View Full Version : The Last Of The Leaves, Meats Meier (3D)

01 January 2005, 10:49 PM (

Title: The Last Of The Leaves
Name: Meats Meier
Country: United States
Software: ZBrush

This image was created using the 2.5d Pixol technology in Zbrush. All elements were created seperately using (not so) primitives and then masking and extruding individual parts and then placed onto the image in 3d space.
After the image is complete, I render several different passes (within Zbrush), such as shadow, specualar, color, etc. and then composite them together in Photoshop. I make use of the Z depth pass that Zbrush allows you to grab from it's canvas to add depth and fog effects, and to combine a few different color passes.
This image took me roughly two days to complete, but I am getting faster at placing objects onto the canvas, so in the future it will be easily faster to complete an image like this, especially because my library of completed primitives is growing.
The beauty of Zbrush and Pixols in general are that once a 3d object is placed onto the canvas, they become light as a feather memory wise, allowing you to fill the canvas with many millions of polygons with very little slow down. This particular image (if I was counting) would probably total 30+ million polygons. But, like I say, I don't have to count with this 2d/3d hybrid program...
Final render size 3200x4096 pixels, prints will be around 3 feet x 4 feet long.

01 January 2005, 10:55 PM
Beautifully composed and executed, as always. Thanks for including some notes on your process... they are very appreciated for admirers of your work.

2 days! Ack!


Thanks for sharing,

01 January 2005, 11:08 PM
This is absolutely Gorgeous!

01 January 2005, 11:11 PM
Thanks Tencendur and celedine!

I forgot to post the close-ups, so here they are:
Thanks for any feedback!

01 January 2005, 11:31 PM
You are insanse! Give this man front page! :)

01 January 2005, 12:39 AM
I have no words ... :applause:

01 January 2005, 12:56 AM
...WOW... great modeling !!! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 01:04 AM
Not much style variation from your usual stuff, but that doesnt stop it from being amazingly detailed and unique! Nice work on the details - theyre insane!
My only serious crit is that the robots legs are kinda lost amongst the dead trees and other bits. Maybe make the ground more earthy and organic in colour - or was it your intention to make it blend with the robot?
Ive always wondered how exactly you do all these intertwined wires and mechanical bits - maybe you could do a tutorial?

01 January 2005, 01:06 AM
Well Meats did it again!
As always absolutely a masterpiece!
:applause: :applause: :applause:

01 January 2005, 01:38 AM
Wonderful piece. I love all the details. :eek:

01 January 2005, 01:49 AM
Very well, it is a difference, and is recognized...

01 January 2005, 02:08 AM
OH GAWD,u shocker!! :argh::argh::argh::bowdown:

01 January 2005, 03:29 AM
great,great,piece and wow, love the details :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 03:38 AM
great work man:thumbsup::thumbsup:
keep it up

01 January 2005, 03:52 AM
Very impressive work and beautiful theme!

inimitable style!!

01 January 2005, 04:02 AM
Three words,

Oh, My, God!

2 DAYS!?? You are absolutly insane, did you sleep? better yet, DO you sleep? How much coffee did you consume?

Someone put on the timelpase camera and watch him go, just amazing man, wonderful indeed.

01 January 2005, 05:46 AM
You're too good dude, too good. Love the detail in every piece you've created. :thumbsup:

Do you find it easier to create your art in Zbrush than in other 3D packages?

michael nguyen
01 January 2005, 06:09 AM
I have much respect for Meats. This image and the gargoyle tower(I think that's what it was) inspired one of my pieces. I recommend fishing the web for that image(vague statement). It may be unfinished, but it has all the Meats quality to it, as much as this one here.

01 January 2005, 06:19 AM
As good as possible!
thats your style! no way!

01 January 2005, 08:42 AM
interesting design, nice work. :)

01 January 2005, 08:52 AM
my bows to you master :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: I`m stunned.

01 January 2005, 08:58 AM
Always Meats Meier you are:) nice work and nice DVD zbrush:)


01 January 2005, 09:02 AM
Stunning! I cannot believe you can do an image like this in that short amount of time. I like the contrast between the technologie and nature you captured in the image!

