Art Spotlight: Darth Talon

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My name is Orbelin Jaimes I am a 3d prop and character artist. I have been in love with art all of my life. Even while I was serving in the US Army I kept a notebook with me at all times. Once I was done with that part of my life I used my GI bill to follow my passion. I graduated from the Art Institutes of California Orange County last year which was a major hurdle to get over with kids and a full time job but I made it. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have done it without my wife’s support. I have been freelancing since then. I hope to work for a major game company and put my newly developed skills to the test in the near future. My ultimate goal is to own my own entertainment studio and create my own content, think Disney meets Cowboy Bebop, but that’s just a dream at this point.

I started off with this concept art work; I took a few liberties with the design aesthetics but this is where it all began. I’m not sure who it’s by though. I chose it because I am a huge Star Wars fan, I don’t know everything about the SW universe so please don’t test me. I love her character design. I love her lightsaber also, it has an organic hilt which I thought was super cool.

I then used Zbrush for the majority of the process. I used zspheres to block out the proportions that I wanted for the character.

Once I had the basic shape down I dynameshed it and began to play with the facial features, and body proportions.

Then, I masked out the area where there would be clothing and I extracted it. I then played with the move brush until I had the form that I wanted.

I did the same thing for the armor.

I then used the Z modeler tool to model out the extra armor pieces like the forearm piece. I started with a cylinder and extruded and moved faces until I got what I wanted.

As for the vest I extracted that from the main body and used the move tool so that I would be snug against the body. The added straps and rivets where I felt they would fit.

I used the z modeler brush to make the pouches and the belt. I started with a cylinder with both of these parts.

With the boots and the arm guard I used a belt which I had created for an earlier project as the straps. I added the heels and sole by extracting from the base boot shape. I use extract a lot in my work flow, from the bandages and gloves on her left arm to the designs on the armor. I added the tentacles with z spheres and I extracted the head wrap. I used Dam Standard a lot during this project.

**Retopo **

I used the zmodeler for this phase of the project too. I used basic shapes and moved them around her body and skin tight armor. I created separate models for the arm guard and shoulder armor.

I hand retopoed the face and hands. I made different poly groups so that I could use the uv master without any weird results.

I used X normal to bake out my Normal map, AO map and Thickness Map. Then I opened it in Substance Painter. I had to use Photoshop clean up the maps and create a color id map for my different materials.

I love how a simple color id map can change the way a model looks and feels. I was able to assign specific materials to whatever color I pleased without having to change the geometry, or add them after the fact.

I created alpha stencils for the tats.

Animation

I uploaded the character onto www.mixamo.com for a quick and painless rig and animation. I think the first few times are free, then you have to start paying. I had to fix a few skin weight issues with the inner thighs. I didn’t like how the loincloth was moving so I decided to use an ncloth simulation in Maya. This was such a pain to harness but once I had it where I wanted it I attached joints to the verts and baked the animation on to the joints. Then I re uploaded the original loin cloth and bound the joints to the cloth and that gave me the animated loin cloth movement.

Lightsaber

I pretty much followed the same process with the light saber.

This was my first graduate project. I learned a lot from this project. I hope I continue to learn and grow as an artist. Thank you for your time.

Thanks Orbelin!

You can find more of Orbelin’s work here on Sketchfab, and on his personal website.

About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.


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