Creating a Stylized Female Character

The Making of Lyn-Z with Crystal Bretz


In this tutorial Senior Character/Creature Modeler Crystal Bretz takes you through her entire workflow for creating a stylized female character. Using a concept supplied by Angel Ganev, she shares the entire process for translating a 2D concept into a 3D character. This workflow includes a look inside the techniques used for Modeling, Texturing, Groom, and Lookdev. The first topic in this tutorial is how to start and plan a project and what steps to take to ensure your success and completion.

Starting with the base mesh supplied we will sculpt the body in ZBrush and move on to modeling props in Maya and talk about techniques and workflows along the way. After creating the base body, we will use it to create clothing in Marvelous Designer and show methods for retopology and detail transferring. Crystal will continue to talk about UV layout to optimize your results and ease your texturing process within Mari and also give a brief overview about posing your character in Zbrush.

We will go through the entire groom process with Xgen and speak about modifiers, painting maps, stray hairs and applying a texture to your clothing fuzz. This tutorial will conclude with a section on the Lookdev and setting up your render layers for your final output. The goal of this tutorial is to help you understand the process for creating a stylized character from start to finish with a great final result.

Duration: 383 Minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080

Chapter List

Crystal Bretz

Senior Character / Creature Modeler

Crystal Bretz is a Senior Character/Creature Modeller working in Canada. She has worked for many companies over the years such as Method Studios, DNEG, Artifex Studios, and BRON. Crystal is currently working as a Senior Modeller at DNEG with a focus on Organic Creatures and Characters. She has a background as a generalist and has worked on many different types of media such as; TV Episodic, Short films, Feature Films, and Animated Features. She is most known for her work on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Marvel's Black Panther, and Netflix Original: The Willoughbys. Crystal has been a judge for the Rookies for two consecutive years as well as a judge for Effects Montreal. She has published artwork and tutorials in 3D Artist Magazine as well as had her name published in Cinefex among the many great VFX artists who contributed to Black Panther. Crystal not only has a strong passion for all things 3D but also for helping and mentoring others. She writes blogs, shares advice on her online platforms, and streams live on twitch to teach and guide others towards success in the VFX industry. Follow her on Instagram @crystal_models_things.

  • I worked with Crystal as a supervisor and a colleague. Her drive and passion is contagious. She was always helpful in our never-ending quest for the perfect reference and is a great team player.

    - Robin Lamontage
    CG Supervisor at Rodeo FX

  • Crystal has been a fantastic artist to work with. She receives direction well, she cares about the quality of her work, and is effective at a range of disciplines from props and environments to character modeling and texturing.

    - Caleb Ashmore
    Model/Texture Lead at Method Studios

  • Crystal is an incredibly talented artist. I have hired her twice (Method Studios Van and Method Studios Montreal formally Atomic Fiction). She not only has a strong artistic aptitude for both organic and hard surface modeling, but she also produces technically clean meshes and UVs. Crystal is a team player who is always happy to help when things get a bit crazy and her versatility is a tremendous asset for any team.

    - Justin Holt
    Senior Texture Artist at Epic Games