View Full Version : HARDCORE MODELING: VitruvianMan: Full Body & Shading - Stahlberg

07 July 2006, 05:37 PM
Ok not much interest in this one so far, but I didn't enter in any of the other two and I thought this older guy would be a perfect test for Mudbox (seeing as it's used mostly for monsters, lizards and old men). :)

I thought I might also make a tutorial of it one day, so I made a lot of screenshots, here are the first ones. I start off in Maya, to make a very low-res guy that I can re-use in the future for other Mudbox projects. At this stage I'm using other references, not Vitruvian man.

07 July 2006, 06:55 PM
Wow, I definately will be watching a pro like yourself during this competition. Good luck.

07 July 2006, 07:16 PM
Thanks! :)
Here's some more screenshots. Just kept extruding... since Mudbox prefers quads for now, extruding from a cube is the surest way to stay that way.

When it comes to the foot, it has to get a bit more complex, to avoid stretched and distorted quads. I extruded the leg until it met the floor, then changed direction and started extruding from the two forward-facing quads.

Here's the finished model, took about 3-4 hours. Starting the UV mapping (since I'm going to try to texture him too). Tried a simple Auto map, would be ok for Mudbox and procedural textures, but not for hand painting in Photoshop...

07 July 2006, 08:25 PM
nice! very quick progress.
you said your gonna texture him, realistic skin texture or something else ?

07 July 2006, 09:53 PM
Funny coincidence - I'm also just starting on a human sculpt in Mudbox, although not for this challenge :) I'll watch this thread with great interest...

07 July 2006, 10:19 PM
Great progress so far! I haven't had a chance to play with mudbox yet, I've only seen screenshots of it. I guess I'll be learning a lot from this thread. I'm so Excited!

07 July 2006, 02:21 AM
Hey, Tamas, excellent. :D

Here are some more screenshots, no Mudbox yet, wrestling with those damn UV's. Typical of cg, that something that actually has nothing to do with modeling takes longer than the actual modeling...
I did a cylindrical unwrap on the arms, split the back of the body in two and pasted the bits, plus other bits, to the front part, then I noticed the seam was in the wrong place on the leg and had to split off and move some more bits...

07 July 2006, 02:26 AM
you said your gonna texture him, realistic skin texture or something else ?
I'll render him in Mental Ray with the misss_fast_skin, and some skin textures, if that doesn't work I'll scrap it and make it look more sculptural like marble - I have a suspicion it might not work visually. But at least I'll have fulfilled the requirements of the category I chose. :)

07 July 2006, 03:35 AM
lol...I will w/out a doubt keep an eye on this should be interesting and educational as well....:thumbsup:

07 July 2006, 09:44 AM
The finished UV's...

I used an auto-rigger - The SetupMachine for Maya 2 - to rig the guy, and pose him according to the daVinci reference. (Still in Maya)

Strangely, as you can see, I found that Vitruvian man proportions don't really work as advertised, they are a little bit off. :) When legs are rotated as in the picture, they don't match the length of the picture. And I don't think I made a mistake with the proportions of the picture or the guy, as you can see he fits pretty closely in the square and the circle in his neutral stance. Also, I don't think I made a mistake with the placement of the pivot point for the bone, since it would have to be either centered in his groin or far down his thigh for the leg to fit inside the circle at that amount of bend. Weird. I don't really know what to do now, it feels somehow wrong to cheat and shorten the leg, as this chart somehow through the years has come to symbolize perfection itself.

07 July 2006, 12:23 PM
if it was a real human may be he would be able to fit his legs in the circle. you know that no rigging can immitate how human joints orient in real life so simply rotating the leg may not work. i think its ok to deform it to make it fit into the circle.

Rod Seffen
07 July 2006, 02:33 PM
Like I have been saying, Da Vinci is totally over-rated, and that drawing is pointless. What is it supposed to mean anyway, the leg does not move in a perfect arc, and neither does the arm, he's simply drawn it that way to make it fit neatly into his little square and circle, and the proportions he shows are the proportions of but one generic human, and not even a particularly average or aesthetically pleasing one in my view.
It's a meaningless drawing, why it has become so famous, I have no idea.

07 July 2006, 02:41 PM
Weird. I don't really know what to do now, it feels somehow wrong to cheat and shorten the leg, as this chart somehow through the years has come to symbolize perfection itself.

