Our Magic Wand: Pixologic’s ZBrush

I thought some of you might want a peak at one of the rendering tests I’ve been working on — pretty scary stuff, boys & girls!!! Click on the image below & zoom-in to see it in all its full-size glory (I decided to make it into a desktop for those of you so inclined).


We have been lucky enough to attract the attention of Pixologic, the makers of the phenomenal 3D sculpting program ZBrush, which our character designer/sculptor Ryan Peterson has used exclusively to create all of the models  for The Price. Recently, Paul Gaboury of Pixologic has reached out to us and is helping our resident ZBrush guru, Michael Hoopes  to coax the types of images from these sculpted models that I need for the film. I am thrilled at Pixologic’s enthusiasm for what we are trying to do with their program, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results we’re getting —  more coming soon!

About Xtopher

Director of The Price, and Owner/Creative Director of Silver Fish Creative, LLC.
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32 Responses to Our Magic Wand: Pixologic’s ZBrush

  1. kate says:

    Thanks Christopher! This is terrifying :) I’m getting more and more excited for the whole movie.

  2. Anya says:

    If scary can be gorgeous, this is it.

  3. Carl Rayer says:

    Great image. Are you not tempted to make the jaws, particularly the gums, a bit more organic, say by adding textures that look oily or slimy? But perhaps the creature is made of inorganic material?

  4. Joe K says:

    Hm. I’ve had a face similar to that one haunting the back of my mind for a few days, as a possible subject for a stained-glass-ish experiment. I thought it was a dragon, but maybe your devil was starting to escape even before you decided to let us have a look at him… :)

  5. Josh says:

    That is terrifying! (In a good way!)

  6. That’s awesome! Gives me a bit of a Diablo feeling, a little Blizzardy. Nice lead-up for Halloween, too (sorry, Neil… Hallowe’en, is it?). May indeed use this as a desktop for the season.

  7. Lori says:

    Very nice image. That is if “nice” can be used for something so horrifically delightful. It looks to me as if it were carved from coal and burnished. I can hardly wait for the movie.

  8. Tim says:

    Wow. Just, wow. Amazing work, as always. I can’t wait to see more. And it’s very cool that Pixelogic is interested in what you guys are up to.


    • Xtopher says:

      Thanks Tim!!! Yeah, Pixologic is very supportive of how we want to use their stuff in more of a unique way, and having their direct assistance is a huge win for us!

  9. Sherezada says:

    Great image. Thanks for sharing this sneak peek. I’ll be using this as a background for the Halloween season. :) Looking forward to seeing more!

  10. Vladimir says:

    Rendering tests? Shouldn’t you be in post-production by now?

    • Xtopher says:

      This entire film is created in post-production, Vladimir! Since we are trying to generate the assets and style of animation in a unique way, there isn’t a drag-and-drop solution to any of our creative needs on this project. We are inventing solutions and testing ideas every step of the way, with a very limited crew and resources (not the least of which is time; between a full-time job and a full-time family, it can be hard thing to come by). It has been a frustrating process because of the vastly expanded timeline, but after so many false-starts and dead-end trials, the software, hardware, and techniques have finally begun to gel in a way that will let me realize the vision for The Price I’ve had in my head for so long. I’ve had to be very patient, and not loose my focus, and I appreciate all of you that have continued to send support and enthusiasm my way — it truly helps!

  11. dwayne franklin says:

    this looks so real I mean the demon him self looks like nuthin I have seen before, he’s problay going to haunt me in my dreams tonight ekkk, grabs teddy. keep up the great work you have out done your selves on this piece.

  12. Lynne Taylor says:

    Thanks Vladimir. That was an interesting expansion, Christopher. Someday you will have to explain to all us Luddites what exactly you are doing to get these effects. Great new wallpaper for my desktop!

    • Xtopher says:

      I was hoping you might swap wallpapers (and frighten a few more children along the way). I’m glad you found my rambling to be of interest, Lynne; more than anyone else, you are owed an explanation as to why this project is taking so long, but I have been reluctant to attempt one as it would go on forever (and be completely mind-numbing to boot). Once we get to Premier Night (and if you feel up to it), I’d be happy to try in person. When people here ask me, “How come you’re not finished yet?” I can tell after the first 10 seconds that they had no idea what they were in for, and decided they really didn’t want to know quite so badly after all. (I love that glazed-over patina that shows up in people’s eyes when they’d rather be anywhere else…)

  13. Stacy Hurt says:

    I think it’s awesome you take the time to explain to folks about the time and effort that is going into this project. Anytime I watch a film of this type my mind boggles about the length of time it takes to complete these phenomenal works of art. When they say ‘years in the making’ they aren’t just paying lip service to trying to find a theater to show it in.

    As a fellow artist I can completely understand when you say it’s ‘all about the journey’, the process of making, the million and one decisions you reach, accept, reject, redo, and start again. The process is brutal and most often mind numbing but you are doing brilliantly and all of us are so excited & virtually right there with you as you create your dream so someday we can all sit in the dark with strangers and be swept away with your brilliance!


    • Xtopher says:

      Your empathy is much appreciated, Stacy — if you don’t thrill to the process itself, the reward might never seem worth the effort. (It does take patience & restraint to not beat yourself up every other day…) :)

  14. fghjhxdf says:

    The rendering looks really good. As does the other models and updates. However I think you have made a few mistakes and I would like to provide some criticism which I do not mean to be negative.

    This project seems to be far too ambitious. The amount of time you have put into it is not a great thing for the people excited about it as well as for your own mental sanity. I imagine that spending countless amount of hours working on this story can turn something that you once loved into something that enslaves you and that you would rather be rid of. Large movie studios are able to have these amazing renderings because they have so many people available to work on them and so I hope that for you the toll is not taking too much.

    Further to that, the simple story board movie was outstanding! It was charming in that the drawings were so great and it left it to the audience to add in some of their own imagination which I thought was unreal. The additional rendering you add to it I think could make it great but for the additional effort required when you could be spending it on a new project that needs the visuals and would benefit much more from your work. I know it will be a good learning experience and something for your portfolio but for a story like Neil Gaiman’s which is so well written, the additional imagery I don’t think is vital.

    Releasing the original storyboard movie I think was also a mistake as now I know the story. I don’t feel it necessary to wait for your final production as I have seen it. And was satisfied with it. Granted I could have just read the book but for the people too lazy and for those unaware of its existence I think it would have done more to hold interest than to not show the whole story.

    Obviously you have your own reasons for doing things the way you have but perhaps these things you can consider for future. I hope it does go well though.

    • fghjhxdf says:

      Also, the restrictions placed upon working with limited resources can be used to make some really cool innovative art that is really beautiful and unique. I think this is the case of the animatic. I hope that your final renderings are just as outstanding.

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