Tuesday, 3 December 2013

ZBrush and I

Since my post the other day I've been focusing on 3D work. And I've been loving it.

Yesterday I started a digital tutors video which focused on the Maya & ZBrush integration. The tutorial is great and I'll be continuing on with it tomorrow or next week. 

Basically the tutorial showed me how to take low poly models into ZBrush for sculpting, and how to navigate the ZBrush UI and take advantage of its insane power. (Something I'd only ever done in Mudbox). 

So I made a simple rowing boat because of the boat my character is shown sailing in as a child in concept art from a couple of months back. I then took it into ZBrush and subdivided it a ton of times and began going through the different brushes and also messed around with Alpha, noise etc. I left off just about to UV the boat and create a normal map and a displacement map. 

D'oh. I forgot to take snaps of the boat. So I'll hopefully remember to put one up here after I grab one tomorrow.

UPDATE: I remembered. Here it is below. 

Maya > Zbrush 

Then today I decided to start something from scratch just to sort of get warmed up and to get more used to the controls before I started on a head. 

So after Dave was kind enough to lend me a 101 on Dynamesh I was off. (Thanks Dave!)

I started with a sphere and ended up with a gargoyle!

I actually quite like the way this guy's hands turned out. Arms, not so much. 

As I was basically sketching in 3D with no huge intent on creating anything specific, I kept my PDP in mind and really tried to push the proportions. I think this again really helped push the design and actually lends a nice sense of balance to the sculpture. The hands for this guy were so much fun to sculpt. They're supposed to look like he's holding on to something, and I think that comes across quite nicely. Obviously I didn't want to spend too much time on this guy, because I promised myself I would begin sculpting my character, and so there's quite a few issues. His front profile is really weak and it's hard to distinguish his mouth and (poorly sculpted) goatee-beard-thing. The side profile works much better.

So for the character I knew I needed to refer to the front of the sculpt more often and not get too focused on the side view. 

Again I started with a sphere and after a couple of hours I had the basic sculpt down and had some hair thrown in too. I liked the way the lips were looking here originally - besides being a bit to perked and narrow, and the trimDynamic brush was letting me convey the sharp stylised facial features I strived for in the concept art. I accidentally destroyed these lips and they never quite returned to their former glory. I'll sort 'em soon, though. 

One thing I did during this sculpt (but didn't actually mean to) was not actually look at my concept art once. I had stared at it so long while doing the character painting that I could just picture it in my head whenever I was unsure. Dave showed me spotlight and all, but I just never felt like I really needed it. So the sculpt is really more a likeness of the concept art, it's not exactly a direct 2D-3D translation. Like I said I was sort of just playing to the nuances I pictured in my head. 

Although I think the silhouette from my initial sketches has actually survived rather well. 

Despite my efforts to keep the front profile as interesting as possible, I think I still might've failed. Although, I think tucking the hair in just above the ears should do a great deal, and I might also make them larger. 

The side profile again with this is so much stronger; I really love the balance and the way the rucksack sits on the sculpture and gives the sculpture so much more intention and sense of life. 

~3 hours work.  
So I'll continue work on this soon. I've been neglecting a couple of other modules, so it might be a few days. But I'm excited to see where it goes. 


Ps. Here's the sculpt in Sketchfab so you can get a better feel for it :)

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