Topics by tag:
Recently published articles by Dave G:
Maya 2013 added some new information to the .ma format that broke compatibility with GoZ but the newly-released ZBrush 4R4 fixes it again. For people who are having issues with stuff moving around when they send stuff back to Maya from ZBrush, there’s a simple fix: freeze transformations on the mesh and any parent groups. Video demo:
If you are on the fence about getting ZBrush, you are on the wrong fence. This app is amazing and the auto-retopology QRemesher stuff in 4R4 is crazy good. Check out the videos on the Pixologic site if you haven’t already.
0 notes | Permalink
It’s always tempting to try and find an image to use as a displacement alpha when you’re doing mottled surfaces, but the best result always comes from mimicking reality and often that can be done procedurally. So, with that in mind, I grabbed the fast mallet preset brush from the Lightbox, selected a spherical alpha with a quick falloff at the edges and set it to spray mode for variety. The results are very good, and dig into the surface quickly and convincingly, mimicking pock marks:
The polish brushes are great for these portions of the mesh that have been cut for scientific samples but you could also use the trim normal brush. Love me some ZBrush 4R3.
Update: Now for the really procedural part – the surface noise that adds consistent detailing to our meteorite rock. Combined with the Morph Target and Morph brush, you can dial back some of the noise in areas you don’t want affected:
Remember that you have to hit “Apply to Mesh” for the noise to actually deform the mesh – otherwise it’s just a visual fake, like a normal map. It’s good to store a Morph Target before this step because often the applied noise depth is slightly different than the preview.
For those wondering how my reference image is floating, I’m using Photostickies for OS X. I’m a little startled by the speed of my new laptop - it’s doing a screen recording and a Time Machine backup and ZBrush doesn’t miss a beat.
One of new constraints added in Maya 2011 was the Point on Poly constraint. This was added to make it easier to do things like pin buttons to a character’s clothing while avoiding things like expressions that can really slow a scene down when you add a bunch. It’s also a very handy way of forcing landscape objects to constrain to the Y-axis position of a vertex while shaping ground:
If you’re finding that the mesh isn’t sticking to the ground well, just change the pivot of the pinned mesh and it will slide around while still retaining the constraint. If you use ZBrush or Mudbox for landscaping, just import the edited base mesh and add it as a blend shape to keep the constraint and the sculpted form.
11 notes | Permalink
Sometimes you need to see your sculpt from a specific angle and focal length to match a shot or projection and, while Mudbox has the ability to import FBX cameras, ZBrush is more limited in this regard. Fortunately, there is a workaround for ZBrush 4 and above: use the Movie timeline to create a pseudo bookmark that you can drop back to that whenever you need to:
I’m loving ZBrush 4R2 but I noticed that it was losing certain contextually-activated custom interface elements on relaunch. I have my UI tricked out and customized to avoid jumping around palettes so this was annoying. I just got an email from Pixologic that there’s a fix for this problem at the bottom of this thread. Put the plug-in in ZStartup/ZPlugs and relaunch ZBrush. After that. all custom interface elements be be restored without problem:
3 notes | Permalink
Want your Smooth Stronger and Slash brushes back in the pared-down startup set of ZBrush brushes? They aren’t gone, they’re just moved to the Lightbox sets, which is a bit buried so I’m going to copy my critical brushes back into the startup one as shown below:
So that’s copy from rootappfolder/ZBrushes to rootappfolder/ZData/BrushPresets.
4 notes | Permalink
Symlinks are a one-stop fix for a bad combination: applications that need stuff to be in a specific place on your system disk and the limited space of SSDs (I’m running a 120GB OWC Mercury Elite). I’ve mentioned these before but I thought people’d like to see the added workflow benefits with ZBrush: being able to dynamically set the Lightbox Texture folder for your projects:
Grab my symlink Automator workflow for OS X and install it to ~/Library/Services and you’re set to do the same thing as in the video. If you are feeling brave, you can also use a shell script to do it for input folders:
rm /Applications/ZBrushOSX\ 4.0/ZTextures
/bin/ln -s "$1" /Applications/ZBrushOSX\ 4.0/ZTextures
RENAME YOUR DEFAULT ZBRUSH TEXTURE ONE BEFORE RUNNING THAT! rm deletes the old symlink so it doesn’t end up writing the new one to the symlinked directory. It won’t delete the default folder (you need rm -rf for that) but it will just fail otherwise.
6 notes | Permalink
My Brahms 3D print harasses my girlfriend as she plays piano.
5 notes | Permalink
This is tentatively how it will be cropped when I get it printed in 3D. It’s going to sit on my girlfriend’s piano and haunt her while she plays. The reflection on the high-gloss piano will make it look like he’s coming out of the piano like it’s a lake, Creature From the Black Lagoon style. I should put a little speaker in it that repeats “FASTER!! FASTER, DAMMIT, FASTER!!!”
I’m going to leave it kind of semi-raw like this. I’m not a big fan of the crazy hyper-detailed look in general. It’s fine for games but a one-colour model of Brahms should have a touch of Rodin, in my opinion.