01 January 2005, 09:07 AM
:eek: Very emotional and moving piece of work becuz of the theme of the last organic life on earth ( ? )

About the procedure ; you kinda stick all those 3D primitives on a virtual plane and compose from that ?

01 January 2005, 09:10 AM
Impressive stuff, two thumbs up

best regards

01 January 2005, 09:19 AM
great details! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 11:04 AM
The mythical Meats! I love your works a lot!
I ask: How u can add all this particulars? It's cool!
Can u post a wireframe?
Wonderful work man!!!

01 January 2005, 12:33 PM
Incredible as always :deal: .

01 January 2005, 01:06 PM
ok.. I dunno anything of Zbrush and what it allows one to do, that concept of 2,5 Dimension is sorta blurry to me, but if you tell me this character is a 3D model that can be rigged, animated, modeled in 2 DAYS !! Then maybe I should buy Zbrush right away or give up 3D in general.

Picture looks great anyway even thoug topic ain't my thing... it's insanely detailed :eek: !


01 January 2005, 01:44 PM
Beautiful work.
as usual.....


01 January 2005, 02:55 PM
insane detail dude
uve done it again =D

Cpt. Jack
01 January 2005, 03:41 PM
Wonderful work. The level of detail is really amazing.

01 January 2005, 07:03 PM
simply too xtreme :buttrock::buttrock::scream::twisted:

01 January 2005, 07:40 PM
WOW (mr :) ) MEATS! You keep amazing me! The concept -and so- of this image is AWESOME STUNNING! I love the shading / lighting, btw...!

Reaaaly inspiring stuff... I think you made me click the ZB icon this weekend... And now I (finaly) also begin to understand the 2.5D way of working (especially because of your nice description!)

Thanks for giving me inspiration :),

01 January 2005, 11:38 PM
Unlike so many other artists' work, your work can usually be counted on to be its own signature. Meats Meier was my first thought, anyway, as I saw the thumbnail on the front page.

Good stuff, dude!

01 January 2005, 12:01 AM
wow, I have been holding off on trying z brush until now, after seeing this I am definatly gonna check it out.

inspiring work, its amazing it was done in so little time with that amount of detail you put into it. was that two days with out any sleep? :D

01 January 2005, 12:04 AM
once again, you've put yourself in the category of "deity"


01 January 2005, 12:40 AM
Insane detail. And there's so much emotion in his pose!

You've captured it all perfectly! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 01:21 AM
First of all I must say : NICE THEME ! . and I am wondering for the details of this !

and I would like to see the wireframe of this . any way 5 stars from me :scream:
good luck :thumbsup:

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2005, 01:23 AM
Stunning work, the only suggestion I'd like to add to that could make it stronger, is if he was doing something with the tree; such as planting it. Maybe adding a small hole in the ground already dug up, would strengthen the piece.

01 January 2005, 01:26 AM
Outstanding work, I’m very impressed.

01 January 2005, 01:36 AM
I love all details and modelling.Wonderful piece:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


01 January 2005, 01:47 AM
Well I can't say anything here that I haven't already @ ZBC save this is awesome.
I tell you what though. I am damn curious as too how you are able to do your verious passes. Do you caover anything like that on the DVD?

01 January 2005, 02:10 AM

01 January 2005, 02:37 AM
Amazing as always Meats. Definitely let us know when your prints are available, I'd love to buy some, as you're one of my favorite artists.

I'm unclear on the prints, do you have any available for past work, or will this work be your first available print? I'd love to buy prints of a lot of your works if they're available, but I don't see a link on your site.

01 January 2005, 02:39 AM
although I'm sure it's been said already...holy ... shiT ...... :eek:

Been planning on re building my pipeline to include the mighty again I am convinced....

01 January 2005, 03:41 AM
Why is it that I am not surprised to see this one on the front page? :love:

Outstanding work pal! You are one very gifted and talented artist :buttrock: :applause:

01 January 2005, 03:51 AM
Yeah! This is really brilliant! I can't even imagine doing this in 3ds max for example! :scream: that'd be a suicide... so, from me bro! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 03:51 AM
Very Thief II - Metal Age like consept. I like it very much.

