With this image, I had an idea in mind of what I wanted and decided instead of drawing a bunch of sketches, to just go for it.

The first thing to do was to get the "mask" that was going to be the intended focal point of the image. Nothing special, just a profile shot.

A quick and ugly photo crop gets me the image element I need.


Setting up the model in Zbrush. Becasue I knew that this was going to be a singular still image I didn't care about how the model looked from any other view except the side profile.

To get the body Mass feeling right, I would take screencaps of the model and bring it into photoshop to compare it with the face element.


With the move tool I quickly got the size and bulk how I liked them, changed the matcap color to a grey and added a bit of texture.

Didnt render it out, I just took a screencap of the model and brought it into Photoshop.

All in all, the entire Zbrush time was about 45 minutes. Everything beyond this point was done in Photoshop CS3.


Here is where the process gets a bit... uncomfortable. Because of the nature of the image, I knew I wanted some rather unpleasent textures... so it was time for google images.

The first thing I did was search for skin desease reference. The large splotches arcoss the body are some layers of different skin deseases on overlay, with some quick cloning and shaping to get a look that matched the contours of the body. The sutured wound on the sade was done in a similar fassion. It is important to shape and mold the texture image around the body, or they will feel a bit too "slapped on".

You can notice that at this point I overlaid a grunge texture to give the background some color and texture, as well as used a liquify tool to shape the face into a more pulled out, mask-like shape.


I felt the color and the contrast were a bit too drab, so I added a couple overlay layers to brighten it up a bit more.

This is where I started flusing out the mask. I knew that I wanted a string holding the mask around the ear, so to give a little more illusion of depth I went to google again, found an image of a cut and overlaid three copies to give it the size I wanted. I also brought it into luiquify to get the shape a bit more varried.

After darkening the space behind the eyehole and adding some neck shadows, I started cloning the skin on the face out to the side of the mask to lose the hair on the top and make it read more like neck.


More cleanup done to the top of the mask, adding ripples and folds in teh side of the maskto show how thin it is. I also added depth to the side of the head wound by dodging/burning to give hilights and shaddows.

Then, back to google images to find some more wound pictures. I added the cut to the chest, and the large gash on the arm.

I need to point out that using images from google is a great way to START an element. I think that although this is a very unpleasent way to work, knowing the anatomy of real cuts and wounds will add believability. So often in concept work when people want to show a wound they draw a red line on the flesh without thinking what is actually happening there.


Again, back to adding more wounds, etc.

I also started adding more hilights and shadows using the dodge/burn method across the body and inside the wounds to give them the feeling of a bit more depth.

I also felt the ear was too bare, so I added more desease to it.


At this point, I was pretty happy with where it was, and decided to start playing with some different overlay layers to give it more of the mood I was aiming for.

This was a bit too dark, but after a bit of playing, I was finally happy with the final product.

I thought about adding some elements in the background, but decided to leave it bare so the character would stand out more.

Total Photoshop time was about 5½ hours.