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Designing & Modeling a Creature with Scales

Creating Production-Ready Assets for VFX Using ZBrush & Maya With Dan Weiss


Learn how experienced character artists create production-ready creatures for a visual effects pipeline with this in-depth ZBrush and Maya modeling workshop by Senior Character Artist Dan Weiss.

Known for his dragon and reptile-inspired creature designs, Dan dives deep into his creative process for creating a scaly creature, from a simple idea to realizing the production-ready asset ready for a visual effects pipeline.

In this 4.5-hour workshop, Dan explains how he achieves a unique but relatable creature design. He starts with a rough concept and refines this based on real-life references. He shares how to block out a creature based on these references and reveals how to sculpt natural-looking shapes using ZBrush. The workshop guides you through his unique technique of creating high-resolution scales and wrinkles — all sculpted by hand. Lastly, he demonstrates how to retopologize a complex model in Maya so it’s in perfect condition for texturing and rigging.

This workshop has been created with artists in mind who are looking to develop their sculpting and modeling skills with a focus on reptilian creatures. This title guides you on how a very loose idea can be taken through to a polished production asset while giving you an insight into ZBrush and Maya to speed up your workflow.

Duration: 4h 50m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Daniel Weiss

Senior Character Artist

Dan Weiss is a Senior Character Artist based in London. Since 2014, he has worked within the visual effects industry for companies like MPC, The Mill, and Framestore.

Dan has worked on characters and creatures for Marvel’s
Moon Knight, Watchmen, Playstation, and more. He has picked up a great many workflows for asset creation on movies, TV shows, and commercials

  • Dan is a world-class talent, a creature sculptor with an impressive body of personal and professional work… and I love collaborating with him. Whether sculpting from life, concepting from his imagination, or using his anatomical and artistic knowledge to interpret and explore other people's designs, his passion for the craft shines through. As a seasoned production artist, Dan's creative skills are matched with his technical knowledge and I'm sure having an insight into his creative process and techniques will prove useful to even the most experienced artist.

    - Ashley Tilley
    Head of Assets, Untold Studios