Babylon 5 – Shadows

Back in 2016, at the end of my first year at University, I started work on 3d modeling a creature that has fascinated me since the 90’s. The Shadows, from Babylon 5.

 

Shadow (2)

Now my abilities were vastly lacking at the time, being only familiar with modeling in 3ds Max, and a tiny bit of touching up in a sculpting package. As such, I ended up with a model that was —looking at it now— simply dreadful.

At the time, with my limited knowledge and ability, it seemed fine enough. Not the best, but fine.

With the model finished in Max, I imported it into Mudbox where I added a few tertiary details.

shadow4

At this point I stopped working on this model, because even with the limited 3D experience I had at the time, I could tell that this was not what I wanted. It simply was not the quality I was looking for. So I put it aside for a later time, when I would have more knowledge and ability to do this creature justice.

One year later, July 2017, I reopened this old file, and once I got over my initial shock of how dreadful it looked, I decided to overhaul it completely. By now —having finished my second year at Teesside University— I had far more experience modelling, but most especially digital sculpting and retopologizing.

So I dumped this severely lacking base model into zBrush, and started reworking it. The whole structure was completely off. Studying more the Shadow creatures, it’s clear that their ‘middle’ legs are larger than the first and last legs and the entire body much smaller compared to the legs than I originally thought.

After a few days spent reworking it in zBrush, the Shadow creature is now —in my opinion— much closer to what its movie counterpart looks like than my first pathetic attempt.

shadow5

With the sculpt done to my satisfaction, I’ve retopologized the model far more accurately and with an animation friendly topology in TopoGun. This part I believe took the longest. Those legs were a killer. XD

I am currently at the unwrapping and baking stage in 3ds Max and Substance respectively, which should be done in a day, and then, the best part of the process starts; texturing! 😀

As things stand currently, I feel that this version of the Shadow creature is much more TV-accurate, and a lot more interesting to look at than the first attempt last year.

More to follow on this as I progress with the work.

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