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View Full Version : Does modeling take a very long time or am I just an idiot?


BenJohnson
01-26-2005, 01:00 AM
I just recently started organic modeling in MAX; I've tried nurbs, and I wasn't too pleased with it. I tried the plane-extrude millions of times method, and that was a real pain. Most recently, I've been using block modeling, and it seems like the most reasonable technique.

I would still consider myself a beginner, and while I can get things to look generally how I want, it still takes a loooooooong time, not to mention a few clipping polygons that I can't seem to get rid of.

This is not a specific question on modeling per say, but how long should it take a beginner/intermediate like me to model & texture a decent head?

DirtEater
01-26-2005, 06:27 AM
I can't say how long it should take you, but yes, I think modeling a head from scratch for the first time will take most green modelers quite a while. I'd suggest you follow a good tutorial, or get a book like Ken Brilliant's "Modeling a Digital Human," that way you may not end up starting over and over due to the lack of a firm grasp on whatever modeling techniques you end up using.

There's always a lot of discussion going on around here on different techniques, and regardless of what's promoted you will probably end up with your own versions, but I'd greatly encourage you to keep experimenting and researching box modeling and edge loops in general, though there are very good modelers that use the edge-by-edge method. imho, good modeling isn't about finding the perfect workflow and following the rules you will learn, it's being aware of these ideas and rules and being able to alter and develop them.

In general, my advice to someone relatively new to modeling (other than getting Brilliant's book AND several anatomy books) would be to keep pushing and finish models as best you can, then look back, learn from it, and try to do it better. I wish I could have given myself this advice when I was starting because it took me a LONG time to get going as I was trying to make everything perfect the first time.

Good luck and keep asking questions.

maxrelics
01-26-2005, 07:44 AM
Yeah dude, modeling really detailed stuff is going to take a long time. Especially modeling organic stuff. What a pain in the ass.

You could look into a program called Zbrush. Google it and you can get a demo from them. It's a really really nice program for modelling highly detailed stuff and makes organic stuff a breeze (relative to doing it in max).

It also lets you do some nice displacement and normal maps, which makes animating highly detailed models much faster and easier. I hope this helps...

ThomasMahler
01-26-2005, 09:56 PM
Well, good question. I'd say learn about SubDs, how to really model in 3d and try it again. And again. And again. It'll certainly take a lot of time, but it'll pay off.

I recommend the following clips all the time, cause they're just awesome for a newbie. Leave ambient-whisper a nice PM, cause you'll really learn a lotta stuff while watching them!

http://news.cgland.com/ntimg/noorungy/tiger.avi

http://news.cgland.com/ntimg/noorungy/demon.avi

http://news.cgland.com/ntimg/noorungy/ear.avi

http://news.cgland.com/ntimg/noorungy/hand.avi

And some other useful links:

http://maxrovat.sns.hu/subdiv/
http://www.ogle.com/articles/digital_sculpting.pdf

BenJohnson
01-27-2005, 03:40 AM
You could look into a program called Zbrush. Google it and you can get a demo from them. It's a really really nice program for modelling highly detailed stuff and makes organic stuff a breeze (relative to doing it in max).


I know ALL about Zbrush, and I had been playing with the demo pretty extensively. I was amazed at how quickly it yielded finished-looking results. But I got pretty sick of not being able to save as 3D meshes, so I went back to play with MAX.

Besides, I need to cover my bases if I wish to become an animator/modeler - some people consider Zbrush "cheating," whatever that means. I didn't know one could "cheat" in regards to 3D artwork. It makes much more sense artistically - modifying splines and vertices makes it feel so much more artificial.

maxrelics
01-27-2005, 05:39 AM
I got pretty sick of not being able to save as 3D meshes

What do you mean?

Halfling85
01-27-2005, 05:50 AM
Cheating.... Yeah, some people are a bit childish and some are just being humorous...

The reason alot of people call zbrush cheating is because it is so easy to use and get topnotch, high quality results. I just recently started using it, I am a native lightwaver and I love lightwave but frankly it would take me days to do in LW what I can do in hours in Zbrush...

I say that "If the program lets you express your art originally and easily and as painlessly as possible, then you enjoy it all the more, I don't see what is cheating about that, i just think it is stress relief. I think pixologic just has an ingenious product on their hands and alot of peoples minds can't comprehend the idea of easy 3d so they write it off as "cheating" somehow."

Oh and about saving meshes... That used to drive me crazy too... until....

As soon as you are done with a mesh go under the "tools" menu and select "save as" or "save tool", and I believe that will save your mesh for later use or editing...
there is alot of this kind of stuff that doesn't make sense at first until you understand the total flow of zbrush from the start of a project to the end render...

