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Using DynaMesh

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

Video: Using DynaMesh

ZSpheres are a great way to get started sculpting on a mesh that roughly resembles your final concept. However, it does have a few shortcomings. One of the main problems is that it can be tedious to create lots of toes, horns, and fingers and so on with ZSpheres. Another problem is that when ZSpheres are turned into polygons they end up creating a high density where ZSpheres were small and a low density where they were big. Let me zoom in and try to explain. I am going to hit Shift+F to turn on the wire-frame and now let's zoom in.

Using DynaMesh

ZSpheres are a great way to get started sculpting on a mesh that roughly resembles your final concept. However, it does have a few shortcomings. One of the main problems is that it can be tedious to create lots of toes, horns, and fingers and so on with ZSpheres. Another problem is that when ZSpheres are turned into polygons they end up creating a high density where ZSpheres were small and a low density where they were big. Let me zoom in and try to explain. I am going to hit Shift+F to turn on the wire-frame and now let's zoom in.

So you can see that the polygons are very dense down here on the fingers and then they are much more spread out here. This means that when you have a mesh made from ZSpheres, you have to subdivide it many times in order to get fine detail out of some parts of the mesh. DynaMesh is a way of evening out all of the mesh so that it all has the same density. This means that you can do things like stretch out polygons to make fingers for example and then let DynaMesh clean up after you.

Let's see how it works. So we have got the rough sculpt of our Dewhopper here and in order to create some of these shapes, I just grabbed polygons and stretched them way out. DynaMesh is going to even this out for us. Let's open up the Geometry Palette, now click DynaMesh. Don't worry about this pop up, just click No. So now you can see the topology over the entire creature is the exact same density. Now you can actually change the resolution of DynaMesh. I want to hit Ctrl+Z to undo that.

Let's see what happens if we set the Resolution down to about 60, 56 looks good, now hit DynaMesh again, and go ahead and click No. So it's a lot less dense, which might be what you want. Whatever let's see if it caused any problems. So here in the front feet, the resolution actually was not enough to pick up the shape of those toes accurately. What you want to try to do is set the resolution to a number that's high enough to pick up all the forms you need, but not so high that it becomes difficult to work with.

Usually the default of 128 is good. So I am just going to undo that and set the resolution back to 128. Looks good and click DynaMesh again and click No. Now let's try one more thing. You can make drastic changes to the model at this point and then quickly run DynaMesh to smooth everything out. Let's see how it works. I am going to switch to the Move tool, B+ M+T, and let's just see what happens if we want to create a big spike coming off the creature's nose.

I am going to shrink the brush down a little bit, and just grab the nose here, and just hank this way out. So you notice all these polygons got stretched out. We can quickly run DynaMesh again by simply holding down Ctrl and clicking and dragging. This could be a great way to create horns or toes or fingers or anything else that sticks off the mesh. Now we could continue to sculpt on this mesh without worrying about stretched out polygons. DynaMesh can be used anytime that you want to even out the topology in order to sculpt more efficiently.

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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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