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Posing the ZSpheres

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

Video: Posing the ZSpheres

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.

Posing the ZSpheres

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya
 
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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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