The thing with zbrush is that you have to think a whole lot differently from every other 3D program out there. You have to think outside of the polygon and pixel so to say... Once you master the mindset, the possibilities for organic 3d modelling are endless.

Best bet is to get online and follow tutorials, I am using Zbrush 2.0 and following the "practical manual" tutorials right now and am learning a ton!

Well, hope that helps, just remember to have fun!
Regards,
Half

Daemos
01-27-2005, 06:03 AM
I am still a plain old newbie too 3d, but when i do organic modelling, like face etc. i just make every plane and extrude polygon by polygon, that way i can add details and it will look good.

ThomasMahler
01-27-2005, 06:41 AM
I personally think that people who call ZBrush "cheating" are plain idiots. If everyone would think like that, we'd still live in holes and paint with dirt on walls.

StephanD
01-27-2005, 01:26 PM
That's a rather judgemental thing to say Thomas,you need to respect people's opinions a bit more and/or try to make them see the point rather than calling names for the sake of your karma. ;)

It's not being idiot,it's not knowing better.

ThomasMahler
01-27-2005, 07:04 PM
That's a rather judgemental thing to say Thomas,you need to respect people's opinions a bit more and/or try to make them see the point rather than calling names for the sake of your karma. ;)

It's not being idiot,it's not knowing better.
Yeah, you're right, sorry.

But I heard that ZBrush is "cheating" so many times now... Even at the Machineflesh Challenge, some people came up and said that ZBrush should be tabooed for the challenge, etc.

I can understand if somebody says something like that about Poser, where you actually don't really model, texture or whatever something, but about ZBrush? Come on.

And yeah, I tend to get pretty pissed if I hear the same comments over and over again - Maybe that's because I'm still young and just don't know it better... ;)

BenJohnson
01-28-2005, 12:25 AM
What do you mean?

Well, I'm using the demo version, and from what I understand, I am unable to export the meshes as tools to re-introduce to my scene. I can't really do fine details either because if I switch to a different brush, it becomes a 2.5 image, and rotating is no longer an option.

StephanD
01-28-2005, 01:19 PM
Well, I'm using the demo version, and from what I understand, I am unable to export the meshes as tools to re-introduce to my scene.

You understood correctly,you can't export in the Demo version.


I can't really do fine details either because if I switch to a different brush, it becomes a 2.5 image, and rotating is no longer an option.



That's mainly because you haven't fully understood the way Zbrush works.

Switching brushes will cause the object to go down on the canvas either in the registered or demo version,that's a feature.

What you want to do to use different brushing styles is either paint with different alphas and/or use Projection Master.


You're about to get hooked on Zbrush believe me,just give it more time.

meatpuppet
01-28-2005, 10:54 PM
this question brings to mind something i've been thinking about for a while...

what we do (at the risk of sounding pretentous) is ART. i mean it, real art, like painting, and sculpture, etc. and art is HARD and takes a long time and a lot of hard work. some tools make the job easier in this way or that but at the end of the day... well it was a pretty long day wasn't it?

it usually is.

in my opinion there's simply no way to avoid the fact that to create really high quality work you need to invest a lot of manual labor.



all that being said the absolute best way to improve yourself is to glue your ass to that chair and keep practicing. focus on the results while in the back of your mind watch yourself work. as the end results get better and better you'll start to see ways you can improve not just the quality of your work but also the effeciency of it. before you know it you'll look back on both the early work you did and the way you did it and go: 'what the hell was i thinking?!?!' (i do it all the time and assume i always will...)

everybody in the cg industry i know personally LOVES what they do. i mean it, every single one, and i don't really think that's any kind of coincidence either. on a light day i work 10 hours, on a heavy day... well... but that's ok because i genuinely love sitting in front of maya (or whatever) and making cool stuff.

and the fact that it takes me a really long time doesn't bother me as much as it used to now that i think about it this way.



i guess the point of all this rambling is to just keep going. if you want to be a good modeler enough you will be, it'll just take a while...

good luck,

Halfling85
01-29-2005, 12:56 AM
Word Up Meatpuppet!

True dat', way to preach it brother!!

Just Kidding, but all of your "rambling" had a really good point behind it... high quality work often takes alot of time and IT SHOWS in the final image....
LOTR is a perfect example, if you ever watch any of the extras on the dvd's about the making of, you will see a ridiculously meticulous attention to detail in EVERYTHING!!! it is unbelievable! I mean, all the way to how the fabric was sewn and how the arrows legalos used are different from say the arrows the goblins in moria used. Stuff most people don't even notice or see, but when it comes down to the final product all of those "unseen" details even the ones that really arn't seen mesh together to make some of the most epic movies of our time. I believe that the LOTR movies will be remembered alot longer than say Troy or King Arthur, simply because the people that made them said at the outset that "this is going to take an insane amount of time and work and we are going to put everything that we have into it, into every little detail!"... so there is efficiency, but there is also dedicated hardwork involved.

