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Creature Modeling With ZBrush & Marmoset Toolbag

Sculpt, Texture & Render a Realistic Orchid Mantis With Eric Keller


Eric Keller demonstrates how to accurately model a unique species of Mantis using ZBrush and Marmoset Toolbag in this 5-hour video workshop. Follow along with the project files provided, including Eric's personal references images, and sketches, along with his ZBrush Project files and the final Marmoset Toolbag render scene.

The Orchid Mantis — scientifically known as the Hymenopus coronatus — takes the center stage in this video workshop created for intermediate and advanced ZBrush artists. This comprehensive tutorial highlights many of the features released in recent versions of ZBrush and starts from the absolute beginning: photo references. Using Eric’s reference images along with anatomical diagrams available online, Eric shows how to block out the initial shape from scratch using ZSpheres before adding and refining each part of the mantis, step by step.

Once the sculpt is fleshed out, Eric demonstrates his approach to applying color to the model using ZBrush PolyPaint for the first round of texture, before exporting the model and textures into Marmoset Toolbag for the final texturing and rendering stage.

This workshop aims to teach you the skills you need to apply to any creature design and is suitable for those looking to create highly detailed scientific visualizations, as well as artists wishing to create high-quality assets for animation, VFX, and games.

Eric Keller is a veteran CG artist with over 20 years of experience creating models for film, TV, scientific visualization, planetarium shows, VR, AR, 3D printing, and jewelry design. He has taught numerous workshops for The Gnomon Workshop and is one of our most-viewed instructors.

Duration: 5h 08m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Eric Keller

CG artist

Eric Keller is a veteran CG artist with over 20 years of experience creating models for feature films, episodic TV, scientific visualization, planetarium shows, VR, AR, 3D printing, and jewelry design. He creates training titles for The Gnomon Workshop and has also taught ZBrush and Maya classes at Gnomon School in Hollywood.

Eric has been working as a professional CG artist since 1998 creating animations and images for both the entertainment industry and scientific visualization. He has written several top-rated books on both ZBrush and Maya, as well as numerous tutorials and articles for leading industry magazines such as 3D World.

He has now authored multiple video series for The Gnomon Workshop on ZBrush and Maya and was honored to be a guest lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He has worked as a visual effects artist on commercials, television, games, and feature films for decades, with credits including 10 Cloverfield Lane, Star Trek: Beyond, Aquaman, Power Rangers, Swamp Thing, and John Wick 3: Parabellum.

  • "Eric Keller is an Invertebrate lover, an animator, an author, ,artist, and the list goes on! His knowledge of all aspects of 3D and his love of the natural world has in my mind made him one of the go to guys in the industry. His passion is what makes him one of the best authors and teachers out there! Eric approaches his work seriously but with a sense of humor and a zest for knowledge. I am constantly surprised and inspired by Eric's ability to make any topic interesting and fun. His new tutorial will definitely be one I will watch over and over! "

    - Mark Dedecker
    Asset lead at Deluxe Entertainment

  • "Eric Keller is a Renaissance man. By combining his artists eye, his passion for natural science, and his skill as a teacher he has brought this fantastic tutorial to life! Eric easily shifts from exceptional sculpting, to finessing the intricacies of Vray and Maya, to explaining the nuances of the Arthropoda Insecta Hymenoptera. Its that kind of attention to detail that makes great artists freakin amazing. I am constantly in awe of Eric's breadth of knowledge and skill. We are all fortunate he has chosen to share some of that in this tutorial! "

    - Scott Spencer
    Weta Workshop NZ

  • "Eric Keller is a master ZBrush artist. Anyone who wants to know ZBrush in depth should buy this tutorial! For an in depth understanding ZBrush, look no further than Eric Keller's amazing works. I wish I could Crtl+C, Crtl+V what Eric Keller knows directly into my brain!"

    - Jared Krichevsky
    Creature Designer at The Aaron Sims Company