HMC #38 - Medusa


For you Mr. Harryhausen. :bowdown:
A tribute to the master.

When I was a kid my Dad had a Beta Max with 3 tapes that we watched over and over again until I had every line memorized, Star Wars, Caddy Shack and of course Clash of the Titans. Ray’s Medusa scared me so bad when I was a kid. What I love more than anything was not just that he created these creatures but that he took the time to inject real life into them instead of just moving them around.

I’m going to create an accurate film version of Medusa and then hopefully rig it and create a little stop motion myself. Well that’s the plan anyway. I have some other things planned if time permits.

My version will be somewhere between the film puppet,

and this excellent 1/6 scale paint job of the Geometrics statue from Chris Wauchop.

As usual I have some ulterior motives for this challenge. I’m going to use what I learn on this project on a much bigger production coming up.
Good luck everyone.


Cool. Looks like everyone will be doing Medusa. :bounce:


Looking forward to the battle of the Medusas! Give it your best, Wyatt.


Almost done with the basemesh. I need to fatten her up a bit and add her hair.

I took some really unofficial measurements of the puppet and the tail is about 3 times the length of the body.


Yup, I can see her in the base mesh already. Don’t forget she’s still got to have her snakes so its going to come together in due time.

Great start!



Great start!



Thank you fellas.
A bit more adjusting to the base. This is just about done. Hopping back and forth with GoZ is a blast. I want to keep the poly count of her hair down so I may make them subtools. Not sure yet.


I think doing the snakes (straight/flat) in LW, attatching in zbrush, painting thier scales and exporting disp, then if you want it to be animatable, retopo and reprojecting the sculpt/textures in zbrush. Its what I am going to have to do with mine.


Looking good. :thumbsup:


Man, this weekend was way busier than I thought it was going to be. Finally had a chance to start working with Genoma, Lightwave’s new rigging tool in v11.5. After going through the tutorials and experimenting a bit I finally decided to have a go with Medusa.

This first draft turned out way better than I could’ve hoped. If you take away all of the trial and error, reading and messing about I’d say this rig took about an hour to make and pose like this. The rattle works perfectly BTW.

Right away I see the problems with the rig. The root is too low, the fingers are bending on the wrong axis and there are no weight maps at this point. The beauty of Genoma is I have no problem going in and making changes as it is so easy to work with. Normally my patience would be gone at this point and I’d just say “Screw it!”, throw up my hands and just pose in ZBrush. Not to mention this rig is way more advanced than anything I’d make for a personal project.

Alright, test successful. Now that I know it’s going to work I can get serious about the model. Latest bit of sculpting in ZB.


Its looking like her. Rigging is good. Think her upper arm that is holding the Bow is a bit long, the shoulder looks like its been moved outwards instead of rotated, but I could be wrong.
Good going.


Still looking good so far… :wavey:


Thx Boone!

Yep, without any weight maps the arm bones have too much influence over other parts but as a first draft it was a good proof of concept. Now I feel comfortable moving forward with sculpting in a default pose leaving the animation for later.

Speaking of which, last nights progress.
First, I watched Clash of the Titans this weekend with my son, his first time. It was very funny fielding all of his questions about the effects. Even though he thought they looked ‘weird’ he really liked the movie and he jumped a few times during the Medusa scene too. So, while going through the special features I found this image of Medusa minus hair and snakes etc. I’m using this for reference now.

I started sculpting in some of the harder rows of scales in her face. You’ll also notice the first large scale on her tail. I like the result so I’ll model the rest of them tonight. I exaggerated a few of her features to make her appear more monstrous. Next subd level I should be able to add a lot more scale features.

After rigging her I realized that her tail was still a bit too short so I lengthened it in ZB and fattened it up overall. Rattlesnakes tend to have very fat tails right up to the rattle where it sharply tapers off. It was more eel like before.


I’ll just keep going with the pom-poms and cheering you on. Really looking good, Wyatt. :smiley:


Hi Mr. WyattHarris .

Wow man. :buttrock:
Great model see here. :applause:
keep updated.


Thanks Boone, Antonio.

Busy weekend. Took longer than I thought on the tail but finally got it and the rattle at a good base state. Should be able to make some good progress tomorrow.


Good progress mate.


Thanks Rob.

This whole time the mouth has been bothering me and I’ve tweaked and tweaked and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. So I had the notion that perhaps its never going to look right without the teeth and sure enough, that was it. I did a few other things today but mostly the teeth and gums and slacked off. Which is also good. :smiley:


Hi Mr.WyattHarris.

I loved the face of Medusa. :thumbsup:
Very good job. :applause:
keep updating.
I’m following.


Thanks again Antonio.
Okay, so I am steadily working on this but really don’t have anything new to show. The reason is because I’ve come to the place where it’s time to start adding details. That means all of those scales that cover her entire body. :argh:

So I’ve been testing many different techniques at high resolution to see what looks good and what doesn’t before I commit to anything. Good news is I’ve come up with methods for the tail scales and her skin scales so I think I’m ready to go. Should have something new to show this weekend.