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This course introduces Mudbox, the Autodesk digital sculpting suite, and teaches digital artists how to create realistic assets in Mudbox, including 3D characters, immersive game environments, and product designs. Author Ryan Kittleson focuses on modeling, sculpting, and texturing, as well as topics such as extracting normal maps and exporting assets to Maya and 3ds Max for further rendering and animation. The final chapter covers techniques for showcasing your work in Mudbox.
When creating 3D models and sculpts it can often be helpful to have a guide. If you're basing your model off of an existing drawing or photograph, you can bring it into Mudbox and line up your model with the image. This makes it a lot easier to create models that are accurate to an original design. Let's start by opening up the basic Human Body figure. Image planes are attached to cameras almost like placing a projector slide in front of a camera lens. It lets you see both the reference image and the model at the same time so that you can line them up.
So far we've only used the default Perspective camera, there is also a Top, Side, and Front camera. These are different from the Front, Top, and Sides available in the view cube. Those are just preset angles in which you can position the perspective camera. The other cameras are orthographic cameras which means that they don't make objects look smaller with distance. Those can be found over here in the object list. To look through one of these cameras just right-click on it and select Look Through. Orthographic cameras are useful for image planes because they create a perfectly flat view of the model.
So I am just going to pan the camera up a little bit so we can see the entire figure here. Now let's actually get an image plane in here. Make sure you have got the Front camera active, and let's click the little plus sign next to it, and we will scroll down and click on the ImagePlane attribute of the camera. Now let's go click on Import, and we want to load up the exercise file for this movie, so it's Ch 1 Image Plane, and go ahead and click hank_reference. Mudbox has placed the image in front of the model which makes it hard to see what we are working on. There is two things you can do to fix that.
First you can change the image's visibility so it's semitransparent. So over here in the ImagePlane properties, you can just slide the Visibility down a little bit. You can also change the Depth so that the ImagePlane will be placed behind the model, instead of in front like it is right now. It's really just up to your preference how you'd set these. One other issue is that the ImagePlane is much larger than the model. So let's scroll down in here and set the Scale to something else. For every Image Plane it's going to be different. Let's see what 0.5 does. Okay that works pretty good for this.
So now we can see the entire Image Plane on our screen at once. Depending on the resolution of your monitor and the size of the Image Plane that could be a totally different number, and you might have to do some trial and error to get something that works right for you. Now we can use scale and pan with the camera to move the model around. So I just want to get it lined up so that the model is more or less on top of the Image Plane. Now let's get reference for the side view, let's go up to the Side camera and right click and Look Through. Now we are just going pan the model down a little bit, so we can see the whole thing.
There is another way to bring in image planes. Let's go up to the Image Browser. Now it's already looking in the correct exercise file folder, but just in case it's not, you can click on Open Directory right here and go find any other directory to open up on your computer. So we have got our hank_reference. Now we want to set it as an Image Plane, so let's click on this icon right here, and let's go back to the 3D view. So it's brought it in as an Image Plane for the Side camera. Let's do the same thing we did before, click the plus sign here and click ImagePlane so that we can work with the attributes of the Image Plane.
So let's see, same thing, let's grab the Depth and pull it back a little bit so we can see the model in front of the Image Plane, and let's also change that Scale to the same thing 0.5. All right, now I am just going to pan the model over so it's on top of the Side view of the Image Plane. With Image Planes in place, you can now adjust the proportions of the model to fit the reference, but that's for later in the course. For now just get comfortable with importing and adjusting Image Planes. Image Planes come in handy when you want to make sure that your model is lining up with reference, you may not need them all the time if, for example, you're working on a model that was already created according to reference in another program or if you're creating your own design from scratch.
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