360 video editing

For the 360 video part, we used the Samsung Gear 360. In addition to our main video, we wanted to introduce the 360 video as a prologue that builds up the tensions with foreshadowing sounds.

Spatial audio

In order to simulate a realistic 3D sound, we used the H2N zoom, this device has a spacial audio recording mode that simulates the direction of the sound.


After the video was shot, the footage needed to be converted “Stitched” to an equirectangular layout to be able to edit in premiere and after effects. This was automatically done from the Gear 360 software on my Galaxy S6.

VFX elements

As not much is happening in the video, we decided to put more atmosphere in the scene. The setting is a rocky forest, and as there are no large rocks to be found in the Netherlands we had to improvise.


I Opened the video in Photoshop as a reference, to create layers with rocks and adjust them to the lighting and color of the scene.

Furthermore, a stock footage from mist was added in After Effects and final color grading was done in Premiere pro.




After the filming day we got all the footage done, also Paul and Rob have made the monster animation in Maya. now it’s my turn to put the monster animation with background we took and the green screen footage together.

I took out the green from the footage in Maya. putting everything together. here is the result and the main working process.

Animating the monster

Together with Paul, we animated the monster in Maya. We divided the several scenes. Afterwards we decided the positions of the monster and had to estimate how long each animation should be according to the recording footages we have.

We used the standard of 24 frames/sec as a measurement to set the speed.


After pitching the playblasts with our teammates, we got to the rendering.


We used the Arnold rendering system that is integrated in Maya 2017.

To get a realistic result, we needed to keep in mind:

  • Light direction
  • Angle
  • Texture

For this, we used an image plane of the footage as a reference. Lighting was done in a 3 point lighting setup with an additional Arnold light dome that contained a picture of the footage. This light dome creates a realistic reflection on the surface of the animated monster.

For the rendering we removed the background and placed a solid green to key out in After Effects in a later stage.



Texturing in ZBrush

Learning ZBrush

This week I got to work on the texture maps of the 3D monster. For this we decided to work in Pixologic ZBrush. This Tool is incredibly powerful in making detailed photorealistic 3D models and and allows for sculpting with the use of textured brushes and alpha layers.

As I have never worked in ZBrush before, I had to find out how the interface works and determine which workflow I should approach.

Painting textures

Paul sent me his lovely created 3D model, which I imported in ZBrush.


After getting used to the software and studying some photo references, I started painting by using a leather like material. I started by painting a dark color on the material, followed by layers of lighter color to articulate the shape of the muscles and other limbs.

I used a dotted alpha layer to simulate a realistic lizard skin.

I wanted to create a sharp, detailed texture, so I found that I had to increase the polycount a lot. This required me to map the texture to a lowpoly mesh in a later stage (see Baking textures)


With this, the texture was finished. I’m quite pleased with the result.


Baking textures

I increased the polycount a lot to achieve better results. However, this is not what I wanted to keep because the model has to be managable in Maya for the animation later.

For this, I had to bake the high resolution texture into the lowpoly model that was delivered to me.

Using the UV Master tool, I made a lowpoly clone of the model, which I unwrapped and flattened, this gave me the UV map to work with.

Texture map

Afterwards, I copied the UV to the highpoly model to map the textures to it.

Texture map2

The texture was now baked onto the lowpoly mesh. With this, I created a model that looks the same as the highpoly model when smoothed out, and yet is perfectly managable in Maya.


Normal – and specular maps

Normals and specular.png

With this texture, I created normal maps and specular maps in crazy bump to get an even more realistic feel to the texture. It lets the texture appear to have a lot of detail in depth, without the geometry changing.

Importing in Maya

In the meanwhile, Paul had been setting up the rig skeleton and applying the weight paints. The model is now ready to be animated.


Finished 3D model

Creating the legs
The last step of the 3D model was creating the legs, reworking the shoulders and putting everything together. i’ve started with the legs, creating them very much like i created the hands.

The feet were easy to create and I am quite pleased by how they got together. forming the leg and the hip was the hardest part, to make it look plump but not fat was quite a trick.


Miroring the model
After the legs i put everything in position, i remodelled the shoulders making the create more broad and intimidating and adjusting the spikes. i added some scales on the knees and finnaly i mirrored the whole model over.


The finished model
I’m really happy with what I’ve created, it’s probably my best work till now.
I learned allot and found the joy of working with a good and original reference.