Karras would be proud.

01 January 2005, 04:35 AM
A brilliant addition to an already wonderful collection of characters.

01 January 2005, 05:03 AM
Great image, I love your work, I just wish you post some tutorials on ur website, grat job

01 January 2005, 06:32 AM
Amazing Work Meats As Usual

01 January 2005, 07:35 AM
Excellent image I love your work .

01 January 2005, 08:57 AM
I can't believe it...simply excellent:applause: *****

01 January 2005, 09:04 AM
Very nice work Meats.

01 January 2005, 10:23 AM

Very poetic composition, i love the theme and the execution is perfect.

But 2 DAYS! I thing it's the most impressive thing in your work! Congratulation!

01 January 2005, 10:59 AM
that is some awesome work. very well done. love all the detail

01 January 2005, 11:05 AM
Amaizing detail in one good composition full with expreshions and inspiration. Good work.

You make 3D alive:thumbsup:

My Grand space opera ( for voting :)

----------------------- (

01 January 2005, 12:43 PM
The detail is INSANE man:bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

01 January 2005, 12:50 PM
As always meats, your attention to detail is just breathtaking and the concept and composition is extaordinary. Great work :)

01 January 2005, 12:57 PM
good feel !


01 January 2005, 01:23 PM
WHOA! save the the trees! 'dis fantastic.

01 January 2005, 02:12 PM
additional bland one sentence generic compliment. :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 04:10 PM
very, very well done; both aesthetically and technically.

01 January 2005, 04:49 PM
The only thing more amazing than this work of art is the fact it's only 4 stars. IMO this is one of the most amazing works of art to come down the pipes in quite a while. The mood, pose, feeling, and technique are all superb. Very unique style as well. Flawless really.

Would love any info on buying a print. Actually it's probably out of my price range now that I think about it.

Go Meats!!! :applause:

01 January 2005, 04:58 PM
when i saw this on frontpage i thought, There's Meats new work,,, and i was right :) irrefutable meats style once again hitting hard on my screen :) and once again making me awe at the insance ammount of detail thats put in these works...

01 January 2005, 05:04 PM
Wa!! look impressive again!!:)

01 January 2005, 06:04 PM
what the..

haha very beautiful and creepy style...but almost too strange for me. It's as if the detail serves no real purpose. What I mean is you could have the exact same composition without all the little mechanical thingies and achieved the same feeling imho.

But nonetheless, great modeling, composition, and rendering.

01 January 2005, 06:34 PM
Thanks to everyone for their kind words! I really appreciate it. Front page, cool!

I won't be able to answer every specific question (sorry, lots to do at work), but here is more about my general workflow:

I start out by creating the base form in Zspheres.
I use my Wire Style technique to get out a base form in a really short period of time.
The base of this image looks like this - seen from the other side - almost 1 million polygons because I also complete the full 360 degree model, not just what is being seen by the camera. This way I can repurpose the geometry later if I want.
I then build a mini library of parts out of the primitives and place them all over the base image, which is now placed as "Pixols" and are no longer rotateable. Pixols are like pixels, but also contain depth, angle, and material information. They are neat to say the least. Painting with 3d objects at this's a whole new world.
This is the Z depth information that I pulled from the canvas of the finsihed piece. I use this to add depth and fog effects as well as layer different materials together.
I'm working on DVD's now that cover illustration techniques using Zbrush. Zbrush is excellent for creating displacement maps and normal maps, painting and applying textures, etc., but it really shines when used to create final images. It's what Ofer originaly created Zbrush to do. Basically no or low render times. Polygon limits = gone. Fun = much.

Thanks again for your comments!

haha very beautiful and creepy style...but almost too strange for me. It's as if the detail serves no real purpose. What I mean is you could have the exact same composition without all the little mechanical thingies and achieved the same feeling imho.
I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I feel that much of it is over complicated. When I create techno things, I make them the way that I see them.
It's always interesting to hear comments like that, I could have done a million different things, I just choose to go the path it leads me.....thanks for your comment!

