1. #1
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    Default Dragon scales, any ideas how I can do something like this?

    http://fav.me/d4s03zj

    I've been experimenting on creating a dragon using Sculptris, but I can't figure how this guy does the scales. Anyone have any ideas? He uses zbrush. Is there a way for a poor Sculptris user to pull off something this spectacular?

    Note to moderators: I posted this question in two places because zbrush users and Sculptris users will have different answers, and I want to consider how much more powerful zbrush is. I also want to know if the tools required to create something like this is exclusive, or if I can make do with Sculptris. zbrush is very pricey, so I must consider hard.
    Last edited by anthonydraco; 08-27-12 at 03:29 AM.

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    Two way in sulptris.
    Similar to zBrush but as always, with limited functionality:


    Make sure you are at the very end of your basic sculpting.
    Safe this file with extra name, so you can go back if something failed or crashed.

    1. Via Geometry. (needs good computer performance, always a bit tricky to get a good performance - detail balance - performance frontier to crash)

    -Try to get a consistent tessellated mesh via reduce and subdivide all.
    -Check mesh via (W)
    Final mesh should be high density and equally tessellated.
    -Put detail slider on high.
    -Select alpha for scale alpha you want.
    (Pixologic download section has tons of psd alphas, just turn the one you need into png and put it in your sculptris - textures folder, I would use an alpha with just one scales)
    -Press "Option"
    -vary "Brush spacing" until the brushstroke put scales in the distance you need.
    -reduce density for painting and bumps after.

    2. Simply sculpt the scales you want. Not to easy but just for a head.....
    Try the

    For both use bumpmaps later to add more detail. This is the only way to come somehow "close" to the look of massive detailed zBrush sculpts.

    3. If possible, buy Brush.
    After a long learning curve you will do this kind of dragon heads very easily and quickly.

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    Default re

    This is where Zbrush and Sculptris are different. Sculptris is not really meant to handle the polycount Zbrush will. But you Can paint bump details in Paint mode, and using the "Combine color and bump" feature in the Options panel, you can paint them straight from your Texture. I did this short vid on using this technique to paint wood. But you'll need to get some alphas and textures, there's plenty on this site, but you should try and create your own too using Gimp or Photoshop, to keep your art Original.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knacki View Post
    Final mesh should be high density and equally tessellated.
    -Put detail slider on high.
    -Select alpha for scale alpha you want.
    (Pixologic download section has tons of psd alphas, just turn the one you need into png and put it in your sculptris - textures folder, I would use an alpha with just one scales)
    -Press "Option"
    -vary "Brush spacing" until the brushstroke put scales in the distance you need.
    -reduce density for painting and bumps after.

    2. Simply sculpt the scales you want. Not to easy but just for a head.....
    Try the ***

    For both use bumpmaps later to add more detail. This is the only way to come somehow "close" to the look of massive detailed zBrush sculpts.
    Thanks, knack, although can you explain some terms? What's alpha here? And what are painting and bumps? I'm completely new to 3D and digital painting. Sorry. >_< Also, I think you were trying to say something but forgot, at the *** I marked.

    And from the part where you said '-Put detail slider on high' onward, were you talking about painting it? Or those alphas are brush for sculpting? If it's sculpting, what tools do you use once you get those brushes? Grab? Draw?

    I'm stuck at selecting alpha part. I've already placed the png file I got in textures. Sculptris can't find them as brushes, though. Any help? Where do I click to do as you say?

    What are bumpmaps? @_@

    Quote Originally Posted by justadeletedguy View Post
    This is where Zbrush and Sculptris are different. Sculptris is not really meant to handle the polycount Zbrush will. But you Can paint bump details in Paint mode, and using the "Combine color and bump" feature in the Options panel, you can paint them straight from your Texture. I did this short vid on using this technique to paint wood. But you'll need to get some alphas and textures, there's plenty on this site, but you should try and create your own too using Gimp or Photoshop, to keep your art Original.
    Hmm, thanks. I can see what you're suggesting. It's painting it here with customized texture, right? Well, it seems like this guy who created those heads did the scales via sculpting, and I'd prefer to try that first. Thanks, though. I'll keep this mind when I'm out of options.
    Last edited by anthonydraco; 08-27-12 at 04:32 AM.

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    I'm certainly no expert, but I can try to explain a bit of what I've learned so far. The alpha is pretty much just a grey scaled image (black and white). It uses that image to pull, or push, the mesh in a corresponding manor. So white would pull it the farthest and black almost not at all. That's when using it as a brush during sculpting and you need a lot of triangles in there to really see the details of the alpha come out.

    When using those alphas as brushes for the bump map (in paint mode), it does basically the same thing, but you aren't adding to the over all triangle count. A bump map can be quite useful in adding in a lot of very fine details that would take too many triangles to add while sculpting in Sculptris (skin pores, fine wrinkles, etc.). Some smaller scales would certainly be worth adding in using bump maps, while some of the larger ones can be added into the sculpt and then detailing some of their texture done with bump.

    In order to select the alpha in sculpt mode, go to the image under "Brush". When you click on the image, a number of brushes should appear. If the one that you added in there isn't showing up, you can click the last square that should have the word "New" in it. That will let you browse for the correct file. If you have it already in the Sculptris Texture folder, just browse to there and select it. It's basically the same when having to find a brush in paint mode as well.

