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Creating a character for animation...where is most of the modelling done?
show user profile  8564dan
Hi guys,

I'm just starting on a big project, creating a character that I can then animate.

I'm not sure whether to create a base mesh in 3Ds Max, export it into zbrush for details and then export back, or create the whole thing in zbrush. Is this even recommended? I just want to know the best way to do this without causing hassle for myself.

I've seen people saying poly modelling is old school, so I'm assuming that most of the character is modelled in sculpting programs? I'm just a bit confused on where to start tbh. Would be great if someone could help with some guidelines or something.

Thanks :)
read 342 times
12/28/2013 6:06:31 PM (last edit: 12/28/2013 6:06:31 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
1. Creating mesh - Zbrush for sculpting. Clothing is sometimes done in marvelous designer. Hair can be done in zbrush, max or any program you like.

1.5 Retopologising - I now use zbrush exclusively for this. First duplicate tool, dynamesh at a high resolution (to make it all quads), zremesh guide it if you want, then zremesh it. Finally project your original details and textures onto your retopologised mesh. Takes 5 minutes max.

2. UV's - You can use zbrush but I prefer doing it in max.

3. Diffuse texturing - dDo can be used to add some cool elements to your maps (e.g. dust, rust, etc). Mari can be used for texturing, its resolution is not dependent on polygon count, so is better than zbrush... but I just use zbrush with zapplink.

4. Normals and AO - xnormal.

5. PS for the rest of the maps.

read 333 times
12/28/2013 6:42:29 PM (last edit: 12/28/2013 6:43:23 PM)
show user profile  8564dan
Thanks for the reply :)

So, are you saying to model it all in zbrush basically? I've read it's easier to model the base mesh in Max, then take it into zbrush to sculpt, the retopologize it and bake the maps from zbrush to max?
read 321 times
12/28/2013 9:28:42 PM (last edit: 12/28/2013 9:28:42 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
I was clear on my workflow. It's numbered in order.

Unnecessary recap:
1. sculpt in ZBRUSH.
1.5 retopologise in ZBRUSH.
2. unwrap in MAX.
3. diffuse texturing in ZBRUSH
4. normals and AO in XNORMAL
5. rest of maps in PHOTOSHOP.

For me, it's easier and quicker than starting in max.

[edit] P.S. there are some non-organic items e.g. armor, where it's quicker to start in max.
read 316 times
12/28/2013 9:56:13 PM (last edit: 12/28/2013 9:58:15 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
I usually go about it in this order -

0. make lowpoly cage in max (optional if the stock humanoid isn't good enough for start)
1. sculpt in mudbox
2. retopo in topogun
3. unwrap in max
4. paint alpha maps for various stuff from diffuse layers to reflection parameters in mudbox
5. export cage from mudbox to max along with vdm's and/or normals and textures
6. compose the material in max
7. rig and skin in max, i prefer CAT these days
8. make free morphs and rig driven morphs for whatever
9. make hair, eyeballs, teeth, whatever in max and hook them up to the rig
10. hook up the rig and rest of animation control to handy control objects

Its a lengthy process, even a stick figure would probably take up the better half of the day, some of my commercial projects have run up to a few months and personal ones for years. For more complex pieces i usually skip ahead a bit and make mock versions of the steps to better judge what i got.

Polymodeling from start to finish does have some advantages over sculpting. The models are computationally more efficient and you get more precise control over vertex animation, also its easier to go up the chain and correct some mistakes or issues that might pop up down the line.
On the other hand sculpting has the undeniable advantage of detailing and overall visual quality. In the end its not one vs another, you can and should utilize the best from both worlds.

read 276 times
12/30/2013 5:06:12 AM (last edit: 12/30/2013 5:06:12 AM)
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