HMC#25 The Oceans - Cleaner shrimps at work on moray



This is my first attempt at HMC. I’ve been lurking on this forum since the beginning, and recently thought about trying it. This subject is great, so here’s my concept for my submission. I am going to create a diorama depicting two morays and many shrimps. The main idea is to reenact a shrimp’s courageous attempt at getting food from the mouth of a large moray. I will start in Max, then move on to zBrush, and finish the render in Max MentalRay. Here is my main reference for the whole scene.

and the base mesh for the moray done in max:


Here’s a small update, a first zbrush pass.


Nice start and sculpt so far. These shrimps sure are courageous, to go inside the mouth of the moray eel like that!
Since you are going for a diorama, would be cool if you sculpt a rock with a crevasse or a sunken log since moray eels spend the majority of their time hidden at these kind of places, the head out, waiting for preys.


I had some time today at work to finish both the first moray and the open mouth version.


Yes indeed, they are really impressing. I hope to realistically portray the dangers the shrimps must withstand to survive. I will probably create a crevasse with some plants and fishes. Thanks for the idea of the sunken boat, I think it’s a great idea but I prefer to keep going with vegetation and rock. So I’m done for today. Tomorrow I will start the environment.


Awesome choice. That is a seriously intimidating eel you made. I like the detailing so far. Do they really have that second level of teeth in the back of their throat?


loving the amount of detail on this one!! keep up the good work dude! :bounce:


That’s great because it’s exactly the kind of feeling I am looking for. The more intimidating the moray appears, the more courageous the shrimps will look, and that’s what I want to convey. They do have a second layer of teeth. It kind of reminds me of Alien, somehow. Here’s a ref that shows it:

  Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll try to get the same amount of detail for the rest of the scene.


Okay I got more stuff done today. I had time to start the environment, and I did some test renders as well.

So I started the environment in Max 2010. Here is the base mesh ready to go in zbrush:

And here is a rough of where I am going with zbrush:

Hi rez:

  • some test renders that give a better idea of what I am hoping to achieve:


awesome work man. i’m really liking it so far. good stuff.



love the environment and the placement of the eels. keep it coming.


Wow, this is seriously good work. That rock looks fantastic, and I really dig the composition in the first test render you showed. Also, the fact that eels basically have a second mouth inside their mouth makes them about twice as scary to me…


Here is a new update. I started to work on the floor and the shrimp in zbrush, and I have made some displacement tests + a new render with every element put into place. I still have to [decide/work on the pose(s)]?? and do a second pass in z brush.

Here is the [base mesh for the shrimp]? + displacement version

This is the floor made in z brush.

A displacement test for the moray.

And a general idea of the final render.


Holy carp! That last render is so awesome! I really hope you go with that idea, it’s so crazy looking but then you reallly have to look to see what they are doing. Like it a lot!


I agree, looks great! Keep em coming!



Very cool scene. Full of life. Keep going this is fantastic.



wow, this is looking really good. The last render was awesome, keep it up


That’s epic, really good models and the diorama is cool.


Excellent models! I noticed in the displacement test that you have lost alot of details compared to the first images you posted. Maybe when the scene is locked down you should try a decimated mesh for the final or atleast for the test renders since its very fast.


The detail on this is quite amazing. Congratulations on your great efforts.