01 January 2005, 06:58 PM
in my humble opinion as the saying goes:)! thats some beautifull work meats! i think u have managed to create a new species(an entity that will live in the minds of cg people).....a whole universe like that:eek:!

01 January 2005, 07:45 PM
awesome model meats!

but I agree with the above poster , the full frame version just has way too much detail and i dont know where to look at , the closeup is absolutely gorgeous though.

01 January 2005, 08:05 PM
If the devil is in the details then you meats must have a direct line to the dark one.

01 January 2005, 08:47 PM
wow, wow, wow, damn look at the close up, so awesome

dude those 2 days was worth it ;)


01 January 2005, 08:52 PM
awe....some.... simply.... great inspiration...

well.... do u have a website where u have the stages of the process... so that... totally uneducated people like myself can see your thought process and learn sth.... it would b great....

thanks a lot for sharing your skills...


01 January 2005, 09:20 PM

You never cease to amaze me. You keep pushing the boundaries of your work and that's what really makes you shine so brightly. You make this genre and it's point in time truly exciting to be a part of. I also see a lot of people trying mimic your work and you should be flattered, as nobody seems to be able to duplicate it since they obviously don't have the vision that you wield.

The details of this new work are very impressive.

Keep exploring! I look forward to your future works.

01 January 2005, 09:45 PM
Man, another DVD!
Thats awesome!

01 January 2005, 10:17 PM
simply an excellent pic... :applause:

01 January 2005, 11:24 PM
Hi Mr Meier, I love your style, your concepts, and the simplicity that you have (at least it seems to me), that you demonstrate, when you carry out your (complex) art pieces.

The compositing procedure described, how to render multiple passes in Zbrush is quite obscure to me. If anyone has got some good indications or can point me to some explanation on this argument (Zbrush specific, I know how it works on other softw) I'll thank him/her a lot in advance.

One question, master: is going to be your DVD available for free through some P2P networks or any specific websites?

Thank you.



Are you a relative of great master Richard Meier?




01 January 2005, 10:38 AM
I love your work because it's fractal in nature, just like nature..., so it has depth. Not (only) depth of field, but depth of feeeeeeeeeeel. Meaning that it feels deep, infinite, which is how the material, real world feels, and it's a great feeling. It is infinite and therefore you can breathe out there :)
And to all those who criticize repetition or minimalism: Mother Nature's way are very repetitive, and very minimal, and yet, very diverse. And Mother Nature is the greatest builder, and the greatest artist. I think learning from it is not a bad idea. I also think that we, humans, can't escape it. We're part of it and understanding it is understanding ourselves better. That can't be so bad...

01 January 2005, 10:43 AM
Oh, and it's really amazing how that human being looks more detailed and more fractalish than the tree...

01 January 2005, 11:13 AM
very impressive work !!
i like the concept :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 02:59 PM
Godfrey Daniel! this is an awesome illustration. The thought of creating this piece makes my hair hurt.

01 January 2005, 04:15 PM
Love your work!

You did very well in your previous works too!

01 January 2005, 11:54 PM
O.O a unique work, impossible copy...
i...i like this image! (saves on desktop)

01 January 2005, 07:06 AM
amazed, like always.

Looking forward to more....

01 January 2005, 02:48 PM
Two thumbs up! Can't wait for the DVD. Awesome.


01 January 2005, 11:21 PM
First the praise.

You are an amazing artist. I look up to you, as do many other independent artist. The first time I saw your stuff I was a little pissed I admit do to the H.R Giger theme, but that was projection on my behalf. When I was an airbrush artist I use him as inspiration. Anyway I realized you grew from that and your language became your own. I hope you never stop.

Now that I got that out of the way “I just wanted you to know how important of an inspiration to me you are “

Here comes thee crit :

This image is amazing technically, But the subject matter is so ****ing overused it makes me sick that a genius like yourself used it for the center of attention. Dude the theme is already carried in you style you don’t need to beat us over the head with it.

The close up of the sholder says so much more than the total image !

You’re a great artist. Whenever I get a chance to see your posters “Siggraph and so forth” I always stop and stare. Hope you only take the crit for what it is , and not personal.