    You can add all of those scales in the sculpt itself, but you do need to be mindful of your tri count. If your computer has no issues with really high tri counts, then you shouldn't have much of a problem as long as you aren't planning on painting him inside of Sculptris...

    Hope that helps a bit. Let me know if I missed anything.

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    Alpha ... in this case is just a black and white version of a colored texture. I believe the term is borrowed from it's Photoshop uses. PNG, TGA, DDS images have an alpha channel along with RGB, that is usually used for Transparency, but depending on the software, can be used for other functions, and when being edited, is usually shown in Greyscale (black and white).
    When using alphas in Zbrush or Sculptris, the lighter areas are raised and darkest areas receded, unless your brush is inversed. These can be used in Sculpt mode in Sculptris as well. But the example head that you showed probably has 5-milliion tris. Sculptris just won't handle those numbers, I've taken it just over a million, but you can't use Paint with any more than about 250K.

    The Normal Map or Bump Map is a game engine trick, that uses a texture to show highlights and shadows of details that are not actually in the geometry, keeping the polycount low, but leaving the models looking realistic. Once the textures are applied, it's hard to tell the difference.

    Zbrush models are made with Multiple Subdivision Levels, and the details of the highest subdivision level can be "Baked" to the Normal Map of the lowest subdivision level, allowing the low-poly model to be used in a game.
    Sculptris does not have Subdivision Levels, or the ability to Bake. But it will paint bumps on the Normal Map.

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    Sculptris is a real sculpting tool. You can work on scales, one by one, using crease tool. Simple.
    ZBrush on the other hand is basically a displacer. Its methods (and its brushes) are based on displacing a high density mesh.
    You can achieve similar results painting displacement maps. Unfortunately without the precious zbrush control.
    That's all.
    You can find superior to zbrush sculpting apps but zbrush is close to the final result. This only matters in the end.

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    Also, I think you were trying to say something but forgot, at the *** I marked.

    Ups -> Crease and Flatten brush. Play with Draw and clay checked, you will find your way soon.

    And from the part where you said '-Put detail slider on high' onward, were you talking about painting it? Or those alphas are brush for sculpting? If it's sculpting, what tools do you use once you get those brushes? Grab? Draw?

    Yes it's like a sculpting brush with this pic as a structure.
    If detail slider is high, one stroke will add plenty of triangles.
    As michalis said, sculptris is normaly not made for this, but you can try.
    It is mostly "Draw" to use with a Black&White png selected in the brush window.
    Click on the window, click new, select your picture. It just works if detail is very high and den


    I'm stuck at selecting alpha part. I've already placed the png file I got in textures. Sculptris can't find them as brushes, though. Any help? Where do I click to do as you say?

    What are bumpmaps? @_@

    Hmm, thanks. I can see what you're suggesting. It's painting it here with customized texture, right? Well, it seems like this guy who created those heads did the scales via sculpting, and I'd prefer to try that first. Thanks, though. I'll keep this mind when I'm out of options.

    No he didn't sculpt everything by hand. If you once try zBrush and start to understand, you will cry how easy it is in there.
    But sculpting by hand in sculptris is fine and fun. I did this guy in sculptris. 4hours Sculpting only, no bumpmaps.
    650.000 tris. (best and most handy way is to keep polycount low in sculptris. But sometimes my trick is quite cool)
    Last edited by Knacki; 08-27-12 at 01:37 PM.

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    Thank you, everyone, for your answers. I understand things better now. I can use the customized brush part, and the results are passable.

    And since some of you have zbrush, I wonder something. If I had zbrush, what did I have to do to get scales like that? That guy didn't paint each scale by hand, so how did he do it, do you reckon? This is where I wanna know how zbrush work.

    And I have problems using alphas. Alphas come in blocks, right? The only way to fuse the seams are randomize it. So if my scales have directions of flow instead of just knobs and bumps, it won't work. But that guy did it somehow. Are you suggest me to fuse the blocks by placing each tile carefully?

    I also have problems with 'Directional' brush/alpha as well. Even if I don't randomize it, I can't seem to predict the way it rotates. Suppose that I drag it down right, how will it rotate?
    Last edited by anthonydraco; 08-27-12 at 06:31 PM.

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    Default re

    For Sculptris, click the Lazy button at the top, unclick Airbrush, turn the Detail way up, and play with the Brush Spacing in the Options panel. For Zbrush I believe it's Lazy Mouse as well, but I don't know where to find it. The Lazy function will cause the alpha to follow in a curved pattern, adjust the Brush Spacing as needed to get a nice repeating pattern. This works good for making stitches, zippers, etc. and should be good for making your scales.

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    Only white part of the "alpha" will take an effect.
    Directional need some practice
    You can even rotate the alpha if you press space and click on the pic in center.

    For zBrush question it's time for a little internet journey through zBrushcentral for you
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthr...on-scales-Help


    Too much information and too many ways to explain it simply in on post.

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    Default Alphas

    Hi there , this guy rocks his dragons are unreal http://jongi13.deviantart.com/art/Zbrush-Alpha-package-vol-1-198335985
    That is a link he generously gave for scales alphas he uses for him creations. Hope it helps....

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