The arrrrrt of creating a 3D pirate character

3D artist Pedro Conti explains how he used ZBrush to bring his quirky 3D pirate character to life.

There's a ton of inspiring 3D art online, and this brilliant pirate illustration by Pedro Conti is a prime example.

As a 3D artist and partner of Techno Image, an animation and illustration studio based in Brazil, Conti gets lots of time to test new software and workflows. "Pirate is one of my first projects using Maxwell Render and testing a new render engine," he explains.

"I felt really happy with the new process and new way of creating materials. I most enjoyed working on the shading for this piece."

Conti began his pirate project with simple character sketches

Other than using Maxwell Render, Pedro tapped into his usual workflow to create Pirate. "I start by blocking in ZBrush. In this case, I used ZBrush to create the character design too. Retopology was done in 3ds Max and after that I moved back to ZBrush to add details and pores to the character.

ZBrush was useful for the UV maps, and basic textures. For rendering, I used Maya and Maxwell Render. Finally, Photoshop was used for colour correction and some simple clone work."

ZBrush was used extensively to add details to the character's face

Retopology was taken care of in 3ds Max

"ZBrush was useful for the UV maps, and basic textures," Conti comments

Pedro has been working in the animation and illustration field since 2006 as a CG generalist. Over the years he has had the opportunity to work on different projects in a variety of roles, from art direction to modelling, shading and lighting.

"I love travelling and I think it’s the best source of inspiration ever," says Pedro as he explains how spending too much time on the computer can be creatively limiting. He also feels strongly about spending time with friends and family for the same reason. Similarly, when he's not making 3D art, Pedro likes to play guitar and skateboard.

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