- Used to quickly extrude the surface and lay in basic forms and rough overall sections.
- Used to get an easy texture onto the stone and to define the rocky in a less smooth way.
- Used to push and pull the forms around and to achieve concavity (curve inwards) and convexity (outwards) with the rocks. Â This also helped with defining the silhouette even more and in starting to move things to different levels so everything wasn't on the same elevation.
- Used to make sure the rocks look like they were derived from the same natural process, meaning that they needed to be neighbours and not just a bunch of extrusions. Â So this brush helped in getting everything to have that collective feel. Â I also used it to define the edges of the rocks more, which was a huge part of achieving that kind of texture to be further readable.
Slash1 and Slash2
- Used to dig in some cracks and separate out of some the rock transitions. Â Also good for making little scratches and giving irregularity to the rock surface.
- Used a couple of custom and default alphas to apply a fine layer of surface texture over the rocks, so that it didn't look too hand-made (Fig.09a - b).
- Used to smash in some pits and deeper crevices.
- I like to use this brush so I can get controlled smoothing instead of the simple Shift + click method that goes pretty much full pressure.Â When I use the smooth brush method, I can have a more varied level of smoothness so that I don't destroy all the hard and cracked surfaces.Â I didn't want the rocks to look like they got smoothed-over or polished.
I used all these brushes in this general order, but definitely switched between all of them to get the right look. Â I tried to get each of the brushes to do their intended job and never forced one to do it all. I don't like fighting through a sculpt with just the standard brush because I tend to work faster with specific tools. There's nothing wrong with using the standard brush only, it's just not my weapon of choice!
I had also never used the Polypainting feature of ZBrush before this challenge, and I decided this was a great time to do that. Â Since he was all rock it was going to be easier to spray on a basic texture and then paint custom treatments to define the rockiness even more (Fig.10). Â
After I finished that, I started moving on to the export process.Â One of the learning processes I had with this project was that displacement used a lot of resources.Â Since I needed to render this image at a high resolution, my displacement was crashing my computer no matter what I did.Â So, after many tries with different approaches, I had to scratch that because of my planning error and decided to just use a high-res mesh in Max and supplement it with bump maps and good GI lighting.Â It was definitely a frustrating time in the project for me, but I was just running out of time to figure out another solution and I wanted to complete the image strongly.Â I had essentially lost most of the fine details that I had created in ZBrush, and that took me some time to get over!
At this point, I had my model in 3ds Max.Â I rigged up the low-res model because, as mentioned, I originally intended to do an animation with the character (Fig.11).
If I had known that I was going to run out of time for the animation portion of my concept, then I guess I could have just used ZBrush's Transpose Master to pose him.Â But I also needed to set up a camera in 3ds Max for the final shot, so I knew that I would need to be able to tweak the pose in individual areas like the arms and define how much his head should be turned, etc. Â I then used the Skin Wrap modifier on the high poly mesh to follow what the rigged low-res mesh was doing. This way I could hide the high-res mesh, pose him in low-res, and then unhide the high-res and it be in the same spot as the low-res (Fig.12). Otherwise, I'd still be waiting for the high-res mesh to respond to my transform commands to this day! The Skin Wrap modifier was a life-saving feature to have.
For the composition, I wanted to have Mr. Rock look down his extended arm, with the pencil towards us in perspective, and have the sphere more in the foreground.Â I quickly modelled the other supporting props and set pieces, and before I knew it I had my major 3D elements ready to light (Fig.13)!
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