King of Predators Model

Third project for Full Sail’s Computer Animation finals. Created using Maya 2011, Zbrush 4.0, xNormals, and PhotoshopCS5. Original concept by Davi Blight. Modeled, lit, posed, and surroundings by Kyle Havrilesko. Produced in 83 hours.
“King of the Predators” concept by Davi Blight
In the pre-production stage, I had drawn out roughly 25 sketches for research into the asset such as orthographic views, final posing, face and hand gestures, basic shaping, line of actions, and wireframe planning. Below are a few examples.
Once pre-production was finished, I created a final look and environment to display them off with. I tested the lighting and positioning using rough shapes and the gun props, which were required to be modeled before actual production, that I created in maya.
Since this character was comprised of more sophisticated geometry, anatomy, and shapes, I decided to try to approach him thru Zbrush starting off with ZSpheres to shape out the main silhouettes.
Once these shapes were close to what I wanted, I created an adaptive skin out of them and sculpted out the geometry further. I sculpted the base model for a better likeness. I adjusted the geometry by retopology for easier modeling in Maya.
After my scene and model was set up, I a separate scene and imported my orthographic sketches to use as reference for size and shape of model block out using front and side views. Once positioned I adjusted the wireframe and extruded out the geometry of the creatures mandible jaws. By duplicating the geometry, it was easy to create the base for the creatures shell.
After forming out the muscular shapes, crafting the mouth/tongue, and finishing up the shell, I imported the model into the environment for light testing. I tested out the final look and prepared the model for Zbrush and fine detailing by centering the model in the scene and lying out the UVs.
Once this was formed out I could export  high resolution and low resolution models to bring into xNormals for baked out normal maps. In order to preserve actual geometry and for quicker renders, I made various things like the rib muscles using only textures and normal maps.
The final touches for that month was to pose the character in a great action pose and apply hair to the hind legs of the creature. I posed the creature in Maya using soft selection and deformers for the head, neck, and shell. After the creature was posed, I was now able to create dynamic hair to match the pose and the concept. Using an alternate copy of the leg shapes, I positioned the legs upright so the binded hair would fall correctly without geometry penetration or collisions and then made the hair static so I could reposition the false legs within the real leg geometry. These are my final renders out of my creation class.
Once this class was over, I move to my demo reel creation class, which gave me the opportunity and time to further my creature asset by modeling drool, applying textures/dirt maps, and altering lighting to produce the best colors and attention to certain areas of the model. Rendering an Ambient Occlusion pass and blurring the environment also added a final and finishing touch to focusing the viewers to detail. My final renders are posted on the top of this page and the creature can be seen 360 in my demo reel.
An intern at Full Sail is currently rigging the creature as part of his internship and if animations are produced, I will post the links on this page. Please be sure to view my other projects and be ready for more mind blowing models and productions.