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Project Overview: Tough Guy

By Rudy Massar
Web: Open Site
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| 5 Comments
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Date Added: 31st May 2013
Software used:
ZBrush

Create New Brush

Export the alpha and open it in Photoshop. Duplicate the layer and go to Filter > Offset > Other. In the window that pops up, set the vertical value to 256. This will unveil the seam that was clearly visible in ZBrush. By adding a layer mask we can paint away the seam and blend the images together. Next, flatten the document and save it.

In ZBrush we need to reopen the Alpha and get the right settings before we can save it as a new brush. To make sure we don't have the brush falloff, lower its Focal Shift to -100. Also I find it handy to set the intensity value for the brush.

In the Alpha menu, open the Modify tab. We need to get rid of the outer edges of the alpha by finding the midValue. In my case it's -100. When you have trouble finding the perfect midValue you can set a value on the RF (Radial Fade), which you can compare with Feather in Photoshop. Leave all other slider as they are.

After fine-tuning, save the brush for future projects, but first, in the document, zoom in on the stitch stroke and hit Export from the Document menu. Before saving this brush, in the Brush menu go to the SelectIcon and pick the PSD that was just exported.

While you're there, make a variation of this brush by setting the H and V Tiles to 2, in the Modify tab of the alpha. This will give you a double stitch. Make a new stroke on the canvas, zoom in, export the document, SelectIcon and Save the brush. Easy Peasy (Fig.18)!

1727_tid_18 create new brush.jpg
Fig. 18

Lazy Mouse Tip

When you make a stroke with the new stitch brush, or similar brushes, and your next stroke is perpendicular to the previous stroke, some of that angle is still stored in the lazy mouse. However, once you make a stroke in the new direction and you undo that stroke, the next time you make the stroke again you don't have that legacy anymore (Fig.19).

1727_tid_19 lazy mouse tip.jpg
Fig. 19


Transpose

The Transpose tool recognizes the polygroups you've created. A cool feature of the Transpose tool is that you can use it to quickly mask all polygroups except the one you click on while holding down Ctrl (mask). Most of the time you will probably click-drag the Transpose tool while holding down the Ctrl key. The masking will happen behind your cursor and respects the topology.

You can imagine that transposing is far easier when you have clean topology, rather than working on a DynaMesh. However, DynaMesh is fantastic for concepting and designing - but that's a whole different topic.

I don't go down all the way to the lowest subdivision, as I like to use the transpose tool with a bit more resolution. Also I find the default mask blur a bit too much for this character, but you can easily change this in the Transpose tab of the Preference menu. Try changing the Mask Blur Strength from 24 to 0 (Fig.20).

1727_tid_20 transpose tool.jpg
Fig. 20

Alignment

The new alignment gizmo of the Transpose tool is fantastic. It will always appear where you start drawing out the Transpose tool, but sometimes you want to swap the alignment gizmo to the other side:
1. Click the outer circle on the side where the alignment gizmo is; this will move it to the other side.
2. Start placing the Transpose tool in the direction of the Humerus. The tool, however, snaps on vertices of the ZTool.
3. Next we can use the outer circles to freely move the Transpose tool. Grabbing the middle outer circle (A), move the entire tool. The other outer circles you use for changing the point position or orientation of the Transpose tool.

We want to rotate the lower arm, so hit the R key and place the camera so we can rotate the arm in the direction we want. Normally when you want to rotate the lower arm you would draw the transpose line from elbow to wrist and grab the inner circle at the wrist. However, let's leave the transpose at its current position (B).

Now when you hold down Ctrl, click the inner circle and you can now rotate the lower arm. So the Transpose tool can act as a FK or IK handle - cool huh? (Fig.21).

1727_tid_21 transpose alignment tool.jpg
Fig. 21





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