December 11, 2007

Zsphere's and texturing.

Here's some screenshots of a model I'm working on. It was built off "Zspheres" which lay down areas of geometry to get a very basic very fast model. The closer-to-completed head is 280K polygons and took about 2 hours to sculpt to the way it is currently. I've already been getting a much better handling on how to and how NOT to use each brush. What appears to be texturing on the model so far, is actually just different colored polygons, as there is no texture map currently applied.

December 5, 2007

in love with Tablet

Now I'm going to have to get one of these tablets. I can do precision sculpting like never before. I carved a pattern in a sphere just for fun to see how detailed I coudl be.

Tablet and more work

Here's another fun object I threw together, and a pic of me figuring out how to use a tablet

December 3, 2007

More updates

Here's some screenshots from a couple more things I've been working on.
One is the merge gemetry tool, which can very quickly create seemless transitions between seperate models, the other is the HD geometry mode, which allows you to sculpt on a very particular section in a much higher mesh resolution temporarily. One side of the screen is the actual 500K poly model, the other side is a 15million poly version of the same model.

November 26, 2007

organic textures.

I used Zbrush to create an organic looking texture to mimic the inner wall of a trachia. I'm working on other stuff, but I thought I'd post this. ...note too, this image is also infinitely tileable.

November 18, 2007

Custom brushes and Tileable Textures

Another very interesting feature of Zbrush is tileable textures. Zbrush allows you paint and see what your image would look like if it were infinitely tiled in every direction. This allows almost instant creation of infinitely tileable textures. Zbrush also allows you to grab any image off the screen at any moment and use it to create an alpha for a brush.

Below is first an example of a custom brush used on some geometry.
The second image is a custom alpha I created that repeats in all directions (so it is tileable)
The third image is a sheet of about a million polygons deformed by this repeating alpha.
The last image I made using the alpha and all the techniques i've learned so far.


November 17, 2007

Animator's Studio

I thought it'd be fun to show a quick glimpse of what my office/studio looks like. Instead of being loaded with easles, paints, pottery or welding tools, I'm loaded with monitors. I started using multiple screens when I worked at a studio that did. I used to think it was silly, but now I can never go back. On one screen I have my rendering displaying, so I can see updated renders of what I'm working on without impeding my desktop space. The TV screen I'm using to show a training video so I can work along with it. I'll usually stick videos or reference work on TV so I don't have to keep flipping through windows. Of course on my main screen is usually whatever program I'm actually working in.

On the main monitor, I'm practicing masking in zbrush and how to make subgroups of single objects. Unlike anything I've worked with before, Zbrush's masking abilities are ridiculously useful. The keyboard and mouse shortcuts are pretty intense but extremely intuitive. I am able to isolate and center a piece of geometry as fast as I can think about it. That speeds up the entire modeling process by many times.

November 14, 2007

3d Brushes.

I'm really becoming addicted to Zbrush's 3d sculpting brushes. The previous modeling program I used for everything, Maya, had essentially 1 brush and it updated slower than a snail. Zbrush has about 20 different brushes that perform effects in seconds that would take hours to setup in maya. I can't stop playing with all their functions. Here's some screenshots of me in the middle of playing around with a sphere. One ended up looking like a mutated dogs face so I couldn't resist taking a screen cap of it. The other started looking like a barnacle. When I get into the next chapter I'm going to take some objects I have sitting around my room and see if I can accurately sculpt them.

November 11, 2007

Subdividing wonderfulness

I have been working far ahead in my other classes so I finally get some alone time in Zbrush. I'm diving back into sculpting and have been playing around with levels of detail. Zbrush excells at instant subdividing and recalling of subdivision levels.

The easiest way to think of subdiving is to take a square tile. Cut it in half vertically and horizontally and now you have 4 smaller tiles. Keep doing this a couple more times and you'll have a sheet of tiny tiles. Doing this in 3d gives you more detail for an object. The more tiles there are, and the smaller they are, the more refined details can be.

Well Zbrush allows many many levels of subdivions. The image I'm posting below is over 1 million polygons already. What's beautiful is that you can go back down to a real basic level, where say you only have 200 polygons, and bend the overall shape. Then you can go back to the a million polygon model and add small details. What is great is that when you go back and fourth between subdivision levels, you don't lose any detail you added. Say you sculpted a nose beautifully, but found out when you're done with the model that it needs to be an inch higher. All you have to do now in zbrush is go back to the first level and move a couple polygons and violla, the detail nose moves too.

October 30, 2007

2.5D texturing

I've been trying out a lot of the brush tools to get used to them. I've been creating textures entirely inside zbrush without using any actual texture images. After an hour of work, the image below almost looks it's a photo of bizare organic blocks. I essentially carved the image out of a blank canvas and then air brushed color over it. In fact, the original file still contains depth information, so I can sitll pull things forward and recess them back into the canvas.

October 25, 2007

Learning sure isn't impressive.

I've been excited to get new work out with Zbrush, but I've been stuck with learning too many commands and finer points of zbrush modeling. Today I went through importing/exporting, subdiving, mouse modeling shortcuts, tool duplicating, individual point manipulation, real time level of detail and primative/mesh conversions. None of it is too exciting, but it's getting me to where I need to be slowly.

The image below I just screenshotted when I was in the middle of working. It doesn't seem too impressive, but what was going on was. Those are real time interactive booleans cutting away an object by "subtracting" a depth value off the surface. 3d boolean operations have been a nightmare in other 3d packages, sometimes locking up a computer due to over complex calculations.

October 21, 2007

Studying Modeling

Now that I know how to navigate around in Zbrush, I dove into learning how to sculpt and model. While a lot of the concepts of geometry and models are the same, Zbrush approaches them much differently. One thing I had to get used to, is Zbrush considers each model a "tool", not part of a scene. Whenever you switch from edit to regular mode, Zbrush essentially renders objects into 2 and half D pixels on the screen instead of keeping them part of a 3d enviornment. To work on multiple 3d tools, Zbrush simply has a different heirarchy of tools and subtools. It's not too painful, but takes time to adjust to. Some of the beautiful features though are Zbrush's instant ability to mask off certain areas of geometry instantly, and allow precise control over ONLY what needs to be worked on. The sculpting tools are also much much much more organic than any previous package I've ever used. Zbrush really takes mathematical tools and converts them into artistic brushes. Here's some scenes from what I've been studying:


October 4, 2007

ZBrush 3.1, couple new updates, including interface

So right after I start learning Zbrush 3.0's interface, I decided to upgrade to the new 3.1. It turns out its actually a rather big update, and the RapidUI interface I was just getting used to, was completely chucked from the program in favor of a cleaner interface. Without the rapidUI crap, the new interface is definitly a lot cleaner and less confusing. Anyways, right now I'm going through Meats Meyer's introduction to Zbrush 3. Its about 6 hours of lecture, and I'm sure it'll take many times that amount to digest it all. Anyhoo here goes nothing.

October 2, 2007

First week of Zbrush 3

Well this is my first experience of the new Zbrush 3. I played around with all the tools and learned how to use the basics of the interface and find my way around. The program is so vastly different than anything I'm used (i.e. photoshop and Maya) that it's taking a bit of time to untrain myself how and where to instinctively click.

My goal in this independant project is to be able to use Zbrush well enough to augment any 3d work I do. Specifcally I want to be able to create extensively detailed models in brush and import them into maya for animaiton. I'd also love to understand the texturing abilities of Zbrush so I never have to use maya's texturing system as long as I live. I can already see where Zbrush is powerful enough that for stills, it can make stand-alone art pieces.

Here some images I created just playing around with some of the basic tools and brushes, enjoy: