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View Full Version : Cinema 4D or ZBrush (or other) starting human figure modeling


Kuroyume0161
04-15-2009, 12:59 AM
I've done 3D modeling in the past (getting distant) which includes heads, hands, plenty of non-organics. But I want to start learning how to do a complete human form. I have Ballistic "Character Modeling" as well as 3D World 105 'Body Shop' (as well as other issues). For books, I only have "3-D Human Modeling and Animation" which was later found to be a poor resource (no edge loops and such).

1. Cinema 4D (R11) or ZBrush 3.1 as well? I realize that the base mesh can be done in Cinema 4D but is ZBrush a good direction to go for detailing and finer sculpting to match the target reference? I hear great things about it but don't want to invest money and time if it cannot be instrumental in the workflow.

2. Any good complete tutorials on human figure modeling (with edge loops and other modern concepts) that aren't too application-centric?

Thanks,
Robert

Psyk0
04-15-2009, 04:49 AM
Zbrush is such a powerful tool, i wouldnt want to go back to simply modeling with polygons all the time. If you have some experience with edgeloops and have studied anatomy you owe it to yourself to try zbrush (or mudbox).

In my opinion, you shouldn't rush into sculpting if you are just starting to get familiar with anatomy and edgeloops...that doesnt mean you cant have fun with sculpting but take time to perfect your skills in a traditional 3D package.

1. Hell yes! zbrush will make detailing high poly meshes a breeze, it's like sculpting with virtual clay, if you are serious about zbrush i highly recommend buying a wacom tablet (i think the cheapest one is the "bamboo").

2. I havent found a complete edgeloop tutorial for humans. I learned edgeloops by creating heads and the technique can be applied to any object you can think of, including anatomy.

Kuroyume0161
04-16-2009, 10:23 PM
Thanks for your response, Psyk0. :)

Sounds to me like ZBrush should wait until I've polished my human modeling skills more. At least this is the advice given in some other threads.

I've come across a couple of tutorial DVDs out there:

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/zpe01.html
(http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/zpe01.html)
http://www.freedomofteach.com/products/dvds/dvd_human_anatomy

Unfortunately, they're both for Maya. I'm using Cinema 4D, as already mentioned. Might be portable to some extent but it is hard to find good information on this type of thing.

For instance, Stahlberg does courses here (Cybergirl) but I don't see any upcoming and, again, I'd be struggling to convert Maya features/workflows into C4D features/workflows.

And there are a couple (older) threads here that discuss head or body modeling with edge loops. The main problem that I see is that you have several dozen people with several dozen different opinions on how to do this, interspersed with beginners and sidetracks. It would be very difficult to learn to paint if you had ten teachers each trying to show you a different painting style or approach at the same time on the same painting. Capiche? ;)

I'll have to keep digging.

Thanks,
Robert

Psyk0
04-17-2009, 04:41 AM
Actually Zack Petroc's tutorial is more geared towards Zbrush, Maya is only used briefly to create the base mesh (its a very simple box modeling approach that can be done in any software). He does import it back into maya once the sculpting is done to create the actual edgeloops, but you can do that in zbrush now, altho i havent used the Zbrush topo tools for a full project, it was quite easy and worked great.

What you want to do first is learn the tools in C4D, that is the most fundamental thing you can start with. I could barely use 3D max when i started, until i found a tutorial about the tools themselves. Max and most 3D software have a crazy amount of useless stuff if you are just focusing on modeling. When you have learned/trained with the tools, you will be able to transfer most of the tutorials to your package (or at least have a good grasp of the process), unless it's an application specific task.

I totally agree that having all these different approaches can be quite confusing, and we all come up with our own edgeloop methods. After a while you come to realize that the most important skill you can develop as a beginner is understanding surfaces...now this might sound strange, but when i started 3D and i was away from the computer, i used to model objects in my head! (visualizing topology).

Sounds crazy right? (i'm not the only who's done this btw :P) but if you think about it, technically, it couldnt be simpler to model objects or organics...i mean in 3D max all i do is create a polygon, select an edge then hold down shift + move to extrude...that's the core of it, rest is just manipulating, cutting, welding when needed.

There are some established edgeloops for human faces, but what are you going to do if the creature you are modeling doesnt exist and can't possibly have "topology studies" that you can use? That's right, you come up with your own topology! hence the importance of understanding surfaces ;).

BUZZFX
04-17-2009, 07:19 AM
Robert, hi, if you are using a mac, then IMO, I would definitely stay away from ZBrush. The current version does not support displacement with no E.T.A. for a fix and Pixo is the worst company IMO at releasing timely updates. Having said this, I have owned ZBrush 3 and I love the way Zbrush feels when sculpting. ZBrush currently has more features than Mudbox but that could change with a release or two. With Pixologic it's definitely a love/hate relationship.

I have not tried Mudbox but I am leaning towards it just because of it's intuitive UI (ZBrush's UI is something you'll either really like or dislike) and I believe Autodesk will be better (hopefully) at providing regular releases but the price of Mudbox is steeper. Autodesk has just released the mac version and a demo is supposed to be forthcoming.

My advice is try the demos and hang out at their respective forums before you make your decision but either way I really think you'll be hooked once you try it. :)

Kuroyume0161
04-17-2009, 04:37 PM
Thanks, Psyk0.

The Cinema 4D tools are known to me as I've used them - just not as much recently having been more involved in plugin development. It'll be more a matter of reacquaintence than anything. My worry, as you noted, are 'application-specific tasks'. Spending $50-80 on a tutorial and then being stopped in your tracks because of that would be an unfortunate expenditure of time and money. The best human modeling tutorials for Cinema 4D pale in comparison to those for Maya, Max, XSI, and so on. If I can find a good free one for another application, at least the only expenditure is time.

For now (and probably for some time), I want to concentrate on human forms only. I've been known to do creatures in my (non-digital) artwork in the past but my main focus is usually the human subjects. I understand the need to understand surfaces. It is more the need to understand topology for animation and posing (rigging and morphing) so that the final model both looks like what I envisioned (or the reference) and can be made to work in more advanced usages.

When I did a 'morphable' nihontou (Japanese sword), there was quite a bit of painstaking consideration put into the design so that the blade could have its length, bend, and shape changed to various types and styles - using the same mesh, of course. It was quite a bit of work and that was just a sword! :scream: Of course, this was a sword that could be many variations but still...

Well, let me keep poking about before starting to prepare for the project ahead.

Thanks,
Robert

Kuroyume0161
04-17-2009, 04:43 PM
Robert, hi, if you are using a mac, then IMO, I would definitely stay away from ZBrush. The current version does not support displacement with no E.T.A. for a fix and Pixo is the worst company IMO at releasing timely updates. Having said this, I have owned ZBrush 3 and I love the way Zbrush feels when sculpting. ZBrush currently has more features than Mudbox but that could change with a release or two. With Pixologic it's definitely a love/hate relationship.

I have not tried Mudbox but I am leaning towards it just because of it's intuitive UI (ZBrush's UI is something you'll either really like or dislike) and I believe Autodesk will be better (hopefully) at providing regular releases but the price of Mudbox is steeper. Autodesk has just released the mac version and a demo is supposed to be forthcoming.

My advice is try the demos and hang out at their respective forums before you make your decision but either way I really think you'll be hooked once you try it. :)

Luckily, I would be using my Windows system (quadcore, 8GB, 64-bit) instead of my iMac (dualcore, 2GB, 64-bit). While I've heard of Mudbox, I know little of it. Most of the time, it seems to be ZBrush receiving all of the acclaim by the 'professionals'. But, yes, it would be wise to try both (and some alternatives if any) to settle on the best suited for myself. I did the same when looking at general 3D CG applications. Maya lost mainly due to the cost at the time and the steep learning curve. Lightwave3D, while completely capable, eventually lost due to hating the two app interface and the sort of jumbledness of its features. Let's just say that Lightwave didn't work for me.

Demos away! ;)

Thanks,
Robert

CombineMind
05-27-2009, 10:30 PM
I like the loop methods in this book, it is for maya obviously; though most of the geometry concepts can be applied in anything.

http://books.google.com/books?id=VUGWiNTOMUQC&dq=maya+8+character+modeling&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=lb0dSvnnO5TstgOI8e2QCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4



This character tutorial was made for max but i followed it fine using maya, thus im assuming it's concepts would carry over to any modeling application for the most part.

http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials/max/joanofarc/joanmenu.asp


Here's a facial modeling tutorial that has some good edge flow techniques:

http://www.thehobbitguy.com/tutorials/polymodeling/index.html


There's also a stickied thread in the modeling board that has a million pages of user submitted tutorials, I'm sure you can dig up some great stuff from there.

-Dan

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