Quanta Magazine's Art Director @natureintheory shares how the online publication uses #3D illustrations to tell stories and spark interest in math & science.
I found a bunch of my old sketches and thought it'd be interesting to show the "before & after" of how Quanta Magazine artworks transform from concept art to illustration.
(Trent Kaniuga's video is helpful if you're unclear about the difference: Illustration VS Concept.)
These thumbnails aren't pretty; their job is only to convey an idea quickly and clearly enough that editors can approve and artists can follow. I don't do these for every project I assign, but always for my own work. They're especially helpful when the subject is difficult/abstract/esoteric — as Quanta's often are!
Left: my sketch
Right: artist's illustration
Thank you to all of the artists who worked with me on these wonderful images.
If you'd like to learn more, comment & let me know!
I've never (digitally) sculpted/modeled a full, human character before (not counting mushroom-people and warrior-creatures). When I started I must've assumed this would be easier? "It's stylized" after all.
But (as you know if you've done it) there are loads of little technicalities with 3D: sure, you can approach it like clay, have fun and pile stuff on willy-nilly, but good luck using that sculpt! Even for a still illustration, try exporting a mess of millions of intersecting polys to an external renderer: it's not a good time.
So, I like being methodical and efficient. I HATE doing something only to find several hours later that "Wow I really should not have done that 100 steps ago and now I have a mess to fix."
I've been collecting refs and videos by ZBrush artists who know their stuff and learning from their techniques. Thought I'd share my PureRef file with you. (And I'll try to keep it updated.)
This is a compilation of links for easy reference. Most of the content is free and nothing in this file "unlocks" or shows content in any form that's not already freely accessible online. Includes some images of purchasable models; not an Ad or endorsement.
P.S. if you have a good resource to add, leave a comment!
See also: Collections > Tutorials
Typically, I wouldn't show tutorial work because it's a bit paint-by-numbers: opportunities to show your creativity, originality, problem solving, and style are limited. However, I like how this turned out (and I took those chances to inject a bit of myself into it, so it's not entirely a replica). Most importantly, there's much I loved about and learned from the course. Instructor Nikolay Naydenov did a lot of things well that I found missing from or frustrating about other lessons, so I wanted to review it.
Tutorial by Nikolay Naydenov:
Original concept by Bu Zhou:
This is one of the best tutorials I've ever encountered, and I've watched a good number of them! Specifically for ZBrush, I've followed videos by Flipped Normals, Maria Panfilova, Zhelong Xu, Tyler Smith, Danny Mac, Follygon, Michael Pavlovich, and Pixologic's own ZClassroom and #AskZBrush series, among others. (A secret: some of these are oddly soothing and I've fallen asleep to those playlists many a night.) I feel a bit embarrassed listing so many, as if I should be an expert by now — far from it.
But I'm not totally new to ZBrush either: I've completed a few sculpts and fully-realized artworks, and even wrote my own (free!) mini-tutorial: ZBrush to Cinema 4D & Redshift (Dealing with Displacement).
So why would I spend 30+ hours or so on a course titled "ZBrush for Absolute Beginners"?
To the point: what's so great about "ZBrush for Absolute Beginners"?
#NotAnAd: the above is entirely my own opinion, volunteered freely. Tutorials mentioned are free or I purchased them myself.