HARDCORE MODELING!: Stan Winston Tribute: Pumpkinhead



updated to-do list (09.12.08):

Stan Caricature Bust:

DONE! (need minor tweaks and final render though)


  • final tweaks
  • final render


  • add a ton of details all over
  • finish up the texturing
  • final render


  • position the spikes and dreads
  • finish model details and textures
  • model the rest of the hard surface parts. Gun, right shoulder piece and front piece done. Big left shoulder piece and gun support still needed. The back piece will not be modeled.
  • pose it
  • final render

I’ll try to participate of this one but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it. I’ll try.


  • Tribute to one of the greatest masters of SFX: check
  • Opportunity to have something new and finished in my gallery: check
  • Who doesn’t like movie monsters? I love them, so: check

Well, this seems like a great challenge with cool creatures to be modeled. The theme is a lot of fun. I’ll start something soon, hopefully.

ps.: I know, I know… another Pumpkinhead model. What can I do if the model is so cool (even if it’s a little too much “influenced” by the Alien design)? I’m in.


Good luck, I’ll be looking forward to this. Not many chances for it to not be awesome.


This Pumpkinhead character is really popular, no doubt about that, I just stoped counting the entries for it. :rolleyes:

If I say too much kind words for you, don’t mind :slight_smile: , coz I get crazy to see such great artist like you. I have seen your artworks already and you are in top 3 of my inspirational people list.


Thanks guys.

So, I started it 2 nights ago.


  • First night was all about finding references and grabbing some screenshots from the movie. Total hours: 2.5 - 3 hours.

  • Second night I modeled a quick and dirty base mesh in about half hour and moved to modeling in Zbrush, spending about 3 hours on it. Total: 3.5 hours.

  • Tonight (Third night) I kept building some more details, changing proportions and wrapping up the base mesh for retopology. I then added some temp nails, eyes and teeth and started the retopology. Total hours: 3.5 - 4 hours.

So, here is my progress so far, after three nights of fun after work:

There’s a lot to be fixed but I’ll not bother with the current model since it will be all retopo in Maya anyways and then brought back to Zbrush where I can reproject the details on the new mesh. More to come when I get the free time.



wooow… i love it :drool:


Awesome…totally awesome.


So do you retopo that #8 mesh in Maya or something else? And then you use a detailed ZBrush tool to ZProject onto the retopologized Maya model? Does that sound right, I may have to try something like that in the future, sounds like you get great control over the final mesh.


Thanks guys.

WyattHarris, yeah, that’s about right. I could retopo in Zbrush but I never liked the whole joint concept. It’s way faster for me to retopo in Maya and then bring the model to ZBrush where I can just reproject the details into the new topology. There’s a wiki about this here: http://www.pixologic.com/docs/index.php/Importing_Topology



Looks fantastic!


I’ve never watched Pumpkinhead. It’s before my time, and I figured “the” pumpkinhead was just a dude running around with a pumpkin on his head, and am I surprised! :surprised:
This is a really fast, cool rendering. I applaud you sir.

The only potential fixes I can see are probably already in your head:
Some parts look a little too Zbrush-ey and pinched. But that could be relevant to the character for all I know. The feet look a little pudgy and flat on top. Other than that. :bowdown:


you’re right about your comments but as I said, this is just a rough model that is about to be retopo in Maya. Just after the whole retopo is done, then I’ll do my best to match all the references. The important aspect of a good topology, apart of the deformations/edge flow, is the amount of details you can get when you subdivide the mesh. As you can see, my lowpoly model is really lowpoly. For this model, I’ll need a bigger concentration of polygons on the head, chest, hands, tail and feet. The rest of the body will not need a lot of detail. So, making those regions more dense in terms of poly count, I guarantee a bigger amount of details on it once the mesh is subdivided. So, again, I’ll not bother changing this rough model right now. I’ll have to finish the retopo for just then start the fun part. This model is subdividing until a 5 million polys limit right now. If I subdivide once more, then I’ll get over 20 million polys and my machine will become unstable and slow. So, I’ll plan my low cage in a way that once it’s subdivided, I can reach a magic number between 10 and 12 million polys, that should be enough for a fairly detailed model.



Man, that Pumpkinhead looks already so awsome. Like it alot. And a great fleshy looking zbrush mat you got here. Nice! Bring it on, I look foreward for this one. Thumbs up!


Super work, Kris! The likeness of the face is brilliant!

One question. What technique/tool set do you use to retopo the mesh in Maya? I myself like to use Nex as that’s the only way I know how other than the lame “Make Live” technique.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this.


Kris ,

amazing ,great sculpt! perfect likeness of the character

Alex Oliver


Thank you guys!

I am an old man with old ways so I still use the “lame make live” thingy :slight_smile:
It takes some time but it’s not too bad. I’ll use the topology that I already have on the legs, arms and tail. I just need to rebuild the head, chest and back now.

My plan is to get my base mesh around 10.5k to 11k faces. This way I’ll be able to work on a 11 million polys final model, subD level 5, which is still workable in Zbrush (one single mesh/sub-tool) and more than enough for the final details:
11k x 4 = 44k x 4 = 176k x 4 = 704k x 4 = 2.816 million x 4 = 11.264 million polys at level 5

For the super fine details, the best method is still the good and old bump map. Forget about HD :wink:



I have a question here -

If we have two base meshes, first is very low poly with basic structure and defenition done, second one is also same but one more level included with some more details added, those are not required for a base mesh as you are going to export it to zbrush.

So, are they both behave same at the highest level of subdivision ? :curious: coz as I know, zbrush allows some specific subdivision limit(if you don’t increase polycount in settings), it doesn’t matter that you use a low poly or little high poly as a base mesh.

I hope you understand what I am trying to say. :shrug:


Hey Cris - great to see ya here! Will be following the thread for sure :slight_smile:


LOL! I did not mean any offense by my comment. I’m an “old man” myself, so I can definitely appreciate the “old skool” ways. :smiley: Besides, how can I question the techniques of a master? :bowdown: The final result is all that matters anyway.


Good choice for sculpting :slight_smile: Waiting for updates :drool:


I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. Could you reformulate it? What’s your specific question?

nice to see you here Mag! A shame I could not make to Sig this year. I saw a bunch of pics including some with yourself. Seems like you were having fun :slight_smile:

Hah, no problem man. It’s all good sport in here :slight_smile:

thanks man. Great stuff on your portfolio btw.

Hey guys, I’m sorry I didn’t post any more progress. I’m moving to my new home and spent the whole weekend packing, moving, unpacking, assembling. I’m doing this by myself now because I’m afraid the movers will break my stuff. So, all electronics, my arcade machine, desks etc were moved by me. Just yesterday night I got my computer desk so I hope I’ll finally have my computer running tonight so I can go back to work. Next weekend I’ll complete the move, with some people to help me with the super heavy stuff. After that I should be back to normal speed :slight_smile:
More progress asap.