escaping the lab - *.obj for download added

Wow. Looking good.

Do you like XSI for rendering?

Hi Bill,

I´ve just started using XSI with version 5.01, still have quite a
few problems with the rendertree and generally in getting around
the interface but allready dig the quality of the mR implementation.

It´s really easy to plug together complex shading networks,
disconnect snippets and the re-open the rendertree to find
those parts auto-optimized away…ouch. It´s not Maya Hypershade…

Also expirience frequent lock-ups and crashes when using SSS nodes
and rendering regions alot while having additional programs open,
maybe not too good an idea to have ZBrush, Maya, XSI and else
open simultaneously…ahem, but most of the time it works anyway:-)




althought I really should be doing some other things first
I got carried away by the greatXSI modeling toolset. [+]

Also slowly start to get in touch with ZBrush more often.
The below image bascically is my testing ground for ZBrush
and XSI. be it Normalmaps or displacement, *.obj I/O.
All the bells and whistles are tested on this.

Admittedly, it´s also a great way to work on something
different without the pressure that comes with (post)grad.
neverending short still not finished.

So, I´m still trying to escape the *.lab…


Hi Tim,

I read at the top that you have added XSI to your toolset. I’m a Maya user and was thinking of doing the same thing for modelling purposes. How are you finding XSI and would you recommend learning it? Has it improved your workflow?

Slightly off topic I know

Hi MrJames,

I can definitely recommend the polygon modeling toolset, the selection
modes and the simplified subdivision display. The felt speedimprovement in
workflow for me - coming from Maya - is at around 250-300%.

This is mostly due to redraw still being very fast even with loads subdivided
meshes. So I´m not neccessarily saying the tools are better, it´s just
faster and more WYSWYG to work on subdivision surfaces using the tools XSI offers.

I had some Softimage 3.8/3.9 experience, but never touched XSI before, a
long time Maya user…well, I don´t quite like every thing the XSI guys have
or don´t have implemented but I start to get along well enough to reliably
find a way to get out what I need. Roughly spend 3 months (part-time)
poking the modeling toolset to get this far. Including the mR settings.

So, I´d say download the trial foundation from Softimage, if you like it
for modeling, get a copy. It´s definitely worth it´s $ 500,- .
(I have an edu Advanced currently but that´s exactly what I´ll do…)



Thanks for the reply m8,

Yeah, its something that I have been toying with the idea of learning for the past month and I think I’ll have to give it a go now :wink: The only thing that has been stopping me is just learning another 3d package… I’ll get the trail and see how it goes :smiley:

I´ve put together some more files someone may find helpful.
It´s a good example of the simplified subdivsion display of
XSI (or modo or silo or whatever) helping in building a light
and efficient mesh. I started that Guard character by his
boots actually…

The boot isn´t ideal in terms of proportion but should be quite a good start to create your own one from by adding or deleting loops and such, 53 KB, all quads: [http://www.hafenlola.com/downloads/genericbootobj.zip](http://www.hafenlola.com/downloads/genericbootobj.zip) [![Leydecker_quadboot.jpg|768x576](upload://ihkEToLqM5D75wxSBAoOPoWUYTN.jpeg)]



Thanks for the boot model Tim , I will see how it looks on one of the figures
I printed in 3D.

Hi Pride,

go ahead. Post a result if you like the outcome.



Here´s some more files, showing a simple way of using SyflexCloth
(in the downloadable file) or even the FoundationCloth and pins
as constraints to solve clothfolding as an inspiration for modeling.


(XSI 5.01 adv required for the files _underscore! 345kB,- edu!)

Basically, you model a somewhat simplified shape for the trousers,
add a pinconstraint to the toprow vertices around the waist and
the bottomrow vertices for the ankle and just push the controller
objects up and down a little, you can also scale and rotate the
pinconstraint (boxes) to get twist, kind of sculpting the cloth.

Once this is satisfactory, you freeze and use a polygonreduction
(and maybe a quadrangulate operation) on the mesh and can start
creating a cleaned-up version including the details like pockets and
seams that would be too difficult to real-time solve.


