Nov 2, 2023

Creating the Halloween Rising collection for VIPE

In the Halloween Rising collection we joined a creative journey to craft five unique avatars, each progressing through three stages of detail


For this project we challenged ourselves to produce a horror themed set of avatars for the Halloween holidays. We wanted to create 5 different avatars and make 3 stages of detail for each one.


To push the boundaries of VRMs, we set out to create a collection of avatars with varying levels of detail, ranging from stylized and cute versions to the most realistic and terrifying ones we could imagine. This article will outline the process we undertook to bring this diverse series to life.


  • Pure Ref (For references)
  • Pinterest (For references)
  • Clip Studio (For 2D concept Art)
  • ZBrush (For High poly model)
  • Maya (For Low poly model, Uvs and Rig)
  • Substance Painter (For textures)
  • Unity (For exporting VRMs)


Now we will talk about the process we followed step by step:

Step 1: concept art

We get the project started by producing the concept art necessary before moving on to the modeling phase.

Originally, each monster would have 4 stages of detail work but further into the project this would be reduced down to three.

Original designs

The concept art always starts with some shape work to think of ideas that can be further developed.

From these options we decided to develop ideas from number 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Once the main ideas are settled we use Pinterest and PureRef to get our references organized for each monster.

Step by step the references are constructed.

Concept art Mocking Spit
Concept art Esktix

Concept art Mimic Slime
Concept art Harvester

Concept art Wendigo

The easiest way to work out the concept of these characters was to start on the more realistic versions first. Supporting ourselves in photography and our references we work on the details of the monster, trying to define everything we want them to have and how their body and anatomy could work. Defining the more real and difficult form of the monster first makes it easier to simplify by removing details and pieces as we move down the line.

Eventually we get more cute and simpler versions of our terrifying monster, perfect for the 3 step project we were after.

We always have to keep in mind that with the limited poly count we have when creating this models not everything in the concept art will make it into the final model.

Step 2: high poly modeling

With the bases established thanks to the concept art we move on to work on the 3D models in Zbrush to define all the forms and details we want them to have.

During this process we begun with the high realistic models procuring to add the most accurate details as possible, giving life to these Ghouls. In order to do that we looked into the design and define which traits are the most important to the design to focus our attention on them.

For example the eye on the Mocking Spit , the Harvester’s bug features or the deer skull and rib-cage on the Wendigo. Centering ourselves in those details allowed us to focus our reference search and the changes we wanted to apply.

Mocking Spit realistic/cute/stylized

When working on the realistic models we must make use of an ample repertoire of photographic references to achieve the desired level of realism and appropriate anatomy. We should strive to get our references from as many sources and as many perspectives as possible to get the best results.

Armed with our reference sheet we are ready to tackle in the modeling. We will start by defining the main form of the creature with simple shapes and slowly work on refining these shapes. As we subdivide the model we will start adding new details, groves, cracks, wrinkles and any other small details that can help define our monsters.

Details in the bug

The Harvester for example is a good example of this detail work: Since we wanted it to look like it has a keratin exoskeleton we worked on small groves and details at the edges of it’s armored plaques to differentiate them from the softer flesh that is underneath.

This kind of surface looks realistic on it’s own but further compared with the stylized models it really  brings them apart.

The stylized models were made by smoothing the surfaces of the models and simplifying their shapes, we chose to add more detail at the stage of texturing than during modeling for them.

Wendigo realistic/cute/stylized

Making the cute models was the ultimate test of simplifying form and shapes. First off, we decided to research a bit more to understand what makes a character design look cute to apply it to our horrible monsters. We came to these conclusions: big eyes, large heads, short legs, chubby hands, short fingers.

Cute Wendigo high resolution model

With these results we move on to adapting the main features of our monsters into these cute features and removing any features or details that are unnecessary.

Harvester realistic/cute/stylized

Mimic Slime realistic/cute/stylized

Esktix realistic/cute/stylized

Step 3: texturing

Once we have the models finished we passed to on of the final steps texturing. Although there was some base colors defined inside the concept art. We chose to expand of than by amplifying the color palette giving each variation of each model, up until six different color palettes.

For the cute and stylized models we center our selves in that the color were appealing since it would be one of the main features that would define the models.

This can be appreciated in the Cute Mimic Slime where the color is the main protagonist.

Cute Mimic Slime color palette

For the realistic models the challenge was the way to adapt the colors before without losing the realistic details we have gain though the modeling. One the best examples to appreciate this is the Wendigo.

Realistic Wendigo color palette


This Halloween Rising collection for us, represents a creative journey of crafting five distinct avatars, each evolving through three stages of detail.

Starting with concept art, the team's ideas took shape, transitioning from realism to stylization to cute versions.

This journey brought the avatars to life, which with meticulous attention to detail and the balancing of realism and charm emphasizing their unique features.

This collection is a testament to the fusion of creativity and craftsmanship, capturing the essence of Halloween.

Final collection line up
Substance Painter
Laura Usón
Creative Art Director

Passionate about videogames, movies and creatures. Artist by day and superhero at night.

Nestor Llop

I am a 3D artist passionate about sculpting creatures and characters

Character Artist
Transforming Icons: Bored Ape Yacht Club 3D Avatar Collection
How to import Decentraland SkyboxEditor into Unity
Doing a MANA transaction in a Decentraland scene