Clarification & a Tip

A fellow MFA candidate at AAU had a question for me recently, and a helpful resource. I paraphrase, but the question was basically, “You’re not going to use the default zBrush stitching pattern, are you?” And the answer was, “No, I’m going to use some by Ryan Kingslien, and some I made. I was just using the default one to demonstrate techniques.” He was concerned because you really want to get everything right and as professional as possible.

He also gave me this link, which shows five different stitching patterns and what they’re used for. I created alphas for two of them, the Backstitch, and the Fishbone Stitch, both of which will be helpful in my thesis.

Still, I’m practicing doing the stitching. It’s taking a bit of time to get everything looking right. Eventually (hopefully soon!) I’ll get the hang of it and it will look good.

Here’s the tip. It has to do with HD geometry in zBrush. What is HD geometry? Well, in zBrush, you can subdivide a mesh into as many polygons as your RAM will handle. The upper limit for my sub-tools is about 10,000,000 polygons. Lots, right? Funny enough, even at that resolution, details like stitching don’t always come out sharp enough!

HD geometry is the zBrush solution. When you use it, it will isolate a section of the mesh and subdivide it further, but you can only work on a part at a time. The upshot is, you get to add in those fine details.

The drawback is that, if you want to delete higher resolution geometry and start over on those details, you can’t.

So, what’s the solution? How do you delete HD geometry from a mesh in zBrush?

The solution isn’t obvious, but it’s easy. Under Tool > Subtool, select the mesh you want to delete HD geometry from. Then click the “Duplicate” button. It will create a new sub tool without the HD details. Check both copies to be sure you know which is which, and then delete the one with HD geometry. Voila, you have a new copy, ready for new HD geometry and sculpting!

Oh! I forgot to mention earlier in this post, it looks like I have an instructor for my One on One Directed Study next semester! I’m excited. More as it develops!

Stitching Techniques

I’m at a point with Bodacious Creed’s and Anna Lynn’s clothing where I need to do a lot of stitching. I was actually looking at the models and getting somewhat overwhelmed, so I wrote a long to do list of what will come next, to make my life easier. Stitching on various clothing items comprised most of the list!

So, I started to figure out how I could make that flow more smoothly, and came up with some techniques. I illustrate them in this vlog entry.

Rigging Demo

New video up!

The semester is quickly coming to a close. One of our assignments for Introduction to Rigging was to create a 15 second video showing a bit of what our rigs could do. I’ve included it in today’s vlog. Enjoy!

Restoring Information

Huh… Blogger was down yesterday for awhile, and it looks like my last post disappeared.  That sucks.

So, here are the latest two vlogs I’ve posted.  Enjoy.

Here’s the book I’m reading:

Between Showings

Hey all you steampunk-western-horrorphiles.  This entry is about things I’ve started working on for Bodacious Creed since the last entry, and things I plan to get done soon.

First, I had a great meeting with Chad Josewski, my directed study instructor this semester, and he helped me work some of this out.  He also told me how to change the background from that black-to-gray gradient that zBrush usually has, to a solid midtone gray.  You’ll notice that in my last vlog, I used a white fog, which showed off some of the texture work better than the standard background, but sadly gave a hazy look to them as well.  The flat gray looks much better, and I’ll be using that in turntables from now on.

What I’ve done so far since the last video:

1. Evened out the base clothing textures.
2. Added the wood grain texture to the guns.
3. Put the Steampunk rose-in-circle-of-thorns symbol on Creed’s gun.  And I JUST realized that hearkens to another risen from the dead chap.  That’s cool.
4. Created the masseter and risorius muscles on the right side of Creed’s face, and sculpted muscles and area a bit.
5. Went back to the concept drawings of Anna and changed the skirt from a single piece to three layered pieces.  It fits more into the time period that way.

Some things I plan to do:
1. Create a hair prop for Anna, and possibly one for Creed.  These will not be how I do the final hair.  For that, I will use Shave & A Haircut.  But that will get the shapes down.  It will allow me to see how the hair will look, and help me to shape the actual hair when I get to that point.
2. Add more detail to the clothes, including seams, buttons, and so on.
3. Texture Creed’s muscle and exposed areas.  (Chad is also going to get me an √©corch√© done in Maya to use as an anatomy reference, both for shapes and texturing.)

There’s lots more to do of course, but those are the parts I’m going to focus on first.  And soon, I’ll get another vlog together to show my work!

Clothing Texture Turntables

This week, I have a bunch of turntables for you, showing the base texturing work on my characters’ clothing.

The reason the background is white, instead of black fading to gray, is because I’m using the fog effect in zBrush. For these turntables, it makes everything easier to see.