I think I'd model it correct and then at the last minute shorten the legs in Photoshop.

07 July 2006, 03:31 PM
seems like the feet is overlaping the circle by an inch or two only, and a real human made of flesh and bones has flexible joints and would possibly be able to fit into it. i dont think it would be cheating.

07 July 2006, 03:35 PM
I think that fx81 is right. I mean, if you add weight to either leg it should compress just a tad bit. I think it'll be fine if you want to adjust it for the final piece.

07 July 2006, 05:05 PM
if it was a real human may be he would be able to fit his legs in the circle.
I don't think so. There are 3 joints between the sole of the foot and the hip, hipjoint, kneejoint, ankle. If the leg is locked perfectly straight, and the pelvis does NOT move at all, which is what the drawing shows, nothing in the chain is flexible at all except the thin layer of cartiledge in each joint. Perhaps the whole leg can compress a millimeter or two, the sole of the foot is soft, and the arch of the foot is slightly springy so perhaps a few more millimeters there. But - why should it compress more when raised? When it's pointing straight down it should already be compressed to maximum right?

You can check the mismatch yourself by opening the Vitruvian man in Photoshop, selecting the vertical leg, Transform > Rotate and place the pivot point where you think the hip might be. Then rotate (no scaling or moving). Try different placements of the pivot point.

Yeah, I guess I'll just cheat like daVinci did. :D

07 July 2006, 05:12 PM
Another screen: started base geometry for hair and sex organs. As for the dual body thing, I think I'll try modeling it in the same scene file. I'll model the arms and legs finished, then copy, paste, flip and rotate for the second body. (The raised legs there are just place holders.)

07 July 2006, 05:22 PM
I'm sure someone has already used math to figure out if its proportional. When thinking about it, I thought that fx-81 was right. But then again, I know nothing about the circle and the square, what do they mean, maybe davinci was just trying to make some kind of incorrect asumption about the body.

Btw... Your off to a great start. I'm curious as to how you'll do the hair.

07 July 2006, 05:39 PM
I'm curious as to how you'll do the hair.
Yeah, me too. :)

07 July 2006, 05:54 PM
stahlberg, why didnt you use the unfold option in maya. would have saved you heaps of time..

edit: this was my 666 post.

07 July 2006, 06:56 PM
I use it all the time, but more like a tweak, like Relax. I place the UV's roughly where I want them, then I Unfold (with a low 'intensity' setting), then Relax. over and over.

If I just use it on a surface without any other adjustments it will place the seam randomly, usually be asymmetrical, and may also produce lots of overlapping UV's. Further, I've noticed that often Unfold will make the UV's uneven and I have to stretch and pull them manually to optimize them. This happened on the head in this model.

07 July 2006, 10:00 PM
Like I have been saying, Da Vinci is totally over-rated, and that drawing is pointless.

Cool, dude, that's the attitude.
Too bad I won't live for 500 years to see if anyone remembers you at all.

07 July 2006, 10:03 PM
Hey Steven, have you tried Unfold3D yet? In our experience its the single best UV unfolding app out there, it's so good it even justifies the high price... Best thing is, one mid-sized studio can usually do with a single floating license because you only use it for a short time.

07 July 2006, 08:27 AM
Hm, I've read the name once or twice perhaps and not thought more about it, I'll google it and have a close look, thanks. :D

07 July 2006, 06:37 PM
Finally had some time between projects... this shows the end of the Maya modeling, ready for Mudbox. I could have done more on the face in Maya but I wanted to try doing it as much freehand as possible. I'll add the eyeballs later.

The first import into MB looked weird when subdivided, I guess there must have been a triangle or 5-side somewhere despite my precautions - probably along the centerline somewhere, after welding.

Instead of wasting time searching for it I simply subdivided the mesh one time and it worked fine. :)

The first hour or so in MB (I'm really new to it so it's a bit slow):

No more time for now.


07 July 2006, 07:05 PM
nice update. it may be too early to crit but the feet look smaller than it should compared to the hands and the rest of the body? looking at the previous page the length of the feet in your maya model seems to be smaller than the diagram.

07 July 2006, 07:21 PM
looking good so far...I have faith that this will come out just fine...the hardest thing on this challenge is the hair I reckon....good job !!

07 July 2006, 11:50 PM
Hi, Stahlberg.

I love your works. You seem to master both 2D and 3D, I think, that's truly amazing.

