Demo Reel






3D Imagery


2D Imagery




Class Projects














3D Illustrations

Spidey's Nightmare

4/2007 - Houdini 8, Photoshop CS2

I made this image in anticipation of this summer's blockbuster. It was my first project using Houdini so I focused on simple procedural modeling aspects. I only intended on making Venom since he's one of my favorite villains and he was in the movie poster that inspired the image. Eventually I added the other two villains for aesthetics.

Solar Colossus

8/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

Here's my interpretation of a Galactus type of creature infused with a Greek sculpture aesthetic. He moves from solar system to solar system gathering suns. The heat helps warm his freezing insides. The figure was sculpted and rendered in ZBrush. The sun, mist, and star field were added in Photoshop. The image took about 5-6 hours.

Aqua Dancer

7/2006 - Maya 7, Realflow 3, Mental Ray

This image was my entry in a Freespire desktop contest and was rendered with Mental Ray. I found a tutorial on liquid dynamics and wanted to gain some experience with the technology. For my first time using Realflow, it was surprisingly easy to use. This was also my first experience using hdri lighting.

Panther Lily

4/2007 - Maya 7, Renderman, Photoshop CS2, Cutter Text Editor

This image was created as part of a Renderman shading exercise. I wrote a custom shader that mimics the translucency effect found in very thin objects such as paper, leaves, or flower petals. More detail can be found here.

Protoss Dominance

9/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2, Maya 7

This image was an entry to one of Blizzard's 3D contests. The Protoss and Zerg were modeled entirely in ZBrush, rigged and posed in Maya, and then imported back into ZBrush with displacement maps. Next, all armor, cloth, nails, and eyes were modeled and added via ZBrush’s 2.5D technology. Finally Photoshop was used for compositing and additional mist, freezing, & glowing FX.


2/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

Experimenting with ZBrush's pixol technology, I was able to create an extremely high-polygon count, fantasy-based image with a large crowd of characters. Impressively, the image only took a few minutes to render. ZBrush was used to mold all the elements and alter two human models I created awhile ago. A few touch-ups were done in Photoshop.

Cold Reception

9/2006 - Vue, ZBrush 2, & Photoshop CS2

This was my 3D environment concept submission for Blizzard's 2006 3D Contest. It depicts a once prosperous city that became overrun with killer, carnivorous eskimos. Fitting into the Diablo universe, heroes must fight through hordes of opponents to get to the castle. Once there, they face more hazardous enemies within before reaching a grand treasure or relic. ZBrush was used to model the eskimos, spears, and cave entrances. The two castles were free .3DS models from my collection. Photoshop was used to composite all the elements together and add some frosty wind.

Money Buckets

7/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

This commissioned image was done for a financial advisor's blog column. I wanted to create an environment that would imply "save so much money, you can reach a surreal paradise." Having a day lit beach but a night sky did the trick. The woman, the buckets, and the money were modeled and rendered in ZBrush. Her hair, eyebrows, and the background were created in Photoshop.

Hubert Gruff

2/2006 - ZBrush 2

A person's nose and ears continue to grow throughout a lifetime. I wanted to create a portrait that exaggerated these features and came up with this surly man. Everything was created in ZBrush, and I particularly enjoyed using the fiber brush to create the hair.

Space Invaders

9/2006 - Renderman, Cutter Text Editor, Photoshop CS2

This image was created entirely through code from a text editor a la Pixar's earliest work. No graphical interface was used. The scene is composed of 5 out of the 7 basic shapes supported by Renderman (spheres, cylinders, tori, cones, and planes).
Breakdown Details/Various Angles/Scene Rotation

Ironman's Skychase

6/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

This image unexpectedly turned into an opportunity for commissioned work after being posted at cgchannel.com. I wanted to create an energetic image with a strong sense of motion. Based off of the Marvel Ironman character, I redesigned his look to be more mechanical because it allowed me to use a unique workflow found only in ZBrush. Each piece of this character (head, chest, shoulders, fingers, etc) was modeled from a seperate pieces of geometry and then "painted" onto the canvas. After that, the program's 2.5D brushes allowed me to carve out or add more detail in a very quick, flexible manner. The bullets, plasma fire, and background were composited in Photoshop.


7/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

Here's the first completely original image I did for TwinTech. I wanted a simple, strong pose. Photoshop was used to create the explosions, fire FX, and dust trail.

Into the Frost

7/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

For this image, I was inspired by classic Ironman poses where he flies directly towards the camera. For variety, I decided to add frost to his armor. The character was created in ZBrush, and the background and clouds were created in Photoshop.

Moments Before

7/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

This was another image I did for TwinTech. It represents power and durability. I also wanted to portray the moment before a devastating attack. ZBrush was used for the character and background cars. Photoshop was extensively used to alter the background, add fire and electricity FX, and merge all the elements together.

Oded Fehr Ironman Concept

6/2006 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop CS2

I was curious to see what Oded Fehr would look like in Ironman's armor. I used ZBrush to model, texture, and render the armor pieces. Photoshop was used to manipulate Fehr's face and composite the two layers. A few concept variations were created as if the project were part of a real pre-production.

Migrating Land Masses

8/2006 - Vue 5 Infinite, Maya 7, Photoshop CS2, The Setup Machine 2

This image was inspired by the idea of continental shift. I imagined a world where terraforming has been mastered, and as a result, the inhabitants can create incredible landscapes. Naturally they got creative when designing their race courses. Special thanks to 3Dtotal.com for use of their free ship models. Photoshop was used to paint the wakes and spashes.

Oasis Thirst

8/2006 - Vue 5 Infinite, Maya 7, Photoshop CS2, The Setup Machine 2

This concept was suggested by my girlfriend and became a side project while creating "Migrating Land Masses." This was my first attempt at creating an image that embodies heat without using a conventional warm color scheme. I also wanted the image to convey a sense of dryness.

Midnight Silence

8/2006 - Vue 5 Infinite

This piece was created more out of technical curiousity than artistic reasons. Considering that it's incredibly easy to create a forest, I wanted to really test Vue's renderer and my computer. The result: 1.5 BILLION polygons rendered in 15 minutes on a single CPU!   NOTE: Find grey Waldo!

Sapphire City

8/2006 - Vue 5 Infinite, ZBrush 2

Here's another experimental environment concept. This time I explored the use of Vue's ecosystem technology with some basic building geometry modeled in ZBrush. The image took half an hour to create. Even though Vue can create great final images, I'm starting to realize its potential as a pre-viz tool too.

Medieval Dawn

7/2006 - Vue 5 Infinite

This experimental piece was created within a few minutes. It help familiarize me with Vue's atmosphere, sky, and vegetation controls. The castle is a free model from 3DWorldMagazine.

Hare Heir

11/2005 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop 7

I created this image as a children's book concept. Photoshop was used for the forest background, and ZBrush was used for everything else.

Halloween Goddess

10/2005 - ZBrush 2, Photoshop 7

This promotional piece was inspired by a Chinese painting of the Fortune Goddess. It was an experimental project to help me better understand the unique workflow within ZBrush. The woman, her clothes, the clouds, and the flower petals were done in ZBrush. The background moon, sky, and text were created in Photoshop.

Bates Mansion

3/2003 - Maya 5, Photoshop 7

As my first exterior environment, I decided to recreate an iconic, moody location. This was one of the first projects that forced me to evaluate render time as a significant factor. On an old laptop, it took two hours to render.


© Richard Sun / Rich Sun Productions 2007.