Tutorial Overview

Learn the complete character workflow for VFX in Maya and ZBrush with all three volumes of Surfing with the Alien. This series was created by Jason Edwards who's a Senior Artist at Framestore, so if you want to learn how to make characters that reach production standards this is a project for you. All scene files and assets are included.

Surfing with the Alien vol. 1 - Organic Modeling & UV Layout
The first volume of Surfing with the Alien covers the workflow in Maya for character modeling based on concept sketches, followed by UV layout where you'll pick up a lot of good tips and time savers in this field.

  • Character Modeling in Maya
  • Polygon Plane & Box Modeling Techniques
  • Topology & Edge-Flow
  • Character UV Layout
  • Creating Clothes & Surfboard
  • Sculpting Muscle Tone

Surfing with the Alien vol. 2 - Maya & ZBrush Integration
The second volume covers a texturing workflow in Maya, ZBrush and Photoshop followed by shading, lighting and rendering techniques in Mental Ray with Subsurface Scattering materials and displacement.

  • Maya - ZBrush Workflow
  • Skin Sculpting & PolyPainting in ZBrush
  • Displacement, Cavity, Specular & Normal Maps
  • Texture Maps & Logos in Photoshop
  • Realistic Eyes
  • Bump Maps for Cloth
  • Subsurface Scattering in Mental Ray
  • Displacement in Mental Ray
  • Character Lighting & Rendering in Mental Ray
  • Constructing Shading Networks
  • Final Gather Light Maps
  • Mental Ray Approximation Nodes

Surfing with the Alien vol. 3 - Character Rigging & nCloth Workflow
The final volume in our series covers a workflow of how to easily rig your humanoid characters for animation and bring them to life at your own pace in nine simple and easy to follow chapters with great results.

  • Joint Chain /Humanoid Skeleton Setup
  • RP and SC IK Handles
  • Character Attribute Controls
  • Character Curve Controls
  • Facial Blend Shapes
  • Set Driven Key
  • Constraints
  • Linking Attributes via the Connection Editor
  • Expressions
  • Smooth Skin Bind
  • Weight Painting
  • nCloth

Save 10% when you buy all three volumes together (normal price $89.75).

Other tutorials in this series

Organic Modeling - Surfing with the Alien
Maya ZBrush Integration - Surfing with the Alien v
Character Rigging and nCloth Workflow


If you've purchased a downloadable copy of this this tutorial you can download it using the links below. Links will be active for Lifetime Members and people with video credits
Parts Credits Length Size
Lesson Pack 1 8 300 Minutes 1300 Mb
Lesson Pack 2 8 300 Minutes 1100 Mb
Lesson Pack 3 16 363 Minutes 660 Mb
Lesson Pack 4 12 224 Minutes 789 Mb
  • Length: 19 hours and 47 minutes
  • Software: Maya 2011 & ZBrush 4
  • Format: MPEG
  • Download Price: 79.95
  • Video Credits: 44