Friday, 18 February 2011

3D Modelling: Mudbox sculpted head

After some practice with Mudbox, it was time to create the sculpted head for the project. This time however, from reference of another classmates head. I felt a bit apprehensive at first, for the fact that I would have to replicate the facial structures and features more accurately than my previous 'test' head. I have a goal to achieve here within manipulating Mudbox and it's tools to make the sculpted head look like the person I've chosen. I began by taking a series of photograph's of the model's head and face, so I could have a good overview of each side of the face, which will benefit in accuracy when it comes to sculpting proportions and features etc.

I uploaded the basic pre-set head on Mudbox and inserted the reference images. From there I began grabbing the surface of the head and pulling it around the features in relation to the pictures, whilst paying specific attention to both front on and profile views. Once that base was set, I used various tools such as 'Sculpt', 'Grab', 'Flatten' and 'Wax' to help me build both skeletal and muscular features. To build up muscle I usually had the brush with a low strength but a large diameter, this gradually built up the surface which create smooth and even shapes. I then reworked into the muscles by make the brush smaller with slightly more strength and inverting the sculpt tool with the 'ctrl' button. This gradually took some of the surface away, which helped in defining both muscle and bone shapes. For small parts such as the eyelids, nose and lips: I used the 'Wax' tool to layer up the areas in which need smaller definitions. I repeated the previous technique of using 'ctrl' to take away some of the surface in order to give the shapes of the face more predominance. However, this time I paid attention to the 'Grab' tool to move and place the proportions of the facial elements more in line to the reference pictures. To add harsher details, I inverted the brushes with a stronger strength to rework over skin creases and where more muscular features were held, such as the 'Levator' around the nose. These stronger brush strokes gave the muscles and details more depth to the sculpt, from there I just need to smoothen it out on the occasion by using the 'shift' button.

For the finishing touches, I decided to add some extra detailing to the lips and hair for the eyebrows/head. This was achieved by using a very small and fairly strengthened brush on the 'wax' tool. I also added a small amount of pen pressure, so I could get the right sort of hair 'strand' shape. I then gradually layered up the hairs on the eyebrows with quick strokes and I did this for this lips but inverted for the 'creases'. For the hair, I used a larger brush first to add depth to the hair so it set itself off the head/face. From there I reworked with two different sized brushes and layered up more strands. This gave the hair more shape when defining elements such as the fringe etc.  I also added small details to the torso, like collarbones and shoulders, just to give the overall model some shape and definition. I had to do this as my model had specific shoulder heights that affected how the neck looked in comparison to the face/head.

Overall I really enjoyed working in Mudbox. Although I am still very new to the software, it seems it won't take me long to full understand more about sculpting. I just need to practice more with the anatomy of both people and objects. In doing so will be proven VERY useful when making my own sculpts in Mudbox as I would already have that knowledge. I especially liked adding muscle and defining the shapes use various brushes. I can see from my previous 'test' head, that I have learned so much more at how the eyelids and mouths is formed, I think this is very clearly evident.

Here are some screen shots and an animated turntable of my final sculpted head:

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