Sisyphus Picture

This was my entry for the CGSociety's Steampunk Myths and Legends contest. Entrants were supposed to illustrate a classic myth or legend in a "steampunk" style.

Sisyphus was a king renowned for his shrewdness and trickery. On several occasions, he managed to outsmart and to humiliate the gods. When he finally died, he was sent to Tartarus and given a mindless, repetitive task that would keep him busy for all of eternity, so that he wouldn't be able to think up any more tricks.

In the classic version of the myth, Sisyphus was forced to roll a boulder up a hill. Whenever he neared the top, the boulder would slip from his hands and he would have to start over. In this version, Sisyphus is placed inside a large clockwork apparatus and is forced to unwind a giant mainspring. Whenever he almost finishes unwinding it, it springs back, advancing the clockwork mechanism. The mechanism is designed to count off his failures, humiliating him further.

I used Wings 3D 0.99.01 for initial modelling, ZBrush 3.1 for sculpting, refinement, and texturing, Maya 7.0.1 for scene setup, lighting, and some render passes, mental ray for most of the rendering, and Adobe Photoshop CS3 for compositing and retouching. Textures were created using Darktree Textures 2.51. I had planned to do the hair with Maya's paint effects, but ended up using Photoshop instead.

The work-in-progress thread may be viewed here: [link]
Continue Reading: The Myths