Making of Cowboy

This is a project I had started working to improve my portfolio and try some techniques, so I want to show a little bit of the creation process and what I learned with him.


We decided to go for a cowboy after watching Rango too much (not really, but it’s a great movie) and I had almost started modeling one for a couple of times.So after a few sketches, here’s the chosen concept.


So I started modelling in 3dsmax, started with a box then divided a couple of times and gave the basic form following the character sheet. I didn’t worry too much about the loops at this stage, specially for the head. With the base mesh done I sent it to zbrush to set the proportions right and smooth some parts. Back to 3dsmax (thank goZ) I played as Jack the ripper and separated him in a few parts (to make the clothes and accessories).

Again in Zbrush was time to go into more details, sculpting time! It’s a fun process…


It wasn’t yet sculpted in full details, it was time to work in the topology.
So I exported from Zbrush a higher mesh (not the highest because I would not be able to work in 3dsmax) and used a great free script called “Max_Retopo” which made this job much easier.
Since it’s gonna be used for an animation I had to be careful with the loops, but I didn’t have to worry too much about poly counting, trying to keep it not too high though.


I’ve done all the texturing in Zbrush and there’s no way to not fall in love with the software, it’s amazing and I learned a lot working on this character, I’ve learned some new techniques (new to me) and had a blast, every time I have to do something in Zbrush I learn something new that amazes me.

I used a lot of real textures applying them with Spotlight and painted over to fit the character and the desired style. Then I made a lot of alphas to make the seams and some other little details.
With the “clean” textures done I started to make them dirty and “used”.

Now the textures are pretty much the way I wanted so I did the unwrap with a good combination of the wonderful UV master (in Zbrush) and fixing some of them in 3ds max as well.


Time to decide what to do with the character…
I gave two “ends” to this character, (maybe one day I’ll come back and rig him or add hair) first thing was to make it game ready, new mesh with lower poly count, merged the UVs, baked newtextures using xNormal and the result can be seen in sketchfab.

The other end, in zbrush I posed him so I could make a nicer render. Using Transpose Master in Zbrush I did something simple, just so it looks better than the t-pose, a couple of different render passes and this is the result. (click on the image to see it in a better resolution)

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