1. #346
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    Thanks everyone. Sincerely. I haven't been able to show my work for a few years, and it's nice to hear such warm responses. I have a bunch more pieces to add when I have the time so stop by every once in a while. Also, I can't wait to show the things I've been working on for Sideshow. As soon as they give me the go ahead, I'll post some renders I did. Some really fun stuff.

    ErnestoBaxter - Yep, the beard is an IMM. Each little whisker curves out but is backfilled so it won't tear apart the mold. It has worked out well so far. And since each whisker is very low-rez the whole beard only adds about 100K polys even after smoothing. It also lets you keep working on the likeness after you put the stubble on. If the face moves too far, you just push the beard back in place.

    Jovon - The average time for the work on these pages is probably about 4 weeks. Some a little longer, some a little less, depending on the complexity of the sculpt and how difficult it is to cut apart and key together for production. It also adds time if I have to design very much on the fly. The quickest ones are the movie figures since we usually have decent reference and I therefore don't have to design much. I use Maya and ZBrush about 50/50 and I retopo in Maya.

    RealityFix - I've only made one video ever. I recorded a complete sculpt from start to finish - one of the Girls series - when I was at Gentle Giant. They were going to show it at Comic Con, I think, but it for some reason it never happened. Unfortunately I never thought to get a copy of it. Doh! Oh well, maybe I will do it again some day. I probably wont be texturing my models. First off, I'm an old traditional sculptor, and its hard enough just keeping up with all the latest sculpting advances, so I've never gotten around to learning how to do it. The other reason is that my wife, Kat Sapene, is a professional prototype painter - for my money, the best in the world. And there is no way I could come close to doing what she can do. Besides, since everything I make is for a 3d print product, I get to see them painted in the real world eventually anyway.

    jan19 - Cool! You made my day!

    Sorry if I missed anyone!

    Cheers!
    Will

  2. #347

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    WOW! The Dynamic DUO! Man that is epic! Thank you for the response back. You are one of my top 10 digital artist, I absolutely hope this year I can create something on your level! Would love to join the league of ELITE Top Row Artist!

  3. #348
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    << dear highlander judging by your portfolio i think you would do well to do a little cheating yourself.
    Cheers. >>

    dear dozogovi, I have no trouble accepting and admitting to the fact that I'm not a first class sculptor, especially not in the hyper-real department. It's not what I specialize in and I have no trouble admitting that others are much better at it than I'll ever be. Hence, regardless of what the likes of you may rant on, I personally wont be using scans/"cheat" like that, simply because such a base is not the result of my own work, regardless of however flawed that may turn out in the end. It's that simple.

    But your response makes me wonder if you yourself have an inferiority complex regarding your work unless you "cheat" in some way? Are you a "cheater" and hiding the fact to boost your frail ego and get some fleeting applause or why do you have to get offensive this way? Are you so insecure and unable to accept that others opinions may differ and that some might mix in some salt while applauding, that you have to resort to such pathetic polemics?

    Anyways, to not detract any further from this thread, I wont be responding to any such idiotic remarks any more and leave you be in your little bubble. And for the future, if using polemics, do it properly.

    Cheers!
    TheRazorsEdge

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    - Bruce Lee -

  4. #349
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    Thank you for the reply!

    I'm looking forward to your next postings.

  5. #350
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    Thanks for the awesome reply! If you ever have the time and the energy to record another video that would be much appreciated.

    I can understand not wanting to learn uv unwrapping and such but I will forever be saddened not to see the sparten rendered :P

    Although It's nice to know that one can get a job on just sculpting alone as well.

    Well with that being said, I'm looking forward to seeing your future work! I'll be sure to keep this thread bookmarked and subscribed.

  6. #351
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    I saw some good sculpts before but this is take the piss, hands down best stuff i saw in a bit.

    Man you really need to record your sculpting session, at lest your workflow for the folds, also would be cool to see how much scan data you use and how much is off hand, if just the heads as i understood, then damn, you are one of the best digital sculptors around.

  7. #352
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    I've had a lot of requests to show some of my process so I went back and did some screen grabs of the character "Lucky" at various stages.

    First off, my process is admittedly strange and not necessarily the best. Nor do I recommend it for all types of projects. My process is definitely a product of my background in making action figures. I was a traditional sculptor of action figure prototypes for many years, and not knowing any better, I just started replicating the same methods in the digital realm. This continued as I began making statues. Over the years of making action figures I built a library of several different body types. So for me the first step is selecting a body that is closest to what I want. You can still see all the articulation built in.



    Lucky began as a personal project -- I had always wanted to sculpt a woman with a big gun. I spent a few nights of free time just playing around and trying to find the basic character.



    Later I went to my employer with the idea to produce a line of "tough beauty" statues, and when they agreed, I was able to work this character into the project. Over the years I have tried about every method of posing (from rigging to transposing), and for me, nothing is faster and more flexible than posing up a "toy" version. I do this in Maya. We went through a bunch of poses before settling on the final one.




