I had the idea of sculpting a Jumping Cow when I was traveling to Innsbruck, Austria, during my holidays. There was a market stand where T Shirts were sold and instead of the famous sports apparel manufacturer who’s known for a jumping cat as their Logo, they used a silhouette of a jumping cow instead. I thought this would be a fun idea to sculpt. Besides, I’ve seen many of these lovely creatures while hiking in the Alps.
The sculpt was primarily done in ZBrush. I was using a lot of cow anatomy references to get it into this action pose. After sculpting it I decimated the model and brought it over to Modo for Scene setup and render preparation. Before I set up the lighting and shading I baked out the normal map and more importantly the cavity map. The material attributes are driven by the cavity. Thus I could achieve the details imitating the cows’s fur. Interestingly, all the color in the scene comes primarily from the lighting setup. I use a HDRI for basic illumination and area lights with a blackbody emit or set to warm colors for the primary lighting. I adjusted the specularity to give it the shiny golden statue appeal. The image was finally comped in Photoshop to punch out the colors and provide a background.