And as far as loving your job goes, that is so totally important. If you arn't doing what you love then start looking for a different job! Better to make a little less money and love what you do than make all kinds of money and hate every second of it. On the flipside of that is that some stuff (like zbrush) you have to work at for a while before you truly love it. So with that I say give it some time and I have a feeling that if Organic CG is you thing you will really like it.

Well I suppose that is my rambling rant, good luck with Zbrush!,
Half

BenJohnson
01-29-2005, 03:54 AM
Word Up Meatpuppet!
I believe that the LOTR movies will be remembered alot longer than say Troy or King Arthur,


You're comparing Lord of the Rings to Troy and King Arthur??? Gyaaahahahahahaha!!!

Seriously though, I know exactly what you're talking about in terms of detail; just look at Orthanc - it was a "bigature," but they used the model in Fellowship of the Ring when Saruman walked down the stairs to Gandalf; they chroma-keyed him walking down the tiny little carved steps of a miniature - that is amazing.


Well I suppose that is my rambling rant, good luck with Zbrush!,
Half

Thank you, although I still wish to become somewhat more proficient in SubD modeling and such.

pnoland
01-29-2005, 08:44 AM
In no way do I feel that Zbrush is "cheating" it's just another tool to get the job done...but I do think that knowledge of subd modeling beforhand will help out a lot. I mean, you can make a sloppy mesh in program x then make the most beautifull model in Zbrush with it but the original mesh will still be a mess and if you're using dispalcements in an different renderer for animation then you will run into problems. If the basic subd mesh isn't well done then animation will be rough...just plain and simple. For stills it's no biggie, zbrush is just the god of programs for handleing models for high detail and it has a slick render engine that's really nice for doing still work. Look at Meats work for example...that's just F'ing fantastic if you will excuse my abreviated bad language. ;) Generally in "normal" polygonal subd modeling it can take me from an hour or two to days depending what I'm doing and how much detail goes into it. If I'm just bored and bam out a model in my favorite program then I could spend about an hour on it just becuase I was going into the modeling process blind not caring on what I end up with but if I have a specific project in mind I generally take my sweet time on it. For a beginer there is no set time frame on how long it should take you to complete a model...as long as it looks good in the end then it took just long enough.

Halfling85
01-30-2005, 05:41 AM
Just a side note:

You're comparing Lord of the Rings to Troy and King Arthur??? Gyaaahahahahahaha!!!

That was my point, there really is no comparison, the amount of work that went into LOTR blows everything else in the Medieval/Fantasy/EVERYTHING out of the water. Even great movies like Braveheart, Gladiator, (insert awesome high production values quality movie here), really just don't compare with the scope and grandeur of LOTR and how much work went into it. A good movie is mostly good plot/acting and what makes a good movie great is the visual pizazz and all the work that goes into it. Point being, purely from a visual/work point of view, LOTR is dominant over any and everything else and is therefore in a class all by itself....

End of rant, regards,
Halfling

BTW- Comments welcome, i would love to hear from somebody who perhaps has a differing view because I truly know of no other movie that had so much work put into it as well as so much love and devotion from everyone who worked on it. If there is one, inform me so that I can see it! :)

BenJohnson
01-30-2005, 08:37 AM
Just a side note:

BTW- Comments welcome, i would love to hear from somebody who perhaps has a differing view because I truly know of no other movie that had so much work put into it as well as so much love and devotion from everyone who worked on it. If there is one, inform me so that I can see it! :)

I feel the same way, but not even my nerdiest friends would agree with me.

ivo D
02-02-2005, 06:23 PM
modelling a head takes some time...
not every head takes as long as the other.. some head have a lot of detail, or have a special shape.. or need some characteristics you will have to work on for some time.. and tweaks,, tweaks take lots of time also.

in hours, i think a head, a basic head, with everything on it ,would take like 5 to 8 hours.. but when it comes to making it just like something youv drawn etc.. or someones picture.. than it can take twice as long..

the better you get.. the faster it will go, but after a while you want more and better,m and than it takes long again. :D

jmBoekestein
02-02-2005, 07:03 PM
Good planning helps, plan out what kind of detail you want and try to avoid any nasty surprises. Because those are the worst tweaks, just moving a vertex or a hundred is nothing compared to basically rebuilding some parts and trying to reintegrate them into your work.

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