Some Newby questions about mudbox

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  09 September 2013
I don't know much about the portfolios here. I think red means you have something in it. Blue means you don't.

Thanks for the compliments on my reel. It is mostly old stuff. But I needed to put something together to drum up some more work.

I started out rigging and animating in LightWave then Blender, then XSI and now I prefer MotionBuilder/Maya combination.

The toothbrush longer shot was rendered in XSI with XSI hair. I had actually done dynamics test with the hair that worked well. But the close up was an earlier test - the only thing I had rendered - in Blender with cycles. The Blender hairs are actually a bunch of cylinders mapped with a hair texture and animated with cloth dynamics. The XSI version is actual hair follicles and it animates very good that way. And what the client preferred. I just don't have any good samples of it rendered now. So I used the Blender one for the reel.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
Hi Cineartist,

I downloaded the demo of motionbuilder, and didn't have a clue. I felt I had stepped into a rocket ship without a manual. Was going to try it with 3ds max. So far all my rigging and animation experience has just been in Max, and a little Fusion.

I wish I could have learnt this stuff at school, but 3D didn't really exist then. Think what I could have done if I started much younger.

I have a question about eyes. I should really put this in it's own thread really, but I am on a roll heh heh. I have decided to try and copy some art, but I am having trouble. The biggest trouble I have is defining around the eyes. Now if it is an older person, I can put bulges and creased and lines to define the eye, but I wanted to try a more smoother childlike look. I will give you a link to what I am going for. I am missing something, because I can't get an eye shape to look good. Here is a link to the webpage. There is a picture of a girl with glowing eyes.!master-reboot/c1vts

I used the default head as a start on this, even though I consider it cheating, as I am just practicing. How do I get the area around the eye to be more eyelike. I know I am missing something, I just can't see it.

However what I am pleased with is that it looks female, and that is about it LOL.

  09 September 2013
There are some improvements for sure.

In this case the eye reference is more stylized and not really correct anatomy for humans. More like an alien thing.

I forgot to mention this before....

But on the eyes what you want to do is not sculpt the eyeballs. Put those in as spheres.

Then sculpt around them.

EDIT: You don't even have to put holes in the head at the sockets. You can do this at the retopo stage if you want. But usually you want to have an eye cavity that is closed anyway. So no need to put holes there. Just sculpt out the socket around the eyeball sphere.

Like I have been saying. A good idea to practice off of a head.

Here are some references.

Note on this first one how the flesh is shown to wrap around the sphere:

And note the angle drawn here:

And here the shape of the curves as they wrap around:

Some various angles:

And some wires from one of my models:

Found here:

Just examples of poly flow. But mainly I want to show how the geometry wraps around the spheres in the eye socket.

As I said you can spend a considerable amount of time only working on a feature at a time before putting it all together. Each one has its very particular attributes that you can learn. They are all documented as well. In books and on the internet. So it is good to read the theory and look at the pictures as well as try doing.

This is very usual practice for artists when learning as shown here:

By the way I did not start studying human anatomy until I was in my mid 30's. Picked it up again 10 years later, 8 years ago. I am still working on it!
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2

Last edited by cineartist : 09 September 2013 at 08:39 AM.
  09 September 2013

Hi Cineartist,

Thank you for the tips and the images. I have saved all the pictures you have posted for reference.

I have used a sphere before for the eyeballs in a previous project, where I built the whole face in 3ds max. I might show you that sometime LOL. The reason I didn't use it this time was because the eyes were not quite human shape, so I thought the actual eyeball wouldn't fit the shape. The only other reason I would model the eye while building is because I have trouble positioning the actual eyeball. When I started the spock head which I posted on here in another thread, I had trouble getting the size of the eyeball right, and then putting it in the right place. I used a little trial and error here, but not sure if I got it right heh heh.

My eventual goal is to do animated characters. It is something I have always wanted to do.
Here is something I did just animating the CAT system without rigging LOL
I am afraid it is very poor, but at least I didn't have to worry about lip syncing.

I am better at animating objects without arms, I am rather proud of this one

I do love animation, but I seem to spend more time modelling, and never get to the animation stage. I working with a team now trying to make a game, and I am doing all scenery stuff, and I really want to improve my organic skills.


Last edited by Asimov : 09 September 2013 at 04:24 PM.
  09 September 2013
Nice tests.

