To the Core Again Sculptures


This sculpture series was for my Digital Fabrication class with Jesse Cline and was based off of the imagery from the game To the Core Again. I wanted to try creating figurines that captured all of the elements from the different levels of our game. I used this as a way to learn ZBrush and brush up on my skills in Autodesk Maya and Rhinoceros 3D.

The general process of creating these sculptures were to model various elements relating to each level based off of the concept art and existing game assets. I then created a uniform base that would be used for each of the sculptures, and I would then assemble the different elements together like a collage. I modeled in both Maya and Rhino. For the more organic and complicated models, I created and rigged a low-poly base in Maya and then exported the object to ZBrush for more details. After each sculpture was completed, I separated the models into sections using Geomagic so it would be easier for 3D printing. After assembling all of the parts, I painted it using acrylic paint.

Click here to view all of the models on SketchFab!

Shell 1

The first figure is the most expressive and my personal favorite. I started off by creating several different buildings and props in Maya based on the assets in the first level of our game. This included city structures such as skyscrapers, dumpsters, trash, road signs, and street lamps. I then arranged them to burst out of the base to create some diagonal movement. The boss was modeled and rigged in Maya then exported to Brush for the finer details. After 3D printing, the model was painted and the hair was manually assembled using gauge wire. Though there were a few errors with the print, it added to the overall aesthetic of a broken and destroyed world.

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Shell 2

Because the particular 3D printer I was using to create these models was suffering from some errors, I chose to optimize this model more for the fabrication process. The different elements are close to the base and have a more vertical orientation. I also focused on creating all of the models in Rhino 3D, because I found it easier to create the geometric machines of the level. The boss for this sculpture was created using 3D scans of one of my classmates face, my hand, and a skull. I then brought it into ZBrush to sculpt the muscles. Despite my attempts to correct my mistakes that I made with the first model, there were still several errors that occurred, even more than the first sculpture. However, I found the errors even more successful, especially in the boss figure. It appeared more like decayed flesh that was melting off of the figure.

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Shell 3

Since the third level was planned to be a church during the production of the game, I took inspiration from religious sculptors like Bernini and church architecture. Since the last boss of the game is the evil version of the main character, I chose to have the character’s scarf dramatically curl around the sculpture since it is a prominent part of the character’s identity and design. I also felt this approach helped reflect my inspiration while also keeping the same weight present in the first two sculptures. I approached this third sculpture as a combination of the first two. I wanted to continue to optimize the sculpt for 3D printing like the second sculpture while taking more ownership of the errors by purposely arranging certain elements to burst out more like the first. Unfortunately, during the fabrication process, the 3D printer I had been using ended up closing for repairs because of all of the errors it had been causing, so I wasn’t able to experience the same kind of happy accidents I had before.

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The protagonist was the finishing touch for each sculpture. I started by creating the base model in Maya, and then I exported the object to ZBrush for the details. Because of the model’s physical size and the complexity, it was not ideal to fabricate it using the 3D printers I was use to. Instead, I used one with dual extrusion to melt away the support material. To reflect the emotional themes in the game, I rigged the protagonist into different poses that show the character’s mental progression through each level.

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