Designing the Dragon – Zbrush & Maya

Before starting any modelling, Clare and I have been drawing a lot of quick dragon sketches to get some different shapes and designs down.



Clare and I started to model the basic mesh of the dragon in zbrush. I thought that spheres would be a good option to quickly build him up. Below are a few screenshots of the progress so far. This is about one and a half hours work so far. I think it looks good so far, although we might refine the shapes a bit more once we agree on a style.

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 19.20.46


I decided to add in a simple wing structure so that it will be ready to be brought into Maya for some sculpting and changing about.

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 19.41.50

I had a few problems when using the adaptive skin option in Zbrush but after a while I figured out that there was a problem with my spheres, I had a hidden sphere which was causing a lot of distortion in the model, once I removed this and repositioned some others everything was good to be moved into Maya. I also used the decimate tool to lower the poly count to see how the model would look. I exported three variations and imported them for a test render in Maya.

Wireframe render


Generic render with AiStandard Jade material

dragon_low poly

Ambient Occlusion render


Colour paint over


Above is a quick paint over of the ambient occlusion render to test out some colours. Overall I don’t like the higher poly on the left but I do like the lowest poly mesh on the right….maybe we could use this one for the animation? It’s more of what I had in mind for the style.

The slideshow below shows some quick renders with the wings. After doing these renders I have decided that the wings are just too plain and I might work on them a bit more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rigging the dragons wings… just started to attempt to put a simple rig in the dragons wings. I am going to base the skeletal structure off that of a bat’s wing as I feel this would make the best reference for the style of the dragon’s wing.


References (2017). Eidolon helvum Skeleton « Galileo Ramos – Art with Skeletons. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].


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