I have decided I wanted to work each phase (modeling, retopology, UV, painting, Rigging and animating) of both characters once after the other to keep fresh what learnt and avoid the same mistakes. Therefore, I have decided to change my schedule and stop the minion process till I have the leader model at the same stage and work on both at the same time since then.
Therefore, I started the modeling of the alien leader using the head I did for the pre-production hair tests and using the concept art as a reference. I place the head with the mouth opened and then I extruded the bottom part of the neck to create the chest. Then using symmetry and masks I extruded the legs and the arms using the move brush and dynamesh. I gave it a bit of shape using the move brush, clay build up, inflate and trimDynamic to create the chest and the separation between the torso and the legs and the tail as well as the limbs’ base shape. After that I continued creating the hands and feet with the same method, masking, moving and reshaping with the mentioned brushes, same for the fingers and toes. At this stage I started using the buildup brush, inflate, move, smooth and dam_standard to define more the chest’s shapes, the shoulders, arms and back as well as the separation of the legs from the body and the muscles in general. With the basic shape done I started to define even more the muscles of the abdomen, the ribcage the arms, legs, hands and toes using clay build up to create volumes quickly, dam_standard to define lines and smooth to make the surface more even. During the whole process I have been using dynamesh to maintain the topology smooth and relaxed. When I finished the base shape of the model I started to add elements like the horns and the nails, doing them in separated tools and normally starting with a primitive shape like a sphere or a cylinder and using dynamesh and move brush to quickly deform it. I used the CurveTube brush to make the tubes that connect the face with the back glands. After that, I have done the vertebras starting from the neck starting with a cylinder primitive and extruding the different parts using masking and move with dynamesh and define them better using clay build up and smooth. In order to do the following vertebra I copied the previous one and modified it so it has a likeness with their neighbours. I also changed the shape of the spine as it reaches the bottom of the spine to look more like lumbar spines; I did the same at the beginning with the cervical vertebras.
Then I did the gum and tongue. For the gum I masked the interior of the mouth and extracted the shape giving it a proper thickness. For the tongue I use the curve tube and the deformed it symmetrically to get the tongue shape. For the teeth I created one and copy and pasted it several times moving, rotating and rescalating them with the transpose tool to get different shapes as well as combining and reshaping them to create the molars.
Then I duplicated the body and remeshed it using the topology brush to get a topology as clean as possible. Then I projected the mesh on the dynameshed model to get all the detail back. Then, I subdivided and again projected, till I reach the 4th subdivision. Then Using the new model I started to create the folds and wrinkles of the skin using the standard brush, inflate and dam_standard deactivating the symmetry near the plane of symmetry to not get odd results and look more natural. This process was very time consuming but I am very happy with the result.