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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.
Let's take the experimental abilities of ZSpheres a step further, and test out different poses that the Dewhopper could take. By using the Rotate tool, we can position the limbs without messing up with distance between the joints. We will also be posing the character in a special pose that makes modeling and rigging easier. So let's open up the Exercise File. Go up to File and Open, I am just going to navigate to the Exercise Files > Ch_03 > 03_02 > zspheres.ZPR and Open.
I am going to hit the Comma key to make that sting go away. So let's rotate around this and see what it looks like. As it is now the Dewhopper is in a neutral standing posture. Let's make sure that the design still works when the creature is fully extended in a jumping pose. You can use the Move and Rotate tools, not only on the ZSpheres but also on the gray connections between them. So let's go into Move Mode and just click and drag on the space between ZSpheres. So you see that it moves the joints around while maintaining the space between them.
Go ahead and hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. You could also do a similar thing with Rotate. Feel free to experiment with the poses as long as you like, you may find that the design doesn't quite work in certain poses like you would expect. This might be an indication that the overall design should be changed to accommodate all required poses. This is the perfect time to make those changes. You don't want to get in to sculpting details only to find out that you need to make a drastic adjustment to the overall design. For example, if the design of the creature required it to be able to use its hind legs to scratch behind its ears, you could pose these ZSpheres and see if his toes could reach his head.
Let's see if that works. I am just going to use the Rotate tool to drag the hind leg up and let's also bring this leg segment forward and let's move this one, so you can see the hind leg would probably be able to reach the head to scratch the ears, and then I am just going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. If the hind legs don't reach and we need to scratch behind the ears, we would need to make an adjustment to the design either making the legs longer or the torso shorter. Now that we know that the limbs can move as needed, let's position them in a neutral pose for sculpting.
The creature's default standing pose involves the legs being folded up. That makes it difficult to sculpt in tight places where the limbs are touching each other, for example, right here behind the knee. Imagine the difficulty, you would have sculpting the back of the knee and a pose like this, it would be very hard for a rigger to paint joint weights in this area with the geometry all crunched together. If we put the limbs at a half-extended position, not only will it be easier to sculpt, but it will be easier for a rigger to put joints in it. Then once we are done modeling, we can pose the limbs back to the creature's natural sitting posture.
So let's go ahead and do this. I am going to look at the creature from the top view. So let's move into the center and rotate around and so I have got my Rotate tool on. That's good. I just want to grab these limbs and just kind of bend them out so that they are kind of halfway extended, to make it a lot easier to sculpt into this area right here for example and let's look at it from the back as well. So I might want to bring this limb out a little bit and even extend this one somewhat. I want to adjust my view here, and I might want to drag the front limbs out just a little bit, so it could be easier to sculpt up in the armpit area.
Working out any posing issues at this stage will be a big benefit before you invest a lot of time in modeling. Also, getting the character into a good pose for modeling and rigging will make things a lot easier in later chapters.
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