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Designing the pose

From: Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya

Video: Designing the pose

At this point the Dewhopper is ready to be set up for animation. Although, the rigging and animation of the character is beyond the scope of this course, there is one thing you can do as a modeler to show off your creation. By posing the creature, you can present it in a way that depicts it in its natural habitat or expresses its personality. Unlike humans and familiar animals, people have never seen a Dewhopper before, so they wouldn't know if its neutral modeling and rigging pose was its natural standing pose. In order to make the model look more appealing and to remove confusion about how it's supposed to stand, we are going to be posing it.

Designing the pose

At this point the Dewhopper is ready to be set up for animation. Although, the rigging and animation of the character is beyond the scope of this course, there is one thing you can do as a modeler to show off your creation. By posing the creature, you can present it in a way that depicts it in its natural habitat or expresses its personality. Unlike humans and familiar animals, people have never seen a Dewhopper before, so they wouldn't know if its neutral modeling and rigging pose was its natural standing pose. In order to make the model look more appealing and to remove confusion about how it's supposed to stand, we are going to be posing it.

First of all think about what your creature could be doing, what's its behavior, is it an aggressive predator or is it skittish prey, what kind of situations could it be in? This is a good opportunity to look at photos of similar animals and to see what they do. You should also probably sketch out a few ideas on paper. I'm going to put the Dewhopper in a defensive pose, as if arrival creature is trying to take away its territory. A pose is a moment in time that exemplifies an action. It should imply what happened before and what will happen after.

We can experiment with the pose quickly if we go back to the original ZSphere structure. The first step in posing is to establish a shift in weight of the whole body. Now you can't directly rotate the whole body by rotating the root ZSphere. So if I go up to the Rotate tools and I try to rotate the ZSphere, it's just not going to work. So I am going to undo that. What you can do is rotate the entire creature in the Deformation palette. So I am going to open this up -- and actually let's go back to Draw mode and in rotate we can just slide this and just move the Dewhopper one way or the other, and maybe I want to rotate in the Y- axis a little, bit and maybe in X, by leaning forward a little bit.

Actually something that can help you a lot here is by turning on the Floor. I am just going to click this button here and now we can see how he is oriented relative to the floor. If you start off with a tilted angle to the body, the pose is likely to come out looking a lot more dynamic. Okay, now let's start rotating individual limbs. Go up to the Rotate tool and now you can just click and drag on individual limbs here. So the Rotate tool will rotate limbs around in a pretty predictable way. If you go into the Move tool, it behaves a little bit differently.

Let's click on the segment between the ZSpheres. It obviously kind of rotates, but the limbs below that joint cannot stay in the same orientation. If you use Move tool on this ZSphere, then it will stretch out the joints and that's probably not what you want when you are posing. So I am going to undo that. So let's go back into the Rotate tool and just start moving things around. Try to find a pose that you are happy with, maybe I'll tilt the head to one side and let's move the tail around a little bit.

I actually have the tail kind of swishing off to one side. It's easy to go really fast at this point. So you don't have to be locked into any one pose. You can try out lots of different variations. Probably a good idea to make sure that the two feet are resting on the exact same level and maybe you can have one of these legs come down lower than the other.

So maybe it's lifting one of its legs up off the ground and I might need to rotate the entire thing so that this leg is resting on the same level as these two legs. Okay, we are just going to move the rotation here and see if we can get this a little bit closer to even-- all right! That's pretty good. Let's rotate these legs down. So in the later chapters we've been dealing with a lot of fine-tuning. So it might take a little shift and thought process to go back to the idea of making big sweeping changes.

Getting a good pose can take a while, especially if you've never done it before. Do some variations and ask yourself and other people if the pose is reading. By reading, I mean if the pose is clearly communicating the creature's emotions, situations, or personality. When you get a pose that you like, save it out as a ZTool. We'll be loading it up in a later movie to use as a guide when posing the actual model. Working at a pose in ZSpheres' first is a great way to achieve an appealing look, because it's faster than directly posing the sculpted model.

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  1. 2m 34s
    1. Introduction
      59s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      34s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 10m 45s
    1. Installing custom brushes
      3m 54s
    2. Preparing GoZ
      5m 6s
    3. Optimizing tablet settings
      1m 45s
  3. 8m 36s
    1. Brainstorming
      2m 47s
    2. Refining a concept
      3m 22s
    3. Gathering reference images
      2m 27s
  4. 42m 12s
    1. Starting with ZSpheres
      6m 45s
    2. Posing the ZSpheres
      3m 39s
    3. Sculpting the basic forms
      5m 34s
    4. Using DynaMesh
      3m 8s
    5. Sculpting muscles and mid-size shapes
      6m 20s
    6. Defining joints
      3m 42s
    7. Sculpting bony plates
      5m 0s
    8. Sculpting leathery skin
      8m 4s
  5. 22m 8s
    1. Using GoZ between ZBrush and Maya
      2m 15s
    2. Making an eyeball
      3m 45s
    3. Creating tail spikes
      2m 44s
    4. Modeling a tooth
      4m 27s
    5. Duplicating the teeth
      4m 8s
    6. Finishing the teeth
      4m 49s
  6. 51m 27s
    1. Drawing guidelines for retopology
      4m 56s
    2. Fleshing out the retopology guides
      4m 29s
    3. Creating new topology
      5m 32s
    4. Generating the new mesh
      4m 58s
    5. Cleaning up the mesh in Maya
      5m 5s
    6. Modeling the tail in Maya
      4m 5s
    7. Modeling the claws
      6m 4s
    8. Preparing to project detail
      6m 5s
    9. Projecting detail to new topology
      4m 46s
    10. Cleaning up projection problems
      5m 27s
  7. 21m 0s
    1. Cutting UV seams
      5m 55s
    2. Prepping UV shells for UV Master
      4m 38s
    3. Using UV Master to unfold UVs
      4m 17s
    4. Arranging UVs in Maya
      6m 10s
  8. 13m 25s
    1. Creating a pedestal with Spotlight
      4m 53s
    2. Decimating the geometry
      4m 53s
    3. Finishing the pedestal
      3m 39s
  9. 38m 21s
    1. Setting up the scene for rendering
      5m 14s
    2. Making a key light
      6m 7s
    3. Making a soft sky light
      3m 0s
    4. Making a rim light
      4m 53s
    5. Setting up a simple SSS skin shader
      5m 21s
    6. Adjusting the skin shader
      7m 2s
    7. Adding ambient occlusion to the shaders
      6m 44s
  10. 55m 37s
    1. Polypainting colors in ZBrush
      8m 1s
    2. Extracting texture maps
      6m 54s
    3. Organizing the maps into Photoshop layers
      8m 9s
    4. Compositing the color maps in Photoshop
      4m 33s
    5. Compositing the specular maps in Photoshop
      7m 20s
    6. Importing the maps into Maya
      5m 7s
    7. Connecting the maps to the shaders
      5m 13s
    8. Setting up remap value nodes
      5m 51s
    9. Editing remap value nodes
      4m 29s
  11. 26m 32s
    1. Designing the pose
      4m 35s
    2. Linking subtools to the main body
      4m 12s
    3. Posing with transpose tools
      6m 4s
    4. Polishing the pose
      2m 4s
    5. Finishing touches in ZBrush
      4m 50s
    6. Finishing touches in Maya
      4m 47s
  12. 18m 7s
    1. Fine-tuning lights and render settings
      7m 0s
    2. Batch rendering a turnable animation
      5m 48s
    3. Polishing the renders in Photoshop
      5m 19s
  13. 52s
    1. What's next?
      52s

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