Me and Cthulhu - Part 3

December 20, 2012

Latest Post The Hound of the Baskervilles by Owen Soule

I'm pretty sure nothing will happen tomorrow, the infamous 12/21/2012, other than a bunch of doomsday preppers angrily shaking their fists at the sky because they overstocked on spam and canned beans.  But in an attempt to hedge my bets should the world end, I'm putting out the next installment of my Cthulhu sculpture series.   May this appease the risen zombie Mayan hoards, the alien overlords, and/or Cthulhu himself who could just as easily bring about the reckoning.  Should the internet survive, I hope the victors view this post and think better of me and humanity as a whole - with regard to their ability to create seemingly useless digital sculptures. As a refresher, here was my sketch, embellished via Photoshop, crafted a few months ago when I was on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

Cthulhu keeps calling, why won't you answer?

After creating the ZSphere armature I outlined in Part 2 of this series, I moved onto the actual skin.   Here was the first phase:

Squid tacked onto goofy body

Next came adding some detail to the body - which kind of made the creature look like an eyeless tentacled Predator who ate a sumo wrestler:

What the hell are you?

With some more detail, and added subdivisions of geometry, the look of a manic-sumo-tentacle-head was confirmed:

Is it me, or does this look like someone who just saw their first all you can eat sushi bar?

Taking a step back, and contemplating the actual mythos of Cthulhu sitting dead/sleeping beneath the sea waiting to rise again and destroy humanity, I thought the chubby sumo look was not the way to go. So after much tweaking, and a hearty weight-loss program, a thinner, hungrier Cthulhu was crafted - here I am starting the armature for the wings:

All that weight loss... gives Cthulhu... appetite for destruction? 

At this point I got side-tracked for about a month or so doing various other non-ZBrush projects.   When I returned to this sculpture, I was shocked by how little I had accomplished so I set about adding the remainder of the wings, claws, fins, and various other textured bits.

Let my tentacles hug you!

With a flat color model nearing completion I started the polygon painting process the result of which can be seen below:

Click for monter sized image - Cthulhu looking very sea-turtle-dragon-esque

Not too shabby!  I've still got a bit of work to do and when that is complete I'll pose the model to match my original sketch.  I'm also planning on placing the model into a digital ocean/storm scene in Maya for the final render.   Just for kicks here is a turntable of the model in ZBrush - beware the Cthulhu ass!

Should the world survive tomorrow's apocalypse, my final render from Maya will be showcased in the forth and final installment of Me and Cthulhu!  Stay tuned...

Owen Soule

Published December 20, 2012