What's MB? Do you mean Zbrush? I just wonder what do you use for sculpting your 3d model.

07 July 2006, 02:04 AM
MB is Mudbox, yeah sort of like Zbrush.

07 July 2006, 01:27 PM
Hehe, the amazing Stahlberg participating in the Vitruvian man modeling challenge! I would have never guessed.

I will definitely keep an eye on this thread. It will be interesting to watch your progress. :)
Looking forward to more.

07 July 2006, 07:47 PM stahlberg, why didnt you use the unfold option in maya. would have saved you heaps of time..

edit: this was my 666 post.
:) ...666 ? Don't bother me man. Call me later.

Anyway. Nice maya tutorial. What he is doing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Show it, than i'll show my vitruvian man to compare with your one. I learned a little from your tutorials.

At starting stage and first subdivision level:
My one at the first level / Wireframe View ( :

On days as vitruvian :) . The challenge is mine ;).. I know what S.S.'ll show at next level to kick us and i wonder what my Render Man 'll show. :banghead: Who made Render Man Programable Shaders Interface ... Only Gritz And Apodaca understands it in 100%.

07 July 2006, 05:42 AM
What he is doing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?
What do you mean, what am I doing? I live here. :)

On days as vitruvian :) . The challenge is mine ;)..
I'm not sure what that means either, but if you want to join the mini challenge please do so, the more the merrier. Read the rules (no previously existing models etc) and open your own thread here. Good luck and have fun. :)

fx81 - yeah you're right about the feet, the reference I used for the lowres body was a guy with fairly small feet. :)

07 July 2006, 06:18 AM
My friend Stalberg is right.

The rules clearly say that you have to model from scratch your model so is elegible for the voting thread.

Trust me you learn A LOT from these challenges.


07 July 2006, 06:49 AM
I think he's making a joke and saying that the model he made (of vitruvian man) is better than yours. But maybe not, he needs to re read his posts because he talks like everyone knows what he's saying.

07 July 2006, 01:26 PM
I'm not sure what he's talking about either, but great progress so far. I would love to see how much detail you can push with Mudbox. I'm just curious, is it similar to Zbrush where you just kind of paint on to it with an artisan type of tool?

07 July 2006, 01:55 PM
Thanks! :)

is it similar to Zbrush where you just kind of paint on to it with an artisan type of tool?
yes that's right. You can probably find more info about it at the link I posted earlier.

07 July 2006, 08:24 PM
Just a heads up!

HRC #3: Vitruvian Man TWO WEEKS TO GO! (


07 July 2006, 03:18 PM
Just a heads up!

HRC #3: Vitruvian Man ONE WEEK TO GO! (Monday Night July 24th) (


07 July 2006, 06:56 PM
Crap I have NO time at all left for fun things right now. Maybe I can get a few hours in the next couple days, we'll see... but by now I've probably forgotten most of how to work in Mudbox. Oh well, it's past 3 pm, time to go to bed...

07 July 2006, 01:30 AM
How much time you need?


07 July 2006, 12:01 PM
No it's ok, sorry I panicked a bit there with only 2 days left... but I realize it's not the end of the world... :)
We must be fair and let the deadline be the deadline and not move it just for me (unless other people also want to move it). After all, I should be glad and grateful I have lots of work, not whine about it. :D

Anyway, here's what I finally managed to do, today. Still not worked on the hands and feet at all. This is level 3, I think I have one higher subd level to go.

07 July 2006, 01:50 AM
Ok I'm really running out of time, it's 9:47 am here and the deadline is noon (right?). I was up til 4 am last night... :) This is what I have now, I'm working on the background circle and square. I'm trying to follow Leonardo's original drawing as closely as possible, that's why the legs look a bit funny. Well, that and I ran out of time.
This is level 4 on the body, 5 on the face.

07 July 2006, 03:57 AM
Ok, done

higher res version (

07 July 2006, 03:59 AM
I got that one up with 3 minutes to spare :) next I'll take some screenshots orthos and closeups etc

07 July 2006, 03:59 AM
LOL....that's sweet looking! awesome job man!!

that's interesting...cause it's only 12am to me....there's still 12hrs left....

07 July 2006, 04:27 AM
As you can see, the body needs one more level of detail, especially the hands and feet, and the general random bumpiness needs to be cleaned up a lot. I might do that later for fun, if I get time.
I also had no time to model anything that wouldn't be seen in the rendering, like the back of the model... and his left ankle looks broken in the sideview I just noticed...