01 January 2005, 01:31 AM
That is really amazing! It hurts to see stuff this good. Another winner.

01 January 2005, 07:04 AM
always an inspiration to make me work harder and learn more
gosh man, you're awesome

01 January 2005, 01:14 PM
Beautifull !

01 January 2005, 02:39 PM
Excellent work And good luck!:applause:

01 January 2005, 05:16 PM
I'd say that there could be a little more drama/character in the pose, is he carressing it or about to eat it (the last tree) this seemingly emotionless mechanism?

The leafless trees don't look like trees at all.

Scarily detailed overall - it's a wonderful achievement of detail (as was your other work). But is the 'image' finished? Is there readable and unmistakeable motivation? Is it iconic enough, relevant enough?

Sorry if I'm the only guy crit'ing this...

01 January 2005, 05:31 PM

just stoped by to say: you did again... breaking the laws of 3D & making something which reminds me more of art than CG :) BUT !!! The guy looks as he does not know where to put the plant :) Maybe you put a little bit more brain work in your concept next time... but for a two days work it`s brilliant...

01 January 2005, 06:06 PM
:thumbsup: woooooo

thanks for this dsing
this is great

01 January 2005, 04:00 PM
I Hate You :-]

01 January 2005, 05:50 PM
Artistic Impression 6.0
Technical Merit 6.0

02 February 2005, 03:30 AM
Oh G!
How long did you take to model this one?
Good Work!:applause:

The F.O.T.I.
02 February 2005, 03:01 AM
Madness!...Total and Utter Madness!

02 February 2005, 10:36 AM
Crasy detail :buttrock: must have taken forever to model

02 February 2005, 02:33 AM
ok i just joined this site and i am many pages late on this....but that thing is beautiful! very very good work!

02 February 2005, 02:12 PM
nice picture allthoug the theme is a little on the pathetic side, lol, zbrush is great for adding these tiny details, and as you state , once dropped they're feather light one drawback is that they become almost 2d no more rotating etc. I find that a big prize to pay but for a kinda 3d post work its great. I agree with making the ground a little more contrasting.

02 February 2005, 05:35 PM
great modeling

02 February 2005, 10:45 PM
simply wow...

02 February 2005, 03:19 PM
Amazing Meats.... just like always.

02 February 2005, 12:40 PM
:eek:amazing,very good work:thumbsup:

02 February 2005, 05:21 PM
REally great, I'd love to see it animated. Best stuff on the board I've seen.

02 February 2005, 08:33 AM
fantastic details man +9 t u! great talent

02 February 2005, 03:34 PM
Good work. 5 stars :applause:

02 February 2005, 09:28 AM
i like the grim look at things to come

02 February 2005, 08:17 PM
Great Detail And Work Buddy! Keep It Up!

02 February 2005, 05:17 AM
Againn!! :) Even if there's procedural everywhere, I love it so much. :) Nice !!
02 February 2005, 03:57 PM
I am sucked in by all the little details, nice work.

02 February 2005, 04:11 PM
The details of the art, bravo...
even small details...

02 February 2005, 08:51 PM
This is insane so good, this cant be made by human GREAT JOB

:applause: :applause::applause: :applause:

02 February 2005, 11:55 AM
Hay rally touching my heart.. IMPRESSIVE :)

02 February 2005, 09:20 PM
WOW!! I've only been on this board for 2 days and I am still in awe of the work showcased on this forum. This so far takes the cake. Absolutely gorgeous.

02 February 2005, 03:44 PM
It's been already stated but the theme is a little obsolete ... may be a little more. Well, I see verry little or no critics .. lucky me I haven't seen your previous work. You kind of abused the z buffer when you fogged the right arm and right leg .. if it is a big big Frankenstein char. and the trees are really small I guess it's ok. The mist in the right side of the caracter makes a huge hole .. makes me wander how does the machine able to stay .. it should fall. The overall image is breathtaking, the combination of robot with prosthetics is an excelent idea. I mean .. it makes it more human. It can also be a human overwhelmed with prosthetics. Technique top level - artistic also, imho. I will now have a look to your other masterpices. Good luck!

