Tomasz Strzalkowski presents the making of The Mysterious Sculpture

I started the work on this project on the spur of the moment. Soon the basic shape of a small sphere  started evolving into various forms as I continued playing with it. The concept was becoming reality. As I was approaching the final form it required more serious consideration on my part. (Fig.01)

I prepared an additional rendered sketch in Photoshop using the initially modeled solid as its base which lead me quickly to the desired shape, (Fig.02) after that modeling was a sheer pleasure. It was performed using Dynamesh and as I could set the resolution at 2048 – a feature enabled in the latest Zbrush version – I didn’t need to worry about the quality of the grid. Such comfortable working environment encouraged me to experiment more freely. (Fig.03)

The lower parts of the sculpture were created with the help of another highly effective tool – namely insertmesh. I had prepared the elements (Fig.04-4b) and intermesh settings beforehand, which allowed me to perform some tests in order to find the suitable distances between them as well as define their particular forms and sizes. Owing to insertmesh I was able to do it with ease.
Once the modelling stage had been completed I moved on to texturing. I set the appropriate material parameters. My first choice material was skethshaded_03 with a slight reduction of cavity intensity and specular. I performed texturing with Spotlight choosing three textures of various brightness and contrast. My intention had been to highlight certain elements and yet not to overdo it. Using different masks simplified my work. Through painting directly on the picture we can achieve greater accuracy and have a better sense of what we want our final work to look like, as a supplement to modelling Spotlight is just the tool to help us do so. (Fig.05)

I began working on illumination and inserting the whole stage afterwards. The illumination comprised three types of lights: environment, main and rim. I obtained the environment light by employing lightcap’s simple  texture. The result was the smooth light on the object. Next I rendered the key light (Fig.07) and the rim light (Fig.08) on the side at the very end. As the work on illumination was progressing, I was also rendering consecutive layers: mask,(Fig.09) depth,(Fig.10) ambient occlusion (Fig.11) and cavity. The moment they were finished I put them all together in Photoshop. (Fig.12) I used this software to create the background as well, however with some slight modifications done in Zbrush’s Lightcap.

Links :

Tomasz Strzalkowski’ Official Website

Tomasz Strzalkowski’s CG Gallery