The following describes how I setup the UV’s for my model in order to paint the textures.
Step 1: make a duplicate of your model. This is important so you don’t mess up any of your original model. Later you can transfer the UV’s from this duplicate back onto your original.
Step 2: On the duplicate, select the areas that are the most complex (ie. nose, ears, eye area, lips). (you probably will want to do this step one area at a time).
Step 3: now you’ll want to average your selected vertices. You can get to this command through the Polygons>Average Vertices>options menu.
Set the Iteration value to whichever you feel is appropriate. I set mine between 10 and 50 and applied it a couple times. Repeat this step for all of your complex areas on your model. The reason for averaging the vertices is to make the more complex areas of your model less complex, so after you apply the Cylindrical projection, you won’t get so many (if any) overlayed UV’s, which will cause problems for your mapping.
When you’re finished with that, your duplicate should look something like the images on the right. As you can see, all the more complex areas of my model are now less complex and more planar, which should make a better cylindrical projection and UV layout.
Step 4: Now you’re ready to map the UV’s for your model. Select your duplicate model and go to the Edit Polygons>Textures>Cylindrical Mapping>options menu. I just used the Smart Fit option which fits the projection automatically around your selection. You’re welcome to play around with the different options, but for this instance, these are the settings I used.
Step 5: In the attribute editor for the cylindrical projection, you’ll find the following options (right image). Make sure you set the Rotate Z value to 0.1. Maya has this weird habit of messing up the UV’s of the cylindrical projection, and this seems to fix the problem. These are the settings I used.
Step 6: I also noticed that the UV’s for the top of the head and the UV’s for the neck area were garbled
from the Cylindrical projection, so I selected the poly’s on the top of the head, and did a planar projection for those, and selected the poly’s around the neck and did a second Cylindrical projection for those.
So I ended up with 3 UV shells in the UV Texture Editor, which I’ll need to sew together to get one unwrapped UV shell
The purpose of tking of is to outline the tools and techniques I used in the creation of my image, Hornedman. The image started as a sketch inside ZBrush and grew from there into the final image almost by accident.
Sketching characters in ZBrush is a great way to concept ideas, mess around with forms and come up with cool new things. After the sketch I retopologised the head section of the model and from there used the polypaint tools in ZBrush to create the textures. Rendering was handled with Mental Ray in 3ds Max. I find Mental Ray to be the most accessible of the available rendering systems for Max, and the fact that Max already comes with it makes it great. Also, having used XSI for many years, the creation of shaders in Mental Ray has become second nature to me.
The starting point of many of my images, characters and dailies are done in ZBrush in the form of a sketch. As my drawing skills aren’t really worth writing home about, I find ZBrush to be a real lifesaver in terms of creating concepts. And the great thing is that you can visualise your concepts in 3D and even use the concept as a template to model over later on in the pipeline.
For this character I started with a basic human form mesh that I created in XSI some years ago and have been using in many projects since (Fig.01).
Using this mesh at the lowest sub-division I pushed and pulled it around with the Move tool and Standard brush in ZBrush to find a base form and silhouette I liked. From there I worked my way up the subdivision levels adding progressively more detail using the Clay Tubes and Clay brushes only. An overview of the different sub-division levels can be seen in Fig.02 – 03.
For this model I decided to just retopologise the head as the loops on the body were adequate for my needs. The retopologising process was simple; I exported a mid-res .obj from ZBrush into 3ds Max and then used Polyboost’s surface snapping tools to create a clean mesh over the old one. For the body I just exported the lowest subdivision out of ZBrush and joined that onto my new head. I then exported this new low-res .obj back into ZBrush, assigned it as a SubTool of the original sketch, subdivided it up to 4 million polys, and chose Project All to project my sculpted sketch onto my clean topology (Fig.04).
As this was still indented to be a full character I also modelled some base gear and straps for him in 3ds Max
For the texturing stage I decided to use the polypaint feature in ZBrush. As the model still didn’t have a set of UVs this was perfect for me to sketch on a try out some ideas for the skin. I used a technique outlined by Scott Spencer with his Stinger Head model to paint the texture. Firstly I chose a base colour for his skin, and then painted on sprays of red, blue and green in key places. Then I “noodled” the skin with white veins and finally sprayed over it all with my base colour at a low opacity. This is a very fast and effective technique for concepting skin tones and painting textures. As I still wasn’t sure what to do with him at this stage, I left the texture rough (Fig.05 – 06).
Howdy! I’m Adam Ross and I’m the head of the digital department at McFarlane Toys and occasional freelance modeller (non-competition, of course). In this Making Of article I’m going to go through the entire process of taking my model from digital to reality, utilising a cadre of software packages and one nice rapid prototyping machine!
