Friday, November 23, 2007

AO with MR

I really liked the results from an ambient occlusion bake with mental ray in 3DSMax, but I always got loads of errors (black splodges). Turns out that this is the low poly mesh intersecting with the high poly mesh, for some reason Mental Ray isn't able to hide the low poly mesh its baking to. So to get around this after you set up the projection cage simply go down the stack into edit poly, select all the faces and then select hide (not the hide command for objects, but the hide button in edit poly), this will hide all the faces of the model. Go back up the stack to the projection modifier and you'll see the cage again. Hit bake and you'll get a nice AO map without the black areas. Here's some settings I've found useful when doing this. The higher spread seems to bake a cavity style map rather than AO which can be very useful. (I'll post an example soon). The memory spinner will need to be increased if you have brought in a very high poly mesh from zbrush (as an .obj) and your getting an error when baking. I usually increase it to 3000MB and don't seem to get an memory errors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hard Surface Texturing

Stefan-Morrell has posted a very nice tutorial on how to texture hard surfaces in photoshop over on CGSociety. Not directly character related but this kind of stuff can come in really handy when doing armour etc.

Click here for the tutorial

Print Screen

Recently I've had trouble doing a print screen into Photoshop. I tried all the usual clear clipboard stuff but it never worked. This did though:

click here

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Speed = No UVs

At least it does in zbrush:

Apparently it speeds up sculpting.

Character Sheet

Quick zbrush tip to quickly create orthographic and perspective renders. Align the camera to front view (use shift+left click drag). Click Document>Zapplink Properties, then click the front button. Do the same for the right view. Then approximate a 3/4 view and click custom. Then simply hit "Make Character Sheet" and zbrush will punt out multiple views of your character to photoshop. It uses 2 separate layers too, so you can composite your character into a different background. You should get an image like the one below.

Zbrushed Dwarf

Not very far on with the zbrushing of this guy, he's got way too many parts. Started the guantlets, cloth, boots and the leather apron. The beard and head are just about done, the little metal hair thingys havent been touched though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gimbal Lock is back

Progess is verrry slooow, but he's still going. A wee bit of texture work shown here, some pics of zbrush work to follow...


Very early WIP of Gum from Jet Set Radio.