Powered by Modular Merchant Shopping Cart Software
View Large Image

Hyper-real Insect Design

with Eric Keller

Sample Clip

In this DVD Eric Keller demonstrates his process for designing, modeling, and rendering an original photo realistic insect using ZBrush 4 R4, Photshop, Maya, and V-Ray. Eric talks about how he relies on insect physiology and evolutionary biology as guidelines for his original concept and how to bring photo reference directly into ZBrush using Spotlight. Eric takes the design from basic blockout using dynamesh all the way to completed model. Eric demonstrates the new topology tools of ZBrush 4 R 4 as well as how to generate UV texture coordinates. The model is brought into Maya and prepared for rendering. Eric discusses displacement and bump map set up in VRay, how to create custom materials, and how to set up the VRay Physical camera to create the look of macro photography.

  • Insect evolution and physiology
  • Using Spotlight for reference images in ZBrush
  • Creating the base mesh with ZBrush 4's Dynamesh
  • Retoplogy using Q Remesher and the Toplogy Brush
  • Creating wing detail using ZSpheres
  • Texturing with Spotlight and Polypaint in ZBrush
  • Exporting textures and displacement maps from ZBrush
  • Organizing and editing textures in Photoshop
  • Rendering displacement maps in Vray for Maya
  • Creating insect hair with Paint Effects in Maya
  • Vray Camera and Lighting Techniques
  • Creating a final render
  1. Insect Evolution and Reference
  2. Blocking out the Design
  3. Detailing the Head
  4. Creating the Thorax and Wings
  5. Modeling the Legs and Abdomen
  6. Mesh Retopology in ZBrush
  7. Sculpting Fine Detail
  8. Polypainting the Surface
  9. Generating UVs and Texture Maps
  10. Building VRay Shaders
  11. Creating Hair and Final Renders

  • Product Code: EKE01
  • ISBN: 1-59762-738-0
  • UPC: 805366018238
  • Duration: 420 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM, Digital Download

DVD-ROM Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 64 MB Video RAM
  • DVD-ROM Drive
  • 5 GB of hard disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 display

DVD-ROM and Digital Download Requirements:

Minimum Operating System:

  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista®
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2


  • QuickTime Movie Player (Version 7.0 or higher)
  • Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0 or higher)

For more information on DVD and Digital Download policies click here here.

  • Software Used:

  • Pixologic

  • Adobe

  • Autodesk

  • Chaos Group

Eric Keller

CG artist

Eric Keller has been working as a professional CG artist since 1998, creating animations and images for both the entertainment industry and scientific visualization. Eric has written several acclaimed books on both ZBrush (Introducing ZBrush) and Maya (Mastering Maya), numerous tutorials and articles for leading industry magazines such as 3D Artist and 3D World, as well as creating instructional videos for Pixologic's ZClassroom. He teaches Introduction to Digital Sculpting and Introduction to Maya at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Medical School. Through his work with the pioneers of scientific visualization at Digizyme, Eric has recently been creating insect models and animated scientific visualizations for the seven volume E O Wilson's Life on Earth iBook series. Eric's professional and personal work centers around taking inspiration from the natural world and the study of comparative zoology.

Watch this tutorial now with an Online Training Subscription.

"Eric Keller is a master Zbrush artist. Anyone who wants to know Zbrush in depth should buy this DVD! For an in depth understanding Zbrush, look no further than Eric Keller's amazing works. I wish I could Crtl+C, Crtl+V what Eric Keller knows directly into my brain!"

- Jared Krichevsky
Creature Designer at The Aaron Sims Company

"Eric Keller is a Renaissance man. By combining his artists eye, his passion for natural science, and his skill as a teacher he has brought this fantastic DVD to life! Eric easily shifts from exceptional sculpting, to finessing the intricacies of Vray and Maya, to explaining the nuances of the Arthropoda Insecta Hymenoptera. Its that kind of attention to detail that makes great artists freakin amazing. I am constantly in awe of Eric's breadth of knowledge and skill. We are all fortunate he has chosen to share some of that on DVD! "

- Scott Spencer
Weta Workshop NZ

"Eric Keller is an Invertebrate lover, an animator, an author, ,artist, and the list goes on! His knowledge of all aspects of 3D and his love of the natural world has in my mind made him one of the go to guys in the industry. His passion is what makes him one of the best authors and teachers out there! Eric approaches his work seriously but with a sense of humor and a zest for knowledge. I am constantly surprised and inspired by Eric's ability to make any topic interesting and fun. His new DVD will definitely be one I will watch over and over! "

- Mark Dedecker
Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Lecture Stills Gallery