Sculpting Huldra

When I was done picking the one design I wanted for Huldra, I created a model sheet for her.

Huldra - Model Sheet

This was my main source for reference. I also used a book called 'Anatomy for Sculptors' by Uldis Zarins with Sandis Kondrats to make sure I got the anatomy correct as I went from 2D to 3D. This book is great because it looks at the human anatomy from a more 3D point of view like a sculptor would and it's nothing like your typical 'How to draw human anatomy' books. It goes into depth to show how the muscles are connected and how they look under the skin and how they, together with the bones and fat, create the different shapes of the human body.

I've been using this project to gain a better understanding of how to use Zbrush. I did Huldra's body using Dynamesh only because I never really grasped the concept of moving from Dynamesh to Subdivision Levels with a Zremesh inbetween. I roughed out her body shape and added details as I added resolution to Dynamesh.

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I really struggled creating the hair to begin with. I started when it was late at night and I scrapped two different hairstyles before I tried again the next day and made it work after rethinking all I'd done wrong. It was when I started adding detail to the hair that I began looking into Subdivision levels. I was following a tutorial on YouTube to get a nice result on the hair, but for some reason I just could get the nice strokes the guy in the tutorial did without adding way too much resolution to Dynamesh. Suddenly I noticed how he did a Zremesh after finishing the first rough shape of the hair. I then realised he added Subdivisions to the hair instead of resolution in Dynamesh. I tried and finally I could get the nice strokes that he did.

I built up the hair starting with large shapes and moving on to smaller strands while adding more Subdivisions to it.

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When the hair was done I needed to create the flower garland she's supposed to have on her head. I started creating a headband to represent the flower garland and shaped the hair around it. I realised I hadn't really thought about how I would do the garland, so I began going through some of the books I had listed in my reference list before I started the project. In one of the books; 'Zbrush Professional Tips and Techniques' by Paul Gaboury, I found a tutorial on how to create a flower bracelet using alphas. I followed the steps in order to create the first layer of flowers. To do this I had to create my own alpha brushes, which was all new to me, but turned out alright.

I used the alpha brush to create a circular pattern around a cylinder with a mask and deleted unmasked points. I continued to follow the tutorial, but I didn't really understand much of what I did and it didn't turn out the way I wanted. I went back to the masked part and figured out I could do it easier by extracting a thicker mesh from the cylinder bit. It worked just fine and I ended up using it as my first layer of flowers. I did the same thing with leaves and some smaller flowers and put it all together as the garland. It's OK for now, but I might redo the whole thing when I start to retopologise it.

The tail was pretty straight forward. I used Zsphere to create the tail and I used a normal sphere to create the bushy tip. The flowers on the bushy part are the same flowers as the small ones in the garland and they're made the same way.

Over all I'm very happy with my sculpt of Huldra! I feel like I've expanded my knowledge on human anatomy a lot. I have a much better understanding of how the muscle, bones and fat effect the the body's shape and which part is the one we actually see the effect of. I also feel like I've improved my Zbrush skills and they again helped me better my workflow.


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