Why making maquettes at all anymore ?

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
Why making maquettes at all anymore ?

Hi, just read the Cinefex article about The Hobbit, and wondered: why was it necessary to create models in zbrush, retopo, print in 3d, scan, clean up ?
Why not work with the first zBrush models in the first place ?
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Old 03 March 2013   #2
IDK but dang are maquettes kind of awesome.
Still nothing beats seeing it in real life.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #3
Another question, why 35 years old plastic star wars ship models looks more believable than current 3d ones?
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Old 03 March 2013   #4
Because for the most part people are still very tactile.
Sometimes people have a hard time imagining something from a computer screen.
A maquette can help them bridge the gap between a concept design and the real thing.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #5
I know, but maquettes would be awesome still if they were required to visualise the creatures before they are rebuilt digitally. If visual effects are so expensive ( aka the Lee theory), why create a zbrush model hat becomes a maquette that becomes a 3d model again ? Seems like the artists dont need a maquette in the first place and do it just for fun...
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Old 03 March 2013   #6
They don't , tbh a lot of redundant stuff is still in there that is not needed. How many times have I seen someone making a partial set when it just get replaced digitally and integrates better. Half the time people want to have real stuff in there to brag about it. We did all this practically. So, it's not real, it does not matter how you do it. The cheapest and best looking way is the best way. End of.
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Old 03 March 2013   #7
Originally Posted by PiotrekM: Another question, why 35 years old plastic star wars ship models looks more believable than current 3d ones?

You need to go rent Prometheus...
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Old 03 March 2013   #8
Originally Posted by Michael32766: Because for the most part people are still very tactile.
Sometimes people have a hard time imagining something from a computer screen.

Yeah. In spite of it being 2013, some people also aren't fully digital adept. Not related to 3D, but I remember reading an article from former Marvel Comics EIC Joe Quesada that said pretty much the same thing. In describing how his pages made it to print, the workflow was something along the lines of...

1. Digital layout at high res in Autodesk SketchBook Pro
2. Digital "pencils" in Photoshop
3. Inking & shading also in PS
4. Then he'd literally print out the finished, but uncolored art.
5. He'd lightbox and manually pencil over what should've been an near finished piece, for the benefit of an inker without digital skills.
6. The traced over pencils would get inked manually
7. The art would then go BACK into the PC to get colored and given some final touches

It's an extremely wasteful way of doing things. Had everybody been on the same page, steps 4-6 would've been unnecessary.

I love the maquettes as much as the next guy. However, digital concept work has its advantages, especially since the end product is digital anyway. I also feel that, given the nature of the medium, clay and sculpey are not without their physical limitations. Getting a more finely detailed digital sculpt usually means more polys. Getting a more detailed physical one can mean scaling up the sculpt, which isn't always feasible.
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Old 03 March 2013   #9
Originally Posted by PiotrekM: Another question, why 35 years old plastic star wars ship models looks more believable than current 3d ones?


Nostalgia.



As for the maquettes, I get wanting to have something physical to show the director, but did they actually scan a 3d printed model? That seems utterly bizarre.
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Old 03 March 2013   #10
Originally Posted by Airflow: You need to go rent Prometheus...


Don't get me wrong, as I loved the ships in Prometheus, but I don't think they looked totally realistic at all. They were more stylised and had quite a graphic edge to them. It's actually one of the few things I liked about the film - it had this very stylised, unreal look to it that actually added to the scifi feel of the film.
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Old 03 March 2013   #11
Originally Posted by leigh: Don't get me wrong, as I loved the ships in Prometheus, but I don't think they looked totally realistic at all. They were more stylised and had quite a graphic edge to them. It's actually one of the few things I liked about the film - it had this very stylised, unreal look to it that actually added to the scifi feel of the film.


/*spoiler alert!*/



I was pretty surprised to find that the collision shot between the Prometheus and the Engineer's ship was entirely digital. I could've sworn that was done practically the first time I saw it.
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Old 03 March 2013   #12
From the quote in Cinefex it says they sculpted in zbrush, printed and added an additional level of detail through physical sculpting - they then handed Weta Digital the sculpted maquettes and the original zbrush information - it doesn't specifically say they re-scanned the maquettes.

But assuming they did rescan - which I'm pretty sure they would have, it seems like the main reason is to get a physical layer or sculptural detail into the sculpt. I guess opinions on this may vary, but I certainly see benefit in seeing something in physical form rather than a 2d representation on a computer screen.

If you look at the work done by Weta Workshop and Weta Digital over the years, you'll see they've got amazing results from using a combination of physical and digital disciplines. The sculptors at Weta Workshop are some of the best of the world, it seems silly to not use that skill, knowledge and experience.

As a side note, even if their workflow was to give just the zbrush sculpt straight to Weta Digital, it's most likely that the topology would have been redone anyway. And that digital sculpt will get several additional digital levels of detail added to it.

If you have a look at Andrew Baker's site http://andbakerdesigns.blogspot.ca/ you can see a few examples of zbrush sculpts being milled out at 1:1 scale - even the trolls!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #13
Originally Posted by Airflow: You need to go rent Prometheus...


You would have to pay me to see this crap again.

And the ship looked..cool...it had this artistic touch, but I don't think It is more believable (in motion) on tv screen than old falcon millenium
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Old 03 March 2013   #14
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