Reflection ♯4: Project “Places of the Mind”

The second media project assignment has been around the “Places of the Mind” topic in which we had to create a character, place or situation that belongs to the realm of dreams or in some way out of reality and social conventions. As reference they showed us videos of several artists and games:

David O’Reilly:

Samorost (Jakub Dvorsky, 2003):

Machinarium (Amanita Design, 2009):

My first idea was to mix elements like animals or body parts in a creature to create something unreal and grotesque. I Finally decided to create an organic environment, made of flesh and bones where all the creatures where hideous combinations of body parts like fingers, heads and eyes. I had  The Dark Souls saga (From Software, 2011) and Bloodborne (From Software, 2015) as game references looking to create a similar anguished and smothering atmosphere through the visualization of such disgusting creatures and environment elements.

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As always, I draw first my own idea of the environment with the creatures lurking everywhere to see what can I get from my imagination.

After that I start looking some other references like the already mentioned Dark Soul and Bloodborne videogames but also some creatures of the Dungeons and Dragons manual 3rd edition (Wizards of the Coast, 2000 ) that had the collaboration of several artists (Glen AngusCarlo ArellanoDaren BaderTony DiTerlizziScott FischerRebecca Guay-MitchellJeremy JarvisPaul JaquaysMichael KalutaDana KnutsonTodd LockwoodDavid MartinRaven MimuraMatthew MitchellMonte MooreAdam RexWayne ReynoldsRichard SardinhaBrian SnoddyMark TedinAnthony Waters and Sam Wood), the H.P. Lovecraft books and games illustrations and part of the work of Johfra Vosschart (1919-1998), a Dutch surrealist painter which work was based in psychology, mythology and occultism.

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Finally, I complete my concept art by creating individual illustrations of several creatures and a illustration of the landscape.

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In Maya I tried to create a part of the map progress adding element by element to the scenario. I started modelling the tree and some terrain features like the column or the eyed wall. At this moment, I felt that I wouldn’t have anything finished to present at the end of the week if I continue working on the scenario so I decided to focus my work on only one element, the tree.

As I hadn’t time enough to model a realistic person I looked for some free 3D models on internet finding a good model of a woman on the turbosquid website, Alesia [Light] (Zelax3d, 2013). I cut the model into pieces and placed some limbs as tree branches and deformed some parts, like the mouth, to create another deformation in the bark. I added some eyes to the model and modelled the eyelids on the tree model. I exported all the tree elements to Zbrush and start to modelling the surface of the tree and the bark using some references of tree bark from Google images.

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Bark pictures taken from Google Images:

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This is the final result:



I had troubles again with the use of time, I feel that only one week is very little to develop a project like this. To solve this I think I should try working in less ambitious projects or try working from the beginning to the end, piece by piece, but I suppose that as it is a project that can be worked further lately can be left undone by the moment.
I am not very happy with the result due to my lack of practice with Zbrush so the result is not as good and polished as the idea I had in mind. Therefore, it is necessary that I study how to use Zbrush more in depth to find out why I can get all the definition that I wanted and the polished result needed for a professional work. There are other aspects of 3D modelling for videogames that I haven’t touched and I would like to study and go through: Retopology, UV mapping, Texturize, Rendering, Rigging, Animating, use of engines, etc. I hope future master’s projects give me the chance to do so.



David OReilly (n.d.) THE EXTERNAL WORLD [HD] – DAVID OREILLY [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 12/10/2016].

domalog (n.d.) Samorost 1 Walk through [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 12/10/2016].

BBurgSteve (n.d.) Machinarium: Full Game Play through [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 12/10/2016].

Free Alesia Light 3d Model (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: < > [Accessed 14/10/2016].


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