Saturday, April 25, 2015

Digital Sculpting - Two Model Pose

Our sculpture group decided to take on the challenge of working with two models. Our first pose had one model on top of the other like this:

After trying that out for a session we changed to an embracing pose:

I tried something for the first time - posing skeletons before working up the sculpt in ZBrush. To pose the skeletons I used the animation software 3ds max. I took photos of the models in a T-pose and sized the bones to match each model.

Then the bones were rotated into position.This generates an aimation keyframe for each bone. I thought this would be fairly quick, but it turned out to be surprisingly painful! It took me two sessions with the models to get things into a reasonably close match. I think there are some inaccuracies in setting the bone lengths over a photo - even for a T-pose.

Here are a few views of the posed bones:

I then needed to generate a base mesh to sculpt from. So I used ZSpheres positioned on top of the posed skeletons. One could argue why not just pose the ZSpheres and skip posing the skeletons! In fact, having done it, I might argue that myself! :) Actually, one advantage is you can turn on the skeleton beneath the transparent figure forms. If the skeleton was perfectly posed that would be a huge advantage. But there are inaccuracies in the bone lengths and positions and it wasn't nearly as useful as I had hoped.

For the final output I was looking for something geometric. So I used the ZPlugin Decimation Master to experiment with lower and lower polygon counts. This tool lets you preprocess the high resolution mesh and then quickly regenerate lower resolution meshes very rapidly.

These meshes are 6000 polygons total. I really like this look.

Here's the model decimated to 2000 polygons:

Here's the model with 1000 polygons total:

All the way down to 600. Below this level limbs start dropping out :)

Looks like folded paper. That suggests Pepakura Designer. This software takes a SIMPLE (read low polygon count) models and generates a net. A net is an unfolded pattern which can be printed and cut out, then folded back up to create the 3D model. Pepakura generates the fold lines and tabs for gluing.

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