Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya

with Ryan Kittleson

Video: Finishing touches in Maya

Now we just need to reapply the shaders to all the different body parts, so it's looks like our top teeth are currently selected, let me just zoom in and closer, so I can select that, and hold down the Shift to select the bottom teeth, and then in the materials, just hold down the right mouse button and Assign Material To Selection. All right let's do the body now, and then hold down the right mouse button and Assign Material To Selection, just a little note, in the viewport the skin shade is always going to look red, because the viewport can't display the sub surface scattering.
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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 13s
    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 1s
    8. Sculpting leathery skin
      8m 4s
  5. 22m 9s
    1. Using GoZ between ZBrush and Maya
      2m 16s
    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 28s
    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 5s
    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 38s
    1. Polypainting colors in ZBrush
      8m 2s
    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 34s
    1. Designing the pose
      4m 36s
    2. Linking subtools to the main body
      4m 13s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya
5h 11m Intermediate Dec 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Watch as author Ryan Kittleson introduces the skills digital artists need to create photorealistic 3D creatures for film, video, and game production. This course covers basic design, sculpting, texturing, posing, and lighting and demonstrates real-world workflow, starting with the basic sculpture in ZBrush and moving it into Maya for finishing, while editing textures in Photoshop.

Topics include:
  • Brainstorming and refining a character concept
  • Installing custom brushes
  • Optimizing tablet settings
  • Posing the ZSpheres in ZBrush
  • Sculpting muscles and midsize shapes
  • Working with DynaMesh
  • Using GoZ between ZBrush and Maya
  • Creating topology for animation
  • Sculpting fine detail
  • Cleaning up a mesh in Maya
  • Creating the UV layout
  • Lighting and shading
  • Painting texture maps
  • Posing with Transpose tools in ZBrush
  • Batch rendering a turntable animation
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya Photoshop ZBrush
Author:
Ryan Kittleson

Finishing touches in Maya

Now we just need to reapply the shaders to all the different body parts, so it's looks like our top teeth are currently selected, let me just zoom in and closer, so I can select that, and hold down the Shift to select the bottom teeth, and then in the materials, just hold down the right mouse button and Assign Material To Selection. All right let's do the body now, and then hold down the right mouse button and Assign Material To Selection, just a little note, in the viewport the skin shade is always going to look red, because the viewport can't display the sub surface scattering.

And now for the eyeball, let's apply that Eye Shader, let's go around to the other eyeball and actually we can just hit G to apply the last function that we just did, and there's one more to do, tail spikes and that actually has the same shader as the body, so just going to hold down the right mouse button and Assign Material To Selection. Now when we used GoZ it actually created a few shaders that ZBrush sent over Maya, we can delete those by going to Edit > Delete Unused Nodes.

We just want to get rid of those shaders, because they will just be in the way now. Okay, now let's position the ground plane, so that the feet are resting perfectly on top of it. Now I want to be able to move the ground and the rim around it at the same time, so actually I'm going to parent them together. So select the rim and then Shift+Select the ground and hit P. What this does is it connects that rim to the ground, so now if we select the ground; it also selects the rim, now we can move the two of them together.

So I'm going to go into Move mode by hitting W and let's just slide this down to the feet are resting right on the ground, let's zoom in so I can see this better, let's zoom out and see how this looks. I think the ground is actually too big; it's making the Dewhopper look kind of small in comparison, so we can shrink the ground down. I'm going to select the ground, hit R to go into Scale mode and let's just shrink this a bit. Now we might have to position it a bit more to be perfectly aligned with the feet, and OK.

Now let's deselect the ground to see how that looks. Now there are a few places where the feet might be slightly off the ground or even the feet penetrating with the ground, so let's fix this up with some soft selections, go ahead and click the ground and then I'm going to hold down the right mouse button and go into Vertex mode. Now let's select the Vertex down here by this foot and we're already in Soft Select mode, but I want to increase the size of the soft selection, so just the B key and then click and drag, and we'll scale the size of this fall off.

Now we can position the ground just under this one foot by moving it up or down, so I just want to move it down enough, so that that foot is not penetrating through the ground. All right, let's see how it works with the other feet. It looks like this one is floating above the ground just a little bit, so I'm just going to select the Vertex underneath the feet here, and has moved the ground up a little bit and let's see about the last foot. Actually that one is pretty good; I am going to leave that one where it is. Finally, let's parent all of the Dewhopper objects to the body, so that if we want to move the body anywhere, all of those eyeballs and teeth and tails spikes will go along with it.

So I'm going to select the tail spikes and Shift+Select the eyeball and let me zoom in closer so I can get that, Shift+ Select the teeth and let's get that last eyeball. Finally, I am going to select the body and when I hit P, everything is going to get parented to the last thing that was selected. So now if I select the body and move it anywhere, everything else is going to go along for the red, go ahead and hit Z to put that back where it belongs. Now let's parent the body to the ground, so we've got the body with all those SubTools selected.

Now if I hit Shift and click the ground, now we've got everything selected. I'm going to hit P again, so now everything is parented to the ground. This will make it easy to spin the whole thing around for a turntable animation, so if I just hit E to go into Rotate mode, you can see we can rotate everything together as one, so just hit Z to Undo that. The finishing phase of modeling is important for the final presentation and usually takes a lot longer than just a few minutes that we spent here. It's about fixing up little things like object intersecting each other and tweaking the last few details, so that they will look just right.

Every project is different and will have unique adjustments to make at the stage. They say that the last 10% of a project takes 90% of the time and that's definitely true when making digital creatures.

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