Archive for July, 2012

Space Ranger: Update, with Zbrush Ship Concept Sculpt

Posted in 3D, Design, Fantasy, General, Maya, Photoshop, Pictures, science fiction, scifi, sculpting, Uncategorized, zbrush with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by Jim St Ruth

So here’s an update to my Space Ranger. I’ve added some texturing to the figure, plus his basic clothing (with texturing). The clothing was created in Topogun, using the base Zbrush figure as a guide; a really easy process of drawing out polygons over the figure’s surface. I’m not sure that the denim texture of the trousers will stay; I don’t think it really says ‘Space Ranger’ TBH, so that will be re-done.

I’ve also created the shoulder strap and his rifle (which will be slung over his back), and there’s a blaster that needs to be modelled to; I’ve not added the rifle or shoulder strap yet because, if I’m honest, it looks rather fine and it’s almost a shame to have it covered up from view in the final scene. Some thought is needed there, I think.

Next up, we have the work in progress for his ship, from Zbrush concept sculpt, to topology in Topogun (with a little help from Maya for the circular shapes that I wanted to keep perfectly shaped), to the beginning of the refinement back in Maya.

I’ll probably go much further than I need to with his ship; I like to detail the insides as well as the exteriors of ships and, hey, it’s not for a production environment so I can go the whole hog if I feel the need.

As the final scene wasn’t based on an initial concept sketch (just an evolving idea), everything’s still pretty free-form right now. Once the basic ship is modelled, I’ll assemble things as a composite in Photoshop and do a sketch-over to rough out that final image, then build everything else around that concept.

I’ve included a few tips on the ship images that might be of some use to a modeller; concepting a ship in Zbrush is a lot of fun, but developing that into a full, neat model takes time and, in the past, has left me stumped, so here’s hoping that the scant tips help someone out.

Space Ranger WIP

Posted in 3D, Design, Fantasy, General, Maya, Photoshop, Pictures, scifi, sculpting, zbrush with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by Jim St Ruth

It’s been a little while since I last posted; I’ve been busy writing my next book and looking for a potential agent for my first novel (which I should hopefully get sent off soon).

I thought it would be good to post a few images: the first two are of my latest project, including the original sketch and the Zbrush sculpt so far, the third image is of a slightly old project that I’ve drawn a line under. I’d done as much as I wanted to and, to be honest, I used it mainly as a means to progress my sculpting, texturing and retopology skills.

Clothes and retoplogy were all done in Topogun; an excellent program in every respect. It makes the job of producing new geometry so much easier than using Zbrush’s own zsphere method of retoplogy; it’s easier to see what’s going on, and far easier to draw out new polygons over your old mesh.

Much was achieved here thanks to a two month subscription to Digital Tutors; an excellent group of people that clearly know what they’re talking about, and that have a brilliant set of training skills. I highly recommend any aspiring 3D or 2D artist give them a look.

Zbrush itself has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. I’ve been using it since my partner, family and a few friends clubbed together to buy me a licence for my birthday and, amazingly, it not only comes in at a reasonable price but each and every upgrade has been at no extra charge. Over the last two releases Pixologic has really worked hard to introduce and develop their Fibremesh system; a very easy way to create and style hair, fur, grass, trees… the list goes on. Digital Tutor’s have produced some excellent courses designed to show how to style hair and fur; before I watched their videos I just couldn’t get the hang of styling at all.

So a big shout out to Pixologic and Digital Tutors in particular… long may you reign!