CYBORG AND HOVERBIKE
This project is my third large peice created in ZBrush. For this, I really wanted to push hard-surface in ZBrush, as well as familiarizing myself with external renderers outside of ZBrush. I chose Keyshot 5 because it was really easy to pick up and provided nice lighting options and control.
This piece is also a bit of a double-whammy, including not only the cyborg character but an insectoid-inspired hoverbike. I took a lot of inspiration for the style from 90s and early 2000s sci-fi with the overly-complicated machinery and layered surfacing.
Below are images of my process, starting from the most recent iterations of the models and going back through my process to the original concepts. In the original 2D concept, the cyborg initially had some cloth. I decided to scrap it in favor for a more cohesive design. After beginning the 3D process, the style moved away from a wandering bounty hunter from a dusty, far-away Star Wars-esque planet to a more cyberpunk style of sci-fi.
These are more or less the final untextured versions of the models. From this stage on, the hoverbike didn't change all that much, just slight detailing here and there and some tweaks to the mesh during the posing process, mostly with the scale of the handlebars, seat and overall length of the hoverbike. I had to extend the central part between the seat and headpiece in order for the character to fit properly, which added a good bit of length to the bike's mesh.
For the character, you can see the level of progress made on the overall design. Originally, he had a much more tousled and full head of hair (see 2D concept), but in order to distance it from pre-existing designs and to strengthen my own I changed it to a half-shaved cut. I also brought the facemask up to cover his entire mouth and part of his nose, which served to make him seem like a less relatable character. I also added a jetpack-like booster to his back to make him feel like he could really move fast even without a vehicle and to add another dimension of movement if the character were actually playable in a game. The final major design change was in the feet, which I redid with inspiration from the idea that Mister Cyborg here had some aerial capability.
In the final renders above, I extended his limbs more and thinned his torso out even more to make him both fit the shape of the bike better and to make him a bit sleeker. I really wanted to sell the idea that this guy depends more on speed, manuverability and velocity rather than brute strength and that's something that I feel was really lacking in the original concept.
At this stage, the armor and hoverbike really began to take on the basic forms of their final versions. For the bike, this point on was mostly surface detailing and messing with the silhouette. The chracter was a bit of a different story. The silhouette of the armor really took form here, but issues with his porportions had yet to be addressed, as well as some design choices that made him appear reminiscent of a certain other cyborg sporting heels. I honestly hadn't noticed the similarity in design until this stage, and after having it pointed out I took the facial armor and lower leg armor back to the drawing board.
The earliest iterations of the models. The hoverbike at this stage had just been brought into ZBrush after a rough block-out in Maya and given some early surface detailing, such as the initial formation of the detail on the vehicle's headpiece. I was still feeling out the design of the character at this point, specifically the final design of the outermost layer of his armor. There were also some issues with his proportions that got to be fixed in the next stage and on into the final pose and render.