Lost resolution on Ear. How to add more


Hi all,

I posted this a couple of days ago and I cannot find my post. So perhaps I forgot to click something. I hope it doesn’t show up twice. Please let me know if this is the case.

Ok have been using 3ds max for a long time, but I am very new to mudbox.

I am working on a head, and I used the grab tool to shape the ear, but as I have been shaping the ear I have lost the resolution in the ear.

I know I can hit shift D to add a new level of resolution, but isn’t there a way to just increase resolution in the ear?

I didn’t want the head to have more resolution than the ear. Everytime I hit shift D it increases res all over, rather than just the ear.

I am at level 4 now.

I suspect I should have shaped the ear before increasing to level 4.

My ohter alternative I suppose is to carry on detailing the face, and when I shift D to add more, I can do the ear then.

I am a total newby heh heh.



do an auto retopo…
do a retopo by hand…
or create a clean base mesh…
or download a basemesh…


i’ve had this issue too… one solution is to use the retopology feature in mudbox.

it works great at redistributing the mesh… but i have had issues with UV’s after wards.

so use at your discretion.

another solution is to use the grab tool and slowly pull some of the faces back to the ear. it’s obviously pain-staking and laborious… but there you go.


Hi Oglu and Bilbob,

Unfortunately I don’t think mudbox 2013 has the retopology feature. I think that is in 2014, but not 100% sure.

I don’t really want to download a base mesh, as I am learning to do it from scratch. I know a lot of brillient sculptures on this site use a base mesh, but I want to say at the end that I created it from the ground up.

So I think I have two options. Go back to a previous save and redo the ear, or do the ears when I have upped the resolution enough to do them. After I have added some detail to the face.

Thanks for the help though. Much appreciated. I just wanted to know if there was an easy way to do this.

I think using the grab tool might have been a bad idea here, but it is my first ever ear in mudbox, even though it is supposed to be a pointy one LOL.



if you like to work from scratch from a sphere you have to do a lot of surface sliding…
just move alle edges in areas you need it…



Hi Oglu,

Nice video, you are very talented.

I come from a 3D max background, and so I like to start my model in Max and bring over to mudbox for texturing. What you did with that sphere is epic though.

Digital sculpting is quite new to me. I think the biggest problem I have at the moment is never knowing how much pen pressure to assign to get the desired results, or knowing the best pen to use.

I have however been watching lots of tutorials, so my knowledge is increasing, but not my skill.



its like working with a pencil… only practice will increase your skill…
a head a day for a year and you are ready for the wild… :smiley:


A very common workflow for sculpting is to sculp at lower resolution and gradually work your way up.

Another method in the mix is as you create areas that are getting to stretchy, take the mesh into another program and retopolgize the mesh so you have a more even distribution, then bring the mesh back in add subdivision levels and transfer the details back onto the mesh. I think that function exists in earlier versions of MudBox than 2014 but I kinda forgot.

For something where you know it is going to be strange proportions, like pointy ears, create a base mesh in another apps first and bring that in.

Don’t take the view that you have to do it all from scratch in a sculpt app to learn sculpturing. There is a workflow that always includes many workarounds and there is nothing at all wrong with employing your other modeling skills and apps along the way.

Also nothing at all wrong with starting, using a predefined mesh that closely resembles the end mesh. Like a lizard or human body. That is why these shapes are included and is a valid method. Why do all of the work from scratch?

If you do want to do all of the work from scratch, pick a shape that will not get too stretched out in places. And gradually work your way up.

The newest version of Mudbox is the best way to go, if you can. It has a lot of this functionality built in.

These days more dynamic sculpting solutions such as Dynamesh is the preferred method. Mudbox is coming along in that regard but has a way to go. At least in 2014 you have many more options for this kind of workflow.


Hi Oglu and cineartist,

Thanks for the tips. Yes I really would have been better off making the ear larger in Max before I started. I have been watching mudbox 2014 and that retopology feature looks great. Will have to upgrade soon.

I am having trouble with the knife brush at the moment though. I have seen lots of tutorials where they use it to cut in sharper lines, but when I use it all I get is a series of random dots. Randomize is turned off and stamp spacing is set to 1, and I have the eye symbol in the stamp brush slot. I am getting very annoyed with it LOL.



Hi all,

Well I am happier with my ears now. Gone up to level 5 and added a little detail. Not very happy with the eyes and having terrible trouble with the lips. It is hard to give fuller lips without making him look like a woman LOL. He has got quite thin lips anyway.

I think it was a mistake trying to put the eyeballs in before I had the eyes shape. Not quite sure if I have them in the right place. Oh and I forgot to put symmetry on when I did the ear. So now I have one good ear and one rubbish ear doh. I am worried I won’t ever get good at this LOL.



Just wanted to quote this in response. Good advice. Perhaps it can start to click before the 300th head, but… this is the general idea.

Just take it one thing at a time, work on simple skills and build on it.

You can even work on just practicing certain areas. Also work from traditional anatomy references and perfect each feature. You don’t have to dive in all at once. Just learn the eyes, then the nose, ears etc. This is how it is usually taught.

You can also concentrate only getting the proportions of the head correct first, work on the basic planes of the head and build from there. Then work on each feature one at a time. I mean over and over again alone. Like the eyes over an over again - from references, Same with the mouth and ears.

Than tackle a whole head.

References are key!


Hi Cineartist,

Thanks for the advice, and I have taken on board what you have said. I found this really good tutorial on brush practice from Wayne Robson http://vimeo.com/15528354
He is some kind of mudbox god if you ask me. I am addicted to all his videos, and he makes it look so simple, and yet it isn’t heh heh.

So today I have been mainly been practicing circles and curves, and shapes. I think I have a bit to go, but I am feeling more confident. So I am planning to at least have a practice on the chocolate orange every day.

One thing that I can’t seem to get right is this. Wayne used the brush sensitivity to draw a curve which started off light and steadily getting heavier, and then he did it the opposite way around. I am finding it hard to do this. I start off very light and it goes from a faint line to a heavy line too quick. I can’t seem to get the smoothness that Wayne achieved. I am not sure if it is a setting or my lack of skill. Perhaps it is because I have a very very cheap Wacom tablet heh heh.



Yeah does not hurt at all tot play around and get fluid. I can also recommend some tutorials over at Digital Tutors by this guy named Justin. He has some great tips.

Regarding the tablet. Does this help?



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