model you make these values may vary. After extracting them I softened the edges of the extracted model manually, so I could have a better range of smoothness. It was necessary to separate the cloth from the body a bit with the Move brush, to make them fall on the body, simulating gravity. I created three different rags of leather for the torso (Fig.18).

For the lower clothes I had to extract a base geometry and mask over it to make out the final cloth. I created two rags (Fig.19).

Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19

continued on next page >

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Related Tutorials

华东15选5今晚预测推荐号码 Making Of 'The Fallout'

by Bruno Camara
published on 2013-04-16

Keywords: 3dsmax, photoshop, mudbox, zbrush

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (56)
Comments 8 Views 227494

Making Of 'African Mole Warrior'

by Pete Sussi
published on 2009-12-09

Keywords: character, creature, mole, african, warrior,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (1)
Comments 0 Views 133993

Making of 'Odin's Final Battle'

by Marthin Agusta Simny
published on 2009-12-09

Keywords: chacracter, man, warrior, armor,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star none (1)
Comments 0 Views 68043

Mudbox 2009 Quick Start Series: Painting 32-bit HDRI Probe Images

by Wayne Robson
published on 2010-12-30

Keywords: painting, hdri, 32bit, armor,

rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none (0)
Comments 0 Views 14875
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
no comments!
No comments yet. Be the first to comment!
Add Your Comment..

  • 哦。对了,那些成天嚷嚷“亲不亲,阶级亲”的人应该把这些货真价实的“无铲阶级”接回家去。[哈哈] 2019-02-01
  • 许映龙、郭峰泉、康辉三位同志作“建功新时代 岗位作贡献”专题报告 2019-02-01
  • 中国记协网(中华新闻传媒网) 2019-01-23
  • 世界杯开幕 长春街头商家狂蹭热度 2019-01-23
  • 佛山成功孵化高校科技成果项目 2019-01-22
  • 计划经济该怎么定义呢?政府什么都管的经济吗?如果政府什么都管那以现在的政府的能力,能管的了那么多吗?能管得好吗?那还能纯粹叫经济吗?所以政府才强调政府有政府的职 2019-01-22
  • 我老张工经历过中国计划经济时代,实践过计划经济,岂能不知计划经济?!现在的市场经济,我也有了实践感受。比较之,深感计划经济是适合社会主义的,而市场经济是不适合社 2018-12-30
  • 口子窖深度报告:蓄势经年又东风,徽酒王者已归来口子 公司 2018-12-30
  • 候选企业:黑龙江飞鹤乳业有限公司 2018-12-11
  • 汉阳陵举办“文化与自然遗产日”主题系列活动 2018-08-21
  • 中华龙舟如何奋楫争先?习近平这些话要牢记 2018-08-21
  • 575| 996| 742| 289| 168| 690| 86| 745| 213| 921|