    At that point I pulled a ton of reference from http://www.female-anatomy-for-artist.com/. Like this:




    I am a reference nut and I highly recommend this site. With a little searching, you can usually find something close to what you are after. Sometimes I will use the upper body from one pose and the lower from another. All of their poses are available in full turnarounds, which is key.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Senior Sculptor - Sideshow Collectibles
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  8. #353
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    After the pose was settled, I started roughing in the accessories. I already had the basic gun and boots from my earlier doodling. Other than those, however, I didn't have any real design in mind -- I was just winging it -- so I used Z Sketch to quickly lay down some "digital clay".



    I use Z Sketch all the time because it lets you test things out very quickly. Sometimes I will clean it up and detail it pretty far and just retopologize, sometimes I get enough info from the sketch to go straight to Maya and build the details from scratch there. It depends on the individual item. The rest of the process is cleaning things up and adding details. But I keep everything as low res for as long as possible. This lets me easily tweak the pose or change it dramatically right up until the end. At any stage, I can just send it back to Maya, repose, and send it back to Zbrush and all the accessories like gloves, boots, belts, straps, etc, just go along for the ride. This is also the reason why I am judicious with dynameshing. Dynamesh is a very powerful tool, but I find that too much of it severly hampers my flexibility. Usually when I dynamesh, I will immediately Z Remesh and project the higher levels of detail so I still have a low rez version to work with. I also try to keep everything in separate subtools for the same reason. For example, I keep things like the arms and legs in their separate pieces (upper arm, lower arm, hand, etc.) for as long as I can. I just blend them together to look like single pieces. Merging things too early always comes back to haunt me. This means I regularly work with 200 or so subtools -- which is a pain -- but it helps that everything is low rez and changeable right up until the end.



    Since everything I make is eventually printed, the last stage is always cutting the model apart and keying it for production. Keying not only keeps the pieces smaller and easier to print, but if you cut it apart with some forethought, you can keep the pieces easier to mold and paint as well.





    That's about it I guess. Thanks for looking!

    Cheers!
    Will
    Senior Sculptor - Sideshow Collectibles
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    Thank you for the images.

    Again, you have admirable skills. I like your idea of having a library of different body types.

    The site you recommended looks useful. It's a pain to hunt down reference material, but putting bones and muscles under the "skin" does
    seems to make a character more believable.

    And your details -- well, they are a standard for some of us to strive for. 200 subtools is a lot, but if that's what it takes...

    Thank you again, for the breakdown of your work process!

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    thanks a lot for the great breakdown of your process.
    have you also made standard pegs/keys for your models or do you make those per model?

    thanks again for showing your work and progress.

    -r
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  11. #356
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    @jan19: I don't know exactly how harbottle does it specifically... but if you find it difficult to have that many subtools going in one Ztool, or if the file size ends up being too big; you could always make the basic sculpt of the body, block out the props with low polly placeholders, then split the props into separate Ztools and add the smaller parts there. After that, you can decimate everything and combine them back into one tool, to export for a render, or cut up for printing.

    *Also to harbottle, I really liked seeing the way you made the pose with the limbs separated, like an action figure, then dynamesh and sculpt them. Super convenient, and I imagine it helps preserve the forms of the body.
    www.tristanflor.com

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    Thanks for your breakdown...it makes a lot of sense to keep statues that you can begin with especially as it allows you to not have to carve in the joints every time you begin.

    Thanks also for the links...they will be very useful!

    I think the thing I'm beginning to learn about ZBrush is there are many different ways that you can achieve things. I've been looking at how to create folds and drapery in ZBrush recently and there are so many different ways that people use.

    You mentioned that your work flow is not perhaps the best one to learn as it is influenced by your having made the dolls but I think that the more strategies one has or knows the better it is. When making things the more strategies you have the more you can do. I teach school (primary level, think little kids) and I know the more strategies I have the better as you never know when you will get a child that needs that strategy and I think it's the same with sculpts that different types of sculpts require different strategies.

    I don't understand why people view scans as cheating...it's a tool surely as artists we all need the best range of tools possible and we use them as the job requires. Years ago iirc painters all made their own paints from scratch and it was consider cheating not to make your own paints but that has changed with time. I think as artists(who often have time limits placed upon us) we need to use the best tools for the job whatever they may be. If an artist was going to paint a picture of someone they would make reference sketches. Scans are just digital reference sketches. It is only in the hands of someone who knows what to do with them that they are useful...I'd probably turn them into mush.

    Thanks again for your breakdown and never doubt that your methods are as equally valid as someone elses. You do the most amazing work...

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    I love this thread. Thanks for sharing.

  14. #359
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    "Over the years I have tried about every method of posing (from rigging to transposing), and for me, nothing is faster and more flexible than posing up a "toy" version. I do this in Maya. We went through a bunch of poses before settling on the final one."

    Genius! Amazing to see your work-flow!! A very clever approach.
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    @jan19: I don't know exactly how harbottle does it specifically... but if you find it difficult to have that many subtools going in one Ztool, or if the file size ends up being too big; you could always make the basic sculpt of the body, block out the props with low polly placeholders, then split the props into separate Ztools and add the smaller parts there. After that, you can decimate everything and combine them back into one tool, to export for a render, or cut up for printing.
    Thank you. It would be hard for me to have 200 subtools going at once. I don't like to go over 20 - 25.

    30 at most. Then I start losing track of what's where, even if I've named the subtools.

    I love this thread, too! Thank you again, twf152, for the tips!

    And to W. Harbottle for showing this awesome work.

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