Question Mark Campaign: Squirrel Tries to Stack Acorns

Third image in the Question Mark (self-promotion) Campaign, it’s time for a bit of humor! Frequently, clients think of a humorous image as needing to be a stylized “cartoonish” drawing, but people are very familiar with 3D realistic style animated movies, so 3D illustration is a viable approach.

Starting with a posable squirrel model from, I wanted to pose it beyond the limits of how the model was made. The results were stretching of polygons creating strange protrusions in the squirrel’s armpits and the lower legs.

The solution was to bring the exported OBJ model from Daz Studio and open it in ZBrush. There more polygons were easily added doubling the count a couple times and then, using move and smooth tools, the arms and legs were able to be contoured to the desired shapes and exported out of the program.

In Vue, a simple terrain was created and ground material added. An oak tree was placed in the foreground and modified to the desired trunk thickness and droop to the leaves and branches. Sunlight direction and atmosphere were set.

A single acorn model purchased at TurboSquid was imported and then duplicated to form a ring of acorns on the ground. Duplicating that ring of acorns and turning and twisting them, row after row of acorns were stacked forming the question mark.

The idea is that the squirrel stacked them too high and the stack is starting to collapse, conveniently for the concept, forming a question mark falling apart.

More trees and grass were added far in the background as well as grasses and a few more acorns added to the foreground completing the composition.

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