Sunday, November 11, 2012

Putting the new workflows to the test

To practice and test the new knowledge, I will be re-creating the object you can see on the image below. I`ve chosen this reference as it has various shapes which can be found on bigger architectural pieces. It has cubical elements, along with some arched parts and also some more organic shapes on the top (flower decorations).

Plan:  - create the main block out in 3DSMax
         - build base mesh with sculpting ready topology in 3DSMax
         - subdivide in ZBrush and sculpt high poly mesh
         - use the Polypaint feature in ZBRush for texturing (with high attention to color theories)
         - create a low-poly version with the Decimation Master in ZBrush
         - Unwrap the low-poly model with Headus UV Layout
         - use XNormal to bake the mesh from the high poly model onto the low poly

The reason behind this workflow is that it allows me insight and practice in game-asset creation (where polygon count and resource management is key) as well as in cinematic/film work (due to the high polygon modeling).

Focus will be on merging the theoretical elements (color, form, silhouette) with the technical ones'.

That said, I went ahead and "deconstructed" the reference image so I become more familiar with the structure of this piece of architecture.

Blockout mesh in 3DSMax:

I`ve set up the model with proportional topology by setting up Smoothing Groups and using the NURMS subdivision method based on these groups. This way, I can get a pretty high polycount and maintaining the silhouette of the model. If I hadn't used Smoothing Groups, then the model would have curved in at the edges, becoming too smooth.

By using Smoothing Groups I get a high enough polycount so when I subdivide the mesh in ZBrush, the edges will not become too rounded off. I could use the Crease feature, but that takes more time, plus it also will produce crease at unwanted places, thus I would have to "clean up". This method takes too much time and result would be not even as good as with the Smoothing Group method.

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