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Old 01-04-2014, 12:15 AM   #1
Howard3008
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Proportions & Zbrush Practise

Hello,

After recent events it was highlighted that my observational, proportional and Zbrush skills needed work, polish and fine tuning. THAT is what I will be working on in this post.

In early January I have free time and took the chance to work on these issues.

I will be creating a character, more or less, from scratch within Zbrush. I will be using Zsphere (largely for first time) to create a base mesh and then with the 3D model fine tune sub division by subdivision in order to create the specific character.

I also plan on rigging using 3DS Max's CAT, animating within 3DS Max and getting him into the Unreal Engine, but the priority is to study anatomy and proportions for sculpting and work on observational skills.

MOST ANNOYINGLY, as I was creating this post I could see probably a dozen changes to the character. So I see changes ALREADY. Annoying how I am never truly satisfied with current progress...

NOTE: I did not draw the concept drawing below.

Will be creating THIS character:



Firstly, because I had time, opportunity and drive the decision was made to create some base meshes of some animals using ZSpheres only. In order to practise observational skills and get a stronger grip of using Zspheres.

Frankly I would like to create base meshes straight in ZBrush, rather than in 3DS Max.











Again, MOST ANNOYINGLY, as I was creating this post I could see probably a dozen changes to the character. So I see changes ALREADY. Annoying how I am never truly satisfied with current progress...










 
Old 01-04-2014, 12:15 AM   #2
Howard3008
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Using only the default amount of polygons obtained, and subsequently the lowest subdivision level, created my first iteration of the character.
Straight away I can see changes:
  • Unsure about the length of the arms.
  • The fingers feel too long.
  • The fingers, especially middle finger, feel too pointy.
  • The shoulders seem disconnected from the torso.
  • Unsure about how the front & back of neck join the torso.
  • The torso seems too thin.
  • Shoulders still need to be wider than the hips.
  • Thighs feel too big, too musclar.
  • Meant to bend the fingers more so so nicer for the animation stage.







 
Old 01-04-2014, 01:57 AM   #3
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what's your reference?
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
Howard3008
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
Kanga
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I like zspheres because you can map out volumes instantly. The limitations of zsphere bases are that junctions will give you multi point poles, diamonds across your centre line and the armature wont be perfectly symmetrical. You can set up your zspheres to export at a correct scale by using GoZ and playing with the export values at the bottom of the ztool pallet. This will allow you to create a very fast base mesh which is called a stub and the export it for corrections in another modeling app, or you can also do corrections in zbrush with the retopo tools if you want.

You have too many zspheres at the mo. You really only need one sphere per node (joints and ears and stuff if you want). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1NR...AF28952FA4139F5 will show that you only need one sphere per joint. Later vids will show you a way to correct the hand problem and restore symmetry to your stub.

What you have now is pretty far from your reference. You can use the zproject plug or something to place the images in zbrush and then simply move your polys over the images to get the correct proportions.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:27 PM   #6
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Actually, forget the link to the youtube vids, they are kind of outdated. Just been messing with the zremesher and it will correct your initial zsphere mesh completely.

Use that instead.
Cheers
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
Howard3008
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The issue I find with the zsphere is that you cannot define how many polygons there are on it.

So when I go to create the ear, for example, there are too few polygons on the lower subdivision level to give more polygons at a high level to show nice detail.

Is there a way to increase the amount of polygons on each Zsphere before converting to 3D Mesh?
 
Old 01-04-2014, 06:24 PM   #8
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Through advice: decided to go back and edit the Zsphere.
The main differences are there are less zspheres, stuck a lot closer to the proportions of the concept artwork rather than ideal proportions and added zspheres on the head to create the topology for the face itself later on.

What I used to do was use the zspheres to define bone layout and then muscle composition- despite the muscles could be sculpted in. I also thought that the face could be sculpted in entirely, but knew I needed more polygons to use. By adding the new zspheres in they create the topology as well as the density needed.

This video was recommended to he is doing a similar pipeline to me, so there is reason enough to pay heed to the video and the knowledge I can learn from it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1NR...AF28952FA4139F5

Will look back at this later on today; in case I see some things worth changing with proportions, then will begin the rough sculpting process again.
My main issue is the length of the arms, they feel slightly too long, despite it seems that the palm and fingers will reach between knee and hip.







 
Old 01-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard3008
The issue I find with the zsphere is that you cannot define how many polygons there are on it.

So when I go to create the ear, for example, there are too few polygons on the lower subdivision level to give more polygons at a high level to show nice detail.

Is there a way to increase the amount of polygons on each Zsphere before converting to 3D Mesh?

Sorry for the late response. Messed about a bit to try and show the problem you were talking about. This is just one way of doing things and maybe these pics will help someone else as well.


1. Ok here are some extra spheres for loops to help the polys at a higher level. Super artists like Zack Petroc dont do this because they find placing loops this early limits them and now with zremesher you can copy your base mesh, remesh and reproject it at anytime during the sculpting process, so actually you never have to end up with too few polys in a certain area ever!