This project began as a pie-in-the-sky idea I had shortly after I saw the original artwork by Marvel artist Mark Brooks. I’ve always been a fan of polystone statues and, even though I was a fan, I had never seen MJ portrayed the way that Mark had drawn her. She was sexy, she was innocent, she had a big frakin’ gun! After deciding that I wanted to bring this piece into 3D, I got in contact with Mark directly to ask his permission. Even though this wasn’t a piece to make any money, I always ask the artist’s permission as a professional courtesy along with providing them with a copy or two for themselves. Needless to say, Mark was all for it.
I know that many folks start with the lowest res model possible to begin their sculpts and then retopologise before finalising the piece. As I’ve created a large collection of base models over the years, I tend to go back to those to get started. I regularly update them as my needs and specs change, and will even Frankenstein them together when necessary. MJ was one of these cases where I had a workable base model and ended up replacing the head with one I had completed more recently. You can see the base model (Fig.01) along with its high-res progression. I don’t bother with correct musculature at this point, but rather mass it out into a good starting point from which to work after it’s posed. I also extracted the clothing (if you can call it that) from the base mesh.
I typically use the Standard, Clay Tubes and Move brushes to rough things out and usually never go beyond a subdivision level of 4 up to this point. From here I go back into Maya and model all of the hard surfaces and accessories that will be going with the piece; these included the stool, the handgun and the base. After appending these as Subtools, I begin the process of posing and finalising the model.
I had just been made aware of Transpose Master, and it truly made life easier! I was easily able to pose her and go back in to correct/refine the musculature (Fig.02). I say “correct”, but as each artist has his/her own way of stylistically representing anatomy, my goal was to copy this as closely as possible. I only make true corrections when the artist has cheated the anatomy for the sake of the 2D piece.
I quickly realised that the base was a little bland, so I contacted Mark Brooks once again to pitch an idea. Since the piece was reminiscent of the cheesecake pinups, I proposed doing an innocent looking doll of Venom. What mark sent me is pictured in Fig.03, a perfect complement to the piece!
And the finished model along with the original low-res (Fig.04).
Now I append the Venom doll to the rest of the project and voila! It now maintains its visual interest from top to bottom (Fig.05 – 06). I’m still using the same tools at this point, some may think it’s limiting but I’ve found that the three brushes that I use in the beginning usually carry me through an entire piece. The only thing that I’ll change is the alpha that I’m using, which in turn allows me to emulate other brushes, such as Layer, Ram and so on.
Now, since the goal of this was to print it out on a 3D printer, I had to keep several things in mind:
- Each piece has be watertight, with no holes
- Watch for extreme undercuts, as all pieces have to be moulded and cast
- Pieces need to be constructed/designed to be cut at logical places, or places where the seams can be hidden
All of these were things that I worked on throughout the process, beginning to end. Modelling watertight is a habit that you get into over time. The others are things you learn through experience. As it relates to undercuts (i.e. hair, folded arms, Venom’s teeth) I will make cuts to the model in another program that eliminates the problem, or I resolve myself to backfilling the little things (teeth) manually after print.Read More
Hi all. In the article below I will briefly describe the steps used to create “This Little Pinkie…”
The idea was to practise cartoon character modelling. Rather than design my own character I wanted to take a popular cartoon character and recreate it in 3D. I have always loved the Warner Bros. cartoons, and in particular the episodes featuring Tweety Pie and Sylvester the Cat.
I searched the net for some pictures and info on the pair. What I found was that Tweety had changed quite a bit from when he was originally drawn by creator Bob Clampett to how he was drawn in the 80′s. I decided to keep him closer to the compact design of the original. Sylvester didn’t really change much apart from originally having a black nose.
For this project I used Maya 6.0, but the same techniques can be applied to other 3D applications. Before I started modelling, I roughly drew front and side views of each character to be used as image planes and act as a guide for the modelling process.
For almost all of my modelling I use the poly-poly method. For a character I typically start with a single polygon face, and extrude the edges to form to the basic shape of the eye.
From there I continue to extrude the edge loops and move the vertices to give me the desired shape, and edge flow. I only model using quads as it gives you a nice clean mesh and results in a more predictable surface when subdividing.
I kept this stage of the process really basic. For Tweety I just used simple blinn and lambert shaders. Rather than worrying about UV mapping, I selected the faces I wanted for a particular shader and saved them as a Quick Select Set. That way I could easily select those faces again and assign a different shader if required.
For Sylvester I laid out the UV’s into four separate maps, using planer and cylindrical mapping methods. I opened those maps in Photoshop and painted the black, white and red areas. From there I took the model into Deep Paint 3D to fix up the seams in some areas.
Rigging & Posing
This process was really streamlined by using the rigging tools available with the Maya 6.0 bonus tools. These tools basically automated the rigging process, and gave me a rig that was good enough for what I needed.
The eyes on both characters aren’t perfectly round, so I used the texture projection coordinates to control the eye direction.
As far as posing goes, I wanted to introduce some squash & stretch as used so well in many of the Warner Bros. cartoons. This was done by just moving the joints in Sylvester’s arm rather than going to the bother of setting up a stretchy arm rig.