Well all I can say is we all have our strong points. If you want to get better at a weak point all you have to do is start from the bottom and work you way up, gradually. There is no other way.

As for anatomy and all of that. You really have to apply yourself on the basics.

For animation, you have to understand poly flow for characters and animation. Even if you sculpt. All of these basic skills take t....i....m....e.

But just take one thing at a time.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
Hi cineartist,

I have had a breakthrough today. I have been studying ears, but I didn't just want to copy an ear I studied it and did my own variation on it. I have a kind of elfin ear, fit for an alien female. It doesn't look as good from the front, but I think it looks great from the side.

I have used hair and fur in 3ds max so I could do hair that way, but I think I will try the moulded hair instead, like they use in games. Think I will started it off in max and import that in though.

By the way I see from your drawing board that you actually do sketching too. I used to draw all the time at school, but I am really rusty at it now.

What I need now is a flipping huge hard drive, as these mudbox files are huge LOL.

  09 September 2013

May I suggest scrapping any stylized looks for now? Just concentrate on duplicating the human anatomy as best as you can.

It will pay off huge when you go to do more alien, creature or other simi-human forms.

Believe me, doing only realistic human is hard enough.

So lets look at some other artists for some examples:

Notice how even this sea-man creature maintains the elements of human form. Can you tell this artist understands anatomy? It is very clear.

And this one:

On this one notice the clear brow bone, cheek bone, jaw, the position and proportion of the ear to the nose and eyebrows.

When you study these things it is easy to see where the artist draws his influence.

And another:

Again you can see the remnants of human anatomy present in this creation.

And again:

I can not stress enough how important it is to first get the basics down before you venture off into space.

Your designs will look much better.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
Hi ciniartist,

I totally agree, and when I have finished this I will be doing that. I want to take this one to the end and have a litle practice doing hair and skin, and then I am going to go back and practice human anatomy.

Now I have watched a few tutorials on getting the anatomy right, but I am worried I am not going to remember it all.

I have photos of the muscles and stuff, and I want to learn this, but I have a terrible memory.
I know where the cheek bones are, and I know that there is a circle of muscles around the eyes and around the mouth.

I know it will take time. I am happy at the moment to make something that looks human, and then I will take it from there.

I tell you what I tend to do. I tend to over enthasise parts. eg getting the nose too big. Or making the forehead ridge too heavy, and stuff like that.

Thanks for all the help. I have to be honest I have had the graphics tablet about a year, and I could never get on with it, but only recently I am starting to use it to it's full potential. I have never needed to use a graphics tablet in 3ds max. I did a little sketching in autodesk sketchbook too, but I am only good enough to do cartoon characters heh heh.

  09 September 2013
Good I hope you have some fun digging into this.

Don't be hesitant to go from a reference. That is basically a sound technique that many artists use. You don't have to have it to memory. If that happens great and a lot of things will stick the more you do it. But you don't have to rely on memory.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
Hi cineartist,

Because I work full time I can't always fit in some practice, and so when I do get back to practicing everything goes up the wall. You won't believe this, but I plugged my graphics tablet in, and the driver screwed up. Then it said reboot to get the driver working. That didn't work and so I had to re-install the driver. Then I rebooted, and then I got hit by 25 updates. It seems the god of the anti artist was against me today. Took me an hour to get it working, and I didn't feel like much after that.

I know it looks like I have spent ages on this, but really this is the first time in a few days I have had the time. At the weekend I created a terrific moonscape, complete with an old model I made in max. Mudbox is great for creating environments.

Anyway I have made the eyes bigger and I realise why they didn't look right before. I watched a tutorial and it suggested that the skin around the eyes is thicker than you realise, and it is true. I do know if I was making a human the eyes would be too big, but for an alien they look about right.

The trouble I am having now is the neck. I have been watching everybody elses models, and they always seem to enthasize the muscles coming down the neck on either side, and very often a dip in the middle. Now I always see this on models, but I have been watching people in real life and I find it hard to pick out these muscles. It seems they only show up when you look at 3D necks. So I had a go, and I found it hard to make them look subtle and not like a body builder, but I found it harder than it looks.

Don't worry I am going back to humans anatomy after this, but I just want to complete one humanoid head first heh heh. I do notice that there isn't many tutorials on doing hair in mudbox. I also tried to pull out the ears a little, but I think I have them a little too fat at the part where they join. I am being careful to do subtle grabs so that I don't ruin what I have done already.

  09 September 2013
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