View Full Version : HARDCORE MODELING!: THE DAVID: Body Part

04 April 2006, 12:06 AM
Latest Update Here:

Hi, I am entering the "Hardcore Modeling Challenge: The David" and I will be modeling a body part, the right hand of David. Earlier I was thinking of doing the bust but since time is an issue ill try to start the hand and hopefully finish it.

Here are some references I captured from the Scanview (thanks to the wonderful people at SCGL for making this publicly accessible)

04 April 2006, 06:52 AM
welcome mashru
i m followng ur work and wish that it to be a good hand!


04 April 2006, 06:15 PM
hey mashru!

wow, a pro entering, cool. looking forward to see what you'll come up with. loved all of your work, i've seen over at tweak.


04 April 2006, 03:18 AM

Looking forward to your entry! Good luck!

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 04:27 AM
hi Ali, welcome to my first ever thread :)
hi Rasmus, thanks :)
hi Rebecca, nice of you to drop by and thanks for the spotlight :bounce: . you do a lot for this community and i think i am gonna start participating on the traditional anatomy after my graduation when i get some free time and hopefully contribute some more :D

ok, i started this mini-challenge a little late but i am doing only the hand, so i plan to make it as realistic and identical to the master piece as possible in the given time.

i planned my workflow to be something like this:

1. Create base mesh (all quads) in maya using polygons.
2. Adjust anatomy proportion in maya.
3. Export maya mesh to Zbrush and detail the model.
4. Bring back zbrush mid/high level mesh to maya.
5. Lit model and do final render.

here is what i did for Session 1:

* created a generic hand from 8-sided cylinder.
* made a simple rig for the hand.
* rigged hand and posed it.

hand creation process:

hand rig:

posed hand:

next, i adjust the proportions and anatomy in maya

04 April 2006, 05:17 AM
Nice, I really like your animated gif making of. Cant wait to see this after some work in zbrush.

04 April 2006, 06:53 AM
looks very promising :)

04 April 2006, 10:00 AM
Hi fx 81,

Good start :thumbsup:.

04 April 2006, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by fx81: hi Rebecca, nice of you to drop by and thanks for the spotlight :bounce: . you do a lot for this community and i think i am gonna start participating on the traditional anatomy after my graduation when i get some free time and hopefully contribute some more :D
Hey, you're totally welcome! Thanks so much for the feedback! It's great to see artists with such talent, it looks like you're in full swing ~ will definitely be by to see your great progress! :thumbsup:

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 02:30 PM
hey fx81!

looks like you've signed up for some serious zbrushing, but i'm sure you'll pull it off.


04 April 2006, 07:24 PM
a small update, adjusted overall proportions and some topology modification before i move on to zbrush sculpting.

session 2:

* frozen hand rig.
* created additional edge loops for creases and nails.
* adjusted proportions.
* created simple base for better presentation.

next i begin zbrush sculpting.

04 April 2006, 05:09 AM
ok, here is the first zbrush update:

next, more zbrush scupting and tweaking final details.

04 April 2006, 05:15 AM
Top notch work. The veins looks remarkable. I don't do much organic modeling myself, but zbrush seems like the perfect tool. Is it hard to work with?

Keep it up!

04 April 2006, 05:29 AM
Ahh man, this really makes me want to start up my zbrush demo. Great work.

04 April 2006, 05:34 AM
hi thanks guys :)
well, zbrush is what i would say a digital sculptors dream come true(despite some workflow issues). the trick for a smooth surface flow in zbrush is to work you way up. ie. only go to higher sub-d level when you have used the current sub-d level to the fullest. it also helps to have a good topology in your base mesh to begin with otherwise you can end up with abnormal surface dents. it also helps if you practice your traditional drawing/sculpting side by side. because at the end zbrush is just painting in 3d and nothing else.

Rod Seffen
04 April 2006, 07:04 AM
Great work. Zbrush is at least faster than poly modeling.
Vey minor crits are that your ring and pinky fingers are bent more than the scupture and the head of the ulna ( I think - the arm bone that meets the base of the thumb) is more pronounced in the sculpture.

04 April 2006, 07:35 AM
That's looking great!

04 April 2006, 10:53 AM
i'll admire your eye for details and great topology. the veins looks very good.
love it.


04 April 2006, 11:01 AM
aawwssoomm! good work! you have a lot of time to make it perfect :)

04 April 2006, 04:18 PM
hithats nice
but i can c some problems at top of the fingers!
nice progress

04 April 2006, 08:21 PM
hey Mashru!

just got a little question for you.

how much of your zbrush modeling, do you do in "quick" mode compared to high-res mode? -for example do you do the veins in "quick" mode?

think that's all for now:)


04 April 2006, 09:34 PM
Mashru, very nice work. Good to see a student putting out solid work.
Some minor crits:
As everyone has said about the fingers...
An additional suggestion is to check the folds of the muscles on the top (wrist side) of the palm. The folds you have in the fleshy parts seem too deep. Since you are going for photoreal, I think you are a little too exaggerated in depth for now.

Keep going, this is looking great. That animated gif you made of the hand was great. Good reference material.


04 April 2006, 10:31 PM

nice workflow and very clean lines!

04 April 2006, 12:42 AM
Nicely Done! Don't Stop, you're on a roll!

one thing that i'm curious of, are you modeling the base mesh in a T-Pose, rigging and posing it and then exporting it to Z-Brush to detail? if so, if you need to do proportional adjustments later on in the process, do you think you'll have to tweak the Z-Brush model or could you do that in the 3d app you're using?

04 April 2006, 05:43 AM
thanks, i noticed those two fingers while i did the zbrush session 1. i fixed most of it this session. anything else i can always fix before final render within maya with deformers.

i mostly turn off quick mode. for this project i have quick mode turned off all the time.

thanks a lot :) and i will watch out for those things you mentioned.

if you look at the hand modeling gif i posted i modeled it in a slightly relaxed pose. i rigged it at the same pose and then posed the rig to match david.
after some additional topology mod i exported that mesh to zbrush.
if i need to make any adjustments i can do it in different ways.
for example, i can keep sculpting in zbrush and get all the details right and then export a displacement map and a low res version. then in maya i can modify or repose the low res mesh and apply the displacement map.
i can also paint mask and rotate unmasked parts within zbrush.
last but not least, i can export a mid to high level mesh from zb and modify that in maya with any number of deformers which i find the most effective for me.

thanks everyone for the C&C it helps.

here is session 3 update:

*made correction to the fingers.
*more detailing mostly on the back of the hand and finger nails.

i still have lot of zbrush work but i may not have any updates for the next few days.
my graduation ceremony is only a week away and i have some other thing i need to take care of. however i think i will be able to finish this way before deadline so im happy :D

04 April 2006, 04:38 PM
Tha'ts a very impressive right hand. I was thinking about getting Modo, but this hand has got me thinking I should give Zbrush a try instead. Allow me to ask you a few questions::

I'm assuming you've used a regular 3D app before switching to Zbrush right? What is the learning curve like jumping into Zbrush, and what are the pros and cons from your experience between the two?.

04 April 2006, 03:12 AM
thanks :)
i have seen some good models done in modo. so dont take it that zbrush makes good model. they are just tools and everyone has their own preference.
my first 3d software was infini-D by metaCreations on an old mac about 7yrs ago. then i moved on to a pc with 3ds max 2.0. then about 3 yrs ago i started learning maya at sva and i was lucky to have some talented instructors. i only started zbrush about a year ago. so i am still learning but having done poly/nurbs/patch modeling in all those softwares helps me a lot. also i strongly believe that practicing traditional drawing/sculpting skill helps tremendously in zbrush since all you have to do in brush :)
as for pros and cons of using zbrush(isnt that what your asking?)
*fast workflow
*high poly limit(relatively)
*advanced texturing tool
*huge community supporting each other
*we tend to ignore basic form/anatomy
*we get carried away with details like wrinkles/etc
*there are lot of happy accidents if you know what i mean.

04 April 2006, 03:19 AM
ive just sat here comparing it to the scanview model and all i can say is congratulations, thats as about as accurate as one could hope for. well done.

04 April 2006, 02:55 PM
TWO WEEKS TO GO! (MAY 15th):Hardcore Modeling Challenge: THE DAVID! (
Just a reminder


05 May 2006, 04:17 AM
thanks Amin

ok, session 4:

*more zbrush tweaking to get all the details accurate
*lighting and shading test in maya

next, tweating in zbrush continues and more render tests.

Rod Seffen
05 May 2006, 07:52 AM
It's very good, but there are some differences, (if you want to be pedantic, and I can tell you're a perfectionist, so you are, by nature, pedantic)).
THe thumb base isn't fat enough, iot should be more curved, and there is a tendon missing, the knuckle is too low compared to the fold, the head of the ulna should be more pronounced, the middle finger is bent inncorrectly and it's the first joint is too short, the flesh at the base of the little finger should be fatter. The third and forth finger are also not in exactly the same pose as the statue.

05 May 2006, 07:52 AM
hey fx81!

this still looks really good. haven't got any crits for your model.
the only nitpicking thing i'll have to say is, i think you should give the shadows a few more samples (-to get rid of the noisy edge).

man! i gotta find some time to get back my own...


