This week I sculpted and printed the first iteration of my bat toy in ZBrush, my program of choice for this project. This bat differs quite a bit from my concept sketch, and some of that is due to the fact that my model is currently symmetrical in order to ease the sculpting process. I do want to add asymmetry to it once I've finished the core shape by having it lean to one side a little bit. This will likely take a bit of time, but I think it will add even more character to the design.
Rendering of the initial sculpt
I'm not done with the face or the eyes yet, and I'm not sold on the eyelid shape but I need to see it printed I think before I can make that judgement. I also want to add some details for the ears - I don't quite know what that looks like yet.
This project is different than my previous projects where I know exactly what I want the output to look like. For this project I just ended up playing with shapes and designs until I made something I was happy with. Hopefully this method will still continue to serve me well.
Some images taken throughout the process of designing and conceptualizing the bat
Once I figured out the baseline shape, I needed to begin the arduous task of designing the fur. ZBrush has some really handy, premade tools that allow you to create stylized fur really easily. Using the Curve Alphas and Curve Tubes brush I was able to make a few generic hair strands/chunks and customize them using the brush settings. Once those generic strands were made into Insert Multi Mesh brushes (IMM), it's as simple as stamping them onto any surface. This was by far the most time consuming part of the process, and I'm not super happy with the results just yet.
Turntable animation of current sculpt
Orthographic views of the bat
I still need to add some details and then paint it. I decided to try some different colors for this print to see what results I can get. I wanted one version of my toy to have pastel colors, so I thought I should try printing some, along with a version that is mostly grayscale.
Playing with colors
I really enjoy the gray figure blanks that you often see at toy conventions of pre-painted figures, and wanted one of my versions to be evocative of that, but with a variety of gray values. It also plays into my concept with this character, so maybe that version is the "zombie" or "ghost" version of the bat.
Pics of the prints to come...