Archive for the Maya Category

Attack Ship

Posted in 3D, Maya, Photoshop, Pictures, science fiction, Substance Painter, zbrush with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by Jim St Ruth

ship1-1

It’s been a long while since I posted to my blog… Busy world, lots of distractions and a lot of home improvement.

I bought Substance Painter a few months ago, and have been blown away by the ease of texturing a model. With so many filters, so much control and a great ability to customise, paint and make a model worn/ dirty, it’s an exceptional piece of software.

The model was sculpted in ZBrush, then retopologised and UV mapped in Maya.

ZOriginal

Original ZBrush Sculpt

To allow for high resolution textures, there are nine different texture sets/ UV groups, each with their own materials assigned, set up as different objects. The component objects are then unified into a single object that now has multiple texture sets, and it’s exported as an .obj file; importing this into Substance Painter then allows for the different texture sets to be worked on. I’ve included a UV snapshot of three of these texture sets below for reference and, whilst one of them doesn’t fill up the space as efficiently as it might do, it did the job.

The modelling took far more time than the texturing. Completing the ZBrush sculpt was pretty rapid, and I was happy with the overall design. This was created via Dynamesh and then reduced from 5m polygons to 36k using Decimation Master. The model was then made live in Maya, curves drawn across the surface which were then smoothed to make the flow of the individual piece of the model in the next step more regular.

The retopology was then completed at a low resolution; only around 25k polygons for the whole ship. The borders of the model’s pieces were checked with smooth preview, before the next step in Maya.

Substance Painter doesn’t have an option for smooth preview, so to prevent any blockiness the objects need to be at a higher resolution. So the pieces were subdivided, and unwanted edges were deleted. The final object is around 100k polygons which, when imported into Substance Painter, made my machine run like a dog.

However, because I’d UV mapped in groups and created several texture sets, the various pieces can be viewed and worked on in isolation in Substance Painter, speeding things up considerably. It’s also worth pointing out that by cycling through the material options with the ‘m’ shortcut key, you can effectively turn lighting and shadows off, allowing the whole object to be visible with very little slow down.

I was going to take everything back into Maya to render… but the in-built renderer in Substance Painter does a very nice job using HDRI maps for lighting. Since this is just a static image, just some beauty shots of the model and no scenery or posing, I’m just going to leave it as it is.

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Exploration Buggy: Test Comp

Posted in 3D, Design, Maya, Photoshop, Pictures, science fiction, scifi, sculpting, zbrush with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by Jim St Ruth

Much to do still: model the rear and inside, and add texturing… but couldn’t resist posting!

testCompJimStRuth2013

Armored Scout Buggy: Teaser

Posted in 3D, Design, Maya, Pictures, science fiction, scifi, sculpting, zbrush with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by Jim St Ruth

NewCar1a-JimStRuth2013A quick update of the model. The exterior has been completely retopologised (thanks to the use of Maya’s Quad Draw function and lots of curves to help smooth out the edges and various interior pieces of the body panels). The front wheels now have brake pads and suspension modeled too. The textures are purely placeholders… lots of exciting stuff still to come: interior modelling, full texturing, the weaponry and maybe some exterior armor plating.

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!

Spaceman WIP

Posted in 3D, Design, Fantasy, General, Maya, Photoshop, Pictures, science fiction, scifi, sculpting, zbrush with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by Jim St Ruth

A Zbrush work in progress, with additional modelling and refinement done in Maya.

Human Male Sculpt: Update

Posted in 3D, Design, General, Maya, Pictures, sculpting, Uncategorized, zbrush on November 23, 2011 by Jim St Ruth