Couple weeks ago I had a chance to participate in this super fun project directed by Jonathan Berube.
In the past years I was able to learn a lot about design from Jonathan during his art-direction duties on such projects as “Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm” cinematic intro. Jonathan’s eye for lighting and image composition is truly outstanding. So it was a no-brainer when he asked if I’d be interested to design a Nike style prosthetic arm. I knew I was in for some good fun and another great learning experience :)
My goal was to stay loyal to original volumes of the actor’s muscles, but introduce enough negative space to make the structure feel light an elegant, while keeping the amount of raw hardware detail to minimum.
I blocked out the initial shape of the arm in ZBrush using Dynamesh and then brought this sculpt into XSI for a more careful retopo. Simple neoprene perforation pattern was later added in Keyshot using a normal map texture. After recreating basic lighting in Keyshot I passed renders to Jonathan and he made the final photo-model integration which included the comp, the color grading and the hot green re-coloration of the arm plates. My initial renders used a yellow car paint for the plates which I thought looked cool at the time, but when Jonathan showed me his hot green version I said to myself: “Alright, you win. Now it does look like Nike haha!”
Check out J.Berube’s article about the photoshoot on his website:
And an alternative "body" color palette of the arm on his Flickr page: