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Sculpting Workflow
show user profile  mrgrotey
I noticed in Jonnybravo's thread that there were a couple of different work flows mentioned and I was curious about one.

The two flows mentioned were...


Create game res model
Unwrap Game res
Rip normals and ambient occlusion from High to low


Low mesh - Max
Unwrap - Max/Headus UVLayout
Sculpt - Mudbox
Bake - Mudbox
Finish! - Photoshop

The only sculpting I have ever done was on the breach project (using mudbox), but I used Dave's method. Can I ask how the low poly mesh would be made in Jesse's method? would you export a lower level of subdivision in zbrush and adjust it from there? or import the high res sculpt into max and build a brand new mesh around it? surely its a headache for max to import the high res one? or just import a level or two down so the main forms are there?

I'm guessing working from a lower res sculpting layer would be better as all the forms are pretty much there, and it just needs optimising, no?

read 582 times
3/30/2009 3:50:14 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 3:50:52 AM)
show user profile  Setherial
I'm guessing he'll use the retopology in zbrush to control the polygon layout of the low res model, then export at one of the lowest subdiv levels. Then export all the required detail maps.

but then again, I wouldn't know cus I'm a noob
read 558 times
3/30/2009 4:44:53 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 4:45:45 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
best possible route to take would be to import a mesh with below 2,500 polys that's the approx shape of what you want to put the eventual dif, spec, normal map etc onto, sculpt that and take out the next level up (2500 x 4 being 10,000 of course- but then that'll leave you with nothing to do the bg's and weapons and stuff so just a round number to explain the maths behind the thinking)
this mesh would be mapped, have a consistant level of poly density all over, have good edge flow so it's easily posable without deformation and maybe some other things i've forgotten

(name dropping bit (not hugely impressive but the best i have relating to this specific subject))
it was in an online conversation with jason belec on zbc regarding zspheres and my want to get the shape of the model perfect with them that he said 'all you need to do is get the geometry in'
so all you need are the building blocks and sculpting/ tweaking inside zbrush will get you the rest of the way- as long as the facility to do this without stretching the quads out is there you'll be fine

if this was zb you could just import any old shit, sculpt on that, and retop and most likely get away with it but as it's mb there are other options you can explore depending on time, what you're most comfortable doing and what your system can handle- an idea that comes to mind is to export a medium res out of mb and retop in max around that or higher poly chunks if there's areas that aren't coming through at lower levels

there's an app called polygon cruncher from mootools that has a demo available (don't know the limitations sorry) and this could streamline the process and ease the burdon on your pc somewhat

i notice there are going to be membranious skin areas between the fingers and other places that could concievably cause problems in sculpting- i know zb doesn't like open edges very much (they're harder to move and some other nasty things) so i suggest doing those entirely in max but then mb might be able to handle them better- certainly you'd want to paint them so it's upto you what you do with those
hope the map extraction has been vastly improved with the updates though

anyways to paraphrase my mammoth post here: (for mb) low poly mesh (basic shape), sculpt- paint- extract maps, export and make game ready mesh from lower level or chunks of higher density, map low poly, bake out nm, difs, maybe specs/ glows etc if you've painted them (you can do this with layers in mb these days), tweak maps in ps, apply to the model in max, tweak, win

Website and Portfolio

read 535 times
3/30/2009 6:28:41 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 6:29:00 AM)
show user profile  scotch_forgot_his_password
I use Jesse's method.

The reason being that the sort of mesh that's ideal for sculpting in Zbrush or Mudbox is nothing like the sort of mesh you'd want to export into a game, and trying to turn one into the other or find some sort of compromise between the two inevitably ends up in more work and inferior results than just treating them as completely separate from the outset.

My workflow is:

1) Rough out an armature that's suitable for sculpting (so that's all quads/ no poles/ no long polys/ locally uniform distribution). The topology matters only indirectly, and the form doesn't matter at all, so this stage should only take about ten minutes, tops, and it really doesn't matter which app you use.

2)Sculpt it.

3)Build and unwrap a finished low-poly mesh to match the high res sculpt. This is the most tedious and most technical part of the process. There are several different approaches you can take, from building the mesh with traditional modelling tools, to manually painting new geometry straight onto the surface of the high poly sculpt, to projecting or wrapping a low poly mesh onto the high poly one, and there are dozens of apps and scripts and plugins to help you do this. Some are better than others (and some are more expensive than others), but IMO none of them have quite nailed it yet. My own personal preference is to model the mesh manually in Silo with snap-to-surface turned on. I find it faster than any of the paint-geometry-directly-onto-the-sculpt tools I've tried, but I know plenty of artists who swear by them. Hell, we have one artist in the studio who uses Blender for retopologizing.

4)Bake the normals and ambient from high to low.

read 513 times
3/30/2009 7:20:34 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 7:20:34 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
Thanks to everyone, this is a great thread, most useful!

read 503 times
3/30/2009 7:32:18 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 7:32:18 AM)
show user profile  jonnybravo_87
sorry to hijack the thread here grotey but i got a question for k-tonne

"anyways to paraphrase my mammoth post here: (for mb) low poly mesh (basic shape), sculpt- paint- extract maps, export and make game ready mesh from lower level or chunks of higher density, map low poly, bake out nm, difs, maybe specs/ glows etc if you've painted them (you can do this with layers in mb these days), tweak maps in ps, apply to the model in max, tweak, win"

you can bake the difuse map from the high poly model from your sculpting application on to the low poly mesh that has a different uv layout? how?

edit: nevermind, apparently that's what bake White Death

read 487 times
3/30/2009 8:53:21 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 10:19:30 AM)
show user profile  Mad-Dog-Bomber
MDB101 flow of the force!

Depending on what path you take in this section reqiures your planning of achievments from speed to quality. Either one of em takes over or you can simplly balance em out, and thats my option that will give you the overal look of things.

1. Modeling:

I tend to model a simple yet justifable base cage in max following the rules of poly flow (quads) and set them in a path order so that you can have a nice cage flow. Also doing it this way gives you the right amount of detials you want in zbrush. (IE) setting up a poly flow of the face properly would give those nice wrinkles on where u want. This also would help a lot better in deformation of the mesh during animation. Before completing your cage flow you must look it over again and finalize it before settin her off in zbrush or mudbox. Look out for floating verts, tris, double sided polys etc etc. this is the last crutial part of modeling.

2. Unwrapping: At this stage is very optional.

Option 1:

When the model is done, I export that model out as a OBJ file then I use a program called UVlayout and in my thoughts, the best unwapper ever built. Once unwrapped bring it back into max and use that as your main base object, then export that UV mapped model into zbrush and go nutts.

option 2:

Export the model into zbrush, sculpt and paint how ever you want. Once that is complete, go to division 1 and export the model as a OBJ file. Bring that model into UVlayout and unwrap it. Once done import that OBJ file back into zbrush matching the same level of divison (1) At this stage zbrush will update your model with UVmaps keeping your sculpt and vertex color information in place.

2. Sculpting: Zbrush - Mudbox

3. Bake em out - mudbox - zbrush

4. photoshop.

5. After all thats been done, I take my maps and create a shader within vray 1.5 (make it pretty)
Then I create a light stage (dome of lights) set up my enviro havin a HDRI map.

6 render to texture using vray 1.5 for the final result. At this stage vray will give that extra push within the difuse takin in yur normal maps, spec maps ect etc.

7. Take your model and break her down to your poly count limit. make sure you dont collaps down your uv seems. done.

read 464 times
3/30/2009 10:31:56 AM (last edit: 3/30/2009 10:31:56 AM)
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