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Christmas character design challenge: a festive orc – part 2 · 3dtotal · Learn | Create

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Last time we used lines in order to create our orc character, this time I want to start with shapes in order to get our sleigh. We will then take our favorite idea and create a quick 3D model from it using ZBrush or any 3D software you prefer. This will be the base for our neat line drawing. We‘ll draw the big shapes first and then take our time and add a few extra details in order to add some Christmas-flavor to our design.

final render christmas themed illustration design sleigh orc

Our final result

Exploring shapes

In order to get our perfect sleigh we need to incorporate both the Christmas theme as well as orc shape-language.  Start by comparing different shapes. Here I combine cracks, horns, and spikes with some playful spirals. I finally choose number three as it has all of the elements I’m looking for, without any extras. It is important to make sure that the text is easy to read, especially if we plan on filling our sleigh up with gifts and decorations.

shape ideas rendering modelling 2d thumbnail designs

Compare a few ideas until you find one that works.

Building a model

Once you have your design, take it to your favorite 3D software and use it as a reference in order to create a quick model. I used ZModeler to build a low-poly version of the model. I did this to improve my skills in ZBrush. There is no need to subdivisions. We can draw on top of a low number polygons with ease.

zmodeler zbrush 3d modelling rendering subdivisions polygons

It took me only 30 minutes to create a nice preview of my sleigh using ZModeler.

Drawing the sleigh

Back in Photoshop I take the image I rendered in ZBrush and draw on top. I keep the shapes simple, even though I have added some details. You can also see how I kept the angular forms from the low poly model in order to create a more dynamic feel.

sleigh drawing sketch render clean readable 2d design

When drawing lines on top of the rendering, keep your design readable and clean.

Adding details

I always try to work from big to small. Now that the lines for the basic elements have been completed, the fun part begins: adding the details. You don‘t have to construct the perspective for every single ribbon but take your time for each of them. Because we already defined the large elements, drawing one of the ribbons perspective wrong won‘t affect the bigger piece by providing a wrong reference point.

Christmas sleigh decorating presents large elements 2d illustration

Adding the decorations will transform our vehicle to a proper sleigh for Christmas.

Adding values

Before we add colors in our next tutorial I want you to take a moment and think about values. While our first priority is making it look cool, the second is keeping it readable. Try out a few things and see if it’s possible to keep different elements apart by assigning different values.

Next time, we’ll add colors and create an overview of our concept.

christmas sleigh rendering sketch fine line rendering 2d

In the final step, we will create values to help us keep our sleigh elements visually separated.

Check out Gregor Kari‘s previous 3dtotal tutorials:


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