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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.
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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