Saturday, April 28, 2012

Creature Design in Zbrush - part 2

I wanted to get this little nugget down in writing before I forget. It is something that I shared with everyone at the recent Pixologic User Group Meeting, and thought it would be a helpful addition to the blog as well.

"Where do you find inspiration?"
Inspiration can be found everywhere. While working with some audio files one day, I noticed some patterns between songs. The songs that are more interesting feature pacing and structure similar to the rules of visual design. Particularly the Rule of Three's.

The Rule of Thirds
What are the Rule of Three's? Also known as the Rule of Thirds. It can be found in writing, economics, visual art, and music. It can also be found in character/creature design, and sculpture. The Rule is different for every school of thought, but at its core it is very similar. In a nut shell, the Rule of Three states that everything is more interesting when broken into three recognizable parts. An even number of things is boring to us.

A Character's Sound
Getting back to the audio, I noticed the songs with more interest and excitement to them were broken into three parts, with varying shapes and structure. Below you will see two different songs and their wave forms. Notice the rules in place?

 Song 1

Song 2

Let me start to break it down.

 Song 1

Song 2

You can see the large areas are core areas to the song, labeled as Parts. And we also have Breaks, where the song drops down, and builds back up to the excitement. This is where all the interest comes from, that tension and release. In character or creature design, we would call that visual rest, and detail.

Watch what happens when I flip these songs vertically, and relabel it's sections to follow a different naming convention.

 Song 1

Song 2

Now, by calling these different parts detail and rest, you start to get a really cool foundation for a character's rhythm and design pattern.

Let's check out this character's "sound," and how this would apply to it's design.

This breakdown is not just limited to the entire body, but can be applied to all areas of the creature/character's design. The head, the hands, the arms, everything falls under these rules and techniques. 

The point is, inspiration is everywhere. You just need to know where to look.


  1. very interestion analize you did there ! :D i will share that page on FL studio forum ! :)