Tag Archives: ZBrush

One ugly raptor

So apparently Sketchfab has these weekend contests and I thought I’d give it a try and squeeze a quick sketch in today, but once again miscalculated the whole endeavour. Initially, I didn’t want to go beyond Dynamesh, but after I was done with the base, it just made more sense to do it that way, and once I was there, I felt like halfway decent UVs might be a good idea, so I lost a lot of time for the texture and didn’t manage to get him posed. Sad panda :(

Raptor #3DSM2
by RalfStraube
on Sketchfab

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Something from the attic

Today I tried out the Sketchfab exporter for Maya. It’s an old model, that I made long before I had a clue how nerve wrecking bad topology can be for skinning. I hadn’t rigged the character until now, and holy shit, without ngSkinTools, this would have been a nightmare.

The base is borderline embarrassing too, but it’s not really a full blown presentation shot, so I didn’t want to spend too much time on it. I probably should have used panel loops or insert mesh brushes. Well, next time. Until then, no more radial symmetry for you, mister.

ZSphere Demon
by RalfStraube
on Sketchfab

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I said I’d update more often. I lied.

Earlier this year I started a new job, and so, once again, five months passed without any update to my blog.
I didn’t have too much time to work on my own stuff, hence the lack of updates. I’ve been trying to adjust my scope a little, so here is something I started working on a while ago (but haven’t finished yet). It started out as a lunchbreak ZBrush sketch, without any clear goal in mind, besides “well, make a zombie, maybe?”
Because of an overabundance of zombies, I dropped the idea and moved on to “I don’t know, what if he’s some kind of jungle creep”. Still not finished, obviously, and it’s been a couple weeks since I worked on him, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Back to that (in lack for a better word) new job of mine. I started out making character models, but, due to necessity, had to do some more rigging and technical work as well. I finally got around to start learning Python, which is something I had on my agenda for quite a while now, and the circumstances rekindled my interest in rigging.
I never really got into it before, in a professional scope, because I have the tendency to be a bit too, uh, exotic with my rigs. This, however, is actually a good thing for once, because the project I’m working on requires some exotic workarounds here and there.
Something I can share is this system I’m currently working on.

Maya Sine Deformer Fake Wind from Ralf Straube on Vimeo.

I’ll be lazy and just copy&paste the description I’ve put on the Vimeo page:

I’m currently working on a script that adds a procedural wave motion based on a sine deformer on top of hand animated FK controls. The goal is to help animators to spice up their animations with a bit of secondary overlaps on things like tentacles, hair or any kind of dangly bits, while giving them enough freedom and control over how they want to animate the general motion of the joint chain.

The sine deformer has an expression that ensures that the offset value automatically loops, and a point on poly constraint to modify the Y-translation of a set of dummy objects. Another set of expressions converts the translation values to degrees, which I feed through a double multiplyDivide chain to locally modify the amount of the rotation with a multiplier value, and another weight value to blend how much of the procedural rotation is added to the FK controls.

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That Retopo blues

I thought I’d try a somewhat new retopo approach for me. Usually I just retopologize the entire sculpt. This time however, I did it for individual parts of the sculpt, threw a quick UV layout on the new meshes and made some test bakes.
I’m nowhere near texturing him yet (except for the head, which is a solid starting point, I think), but put some flat colors on the shaders. I haven’t really thought about a color scheme yet, so they are very likely to change.

zbdude030
I also tried another new thing for me. Using ZRemesher for more than just retopologizing sculpting geometry. It seemed tempting to me to let ZRemesher handle the folds, and then touch it up a bit in Maya, but I’m not too happy with how some of the geometry came out. This will require some more testing.

zbdude031

 

 

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New head

After the head retopo was done, I spent a couple hours trying to improve the head. Here’s the result, along with a first rough color pass.

zbdude027 zbdude028Edit: I also did a quick test bake and hooked it up to the Autodesk Ubershader. The diffuse is basically just the (somewhat improved) ZBrush polypaint with AO and Cavity on top. The Spec map is just hacked together for the sake of testing. Tesselation is turned on.

zbdude029

 

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Engineer? Mechanic? Still not sure. Anyway, update

So it’s been a while since I updated this. The good news is, I finally figured out how to use Insert Multi Mesh, when I took a (way too early) break from retopo today. There’s still a couple errors to fix and I get this nagging feeling that I’ve gone a little overboard with the amount of IMMs. Also, the tools in his belt… thing… are placeholders.

zbdude025And here’s the retopologized head.

zbdude026

 

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