1. #1
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    Default ZBrush to Second Life Slapt.me penguin

    I originally created this tutorial as an Open Project on the slapt.me forum and also on my Pleasure Islands web site, but thought it would be useful for those here wanting to use ZB to create sculpties for Second Life.

    When I first started using ZBrush to create sculpties in SL I was so frustrated at the lack of useful ZB to SL information.
    So, my I hope is that by posting this here, many like me will now find this may help them create and develop their ZB skills for use in creating sculpties.
    Feel free to comment at any time.


    The slapt.me site needed a penguin mascot to use in-world to promote the site!?
    So we banded together to create one between us!

    Part 1. Basics

    I had this idea for an Open Project where members of slapt.me could contribute, learn and share their knowledge and skills on whatever they have used and need to use for a Second Life project.

    The goal of this project will be to produce a sculptured, textured, scripted, interactive animated slapt.me penguin that eventually will be donated to slapt.me to give away in their packs and promotions.

    Although I have an idea what the finished penguin will be like and what it will do the project will remain open to ideas and suggestions from everyone.

    As the project develops so will our ideas hopefully, hence the outcome could be quite different from the original concept.
    Input in the way of constructive ideas, scripting, animation skills, sculpting skills and even wiki skills will be needed as I feel this will eventually make a useful tutorial for all those interested in creating in Second Life.

    So, let's get started. We can go into more detail as we go along.

    I've chosen the 'King Penguin' as the base model as it was obviously used for the slapt.me logo.

    Here you can see the original three models chosen for the slapt.me logo... (tongue in cheek)

    slapt.me-peng-orig.jpg

    They're beautiful creatures and would make a cool and cute pet for slapt.me users. lol

    As with any project we'll start with the basics and gradually build and build with until we have our final creation.
    My next step is to find some reference for the actual profile of the penguin (See next post).

    My Pleasure Islands web site.
    The slapt.me forum.
    Second Life.
    Last edited by Cleanslate; 10-13-09 at 03:17 PM.

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    Part 2: Creating the mesh for the penguin.

    The sculpted penguin will consist of eight sculpted prims. Ten, if we have moving eyes.

    Consisting of:
    Body
    Wings x2 left and right
    Feet x2 left and right
    Beak x2 top and bottom
    Head


    I've chosen the following profiles to use for creating the first part of the mesh which will be the body.

    slaptPengFnt.jpg slaptPengLeft.jpg

    Fortunately it's a fairly simple shape and should be easy to create using ZBrush which really does lend itself to natural and organic shapes.

    Next step is to create the mesh for the body.

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    Part 2b: Creating the body of the penguin.

    Having taken the front and side images of the penguin into ZBrush for reference I created a low resolution mesh of the shape (fig 1.).

    Using the SweepProfile3D tool at a resolution of 32 x 33 which is the standard sculpty resolution for Second Life I then changed the S Profile to get the general shape seen on the far left of the photo. (S Profile can be found in the Initialize palette.)

    Having got the basic shape I converted the SweepProfile into a PolyMesh3D.

    Now we can start sculpting using the Move tool set to different sized brushes to get the basic low resolution mesh as seen in the blue front and side profiles to the right of (fig 1.).

    slaptPengBod1-4.jpg
    (fig 1.)

    Having smoothed out the frame to make sure there are no crooked angles I can now increase the resolution and put more detail in. (see fig 2.)

    slaptPengBod5-8.jpg
    (fig 2.)

    Next step will be to test the mesh will load up into SL?
    Tip. Always test your mesh will load up as it's easy to destroy the poles and corrupt the mesh.

    I use the Beta grid for this as it's free to load up images. When you know it works you can save it as a final and load it into the normal grid.

    I'll not bother showing it in SL as they always look a mess until they have the textures on them.

    My next step will be to create the Head.
    The head will rotate and hopefully nod or move up and down in some way.
    I'm still trying to work out how I can achieve this but as usual I'll just get on with it and see what happens?

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    Part 2c: Creating the head.

    I had some spare time today so decided to work a little on the penguin head.
    It took me a while to find suitable photo's to use for the profile.

    Below are the images I used with the main profile shots in the middle centre. (fig 1.)
    The other smaller ones were for reference.

    slaptPenguinshpeHD.jpg
    (fig 1.)

    Originally I thought we'd need two prims for the beak, but having studied a couple of videos I realized the top of the beak doesn't actually move.
    So I decided to model the head with the entire beak for now. Later I'll collapse the bottom part and create another bottom beak.
    So, we've saved a prim!

