When I grew up I was addicted to playing the video game Quake 3 Arena. It came out in 1998 and by today’s standards the graphics are of course terrible. I decided to pick one of the characters and redesign it. I chose Orbb – an eyeball with arms and a cybotic body. This was a personal project aimed at improving my character design and ZBrush skills. I sketched the different elements on paper then created low-poly base meshes in Maya. I then imported the meshes into ZBrush for high poly sculpting and texturing. Then I transferred everything back to Maya using normal maps for finer details, applying materials and setting up a scene for rendering. Along with Orbb I redesigned the rocket launcher and part of a favourite map.

The challenges involved in the project were creating anatomically accurate organic elements which required research of the muscle groups and circulatory system; creating a photo-realistic human eye and using subsurface scattering to replicate human flesh; rendering and compositing multiple render passes and maps. Orbb was featured in Pixologic’s official gallery.

Software used: Zbrush, Maya (+ Mental Ray), xNormal, Photoshop, After Effects


Original Orbb from Quake 3 Arena (1998)

My redesigned version (2012)

Rocket Launcher

My redesign

Original level map (Campgrounds)

My redesign

Technical breakdown

Wireframes comparison

Rocket Launcher Animation

3D tracking test using PFTrack