Paradigm Shift

The next step for working on the full body models of Bodacious Creed and Anna Lynn Boyd is a departure from what I thought would be next.  It’s enough of a departure that I’m thinking of it as a paradigm shift.

I had figured I would model up to high detail on both before I textured them.

Then I realized something.

Many of those fine details we 3D modelers sculpt in must also be shown on the texture.  If I was creating textures from scratch for these characters, it would make sense to sculpt everything, then to use the details on the models as a basis for the textures.

It’s different though when you’re modeling after real people, and those details on their bodies–wrinkles, moles, and so on–are right there in the reference photos.  I figured it would make sense to get the models up to a moderately detailed level, where everything is shaped right and the major body landmarks are in place, and then texture.  Texture, before the real detail work is in there.  This way, I could then use the textures painted on the characters to refine the models, to know where all those details need to be.

With Bodacious Creed, there’s another reason.  Both the body texture, coming directly from the photographs of the guy I chose as a reference, and the body, will initially look as he would have alive.  It makes sense to me to zombify the model and the textures in unison, which this will allow me to do.

So, even though Creed is at a slightly less detailed stage than Boyd, I’ve started texturing him.  I’m going to refine Anna a bit more, then start work on her too.

Oh, I asked my two modeling instructors about this, and they both said that this is a good methodology.

I’ll be sharing pictures and probably a video soon!


Though I’m a 3D modeler, and the skills I’ll be primarily demonstrating with my thesis, and demo reel, are modeling, texturing, and lighting, we are doing a bit of animation for my Head Sculpture & Facial Expressions class.  That’s why we’ve been working on all those blend shapes, and all that rigging!  (Blend shapes are part of the modeler’s job, if anyone’s wondering.  Rigging is generally not.)

So yeah, that cool head I’ve been posting?  It’s going to be MOVING soon!  I’m using a clip from American Beauty, so Creed will be talking in Kevin Spacey’s voice.

Now that I have all that, plus the hair for the head model done, I’m starting the animation!  I’m really excited about this.  It will be a fun project, an interesting departure from my focus.

Anyway, I’ll share more on this as I get it done.

Here’s the text book we’re working with in class.

US Marshall Robert Creed

I worked hard on Creed’s hair this weekend. It was a lot of work. I ran into one big problem with it: after I had the hair done and liked it, I realized that the head was no longer rigged! NOT a fun situation. So, I had to decide, do I re-rig the head, or do I redo the hair?

The blog gets fairly technical right here, so read on if you like, or just scroll down to the images. I really wanted to show how the hair came out, since I’m pretty happy with it.

Fortunately, I frequently save, and I save incremental versions of my files. So I had a rigged head with the hairdo done, but without the beard, etc. It was actually pretty easy, though a little time consuming, to redo just the mustache, beard, eyebrows, and whiskers.

Of course, after that was all done, I found what might be a way to just transfer a finished hair style from one model to another. Yes, you may say it. “Facepalm.” Well, something to use at another time!

I had problems crop up with the Creed and Anna Lynn Boyd full body models as well. I needed to do a bit of retopologizing on both models, and popped them over to Maya. I fixed the topology, then brought them back to zBrush. While the high rez details were reapplied just fine, the 3D layers were deleted. Fortunately, with Creed, it wasn’t hard to redo them. With Anna, there was only one I needed to redo. The others were at a high detail level I don’t really need yet, so I let them be.

With Anna, I kept getting mixed up on which was the current file, so I had to redo the clothes several times. I ended up with one file with the improved clothes, and one file with the body at a more finished level. So, I deleted the body from the clothes file, deleted the clothes from the body file, and put all the correct sub-tools back together.

The end result was that I got some good work done in some areas, and not enough work done in others.

I have a bunch I want to get done this week, even with Thanksgiving coming up. I’ll write more about that as I get it done.

Ghosting is Sweet

This vlog is another tutorial!  zBrush has so many amazing features, and sometimes I like to share what I’m learning in the form of a helpful tutorial.

This one shows the power of the Transparency, Ghosting, Solo, and Xpose settings, and how helpful they are when working with sub-tools.  Even if you don’t use zBrush, check this video out.  These settings look so cool.

Check this out!

On  Monday, I learned about the transparency and ghosting settings in zBrush.  This is very useful when you’re working with sub tools!

Here’s an example.  I redid Anna Lynn’s boots today.  I’m going to sculpt them to look like the fancy boots in the concept drawings.

While improving the shape of the boots, these came in really handy.  I’m sure you can tell why!  By being able to see the feet inside the boots, it was easier to understand how the boots should be contoured.

And here’s the concept turnaround of Anna Lynn’s outfit, showing the look I’m going for with the boots.

More Tech, Plus Hair & Clothes

I’m adding quite a bit to my models!  I’ve started adding hair to the Bodacious Creed head model (I posted one image in the last entry, and will post another here), added some skull bones and more machinery to the full body Creed model, and I’ve started Anna Lynn’s clothing.

I made cowboy boots for her, but I’m going to change those.  Josh actually drew fancier, lace-up shoes in the concept drawings of her.  I’m going to go back to that look, but you’ll see the big ‘ol cowboy boots in this video.

Since making this video yesterday, I’ve learned some new techniques in zBrush,and you’ll get to see some of that in future videos!

First, the latest update of the hair.  The individual strands are thinner (and more realistic), and more strands have been added.  I also created the beard and mustache.

Second, the latest video!

Creed’s Hair, WIP

Creed’s head is coming along well. I’ve finished the rigging–pending comments from my instructor–and I created his hair. I know it needs some tweaking. I may also add facial hair, and I’d like to figure out a good way to do the eyebrows and eye lashes.

Anyway, here’s a picture!

Creed Has Heart but no Heart

Much earlier in this blog, I showed off the fantastic concept art by Joshua Stewart. I’ve started working with the images of the mechanical parts, which I’ve also shown, more recently. Anyway, I’ve started to work on the machinery for his chest. That’s been fun.

Today, I created more of that, and I fixed some problems with the rig for the head model. Lots more to do this week though!

Anyway, I recorded this video last night and posted it today.

Great Anatomy Book

I’m uploading the latest video now. It’s stalling, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. Meanwhile…

On a recommendation from one of my instructors, I picked up a great anatomy book. (Actually, I got the Kindle version, saving me about $10 and allowing me to have it as a reference right on my computer.) I used it this week, in conjunction with the resin anatomy statue I use, to block in some of Creed’s neck muscles.

That book is…

Oh, and if you’re curious about the model…