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Creature Modeling for Production

with Ben Erdt


In this tutorial, Ben Erdt shares his workflow for creating a sci-fi creature/character from a 2D sketch to the final production model ready for rigging and animation. He starts by analyzing the 2D sketch to get to know the character and breaks the design down into its basic parts. Inside ZBrush, Ben sketches out the character in 3D starting with the base body, continuing with the armour parts while he makes sure the model stays functional for animation. After preparing the final sculpt for export out of ZBrush, Ben gives an introduction into the modeling basics of Modo that are needed to rebuild the character for Sub-D. He starts with the re-topo of the head and body, then moves on to parts of the armor showing how a mix of the Modo retopology and regular modeling tools can be used to start rebuilding and finishing the armor plates. Towards the end of the tutorial, Ben models the last bits of the character such as smaller details, the inner mouth and prepares the organic parts for surface detailing in ZBrush. In the end, he recaps the character workflow and shows some test animations of the final character model. For those interested in both organic and hard-surface modeling, this title offers an in-depth look into how to achieve professional results using an efficient and production proven workflow.

Duration: 6h 57m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Ben Erdt

Senior Character Artist, Guerrilla Games

Ben Erdt is a Character / Creature Designer and Modeler, currently working at Guerrilla Games as a Senior Character Artist. Over the past ten years, his initial interests in creating CG characters as a hobby turned into a serious and passionate endeavor. Ben is comfortable with many styles, loves collaborative projects and enjoys drawing, sculpting, modeling, texturing as well as rendering. After graduating from Vancouver Film School, he started at Guerrilla Games working on Killzone: Shadow Fall as well as Horizon Zero Dawn. His work has been featured on various websites and magazines such as 3D Artist, 3D Creative and 3D World and he continuously tries to improve his skills through constant study and practice.

  • Ben Erdt isn't interested in anything but the most complex, ambitious and indeed impossible tasks. He is an extremely rare, unfiltered artist driven by an absolute passion and uncompromising desire to create art that is both aesthetically beautiful, totally unique and above all; technically believable, if not downright functional. In an industry that is becoming evermore segregated and pigeonholed, Ben stands out in his ability to amalgamate design, modelling and finishing as a consummate perfectionist who toils over what we see on screen, as much as the myriad of pipeline intricacies that so help the many disciplinary teams down the long river of VFX artistry.

    - Bastiaan Koch
    Sr. Artist: ILM/LucasFilm Director: Marauder Film

  • Ben is a total pro. A brilliant concept designer, production artist and teacher. He has a masterful command of the skills required to make awesome creatures and mechs, and the eloquence and passion to distill his broad experience and extensive knowledge into a form that’s effortless to comprehend and retain.

    - Dan Calvert
    Character Art Director, Guerrilla Games

  • Ben is probably the most talented hard surface modeler and designer i personally know, he constantly strives for perfection and his understanding of shapes and volumes is eximious. He has not only mastered the artistic side of his craft but also a vast breath of technical knowledge and in spite of this he is still one of the most humble people i know and has no problem asking or providing help to those that need it.

    - Guilherme Carvalho
    Character Artist