The Menk: Creepy Creature in Zbrush + Keyshot + PS

  • This article is a case study about a recent Character & Creature I had the opportunity to create, called a Menk, part of the league of elder story from Ren Garcia.
  • Here a short description about the Menks, find more here:

    Menks are fixtures of Vith lore. From Vith Household to Household they are varied in their appearance. Menks can appear as famished, lanky humanoids possessing incredible strength and speed. They may also be part human, part animal, with animal heads, claws, wings, tails, etc. They may also be faceless, handless, and footless with metal hands and feet. Menks show little or no outward intelligence or emotion. They exist simply to stalk and kill any who fall into their gaze.
    Whatever guise they take, Menks are fearsomely powerful and nearly impossible to bring down. Menks keep their vital organs in a separate place called the Blood Box–how they remain alive without their vitals is a mystery. As such, Menks are virtually indestructible. Menks have the ability to remove their heads from their bodies. The Menks in Book 11 wear silver gauntlets with sharpened claws allowing them to cling to walls. They guard the impossibly huge treasure hoards of Queen Ghome and gave the heroes in the story all they could handle and more. The have no eyes, ears or mouths--they breath through silver pipes dug into their heads.
  • The initial idea I had in mind was to create a dark forest scene and the first inspiration that came to mind was a mixture of Anthony Jones and Ken Barthelmey.
  • First thing after getting the inspiration for this project together, I began with a rough sketch. These four thumbnails took around 20 minutes. Mostly because the second sketch is actually where I wanted to go and I only worked further on it to get a better grasp of the concept.
  •  This is the Poly-painted 3d model right before it went into Keyshot.
  • Below you can view the 3d model in Sketchfab.
  • This is a batch of rendered versions that I pulled out of Keyshot after an hour of experimenting with different materials and render settings for the final composing.
  • Below is a process GIF that shows the development of the background in slides. I used Pixelsquid to create the rich and realistic details on the matte / environment image.
    The background image of the forest is from Pexels.