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Human Fetus at Five Months



Completed on:

Tools used:

Prof. Nick Woolridge¹

General public

Dec. 2016

Pixologic ZBrush, MAXON Cinema4D, Adobe After Effects

This is a series of 3D renders of a digitally-sculpted human fetus at 5 months old. To create a visually-compelling, accurate 3D visualization of a human fetus, the original reference was based on an actual fetus specimen at JCB Grant’s Museum at University of Toronto. Detailed study sketches were done, and used as direct reference to improve 3D modelling accuracy. A turntable animation was also created.

¹Biomedical Communications, University of Toronto

Process Work

1. Rationale

This project was an exercise in establishing a workflow for 3D reproduction of an organic subject from scratch. I chose a human fetus as the subject, because of the challenge of capturing the subtle anatomical proportions of a fetus, as well as the opportunity to experiment with recreating liquid immersion environments in 3D render.

2. Specimen Study

A formalin-preserved specimen of a 5 month old human fetus in the JCB Grant's Museum at University of Toronto was studied via detailed pencil sketches, as photography was not allowed for these specimens. The specimen was laterally sketched from four angles (each angle through 90-degree rotation along vertical axis).

3. 3D Modelling

3D Modelling was performed in Pixologic ZBrush, with the sketch studies used as reference. First, initial geometry with accurate limb proportions was established by creating the fetus model in A-pose using ZSpheres. Major features were sculpted, and the fetus was rigged into the posture shown by the specimen. The model was further detailed, and surface textures were painted using Polypaint.

4. 3D Rendering

Lighting, camera and staging were established in Cinema4D, followed by the completed fetus model imported from ZBrush. The Fetus tissue surface characteristics were adjusted for realism. Fog effects and Floating particles were added into the environment (courtesy: Microfloaties by MadMicro Studios) to further enhance the visual impact of the environment.