05 May 2006, 11:33 AM
Render looks nice :D Care to share the settings?

05 May 2006, 11:51 AM
thanks, those are exactly the kind of crits i am looking for since this challenge demands perfection.

thanks, this are wip render with low samples for everything. final renders will have highest samples :D

ill post a screen of light setup later, but basically it one directional light with GI and FG enabled inside a dome. really simple.

05 May 2006, 12:38 PM
yeah - :) looks greate!!

05 May 2006, 09:33 PM
another zbrush update:
made most of the correction suggested above.

the last two fingers and some other things i can keep tweaking to infinity but i think im am gonna give it one last tweak after this then do final renders.

05 May 2006, 09:12 PM
ok, some minor corrections to the anatomy and another test render
session 5:

*final(i think) tweaking in zbrush
*test render in maya

05 May 2006, 02:39 AM
Very nice Hand!! Test render in maya, what's your light set-up like, if you don't mind me asking.

05 May 2006, 03:17 AM
i have nothing fancy going on with the render, but here are some screens including shader setting and GI n FG setting to make it all crystal:)

the highres mesh inside a dome with opening on the top

simple custom shader network:

GI n FG settings:

05 May 2006, 04:45 AM
So only one light huh? I have a question, does the scale of your model effect the way GI and FG react with it?

And Many, Many thx for the screen shots and settings.

Rod Seffen
05 May 2006, 06:38 AM
No crits left, just excellent work)
I'd love to have seen what you would have done with the entire figure.

05 May 2006, 10:01 AM
fantastic mashru
u done it nicely
no crit
u do that nice
i try to model out my head with just poly but that so hard!
may be i continue it with zbrsuh for more details as u do


05 May 2006, 04:09 PM
i dont think the scale matters in this case, here is a test render with everything scaled from 1.0 to 0.05, ie. 5% of original scale.
sometimes if you have a certain number of photons emiting and your object gets exposed to fewer number of photons then you might get artifacts. but i dont have any photon emission in my scene.
image link (

thanks, yes, i would have attempted the whole thing if it only was few months ago. right now im done with 4 years of college and waiting to graduate and find a job. so i got a lot of thing on my mind and cant quite give full attention to this. just participating to have a little fun and also create somthing new for my portfolio.

thanks, well poly modeling is hard, but i would say if you want to get better in zbrush a prior knowledge of pure poly modeling is useful. its a step by step process.

05 May 2006, 05:21 PM
just made a small turntable. its 1.6mb quicktime H.264 format(quicktime 7 required)

link to streaming video:

link to download:

05 May 2006, 05:39 PM
nice work :) look grate!

Rod Seffen
05 May 2006, 05:59 PM
Yep, that's as close as you could reasonably expect to get, which is probably why doing a body part was the best option here, it would be impossible to get the full figure copied that exactly in the time available.

05 May 2006, 09:02 PM
i dont think the scale matters in this case, here is a test render with everything scaled from 1.0 to 0.05, ie. 5% of original scale.
sometimes if you have a certain number of photons emiting and your object gets exposed to fewer number of photons then you might get artifacts. but i dont have any photon emission in my scene.

What do you mean by you don't have any photon emission? I'm not very good with Mental Ray, but I thought in order to get GI that you need to turn on photon emission in the light attribute.

Oh, great model, I know I've said that already, but it's really that good.

And you a beginner?!! Stop kidding around man. *compliment*

05 May 2006, 09:44 PM
your right, i could turn off GI and i would still get the same result. basically im just using the FG. i must have had the GI turned before when i was testing with photons.

05 May 2006, 11:10 PM
Oh good, cause you had me going there for a sec. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 08:40 AM
Looks very clean. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 11:01 AM
Final Submission: Hardcore Modeling Mini-Challenge: The David (Right Hand) by fx81

I hope i am not out of time, anyways here is the final render. My main objective was to creat a replica, not just model the whole thing for the sake of modeling it but appreciate the master piece and understand it. This was a good excercise for learning hand anatomy and i also got to appreciate Michalengelo's art more than before. Thanks everyone for critiques and comments.
HIGH RESOLUTION (1200x1600):





Top and Bottom:

Turntable :

05 May 2006, 02:27 PM
WOW..very nice modeling fx81 :thumbsup:


07 July 2006, 09:03 PM
That's looking pretty good FX81,

Thank you for the little hand movie tutorial.... cheers


10 October 2006, 11:21 AM
really great.....:thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 01:43 PM
Nice final render.

I will spotlight it on the next Hardcore plug.


11 November 2006, 08:22 AM
Congratulations Mashru! Exellent modeling showcase! Definitely Top Tier modeling.:bounce:

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