    As with the body I started with the Sweep3D Tool to make the basic mesh for the head. (fig 2. top left)
    Using the Masking Tool with the Rotate and Move tools I gradually bent the mesh into a very rough head shape. (fig 2. bottom left)
    Using the photo's in (fig 1.) for reference I sculpted the general shape of the head. (fig 2. bottom middle)
    The tricky part was fitting it onto the body of the penguin. (fig 2. right)
    It still needs some tweaking but I'll do that with the fine detail like the eyes and the bottom of the beak later.

    slaptPengBod9-13.jpg
    (fig 2.)

    Before putting too much detail in I'll do the feet next to give the penguin proportion.
    I always find it easier if I can see the whole object that I'm working on before I go into detail.

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    Greatwork, thx for tut, looking forward to how u textured / rendered this!
    SketchBook
    ZAnimator (Video Demo): The Zbrush Animation Plugin (Keyframe and Timeline based)
    ZAnimator Zbrush Thread
    Blog / Webfolio: Darukin's Arts and Crafts

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    This was a duplicate post. I can't find a way of deleting it?
    Last edited by Cleanslate; 10-12-09 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Edit. Deleted. This was a duplicate post of the last page.

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    Thank you for sharing the tutorial....looking forward for more

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    Default Great tut..

    Cleanslate: Thanks for the tutorial, looking great. Glad this is getting some attention, wished it had a while ago. Thanks for going through the effort.
    "The horizon is ever bright for those continueing to seek it!!"
    --AngelJ

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    Thanks for the positive feedback!
    I've been trying all day to add more pages but it's not loading up the posts.
    I've tried three times now!
    I've only managed to get one more section up in the last 24 hours but I'll keep trying.

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    Part 2d: Creating the feet.

    So, having studied numerous images of penguin feet I've come to a conclusion...

    ... they're extremely ugly and a little bit frightening!

    Have a look at the reference images below...

    slaptPengFoot.jpg

    Fortunately they only have three toes so one prim should do the trick.

    Part 2e: Creating the meshes for the feet.

    I had to think about this one, but opted to use the SweepProfile3D tool yet again.
    It's ideal for creating a multitude of isometric shapes but with the shape of the foot I wasn't sure if it would be suitable.

    After a little experimentation I found I could squish the saucer shape (fig1.a.b.).
    I then masked off the ankle and used the Gravity Tool to move the mesh of the foot forwards until I had a general foot shape.
    A good tip here is to make sure most of the faces of the mesh are where you need the most detail.
    We'll hardly ever see the bottom of the foot so I wanted them all on the top as you can see in (fig1.b.)

    slaptPengfootF1b.jpg
    (fig1.)

    Having got the general shape of the foot I could then tweak the mesh at the lowest resolution to get the general shape of the toes and claws etc.
    Again adding more and more detail as the mesh is divided to higher resolutions.

    slaptPengfootF2b.jpg
    (fig2.)

    As this particular part of the penguin will be duplicated and mirrored to make the right foot; it was necessary to put all the detail in now as you can see in (fig2.c.)
    I told you they were ugly! lol

    If you're wondering why I put so much detail in when most will be lost in-world it's because I'm hopeful that we'll soon have the ability to import meshes into SL.
    So then I can just upgrade all my work to the mesh versions knowing I have all the detail and all the textures ready to fit in place.
    Also I often use the detailed sculpt to make a bump and highlight map that I can use to enhance the finished texture.

    The next step will be to attach this Left foot to the body of the penguin then duplicate and mirror it to make a Right foot.

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    Part 2f: Creating the texture for the feet.

    Slight change of plan:

    I was going to attach the foot to the penguin body then duplicate and mirror it, but decided I'd paint the texture rather than try and use the actual photo textures.
    Also It occurred to me that once I've got this left foot textured I can just duplicate it and mirror both the mesh and the texture together.

    Below is the pre painted mesh showing a few of the key angles I've chosen to help me paint all sides quickly.

    slptFootR1.9-fig1-PreB.jpg

    slptFootR1.9-fig2-PreB.jpg

    Here's a quick video of the actual painting proces.

    I used the actual mesh to create a depth mask that I keep switching from negative to positive so I can paint the texture accordingly.
    When you see it flicker that's the mask I'm switching on or off etc.
    I cut out some of the video to keep the file size down but hopefully this will show how easy it is to paint in ZBrush.