07 July 2006, 04:50 AM
it's only 12am to me....there's still 12hrs left....

LOL that's almost cheating!

07 July 2006, 04:54 AM
lol....maybe....but I didn't join this it's cool :D you mind if I asked about your lightingSetup? it tends to be a weak point of mine...some pointers from a master would be nice :bowdown: .....thx!!

07 July 2006, 05:11 AM
Hehe thanks, but it's really simple...
First add the FG. In this scene I used a fairly light environment color, almost white, other than that it's the default settings you get when you click "Finalgatherpreview" in the quality presets.
Then, one single spotlight, in the traditional position up high off to one side. I'd say about 5 meters high, a meter or two to the side. (Usually nicest effect to shift the light off toward the side opposite of the camera, for this kind of 'portrait' photo.)
Switch on raytraced shadows, lower the intensity to 0.5, and - optional - switch on Mental Ray area light (for this I used default quality settings, but made sure not to make it a very huge area light, just about the size of the guys head). Very quick setup.

07 July 2006, 06:31 AM
woah! loved the way you fitted him into the circle and square! nice 3d thinking:thumbsup: and grt work....well! its Stahlberg after all :wise:

07 July 2006, 03:45 PM
I love the way you got the wobblyness of the drawing into your model and yet managed to avoid the whole thing becoming like porridge.
Interesting take on the chin... I might steal that :D

Congrats on getting it done on time too!... 4 in the morning!? I wish I had that kind of stamina.

07 July 2006, 05:50 PM
HCR MINI-Challenge #3: Vitruvian Man THE VOTING THREAD WILL GO LIVE Thursday night (
Until then I am NOT looking.


07 July 2006, 09:38 PM
Beautiful work... capturing the line flow of the original image. The Master would be proud. There's even personality in the face. Any chance of some wirefrakes for the details?

07 July 2006, 03:56 PM
So nice one
it looks that MB is a great software
you done a well job


07 July 2006, 08:07 AM
*likes alot*
Hope to see this one evolve further, not that I have been digging that deep, but still the first male model I have seen from you.

Cool to see all hardcore-modellers workin all night:)

07 July 2006, 10:17 AM
Very creative with the circle and square Steven! I knew this category had potential to unleash some creativity and originality....and this piece proves it.

Edit: I looked at the other vitruvians and none are finished and there are so few.....what happened to this one? Maybe there needs to be more variety between old/ancient and newer/modern hardcore things???

07 July 2006, 05:51 PM
:thumbsup:Thanks for posting a detailed WIP of the modelling process of Virtuvian Man...I am just curious, why u didn't opt for the detailing in Zbrush?..

Great Modeling Skills:)

07 July 2006, 06:57 PM
Thanks guys!
why u didn't opt for the detailing in Zbrush?..
I don't have ZBrush, I've tried it but I hated the interface, the navigation, the workflow... Mudbox is much better for me, as natural as breathing. :)

It seems people in the voting thread are confused by the time stamp on my final rendered post. But in the very next post I write:
I got that one up with 3 minutes to spare
Not sure why that's unclear, or maybe they think I'm lying... here at my end the time stamp in question reads: 11:57 am Monday. If you check the time difference to Malaysia you'll get the same number.

08 August 2006, 05:29 AM
I don't have ZBrush, I've tried it but I hated the interface, the navigation, the workflow... Mudbox is much better for me, as natural as breathing. :)

Hi Stahlberg.....Is it true what you said? that you've tried Zbrush but Mudbox is that much easier to use? ( well at least for you )....I've heard that even tho Zbruse is awesome, that the interface can be a lil hard to get use would you rate jumping into Mudbox against tackling Zbrush? user friendly is Mudbox?

I notice that's it's still in the beta stage, do they still need beta testers? sweet it would of been to have a program like this for the David challenge rather than maya....I mean maya's great!!....but extruding face after face can get tiring, not to mention boring....hehe.....

08 August 2006, 05:02 AM!


08 August 2006, 03:08 PM
Nice work there Mr.Stahlberg.
Great WIP.. Interesting observations about the proportions of the sketch!
Your anatomy is looking pretty tight.. nice ribs/abdominal area.

So, it looks like MB is an interesting solution..
Is Bay Raitt involved in MB at all?

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