More in Zbrush

More ZBrush fun – experimenting with current and past projects with subtools, lighting, and the spotlight editor.┬áThe mouse embryo was something I modeled for my Maya class last semester, and the stonefish is in continual refinement. He’s going to get printed out soon to grace my desk. Gulp. ┬áThe pictures I used in the stonefish background were open source creative commons/stuff I took from snorkel and scuba trips.

The mouse on the left is about 17,000 polys, and on the right is around 300,000. Thank you displacement/normal maps. Too bad you’re such a pain to get to work sometimes.

For anyone interested in learning ZBrush, I highly recommend ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting by Scott Spencer. You can buy it from here:

Stonefish model adjustments

I’ve gone back into ZBrush and fixed my dude’s jaw up a bit (he was too angler-fishy before) and made some fin adjustments too…also, I liked snapping a quick still of him in Zbrush to show his actual coloring before I dunk him in the ocean with all the caustics/fog etc. Now to get him rigged….

Quick screenshot - Dorsolateral body view

quick screenshot - ventral side

New trick!

For part 2 of the stonefish animation I’m trying to get more involved in the AfterEffects side of things, just because I don’t know very much about the program and it seems like you can do some pretty awesome stuff in there. For my EKG line, I found a tutorial that lets you chain a particle system to a single point, which you can then animate to form, say, an EKG monitor. You can view the entire tutorial for creating a 3D Stroke Effect here.

Syncing the audio with the imagery was tricky and still in refinement, but I’m pleased with what I have so far!

Productive night…

Last night (all night, ha) was an awesome work/catch-up night. I finished the stonefish model, which after finally scrapping the laser scan model I had, took only about 3 hours to model from zspheres and dynamesh in Zbrush. I really love sculpting and painting, I can definitely see myself focusing on that more. I might come back and tweak the model more later.

You know what I don’t love? Lighting. It’s so tedious, and I feel like I sit in front of the computer for hours tweaking one little setting, watching it render, then debating, then repeat. Over and over….Anyway, I’m determined to learn to deal with it this time, and get a good lighting set up.

The first few images are straight from Zbrush, and the last is with him in the scene and some preliminary lighting in Maya…not sure why I’m not getting any shadows on it, but it’s a start.


Finished, side view

Finished, 3/4 view

Chilling out. Waiting to poison someone.

Zbrush dynamesh is fantastic.

I’ve been delaying working on modeling my actual stonefish for quite a while now, for a number of reasons. But! I have a model of an actual fish (sort of…it’s plaster), which I was able to put through a laser scanner and pop it into Maya and Zbrush for some cleaning and sculpting. The dynamesh in the new Zbrush is amazing – after spending an ungodly amount of time trying to clean up the form in Maya, I threw it into Zbrush and put it in dynamesh mode, which took care of a lot of the junk on the scan model…happiness. Now it’s down to sculpting up the model, fixing holes, and jamming out to Nickel Creek.

Here’s a quick progress shot – lots more sculpting to do still.

I love Zbrush.

Rendering differences between computers

This surprised me so much, I had to post about it. The rotifer project I’m working on for the maya class is getting closer to being done, and I’ve been surprisingly able to do most of the work on my little Macbook. However, since I have a more high-tech PC, I switched the file over to that to work on today…and the render looks completely different. The file is the same, the render settings are the same…so it’s something maybe about how the processor handles the file, according to fellow BVIS guru Joe Fullerton. Check out the difference…

Render from Mac

Render from PC

Crazy, right?

Immune Response sketches

For both my 3D class and illustration class we’re doing cellular landscapes. Way fun. I love looking at SEM images, and I think concept sketching for things like this is becoming one of my favorite things to do. Everything has so much potential when you’re in this stage…anyway, below are some very rough, colored sketches for what I think I’m going with for each class.
This will be the one in 3D, it shows a dendritic cell in a lymph node presenting its phagocytized, broken-up antigen to a naive T cell. I got really excited about the whole idea of “presenting” for this one…The plan is to go with the sketch on the bottom for the modeling.

These are even rougher sketches – they’re showing the formation of a blood clot. The fibrin tendrils are the bundle of fibers up in the corners of the sketches, I’ll work out a less messy way to show them. I think I like the middle one the best here….

3D Knees

The beast of a texturing project for is finally at a stopping point – our critique is tomorrow. We used 3DS Max to create 3 different textures for a knee DICOM data set: natural bone texture, x-ray, and ink n’paint (one of the standard materials in the program). The ink and paint had the added element of modeling the popliteal artery and its major tributaries.

I feel like all of them still need a fair amount of work to get to the point where I’m completely happy with them. My natural textures on the knee still look strange in some areas – now that I’m more used to the Viewport Canvas paint tool I think another try would go better. I felt good about my texture until I started adding in my lighting rig, and the rim lights started to pop out textures I didn’t realize where there. Sad times. The ink and paint has a popliteal artery that is a bit small given the size of its tributaries, but otherwise the location is correct. The x-ray I’m probably the most pleased with, it was fun to play with the x-ray look. It still is a pretty stylized x-ray, but the falloff maps were fun to change around.