The Necromancer (Week 3) – Horse Sculpt – Phase 2

   During week 3, I focused on the skeletal structure of the horse and getting the layers of muscle and skin to look right. Originally, I had high hopes of fully completing the horse, sans armour, by the end of week 3, but sadly I’ve underestimated the amount of time sculpting bones and torn muscles and tendons might take. Thus I had to readjust my schedule somewhat, by pushing the deadline for the finalized horse off by a week. Thankfully, I factored in potential delays of this nature, so this should not be detrimental to my project in the long run.

   Originally, I planned to “shave down” the bone structure from the fully sculpted horse mesh, but I quickly realized that this would lead to undesired results, making the bones look fused together. So as to achieve a proper feel to the structure, making the bones be individual meshes seemed a more sensible course of action.

   I quickly created a rudimentary skeleton out of cylinders in 3ds Max. Only needing the head, front and back legs, I did not create any of the rest of the skeletal structure.

    I imported this simple and quick bone structure into Zbrush and proceeded to sculpt out each bone as accurately as I could, based on high-resolution images taken of assembled equine skeletons from museums.

    I paid particular attention to the mid-to-front section of the cranium, because that would play a prominent role in the final piece.

   Once the bone structure was fully finished, I started work on the muscle and tendon/ligament layers.

   First I focused upon the head, again being the most important part of the character, and then the front legs. After this, I worked on the final, top-most layer, the skin. I tried to give the impression of tissue rotting away in a natural manner, based on photographs I found online of animal corpses decaying in the wild, whilst also keeping in mind my original design.

    Currently, the head and front legs are in their final stages, and right now I am working on the hind legs, after which I shall be adding more details to create a more genuine look. I will also add more muscle definition to the rest of the body. Lastly, I’ll be adding veins, the skin/fur texture details and the mane and tail of the horse. The mane and tale will be created using alpha planes.