Friday, August 7, 2009

CGcon notes

I really need to post to this blog more.

Recently went to CGcon, and then Cirque Beserk and then Nova Scotia for a wedding. On top of this I have switched campuses / started a new job and have been trying to work through some personal issues.

Regardless, here are some CGcon notes. I will post more as I transcribe them:

Andrew Jones

Art as a journey
Warns there are too many aspiring concept artists but not enough job positions to go around
In order to succeed as an artist you must first find a need / niche
Helped found
Warned of falling into one of the 4 major archetypes (child, victim, saboteur, prostitute)
Advocates painting outdoors (celestial events / sunset / sunrise)
No reward without some risk
"Phaedroid" performance

Daniel Williams (Zbrush)
(toolbar for maya available for download)

modeling head:
subtool master will allow mirroring of subtools
use flatten with low intensity to flatten parts like foreheads / temples
Uses falloff brushes from zbrushcentral vs the pinch brush
Always work low to high
use move at low levels to change primary form and pose
check profile / shape of nose
always be checking in multiple angles as well as ortho
check 3/4 view as well as front and top for general shape of head
To retopo in maya:
import sculpt -> make live -> create poly (make strips) -> triangulate -> quadrangulate -> add edge loops and tweak verts where necessary
new verts will snap to live mesh
check normals on strips of polys occasionally
build an animation ready mesh strip by strip / patch modeling
Merge strips / patches
For making posed head / posed blendshapes use maya's non linear deformers and clusters
after using deformers re export back to zbrush for further sculpting
note: zGo or zbrush 4 should make import and export of blendshapes / morph targets easier
Paint / smooth cluster weights for fine control
It's okay to model with deformers in maya (pt count should not change for import/export however)
Ask questions about your character through every step of the process
Section character into subtools or polygroups or both
Each subtool isolated can use up to 100% of cpus resources
Sectioning character into polygroups can be better than subtools because one can sculpt across polygroups a lot easier
Xnormal is better than Zmapper because it is topology independent
How do you know when to move forward from base mesh in max/maya and just sculpt in zbrush vs starting with bad topo, sculpting, and then just making a new game mesh over the sculpt (retopo)??
- If you already know the specs of the character beforehand then start with a base mesh in max or maya
- If you don't know really know where you are going and plan on exploring more at the beginning stages in 3d, then start sculpting the form in zbrush and just retopo later.

Jeff Miller (Zbrush)

Start with z-spheres, retopo later if you need to
z-spheres (preview mesh "A" -> make polymesh3d when you want to convert from z-sphere to poly)
Reuses basemesh created from zspheres for many different characters, posing them differently using the transpose tool
For facial modeling he uses clay tube brush + some gravity on the brush for wrinkles
Uses claty tubes for putting in muscle -> smooth them out (clay smooth)
Use clay for filling in volume
When masking it is sometimes better to do it at lowest subD level to make it as precise as possible
Use falloff brush from zbrushcentral vs pinch brush (pinches topology = bad)
To create stylized hair use falloff + masking + flatten brush
Always step down to lowest subD level before saving! This insures better stability in file.
The more tools you have in your zbrush tool palette the slower zbrush runs
You can separate / group you character according to UV shells (polygroup -> UVgroup split)
Don't just add detail around your entire character uniformly, add detail intelligently and in the right places
Typically spends a week on a character

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