02 February 2005, 08:41 PM
This is very much the kind of work that I hope to someday be able to do. I am really impressed with all the detail, and doing it in 2 days makes it more impressive. :applause: :applause: :applause:

02 February 2005, 09:55 PM
done in two days??? wow, i have to work very hard to pretend to make a picture like that, very very impressive for a beginner like me. i love your works meats meier

02 February 2005, 02:34 PM
as always.

02 February 2005, 02:41 PM
you just made my lecturer stop and lose total track. gr8 image!!! :buttrock:

03 March 2005, 12:13 AM
impossible work!!

03 March 2005, 07:53 PM
Meats, I just got Zbrush 2 yesterday, and YOU, my friend, inspired me to Buy it. :deal: Can I get your autograph? PLZ? :shrug: I'm in the process of experimenting with the stuff, but, eventually, I'll have a Medevil SOLDIER! WOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO! Anyway, how 'bout that autograph? :deal:

05 May 2005, 03:06 AM
Meats, you're one of my favs in the CG realm!!! Thanks for this and every image that you put out. Really inspiring and pushing me forward with ideas.

Makes me wonder what you could do with Z-Brush/Maya on a Dual Core system.


09 September 2005, 06:28 PM
I see you have many model, in China too!
提起三维艺术家Meats Meier,光听名字你也许会感到陌生,但是提到maya (导入版面中那个用金属丝质感线条搭建出的人像您一定会印象深刻,而它就是出自Meats Meier之手。这个仅有32岁的三维艺术家,用金属丝构件出一幅又一幅风格鲜明的三维作品。很多作品都被选用做专业杂志封面。他不仅制作三维静态作品,同时还创作了大量的绘画和动画作品,他的CG动画作品更获得过国际动画大奖。Meats Meier可以称的上是CG制作高手。Meats Meier曾经是是一个小有名气的绘画艺术家。某商家希望成立一个开发制作游戏片头动画的工作室,在到处寻找能胜任的人员,Meats Meier与其一拍即合,从此进入了三维行业。从1994年开始从事游戏片头动画设计和角色建模工作以来,他已经在数字图形领域工作了十年。曾经做过插画家,游戏片头动画艺术家,电影技术导演,合成师,可谓经验丰富。目前担任Gnomon视觉特效艺术学校maya (和Zbrush课程的教师。2004年他曾经参与制作过漫画改编电影《地狱男爵》的三维部分。在很多专业技术网站上经常能够看到Jim的静帧作品。在10月的CGM杂志中有对Meats Meier的更详细报道
As always absolutely a masterpiece!
I like your model!

09 September 2005, 02:09 AM
Thanks for showing me that page, Leon.S.Ken.

And thank you for your compliments!

09 September 2005, 03:03 AM
:) Haha!Not at all! I'm from China .I'm study Maya and 3d max .I like hollywood, I love this work!
Best wishes to you!

09 September 2005, 06:35 PM
very perfect idea
very nice

11 November 2005, 07:21 AM
Hi Meats,

I've got all your Gnomon DVDs on Zbrush and i've learnt alot from your lectures.

I'm a 3d animator from South Africa and locally there aren't really any great places to learn from, so i've purchased about 24 of the Gnomon Discs to get good training. It does take alot of self discipline, but i enjoy my work, so i hardly need to force myself to sit down and get going:thumbsup:.

Do you have an e-mail adress i can send you some of my work to? I would love to get some crits and tips from you.

At the moment i'm doing my 3rd modeling contract for 3B International. My e-mail adress at work is

Hope to hear from you!

Please send my regards to Alex Alvarez and all the great lecturers you guys have at Gnomon.


Ben Cooper.

12 December 2005, 10:39 PM
fascinating what you said about zbrush. wish that worked in maya...
the concept is great, the render 2 match. 5 stars is no surprise... :eek: :applause:

02 February 2006, 08:02 AM
WoW ! OmG ! WoW ! need i say more?

12 December 2006, 12:59 AM
Impressive! Great Work :)

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