ZIO - Character Creation Breakdown

  • ZIO

    'Growing up in what he perceives as a selfish society and witnessing a myriad of injustices occur worldwide, Zio is moved to take action. Reclaiming the rooftops of Reim, he uses its walls as canvases for his message, his art.'

  • As a 3D Technical Artist at a gaming company, I spend most of my working hours focusing on the character creation pipeline, specializing in rigging and optimization. However, during my spare time, I like to go through the full cycle of creating 3D art, embracing sculpting, texturing, and rendering.


    The main idea of this project is to create a 3D animated short meets music video film about the journey of a young graffiti artist.

    Besides achieving both technical and visual quality, the goal of this project is to challenge myself by facing stages that I have never visited before, such as character concept, art direction, look development, and storyboarding.

    This breakdown shows some of the technical aspects of the first half of the production, including the character design, the rig systems I built for this particular character, and some renders revealing the look I developed for Zio.

    Hope you enjoy it.


    To achieve a high-quality standard, I paid particular attention not only to the character design, but to the character topology. The time invested in this particular technical aspect helped me avoid any possible deformation problems in future stages.


    To get the vast range of body expressions I was looking for Zio, I decided to build a blend shape-based facial rig.

    For the limbs, I added custom ribbon systems with wave and volume deformers to have some extra cartoony exaggeration.

    And finally, I created a FK Smart Hand controller, a IK Smart Foot controller to let me reach poses with the minimum amount of controllers. Plus, the IK Fingers System provides an advantageous option for particular animations.



    This stage was one of the most challenging for me because I have never visited it before in any other project. That’s why I used this opportunity to study color theory, composition, and learn software like Substance Painter and Arnold.

  • ZIO ©​​​​​​​ 2019
    Zbrush | Maya | Substance Painter | DaVinci Resolve | Photoshop


  • You are more than welcome to visit my INSTAGRAM