    ">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="395">

    Wish I could actually work this fast!


    Here's the finished texture on the foot. This is the left foot btw.

    slptFootR1.9-fig1-PostB.jpg

    slptFootR1.9-fig2-PostB.jpg

    Next step is to attach the foot to the body then duplicate and mirror it for the right foot.

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    Part 2f part 4: Adding the feet to body of the penguin.

    Having finished the Left foot it was a pretty simple task to duplicate it and mirror it using Subtool Master plug-in.

    Then it was just a case of positioning the feet at the base of the body.
    I often find it useful to use the Turntable feature (found under Movies) to examin a model.
    Sitting back and seeing the penguin rotate I could see its proportions needed a slight tweak and his neck area needs quite a bit of work to get the join with the body right.

    ">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="395">

    I'd like to get the wings done and add those so again I can see his proportions better and do a final check against my reference photo's.

    At least for now our penguin can stand on his own two feet while I get on with the wings.

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    Part 2g: Creating the wings for the penguin.

    Here's my selection of reference images for the wings.

    slaptPenguinWing-A.jpg

    It was difficult to decide how to go about this.
    If the penguin was going to remain static it would be easy, but as we need the wings to flap, slap and move I had to build a shoulder joint into it so it shouldn't pop out of the body when it moves.

    The initial wing animation will be done using a simple rotation script created by Grandma Bates with the pivot point at the shoulders. Later we'll be animating them by changing the UV maps on the sculpties so the shoulder will remain joined to the body and the wings will bend in a more fluid movement.

    As with the rest of the penguin I chose the SweepProfile3D tool to create the basic mesh for the wing.

    Here's a tip I'd like to share when creating new Tools and object meshes in ZBrush.
    I never know where the texture seam will be once I create a new mesh.
    So what I do is paint a couple of coloured stripes and dots on the mesh then convert it to a texture to see where the seam is. (See fig1. b. c.)
    I always try to hide the seam at the back of the mesh but in this case the underside of the wing will be seen so I wanted the seam on the very edge of the wing.

    Texture-seam-fig1.jpg

    I then squashed it leaving the shoulder joint bulbous then bent the joint into the body.
    Followed by sculpting of the actual wing to get the shape.

    slptWingR1.9-fig1-Pre.jpg

    slptWingR1.9-fig1-Pre2.jpg

    Then as with the feet the left wing was duplicated and mirrored using SubtoolMaster.

    Here's quick turntable animation of the penguin complete with wings, feet, head and body.
    I'd smoothed the neck join a little more and given the head a little more shape by this time.

    ">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="395">

    I coloured the wings and head grey just to highlight all the parts so far so I could see the proportions.

    So, the only part we need now is the bottom of the beak. Phew!

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    Default Another way to test uploads

    If you download the Greenlife Emerald Viewer, it has a built in temporary upload feature right on the upload window, and is free. The uploaded image will last until you log out. this way you can save a bit of time by not having to log in and out between the beta grid and the main Agni grid.

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    Part 2h: Creating the beak for the penguin.

    The final part of creating the meshes for the sculpts is to create the bottom part of the beak.
    I used a variety of images already used in the previous parts of the project as reference.
    I also used a side shot of the head as a reference texture on the actual mesh for the head as a guide (see fig.1.).

    We need him to be able to talk or squawk so it's important that the beak can move.
    As I mentioned in an earlier post it's only the bottom part of the beak that moves so I collapsed the top part inwards and up then added the bottom part using my favourite SweepProfile3D tool as before to create the mesh.

    Below in you can see how it's joined into the head of the penguin.
    (fig 1. left.) shows the entire beak and how it's embedded into the head so that when it opens and closes there's a smooth join.
    (fig 1. middle.) shows it as it appears on the outside of the head.
    (fig 1. right.) shows the same but without the mesh.

    Texture-beak-fig1.jpg

    Once the beak was finished it was then a simple task to mask the base part inside the head, blurr it then use the rotate tool to animate the bottom of the beak.
    Although initially it will be animated with a simple rotation script, eventually I'd like to animate it using the UV files to get a smooth finish.
    Taylor has created some fabulous sound files for his squawking too which you can here in the animation below.

    ">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="395">

    So! All the meshes for the base model are now complete! Phew!

    Now we can begin texturing the meshes and really bring him to life.

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