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3D Character Design Volume 1

Proto-concepting for Film with Scott Patton

Sample Clip

In this DVD, Scott Patton shows the processes he uses to create finished character designs for feature films. This DVD explores Patton's fast and efficient method for concept sculpting, skipping the 2D sketch phase all together and designing the character entirely within ZBrush. This method of design is more interactive and has allowed him to work with directors one-on-one directly in 3D. From basic form to final detail, Patton uses a combination of ZBrush’s tools and straight forward explanations to show how a character can be created without the usual time restrictions and hassle of most 3D packages. He covers everything from blocking out the forms and fleshing out the muscles, to adding props, detailing with alphas and posing the character.

  • Scale and Proportion
  • Blocking out the Forms
  • Refining the Body
  • Detailing with Alphas
  • Adding Props
  • Extracting Forms
  • Posing the Character
  1. Quick ZBrush Demo
  2. Getting Started
  3. Scale and Proportion
  4. Fleshing out Muscles
  5. Blocking Head Forms
  6. Adjusting and Initial Head Detailing
  7. Overall Refining
  8. Adding Props: Clothing
  9. Adjusting the Pose
  10. Refining the Pose
  11. Adding Props and Extractions
  12. Fleshing out the Body
  13. Refining the Arms and Hands
  14. Refining the Face
  15. Rethinking the Head
  16. Continuing to Refine the Face
  17. Upper Body Details
  18. Leg Details
  19. Detailing the Face with Alphas
  20. Detailing the Body with Alphas
  21. Adding More Props and Final Details
  22. Grouping and Decimation for Posing
  23. Changing the Resolution for Posing
  24. T-Posing
  25. Cleaning up the Pose
  26. Finalizing the Pose
  • Product Code: SPA01
  • ISBN: 1-59762-824-7
  • UPC: 805366017408
  • Duration: 533 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM

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.

  • Software Used:

  • Pixologic

Scott Patton

Concept Artist
Legacy Effects

Scott Patton started his career as a make-up effects artist in the 1990s, developing his sculpting, painting and design skills under the tight production deadlines of the movie industry. Patton's work as a make-up effects artist can be seen in a diverse range of films from Sin City and Kill Bill to Amistad and The Green Mile. While working on the Academy Award winning The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Patton discovered ZBrush and quickly realized that this tool could speed up the often frustrating character design process. Joining practical and digital sculpting in his production workflow, Patton joined Stan Winston Studios and the design team for James Cameron’s Avatar. After the unfortunate death of Stan Winston in 2008, Patton helped the remaining S.W. team in creating a digital design department for their new company Legacy Effects. Since that time, Patton and Legacy have designed characters for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, John Carter of Mars, Pandorum, Iron Man 2, Thor, Cowboys and Aliens, Terminator Salvation and more.

Watch this tutorial now with an Online Training Subscription.

"Scott Patton is a witch! Burn him! How else can you explain how he's so good at designing characters in 3-D? I don't think you can. No mere mortal can sculpt in 3-D with such swiftness and dexterity as he does. The best animators I've worked with can barely match the eye he has for detail. No... definitely a witch."

- Andrew Stanton
Wall-e, John Carter of Mars

Lecture Stills Gallery