Create a Cartoon Baby Animal in 3D | Josh Dunlap | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies and Materials

    • 3. Finding The Right Reference

    • 4. Drawing Your Concept

    • 5. Start The Sculpture

    • 6. Refine The Details

    • 7. Posing The Character

    • 8. Adding The Prop

    • 9. Rendering

    • 10. Final Thoughts and Thank You

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About This Class


Create a Cartoon Baby Animal in 3D

In this class we will go from beginning to end as I walk you through how to create a 2D illustrated concept and transform that into a fully 3D sculpted character.

We'll be using simple pencil and paper for our illustrations at first and later take them into photoshop to polish them off. After that we will move onto sculpting inside of Zbrush. Lastly, we will render them in both Zbrush and Keyshot.

I'm really excited to teach this class and I hope everyone enjoys this process!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Josh Dunlap

3D Artist and Illustrator based in Los Angeles, Ca


Digital Artist based in Los Angeles, CA.

I specialize in 3D Character / Hard Surface Sculpting and Design for the film, gaming, and collectibles industries. I currently work at Legacy Effects as a 3D Artist and have worked with companies such as Marvel, DC, Toyota, The Mill, Magic Wand Studios, Sideshow, and Mezco Toyz.

I approach digital art from a traditional mindset. My background in traditional drawing, painting, and sculpting gives me an invaluable perspective when approaching 3D digital projects and concept art.

A recent digital sculpture of 'Bruce Wayne' from Batman Begins, for a 6in scale collectible figure.

As well as 'Ras Al Ghul' from Batman Begins, for a 6in scale collectible figure.

... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Josh Stomach. I'm a three D artist, an illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. For this class, we're going to be creating a three D baby animal that is inspired by an animated style toy . I'm going to walk you through the process of selecting the right image so we can focus on different elements of the animal and push those to create a good, strong, adorable character. From there, we'll go over the steps of actually sculpting and fine tuning the character, going over the big shapes and select of design. Then, once the sculptures complete, we'll pose your character and pick a prop to go along with it and finally will render the image. Thank you so much for taking this class. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. I'm more than happy to answer them, so let's go get started. Let's have some fun. Let's get sculpting 2. Supplies and Materials: for supplies. For the concept design. We're going to need a simple sketch book. Um, pretty easy to come by making all cities just paper if you want. Um, whatever floats your boat, Mr Card, We're just gonna be using some simple, uh, you know, simple things. Like pencils, erasers. Really good. Mechanical pencil. Some pens. You guys like This one's cool. It's a ink brush pin. Um, honey, nice toe use when you're worried about a line work. Things like that, um, was that covers the sketching and kind of concept he phase. So once we get that, um, we'll move on to the sculpting part, which is the primary chunk of this class. Um, So I'm going to say this isn't super super necessary for the class. It's going to be way more helpful if you guys do. You decide to pursue three D sculpting more. So it's really beneficial to have this. Um, you can use a mouse and kind of move things for this class. I only use a few brushes, sculpting brushes, Um, maybe four. Maybe even three. Um, but you can use that. I'm a mouse if you want. It's just gonna be is this right here is gonna make your life a lot easier. Not impossibilities, just a mouse. But this is definitely beneficial for sure. Um, so we have this. It's away. Come. It's just a tablet. Not super expensive. Um, but yeah, if you draw or sculpt to do anything on the computer, it's really helpful for your wrist. Really good for you Allows to for you to draw and kind of sculpt with pressure sensitivity in mind, which is really, really helpful. Um, when you sculpt so good to have definitely good to have not entirely 100% needed for this class, but again, it will make your life a lot easier. Obviously, you need a computer to use the program. We're just gonna be using Z brush for this class and then rendering in the key. Shot this other program again? Not necessary. Just a little icing on the cake for polishing things off. Um, so yeah, and Z brush, you can download the trial version of it. Um, which is great. You can also download trial version key shot, and they go really hand in hand together, which is super helpful. Nice. Anyway, that's what you need. Um Now we're going to get started sketching. I like the sketch pad. Very good. Nice and bright. We're gonna go to it. 3. Finding The Right Reference: for this first section, we're gonna be looking for reference. And the best place to start is Google. Just Google. You know, baby animals. Which is what? We're gonna be focusing on this class, So yeah, look at everything we get. We get so many baby animals, it's ridiculous. Um, it's gonna be pretty hard to pick. There's just so many. I decided to pick this panda, which you guys don't have to do, but it kind of jumped out of me. I thought, Yeah, it could be great. Already has opposed. Um, I tweeted a bit. Um, but, you know, I had a hold of big giant lollipop, which I thought would be funny. Just have this giant lollipop in this little baby panda is holding it. Um, you know, you guys don't have to do that, but it's kind of cool and fun and just have them have a prop is great to kind of have somewhat of a story, which is neat when looking at some illustration or three D work is always fun. So yeah, I just go through these, see what speaks to you. See what is cute? What do you think is cute and It's Piggy's Great. He's got a little no hose, you know, Big eyes adjourned. Smiles, little snout turtles. Great. It's cat. This raccoon. It's little bunnies. Awesome. Maybe don't do these thistle is awesome. This little bear, he already has. You look, someone do this would be awesome. Is that Loki Barrel? That another cute bear. So yeah, so just go through this another resource, which is great if you guys, um you know, don't find anything. Google is Pinterest. Pinterest is awesome. You can It's kind of similar to Google. Except it. Let's see, keep folders and kind of organized your thoughts, and you can get to it anywhere as well. The of Internet. Um CIA. I found a bunch of these guys. I pinned some vinyl toys. Uh, mus Well, more pandas. Just trying to get some, you know, inspiration and see what features to accentuate on a pull from this rabbit was great. I almost did that. Yeah, Look, it's It's just looking for simple shapes as well. It's it's a circle. And then, like another circle and you're good. Put some legs on it. He's done this, little guys. Great. This bunny is very sad, but it could be cute. Um, CIA Pinterest is awesome. I have some boards on here is, well, another one's vinyl toy, which is something that I kind of was springboard into for this class. I really wanted to kind of, you know, just that. Keep things really simple on kind of cartoony and stylized. Keep that mind when you're working. Just not to get so over complicated. Just keep it very, very simple. Super simple shapes. Very, very circular. These air fun, you know, tying in elements. He's a great this robots really cool. I was really heavily influenced by these figures. I think you'd robot. Do these really need designs? Uh, for the guerrillas band? Yeah, These guys are great. So just look through these. Look for vinyl toys. Just google have funds. Give yourself 1/2 hour. You know, 10 minutes to hours, I'll do whatever you want to kind of gather reference Pinterest or Google whatever wherever you guys like. So, yeah, a lot of really cool things out there, So go get inspired. And then, uh, yeah, we'll start concept ing 4. Drawing Your Concept: After you pick your reference, we're going onto the drawing phase. It is important to think in big shapes. Just keep it really loose and keep a good gesture. Don't get caught up in the fine details and remember, have fun. Spend 10 minutes and just have a few variations on the drawing. Pick a few features their unique to the animal and emphasize those keep it light in cartooning. I'm just using a few circles just to generate the character. Simple shapes. Once you have a few you like will jump over the photo shop. Here is where we combine the best of our drawings. I swapped the head on one and placed it on a different body. I did this a few times in a few variations. This drawing will really help you when we start sculpting. It will give us a point of reference we can refer back to through the whole process again. This animal should be simple. Simple shapes, circles, triangles, squares, very simple. Once you have something you like, let's move on to sculpting 5. Start The Sculpture: So you start out. We just use a simple sphere. I'm just pushing and pulling moving forms round within shapes, duplicating that same shape to kind of get other elements and details, uh, for the form, you know, just keeping a very, very simple. I have my image up. I'm looking at the panda and trying to see what you know, character. Six of my concept are working. What? I can push what works better in three D than it would on paper. Keep that mind you working on the whole form? Not just a simple illustration anymore. So, yeah, I'm duplicating in the same form again. It kind off works in a few ways here because it keeps a cohesive You're using the same form . So and design wise, it keeps the same shapes repeating. So that blend correctly. Another thing, it saves time. You don't have to insert a sphere every time you just move and pushing. Stretch and pull, You know, with a transpose master, which is what that's called to scale and move. And, um, pushed the geometry around to get into position. So you have to start with that if you like. Uh, that's fine. It's a graze space. But keep in mind, don't get super detailed, like I'm just keeping super simple shapes, blocking out the figure. And that's what we're doing in this diversity, just blocking everything out. So we got the head, we got the snout. We have the arm and out doing the leg. It's keeping ST things super simple, trying to get in the form. Um, now we'll go to the hand. Didn't do the fingers just again. Repeating geometry, just duplicating it, Saving a time as much as possible. A. So long as it looks good, go forward her fingers. You know, it's just the same shape. It's just repeating it. It's duplicated, duplicated. You done all right. So we got the hand of home, then emerged those together as he just saw. I took the arm made of the ear. You know, just pushing a pooling again. I'm not using a lot of tools. I'm just using the move brush as far as the detail level. This is just, you know, a pop vinyl figure. Um, very, very simple shape. And again, I'm not even really subdividing. I'm just keeping him at one division, um, and then moving on later will smooth it out as we go towards the more refining stages in the next few videos, Um, well, smooth it out and make it looking a little better. 