To continue my Zbrush practice I found a more detailed tutorial that covered the creation of a forest elemental. Using Zspheres I roughed out the initial form of the body.
Once I was happy with the body I moved the Zspheres to create a dramatic pose for the creature.
I converted the Zsphere pose to an adaptive mesh and sculpted in some forms using the clay buildup and move tool, it's much easier to make big changes at this stage when the density of the mesh is low. This mesh acted as an armature on which I used Zsketch drawing random tubes from the chest and over the shoulder to build up some mass that would be used as a cluster of stones and branches. Converting this zsketch to a mesh retained the individual polygroups which I then inflated from the connecting 'mortar'.
With the mortar masked off I started using the Hpolish and clay buildup tool to shape rocks and branches in the polygroups that suited the form. I tried to make it look as if the branches were wrapped around the stones binding them into the mass.
Using zsketch I built up some mass on the other side of the armature. I used the mesh insert tool to insert a tube that protrudes from the shoulder and shaped it into the stump of a trunk, enhancing the feeling that the creature is cobbled together from random parts of the forest.
For the head of the creature I duplicated the armature and deleted all the unnecessary zspheres leaving just the the head section. After converting this to an adaptive mesh I blocked in the rough forms and positions of the mouth and eyes at a low resolution, helping to establish the initial layout of the face. I wanted the creature to look angry but also in pain, annoyed and puzzled at the misfortune of his own existence. I used the claytubes tool to insert branches that look like saliva as they spills out of his mouth and cling to the side as he roars as if the side of his mouth is tearing open.
I spent a good few days going through this project and he's coming together nicely, however I felt I'd learnt what I needed to sculpt my game character and I had to move on. It would probably take another week or so to finish this guy off so it's something I need to come back to when I've finished my assignments.