2. This is the zsphere skin at level one with the nodes visible.

3. Roughly pulled around polys and spreading the loops of the nodes a bit.

4. This is the zremeshed cage. All you have to do is use the curve brush to draw loops on the messy mesh and play with the sliders a bit, hit the button and presto, a really super base. In this case the eye sockets have spirals but for a concept sketch the mesh is more than adequate. Like I said you can remesh at any time so that can be corrected later if you need it. Also you can hide parts of the mesh and when you remesh the visible parts can be given more polys while the hidden parts get connected by hooks. If you play with the settings a little you can get a really good resolution step in your cage.

5. You should be able to get the bulk of your sculpting done at around 5 sub divisions, 6 divisions for finishing touches and 7 for skin textures like wrinkles and pores.

6. That's it basically.

Also with your proportions you can now place the reference images under your copy of zbrush and make it transparent so you can move the zspheres and mesh around to perfectly match the examples you are using for your anatomy guide.

Like I said this is just one approach. Hope it helps.
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Last edited by Kanga : 01-06-2014 at 02:25 PM.
 
Old 01-06-2014, 09:49 PM   #10
Howard3008
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Sometimes the truth is just not enough.

Thanks alot for the advice. Really helped to clarify aspects that were not entirely clear.

Also really appreciate your tutorial. I have only watched a few so far, but I aim to watch them all- never know what may learn!

In other news: using the lowest subdivision level I have blocked out the basic form. I am still not 100% sure on the length of the arms, but I feel I am close.
Was torn between getting it proportionally correct, or stick close to the concept artwork.

What I aim to do now is give it a few hours and come back to it to fine tune the block out, iron out any issues. For instances the face needs more fine tuning; getting the eyes forwards and such. I feel his neck is too short now...

Adding those extra Zspheres in the face had an interesting result. Really ensured there was the topology and the extra density of polygons for high level sculpting, they also act as reference for the face layout: getting eyes right size and such.







 
Old 01-07-2014, 12:47 AM   #11
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You should grab anyone of these reference: 3d.sk That will help a lot your bloking believe me
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scote
You should grab anyone of these reference: 3d.sk That will help a lot your bloking believe me


Or http://anatomy4sculptors.com/ or lots of sources, even just google what you are looking for.
 
Old 01-07-2014, 02:22 AM   #13
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this is just my take on it, but first off, i would choose a totally nude reference to model from, rather than someone with clothes on. reason being that you want to learn about the body underneath before moving on to learning how cloth drapes over the body's form. believe me, drapery is a whole other stratosphere altogether, and imho can be even more challenging and difficult than just getting anatomy right.

and as a learning process i would totally model from life (like photographs) and not someone else's concept. for one thing, you can barely see the hands on the concept, and for a guy that looks that old, you want hands that look old, not some young man's hands on an old man body.

the other thing i would do (but this is totally a personal preference thing, although i think it might benefit) is to block the base mesh in Max. i know you said you'd prefer to do it in zbrush, but the mesh you have now is really crooked, and fixing that in zbrush can be tedious. you may as well start with base mesh that has MUCH less polygons so it's easier for you to control and get the guy to stand in a comfortable manner.

of course you can do all that in zbrush if you want. it just seems to me that you might make more headway if you are not struggling with the technical stuff and the art stuff at the same time.

just my two cents!
 
Old 01-08-2014, 07:29 PM   #14
Howard3008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakaran
Or http://anatomy4sculptors.com/ or lots of sources, even just google what you are looking for.

I am in fact using the webage- very useful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xiangjun
...but the mesh you have now is really crooked.

It does make sculpting a little tedious. But I am under the impression that the relxaed position helps with dealing with animation deformation. If the model is slightly deformed it makes the animation deformations nicer later. Am I right in thinking that is correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xiangjun
... block the base mesh in Max.

Normally I would block out in Max, but I want to test myself and work straight from within ZBrush.

I think the concept artwork is not very ideal either. He seems old, but has still got broad shoulders, yet his mouth is very long (why the long face?), his collar bone is very prominent, very big ears and a very long neck, not to mention he has no grey hair.

Began to realise that it is better using a nude human as reference. Will use that method a lot more in the future.






Frankly, my presentation skills needed upgrading. Quick google search results in all sort of things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj5Ucox1jLs

Also, because I really enjoy using ZBrush now I have began to create another character for another project I am involved in- unrelated to this.

 
Old 01-08-2014, 11:03 PM   #15
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There's nothing wrong with practice. I spent a couple of weeks when I got my wacom tablet just practicing lines, circles, etc to get the feel of it, and of course, I've done dozens and dozens of sculpts practicing up my skills. Even between projects I often just doodle stuff, which is really no different than my "old-school" days when I used several sketch pads.

 
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