The Gnomon Workshop has released Hyper-real Insect Design: a new ZBrush and Maya training DVD that spans the worlds of scientific visualisation and entertainment design.
Over the course of the seven-hour video, Harvard Medical School guest lecturer Eric Keller explores how to use scientific methodologies to create a truly believable creature concept.
From ZBrush to Maya and V-Ray
After a discussion of insect evolution and physiology, Keller creates a concept design in ZBrush 4R4.
The tutorial explores the use of Spotlight for handling reference images, the new Dynamesh system, retopology via QRemesher and the Topology brush, Polypainting, and exporting textures and displacement maps.
Keller then brings the model into Maya, discussing how to use Paint Effects to generate insect hair; and the camera and lighting techniques necessary to achieve the look of macro photography when rendering in V-Ray.
This result is a creature as visually appealing as it is scientifically accurate.
Through his work with scientific visualisation firm Digizyme, he has recently been creating insect models and animations for renowned etymologist and author E O Wilson as part of the Life on Earth iBook project.
Hyper-real Insect Design is available now on direct download from The Gnomon Workshop, price $69. The DVD edition will begin shipping on 12 November.
Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.