This is where the topology brush/Zsphere of ZBrush2.5 will come in
really handy I hope, I expect to be able to intuitively preserve alot more
of the details solved compared to the meshes I get through semiautomated
reduction as a base for tweaking the look now:


I hope you guys find this useful,







In a thread of Spiraloid, Pixolator describes a workflow for
swapping out higher levels of subdivision using *.obj files.
In a nutshell, this also allows to reconstruct a lowrez mesh
from a highly subdivided clothsolve. Here´s the link to the


Following up, I tried it with my solved mesh of the clotharm
and could bring the mesh down one step, you can try it yourself
here´s the file, 160kB *.obj. It´s not perfect, seems you may
get better results if you create a lowrez in your favourite app,
subdivide in ZBrush, import that back to your favourite app, do
a clothsolve on it and reimport it (to the appropriate level) back
into ZBrush. In my example file, you may run into a memory warning
and a crash - I currently have only 1024MB of memory allocated to


Thanks Pixolator and Bay for the inspiration.



Harry Bardak from the xsi softimage mailinglist helped me
a great deal in getting flickerfree, easy to setup renders
using ambient occlusion w/environment sampling instead
of relying on FinalGathering. Results in a turntable, H.264
compressed, 512kB, 1Minute/frame rendertime. Love it…


You´ll notice I´m still not finished merging everything up,
symmetry all over the place, veeery long arms, details missing.
Can´t do much on the guy this week but hope to put some
more time into him this weekend, finally getting to use Zbrush …


Very nice rendering and cool character.

Isn’t there something to check around the arm position, they might lok a bit too low on shoulders?
It might be an illusion due to the jacket…

Cool technic to generate natural cloth wrinkles. But you could also had psculpted it :wink:

Hi Sebastien,

there´s definitely something wrong with the arms and the shoulders.
I´ll probably shorten the arms slightly and move them up a faint bit.
Should also help in fitting a belt inbetween, a 1911 holster and stuff
like an ammopouch and canteen. Also need to fix the leggings, lower
and shorter, less knit. Regarding the cloth, I ended up remodeling the
major parts of it but it´s still a great help to solve them first, they get
a more natural look and wheight I find. I think I wouldn´t have gotten
such nice volumes wthout the solve as a reference but instead would
have ended up with a more slimfit look…

Next thing to do is to first finish all the seperate parts in cleanup, as
they are probably good enough to build a modelDB from them, the jacket,
the boots, the trousers could be recyclable. It´s tedious but a timesaver
for building other *.mil characters from them.

This one is supposed to look like a ~55/60ies assistant MP, some sort of
Area 51 lab setting, he´ll have an early M16 grabbed and an extra bandolier
with ammo (if I´m not too lazy) thrown over is shoulder, M1 helmet, the
knife fixed to the gun, searching for escaped subjects down in the lab…

…Or maybe I´ll give him some other rifle, an M14 or M3A1, would fit the
decade better. Could also land short and´ll first do something else…



P.S: I like your Vegas characters alot, marvelous details.

merged the snippets into one mesh yesterday, took me a
significant amount of time and proved quite disappointing
since I lost quite a bit of shape and detail while lining up
the edgeloops and creating the all quad mesh. 350kB, H264:

Mostly visible at the legs, the folds lost their wheight and
the proportions got a more stumped look. Intentionally fixed
the armlength as well as necklength and position of the head.

He looks younger now. I´m not sure wether I like it, may end
up redoing the trousers while I give him a last check for tri´s.



P.S: I don´t upload the files to prevent thenm from appearing
in the latest pics row, since technically, there´s no ZBrush yet…




Tim, I have printed the boots in wax at 1/4 scale. They were a great start and saved me a lot of time. I needed boots for a figure I modeled in Zbrush.
They were bilt up at .07mm per layer [the machine will do .02mm] to
save hours of print time. I can clean the surface up easily. Added some folds
and caps.
Thanks again



omg… im gotta have one of those for xmas…

me to !! definetly !
omg, i just imagineg how much i could do with that, bet that cost way to much :confused:

hey Pride,

looks awesome. It´s only now that I realized I shoud have
brought the loops to put the bootlaces through more together.

I did that on my own model while creating the shoelaces but
not on the basemesh, maybe I´ll give the boot.obj an update.
(Not before mid july…)

Whatever, hope you found the boots useful anyway, I really
like what you did with them in real 3D.



Since this thread has somewhat involved into the place
to host the stuff I fiddle with in regards to ZBrush, testing,
trying, experimenting - kind of fits the title - I decided to
post another prop from the *.lab I fancy alot:


Textured in ZBrush using Zapplink w/Photoshop, rendered
in Maya/IBL, using a 32bit *.ct file create in XSI by simply
rendermapping a fully reflective sphere in the middle of my
prelit set. I´ll now try *.hdr lighting inside ZBrush using said
spherical environment texture to get a somewhat predictable
impression of the look while modeling/texturing further stuff.

Hope you find the above workflow description useful, I love
the endless possibilities I get from having ZBrush around.