6. Refine The Details: Oh, right. Everybody help You having fun with your sculpture? Uh, next up is refining. So now we're just going again. Keep it simple for this section. I kind of went back and I was checking my geometry and looking at the reference and comparing the two I think I always over complicating before, So I just went back and basically saw Hey, this is a circle. His head is a circle s I went back. And here I'm just tweaking it, making a more circular and more like the reference, which again? I can't stress enough. Look at your reference if you're really trying to stick to it. If not, that's fine, too. Um, yeah. This is me just polishing things up. Nothing crazy moving things around. He's transposed master again. Move brush. Nothing crazy. Yeah, he's looking pretty good. Um, again, Ceelo is head is It's You can still see all the separation. Nothing's really secrets move yet. It's just so we can tweak it. Um, I'm making his arms a little fluffy. Er, I just make him a little more character full. Just really simple tweaks for you guys. Just, you know, push and pull some things that look more. Don't get carried away and details again. That's what's great about this stylized version. He's animated and won't have a lago. Few wrinkles and folds in high detail. Um, we're not going to go that into it. So for this one technique, I used another thing called Alfa. So if you guys look on zebras Central, you can see what Alfa is. It's just, you know, it's basically in a black of my image you can use basically, for this. I used a mask and pull it out with the transposed master to give education of a for which I thought was better than sculpting. It just kind of keep it more unified. Same thing for his mouth. That's where ended up doing. Um, just put on the It has made a simple, simple things like Half Circle and Photoshopped and easy as Alfa and just use transpose master and pulled it back worked out great. You don't have to sculpt it. If if you start sculpting that kind of stuff, it just gets a little messy or can can get a little messy and complicated, which may not be what you want, especially for this kind of style stuff. It's just very, very precise. If you guys haven't seen a lot of vinyl toys, just Google that you'll you'll see Everything is really clean, really sharp kind of lines. And a lot of that has to do with, you know, production and, like three D printing. And if it's going to be mass produced, which you know sculpting for that kind of stuff, it is a lot of work. When I do, that's the in product as well. You just want this to be reproducible. You know, your three d print it and if you want, and then it's produced in mass produced and wherever you know detail you have, uh, the simpler the better is often good at this kind of stuff. 7. Posing The Character: for this next section, we're gonna pose our character. So to do this, we're going to use a plug in called transpose Master, which, if you see these steps over here, it's just a Z brush plug in. So we go up there and we use the same kind of techniques. This basically duplicates your tool and moves it to another section that allows you to work on, you know, a lower resolution version of your sculpture. And basically reforms will be combined so you can work on the whole thing all at once. That's great. You can mask off areas to do that. Just hold control, drag, drag the shape. Include, um yeah, and using transpose, you hold, shift and drag out with a move tool selected. Then again, just using the move brush to kind of tweak and finesse because his body is gonna look different in this position. The angle is gonna be different, You know, of his legs and everything. It's not gonna be so symmetrical again. Using the move brush just to move things around school around. They look right just so they meet up the form again reference here, image your reference image that you created your concept art. See what's working, what's not what you get looking better in three D They could you know, two d you know, maybe do a couple versions who it works well, and once you've done, you just go and hit t pose Sebti. And so for the next section working at his prop. 8. Adding The Prop : this next video will add the prop. So right now I'm just quickly making something in Maya. Uh, just because it saves me time. This can probably be done in CIB Russia's Well, I just did more familiar with Maya and doing this, so I took advantage of that some decided texture map and getting ready for using Alfa Ah, and using UV coordinates to help with making this. Because I know I want to add a lot off really detailed swirls on it, similar to the reference Here we go. So this is ah, me plopping the texture on it and has proper UV mapping. So I'm able to work. There's some minor areas I have to tweak in pool and Z brush, which is great because it allows me to do this really quickly just with the move tool and smoothing. Uh, so then I apply my color as I apply my alfa as a color. And then from the color I create 80 masking channel and with that masking channel, I just ah inverted and ah, use the inflate option a little bit just to kind of give that fine Ah, the fine lines onto the actual geometry, and you have to make it. Sure, it's at a certain level so that Jammat e reads and sets a clean and clear and you're looking so that's it for the proper. Next we're onto coloring and rendering. 9. Rendering: So here you see me quickly coloring the panda, just selecting the different sub tool than going up to the M RGB and the RGB and material. I'm just kind of feeling everything. So you go to color and then just fill object again. Keeping pretty simple. These things do not be super complicated, as faras color goes. So he had just black and white. And then the lively pop is That was complicated, but that's again just the texture. Another option, which I'm using. This is key shot, which is great pairs very well with Z brush. They actually have a thing called a bridge, which lets you send over your file from C brush. Um, which is awesome. So here you see me just tweaking the lights. It's very simple. It's It's a dragon drop kind of program. You just pick your material that's in the left hand side and dragon onto your individual objects so you'll see me. They doing this again, not super complicated. It's just a black and white dude. Um, again, the most complicated thing is a lollipop. It's just the texture I'm CIA. There is, he looks great. He's got his texture is all renders, looks awesome 10. Final Thoughts and Thank You: All right, everybody. So here's the final guy. Uh, looking good. I did go back and add people to his eyes. I thought he was looking a little Teoh. I know. A little lifeless. It could be great as a toy, but I felt maybe he needed that to kind of go more with a concept art. So, yeah, there is. He's smiling. He's looking great. Finished runner. You just basically in key show that render button and props that damage. It's awesome. Really great program. Um, pretty easy to use. So, yeah, I hope you guys enjoy this class. It was so much fun to teach it. I learned a lot. I hope you guys learned a lot as well. Can't wait to see what you guys have. Your concepts, your sculptures, everything. So, until next time, thank you for taking the class and Yeah, thanks, guys.