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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.
Before any sculpting can be done there must be a model on which to sculpt. There are several ways to do this depending on where the model comes from and how you plan to use it. I'll go over all these methods and explain when to use them. Any model that you use in Mudbox must be a polygonal mesh. You can import the FBX format which includes a model and possibly additional things like textures, lights, rigged joints, and materials. One method of loading a model is through the Welcome screen, from here we can choose from models that come with Mudbox, and we can also open models from here.
If you already close this window you can access the same thing by going up to the Create menu, and then choosing Mesh and grabbing any of these default models. So let's open up the Plane. You can also open, or import, other models by going to the File menu. So let's go ahead and open an OBJ model from the exercise files, and let's open up the bust.obj file. Now we're replacing the current scene, so we don't need to save this, let's go ahead and click Don't Save. So that's pretty straightforward.
One last way to get models into Mudbox is by using the Autodesk Send to Feature. This is a new feature that helps users to send assets between various Autodesk programs. I'll show you with 3ds Max, but the steps are the same for Softimage, and Maya. So let's switch to 3ds Max now. I'll go ahead and create a teapot, just click and drag it into the scene, right-click to finish creating it. And then go up to the 3ds Max icon, and let's go down to Send to, and pick Mudbox. And we can either add it to the current scene, or we can replace the current Mudbox scene with the teapot.
Let's go ahead and do that, and let's switch back to Mudbox. All right, so it's asking us if you want to save this scene before we bring in the teapot, and we don't need to save it. So occasionally what will happen if you bring in models from other programs is that Mudbox will tell you there might be some things wrong with it, some things that Mudbox doesn't like so much. So for example, the teapot has what it calls a High-valence vertices. That's really just when you have a lot of edges going into one vertex, and it can sometimes cause visual problems when you're sculpting on it, but it's not a serious problem that would keep you from being able to use the model.
Also if there is problems with the UVs with the Texturing, this'll look more complicated, we'll get into that more in later videos. But for now you just need to know that you can bring in models but there might be occasional issues to deal with. So let's go ahead keep this mesh. Mudbox will only work with Polygon-based models so NURBs surfaces won't work. Also Mudbox likes models to be clean. This means that the model should be made of mostly four-sided polygons. The Polygon should be fairly close to square-shaped not stretched out.
Also Mudbox doesn't like poles, or high-valence vertices. There is also a few other things that Mudbox can be picky about. If you try to load such a mesh, Mudbox will tell you what the problem is and how to fix it. Opening models is fairly straightforward, as you can see, it's almost always the first thing you'll do when you want to get to work in Mudbox.
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