Step 6: Create the helmet
The helmet is made up of 4 SubTools. For the helmet piece that wraps around the back of the head and the chin strap, use the same masking and extract method as we previously used with the desired thickness amount.
The visor section of the helmet consists of 2 SubTools. Use the masking and extract method again for the piece that sits on top of the head and wraps down the side of the head over the ears. Use the Move brush and DynaMesh to shape the geometry. This SubTool can then be duplicated (Subtool > Duplicate) and adjusted to create the front of the visor.
Use the Smooth and hPolish brushes to smooth out the surface of the helmet. We can use the Clip brushes to create the sharp corners and curved edges of the helmet.
To select the Clip brushes, hold Ctrl + Shift and click on the brushes/selection icon, then select any of the Clip brushes; in this case we'll be using the Clip Curve brush. The Clip brushes work by pushing the polygons based on the Clip Curve created. To use the Clip Curve brush, simply click and hold to draw out a straight line; when the click is released it will push the polygons based on that line.
To create a curved line, tap Alt while holding down the click. To create a sharp corner, tap Alt twice while holding down the click. If needed, press and hold the spacebar to move the Clip Curve.
Step 7: Tackle the hair
With the head SubTool selected, mask off an area for the hair, then use Extract (SubTool > Extract > Extract) to create a new SubTool. For this character I want to keep the hair sculpting limited to broader strokes and keep the detail level consistent throughout the character.
Begin by using the Clay and Standard brushes to block in the main flow of the hair. Use the DamStandard brush to then define the directionality and add some divisions to different clumps of hair. Append a cylinder (Subtool > Append > Cylinder3D) and turn on DynaMesh. Use the Transpose tools to position the ponytail in place.
Use the Move brush to create the overall shape, and the Clay and DamStandard brushes to define some hair directionality. The ponytail is only a placeholder and will be replaced by hair strips during the retopology phase.
Step 8: Mesh cleanup and Decimation
Take some time to go back over the model to fix and clean-up any areas needed. Remember: we don't have to worry about making the meshes super clean or detailed - that will come later.
Next we need to Decimate our meshes, but before doing that it's a good idea to save a copy of the ZTool. Go to ZPlugin > Decimation Master and select Pre-process All. Next, you can select a percentage of decimation value and Decimate All; however, one value won't always suit every SubTool, so I prefer to go through and decimate each SubTool individually to make sure I use the most appropriate value.
Try to use the value that has the lowest number of polygons, but also still holds the mesh shape very well. Once all the SubTools have been decimated, export them by either using Decimation Master > Export All Subtools or SubTool Master > Export to export all visible SubTools.
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