1. #1
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    Default Anthro fox (was - n00b: So how do I do this stuff exactly?)

    This is the model I started working on when I bought ZBrush in late February. I'd kinda stopped working on it due to doing other things, and also because I wasn't sure what to do next. Well, at least for the latter part, I can ask you guys, so I finally got around to doing it! Anyway, being able to get this far on a model is what spurred me to buy ZBrush in the first place, despite what was to me a high price (sure, I had the money, and it's still cheap in comparison to the ultra-high-end, but it's a lot to pay for a program that I could very well end up being only a hobbyist in!); I'd never been able to use a 3D modeller before. I must say, ZBrush is the only program I've used with a trial scheme I like; usually it's either too strict so you can't test the very thing you want to do, or it's too lax so you end up just using that instead of buying it. *glances at his still-unregistered copies of Cool Edit 96 and WinZip... not that I think WinZip should cost money in the first place...*

    Anyway, my character is a cartoony anthropomorphic fox, intended for a graphic novel I'm writing which will probably never see the light of day. I intend to use her for reference drawings, so I don't intend to take it to a complete sculpture-like stage, or animate her like in a movie or video game. Still, I'd like to learn the "right" way to do things that may not be so important to this particular model.

    sfoxx4.jpg

    For example, getting a good, consistent polygon size. I think this mesh here is an adaptive skin preview with no mesh editing. Some of the ZSpheres have higher resolution for obvious reasons, but it means some areas have much smaller polygons than others. Of course, when I start working the mesh, I can just selectively subdivide areas with larger polygons, but it's still difficult to get it pretty uniform. How do you guys handle this sort of thing? Also, would you have done what I've done so far any differently?

    That's the only real problem that pops out at me right now. I don't know how I'm going to model the ears, but I suppose a little trial and error will do the trick.

    Oh... and is it possible at all to model breasts using ZSpheres?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions when I start picking this model back up again.

    - Kef
    Last edited by furrykef; 04-25-06 at 12:32 PM.

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    Hmm... was my question too vague?

    Are there any tutorials that cover this sort of thing? I've seen some ZBrush tutorials, but they often don't address the specific questions I have. (For example, I didn't know how to model hands until I looked here and found XYZAdjust and how to use it for hands. One tutorial that should have shown me how to do hands had instead fudged it by going with a hand that had only two fingers and a thumb, since it was a monster figure anyway.)

    I'd like to see a tutorial that covers, say, doing a whole human figure from the ZSphere stage to at least the adaptive skinning stage. One that doesn't leave out details like how the hands were done, what was done to keep the polygon count consistent, etc. But if there isn't one, I'd just like something that illustrates my specific problem, how to prevent and/or deal with irregular polygon sizes.

    - Kef

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    Hi there, furrykef. You seem to have many questions and are hungry for answers. Probably the best way to learn any specific subject here is to do a word search above which will list all posts on that subject. Also download the user manual PDF. There is a tutorials only forum on the pull-down menu below, too. Ton's of info to be had here. Best regards. 50.

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    hello furrykef,

    Using Zbrush is a lot like traditional sculpting in that it take years of practice to get good. Usually the hundreds of little tutorials are more than enough to start with. For example there are lots of hand and ear tutorials right here.

    However, the Gnomon Studios do have what you ask for in complete tutorials on DVD that take you to a fully finished model from scratch.

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    ive only used it for a few months too, I just searched through zbrush central and read all the forums and download any video tutorials on zbrushing and just see how other ppl go about it. Oh and to keep motivated just click on the featured gallery everyday and just think 'i wanna do that too!'... top rowers rock!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbone
    Usually the hundreds of little tutorials are more than enough to start with. For example there are lots of hand and ear tutorials right here.
    I know, and I've used them -- you'll notice the hands in that picture don't look too bad. But I'm not sure how exactly to work the hands into the rest of the mesh, because the higher resolution of the hands causes a lot of little polygons in that area, whereas other areas still have big polygons...

    However, the Gnomon Studios do have what you ask for in complete tutorials on DVD that take you to a fully finished model from scratch.
    Hmm, that could be what I need. Thanks for the suggestion.

    - Kef

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    kef, i think you have to bring down the detail of your hands in the base mesh...so your whole mesh sub divs more equally....and the feeet too...

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    I'm not sure what you mean. That's the lowest resolution I can get for the hands and the feet without ending up with having two fingers or toes attached to the same polygon. Other than lowering the resolution I don't see what you mean by "bringing down the detail".

    - Kef

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbone
    However, the Gnomon Studios do have what you ask for in complete tutorials on DVD that take you to a fully finished model from scratch.
    Hmm, unfortunately for me, the one on the human figure starts with a model in Maya, and I can't take that approach as I don't have Maya. I'd prefer to learn how to construct a human figure starting from ZSpheres, since with a real human figure you can't dodge issues like requiring higher intersection resolution for hands by simply removing a finger or two.

    - Kef

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    Furry Kef,

    If you wish to master the ZSphere contruction of Anthropomorphics, there is no better thread to digest than Jason Belec's "A Little Challenge ..." It is usually on the first page of active threads in the ZBrush Main Forum and is currently about 28 pages. I recommend going through it from the beginning. There is excellent information for you there. Regards.

    ~S.~
    Last edited by SNARK; 04-23-06 at 05:47 AM.

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    Thanks. I won't check it out right this minute, but I'll keep it in mind

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    I looked over the thread and, while there's certainly some interesting stuff there, I haven't found anything that really handled the issue of consistent polygon size. In fact, it looks like people just ignore it! Maybe I just shouldn't worry too much about it?

    - Kef

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    Uniform poly size in your low res skin is less of an issue than in the high res version that will ultimately align your uv's and allow for successful mapping of textures and topology with minimal stretching. The important thing in the low res mesh is that it be organized around areas of movement. This is particularly important for those objects or characters that are to be animated. If you take a look at the last few pages of Jason's thread and study the meshes you will see a sense of order about how the polys are laid out. That thread contains many examples of models that may be downloaded for study as well as some ZScripts that you can play in your program and follow along 'live' with the process.

    ~S.~

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    I see. Thanks. Well, I guess I better finally get back to this model and end up with more questions to ask...

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    Well, after a few minor changes, I decided to commit my model to a polygon mesh for now. I'm still not certain if I did the best job I could with the ZSpheres, but hey, that's what backups are for. I don't mind redoing the polygon work if I decide to change the ZSpheres, since I'm doing this for practice as much as I am for getting a model I can use. I'm just dinkin' around.

    I'm trying to figure out how to do the ears. I want to be able to rig the ears so I can pose them a little, so I'm trying to figure out how to get a good topology for that. I tried edge-looping where I wanted the ears to go and them pulling them out, but I eventually had success doing it the other way around: pulling out the ears, edge-looping at subdiv 1, then moving points around. Only, well, I reshaped part of the ear and I ended up with a big problem, the same sort of problem that happened when I did the edge loop first.

    ears1.jpg

    ears2.jpg

    Obviously, that edge loop isn't looking really good. It especially gets screwed up at the corners (same thing happens on the back side). Moving the points around doesn't really help.

    I'm currently thinking maybe I don't even need edge loops for the ears here... I think I'm going to just try it again without edge loops and see how it comes out.

    - Kef

    (BTW, I notice my original post was changed so the image is attached as a JPEG instead of linked to my website as a PNG. Am I not supposed to link to my webspace, or does a script do this automatically, or what?)
    Last edited by furrykef; 04-23-06 at 09:01 PM.

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