I’ve been sitting in on zBrush tutorials for the undergrads, and it has greatly improved my speed and skills with the program already. I find it to have a much more intuitive way of working compared to Maya, and my existing skillset in drawing and panting works very smoothly with it.
As a result of this, I think using a pipeline which starts in zBrush and then moves to Maya for rigging and animating will be quicker than working solely in Maya, and will save me time vs. learning the modelling ins and outs of two programs at once.
Here’s part of the fox-head model trying out new techniques I’ve learned from the classes. This is by far the fastest and most effective model I’ve created up to now, which is very encouraging. I am considering whether to sculpt fur onto the model, or try to render it via zBrush’s built in hair tools, or to use alpha transparencies later when I retopologise and UV map the model. This is an important consideration because, per the character design, the addition of fur will change the silhouette of what I have below dramatically.
Her teeth still need another pass to get them more accurately sized and shaped. Of note, I found that in profile the tilt of the head was pretty important in getting an authentically animal-like feel – initially I had head held more horizontally which was giving it a strange pasted-on look. Bringing the chin down made the gesture line of the face much more reminiscent of actual foxes and better integrated the human/animal aspects together visually.