For the last couple of weeks I have been working on a project that I wouldn’t have even imagine that I would work on, I’m not a big fan of horror movies to be honest they scare the S*** out of me, not a huge fan of zombies either but t least I grew up playing resident evil the games not the crappy films …

Anyhow this past week was pretty awesome cause I got a new gig where I had to design a Zombie soldier this meant that I will have to do some research and gather materials for my character, the client was kind enough to send me some references, but I always have to do my own research and gather my own stuff specific to the element and style that I’m going with, I was pretty sure this gig was going to suck and I along with it, but after couple of days of working on this bad boy I can honestly say that this is the most fun that I had in a long time on a project. Let’s get to the zombie photos already, so I thought it would be a good idea to post the work in progress of this project, so here goes:

Here is what I started with (the base mesh), it looks like crap I know, now that looks like a funny zombie especially with that hat, is he a mounty?

After spending an hour in ZBrush this what I have. That’s more like it! :D, have a little faith.

I needed to brake symmetry a bit, so I ripped his face open, that was some gruesome fun.

Look at that beautiful profile, I did a couple of test on the jaw. The client stayed with the before version cause it fits the look that he wanted.

Next was painting the face texture, I used a couple of textures and some flesh photos that I found on google images, this is just the first part in of the texture done in ZBrush, I love cavity masking and Auto masking in Zbrush, it’s just beautiful to work with, if ZBrush adds the same layers system and PSD export as Mudbox it will be GODlike. Until then I still love me some Mudbox for painting textures.

Here is the initial shaders test, and I’m pretty happy with this as a starting point. I really like how the eyes came out, the look pretty scary like this, but the client wanted the guy to look a bit funny cause he was after all going for a mic gore style.

Now that’s better, scroll up if you forgot how the initial mesh looks.

The zombie head was rendered using V-Ray for Maya. Next Stage was to start creating the eyes shaders and see how the 3d zombie character will look with pupil, iris essentially a full eye. I used Maya’s procedural textures or the eye and I was pretty happy with the result and the client loved them so if he is happy I’m very happy.

Adding some gross injuries to the hands and some disease like details, I used ZBursh’s inflate brush and standard alphas in ZBrush to add those veins and infected pimples.

Adding ripping details to the uniform was a great experience, and this part I dedicate to all the people who say that spending time on Facebook is a waste of time, because I had the fortune to find these amazing wear and tear brushes by  Kaushik Saha on a post he shared on facebook and you can download the cloth ripping and tearing brushes here ZBrush Wear and Tear brushes

Once I finish painting the textures in ZBrush and doing some cleaning in Photoshop I start creating, the Subsurface texture and the scatter one that I will need for rendering the hands and any flesh parts in V-Ray, here are the shaders that I created based on the Diffuse texture that I painted in ZBrush.

Once I finished adding all the wear and tear details to the 3d uniform and military gear in ZBrush, I started painting textures in ZBrush for the hands, I wanted the zombie hands to look a bit realistic but at the same time retain that cartoony feel. I had to check out some yuky reference photos which I won’t post here, but you can do a google search if you are curios :)

Next I started creating the uniforms textures with all the blood and gore, for texturing the uniforms I used Photoshop, for textures that have a seamless repeated pattern I like to work in photoshop, cause I have more control on the pattern and in case I need to make any changes or in this case I had to make 3 different Camouflage patterns for the uniforms and I wanted to re-use the blood and bullet burned details on the outfit.

Here are couple of elements rendered with some of the blood and bullet holes details one them.

Here are the boots, I will try to post a short tutorial on how I created the details and shaders on the boots.

and here is the entire 3d military outfit that the zombie will be wearing

Here is all the camouflage options that I presented the client, my favourite is Camouflage Urban

Currently I’m working on creating a couple of versions of the same zombie with no arms, legs, hands and different head gear. I’m going to leave you with this render, it’s still not the final version, I’m happy with the result so far, I will be adding more work in progress from this project.

About Oasim Karmieh

My name is Oasim Karmieh and for the last 12 years I have been working as a freelancer,I have had the pleasure to work with clients all over the world. I have worked on some amazing projects from Animated films, animated short films, commercials and interactive iPad books. I’m what you call a Jack of all trades, but my true love and passion is teaching I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and technique with all my friends, This is why I started, cause I really believe in sharing knowledge and experience, the only way we can grow as artists is to help other artists grow with us.


“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

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