The Disintegrator is a creature I made for my own VR project I’m working on, based on an H.P. Lovecraft story.  Although this creature isn’t actually taken from Lovecraft’s work, I thought it’d make a good addition to my adaptation.  I developed the idea of what it should look like and how it should move, taking some inspiration from nature such as the vampire squid.  My friend Sean Murray, an amazing concept artist and illustrator, gave me some top notch drawings to choose from, and soon I had a design I really loved.

From there I started sculpting in Mudbox, then retopologizing for better mesh flow and UV layout.  I created the tentacles and webbing in Maya using path extrusions, which were merged with the Mudbox sculpt.  After I had a good level of detail for the high poly mesh I began painting the diffuse textures, specular, subsurface maps etc.  Then it was brought back into Maya for more precise UV refinement, and eventually I had a baked normal map on a low poly mesh.

After experimenting with some blendshape tests, I decided to go with bone animation for the tentacles instead.  I brought the mesh into 3DS Max and rigged it using a CAT skeleton.  I find that system is good for getting a decent rig up and running, to see how a character moves and quickly set up additive partial rig animations for things like the tentacles.  Once I had some animations I exported them with the Disintegrator, and started setting it all up in Unity.  I used some cool shaders like subsurface skin for the webbing, and glows for the eyes.

I’ll probably end up re-rigging the Disintegrator in Maya, and add some soft body deformation and other physics to give a better feel of bulk.  I’ll update this page when I get further along with this guy.  Feel free to comment below if you have feedback!

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