Sculpting and painting in Sculptris

Yesterday, I tried out the basic modelling tools in Pixologic’s free 3D modelling software, Sculptris, and I loved it. It has been awhile since I tried my hand at anything in the 3D modelling arena and it felt nice to be back in the digital saddle. So, having watched some tutorials on the Pixologic website I decided to try something slighty more advanced today.

Sluggy

"Sluggy" by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

“Sluggy” by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

Sluggy was my first attempt at modelling an entire being in Sculptris. Granted this being, being a slug, isn’t the greatest stretch but it was a good way to test some tools I didn’t use yesterday and get on to the bit I was really interested in exploring…. painting.

Unlike other 3D software, like Maya or Cinema 4D, both Sculptris and Zbrush have a function which allows you to paint on to your digital sculpture. Though the functions are slightly different, in Sculptris you ‘paint’ on to the model where as in ZBrush you paint on to the texture map on the model, the end result is an experience more like painting. The best part of this is that unlike Cinema 4D where you can assign block textures/colours to a model or Maya where you need to create a texture map (essentially flaying your characters and laying out its skin in Photoshop to paint before sticking it back on him!) you can use different tools to create block colours and textures and fine details and see what they look like in situ. Nice!

Of course this was my first and attempt and it didn’t go entirely to plan. I didn’t really get the hang of masks until I had already made a mess of Sluggy’s eye area and once the damage is done Sculptris is not forgiving. So in order to make the finished image look, well, finished I cheated and moved him in to Photoshop for some ocular repair and a little TLC. They are still not perfect, far from it infact, but this was only supposed to be a quick exercise and I had already committed waaaay more time to it this morning then I intended and work is calling. Perhaps I’ll have time to have another go tomorrow 🙂

Advertisements
3D modelled playing cards - Cinema 4D

Model Career Wanted – 2 years of 3D!

Pride cometh before a fall, the saying goes, but throughout my time studying how to create in this medium I’ve always been a little short of pride… but not short of falls.

For those without the God-given gift of “natural talent” in this area, and trust me when I tell you I don’t, the way to creating 3D models is strewn with pitfalls. Let’s start with the software in which the magic happens. These are colossal, computer-crashing behemoths of programming, with complicated interfaces, swelled from years of innovation and expansion, redefine the term un-intuitive.  Take industry standard Autodesk’s Maya, for example, not only presents the user with several rows of icons framing the stage but also incorporates layer upon layer of secret menu options, only accessible through obscure short cuts as obvious to the newbie as mason’s handshake!

Of course, there is a reason that these programs have become SO complicated, it is because they have become so powerful.  In a single application you can build, rig, texture and animate something, you can add particle effects (like dust and smoke), cloth effects (self explanatory, right?), sound and lighting, you can even composite real footage and CG objects! Mind blowing! The product you have on your desktop computer, or even your laptop, is the same thing used to create big name box office animations and VFX spectaculars, from “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek” to “Avatar” and “Transformers” ! None of which is any consolation when you are staring at your early attempt at character creation and wondering why the things arm has suddenly and inexplicably turned inside out! It is like discovering the buried treasure and finding its in a safe with a combination lock!

But it’s worth slogging it out, win your fight with Zbrush, Cinema 4D, Maya, Modo, 3Ds Max and you have the keys to the kingdom! I think for me it is safe to say that the jangle of those keys is still some distance away but this is some of what I’ve managed so far…

Zbrush –

Zbrush

Maya –

Maya

Cinema 4D –

Cinema 4D

… and I’m still only getting started!!