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Androids started appearing in science fiction over a hundred years ago, and have since evolved from robotic machines into more fully humanoid shapes. With modern 3D modeling tools like ZBrush, it's easier than ever to create a realistic looking android that bridges the divide between man (or woman) and machine. In this course, Ryan Kittleson teaches you how to model a female android with ZBrush's powerful modeling and sculpting tools. He shows how to start with a basic model and refine and stylize the anatomy. Then you'll learn how to concept machine-inspired parts like vents and wheels; create clean, hard edges; refine delicate areas like hands, feet, and joints; and add finishing details like seams. In the end, you'll put the android into an action pose and create a rendered turntable video that shows off your model.
Now let's get in to concepting what the android is going to look like. If you're anything like me, the first thing that you do when sitting down to model something as complex as this is to freak out. There's a lot going on here and it's easy to get overwhelmed. But don't worry, there's an approach to doing it that takes a lot of the pressure off. We're going to break the work down into manageable chunks and use layers to play with design variations. Now, I'm not going to exactly recreate this android. But I do want to use it as a style guide.
I like how it's a mix of anatomical and mechanical shapes. Studying an image like this can give you some hints about how to break the forms down into smaller parts. They can also help you with ideas of what things should look like. But I'm not going to try to replicate anything here. I want my android to be unique. This is going to involve some experimentation and some iterative design work. So let's go into the Layers palette. It's a lot like Layers in Photoshop. You can put different sculpted details on different layers and then hide them, change their opacity and so on.
Layers are going to make the design work a lot easier. So let's make sure we're at the highest subdivision level. Go ahead and hit D a couple of times just to make sure that you're at the highest level. Now let's add a layer. Go ahead and click this plus sign here. Notice that the layer is in record mode. This means that any sculpting we do now is going to be stored in this layer. Let's go ahead and change this one, so that its name is something that makes more sense. I'm going to call this one overall design. So, in this layer I'm going to put any changes that sort of affect the overall shape of the model.
Now let's get the flatten brush out, going to hit B, F, A for the flatten brush. So, now let's zoom in a little bit here. And let's just try to identify different ways that we can sort of stylize the shape of this. So I'm actually going to sculpt in some different details and I'm not too worried about exactly how it looks, you know I'm not worried if it looks a little weird or anything, I'm just sort of playing around with different ways to make this shape look more mechanical. So one thing that looks kind of more mechanical on an android is they have really flat spots and really sharp angles.
So I kind of want to work those types of shapes into here. Something else I might want to do is get the DAM standard brush out. B, D, S, and then with this brush, I can identify where I want some more sharper creases to be. So, maybe I'll hold down Alt so that the crease comes outward. And I'll try to define where maybe a collarbone should be. Maybe, I'll smooth that out. One way that I can keep those dots from forming, is by going into stroke. And by going into lazy mouse. And decreasing the lazy steps.
Let's see how that looks. Okay much better. So with this I can try to work in a little bit of a mechanical design. I don't have to worry about being perfect. I'm just kind of testing out the design right now. Just trying to see what sort of shapes I like. I could really spend several hours playing with this, but let's move on to some other things. Let's come over to Layers, and let's turn off Record. Might have to click it twice to make it work. And now we've got two different buttons here. We could turn Record back on with the circle. Let's turn that off again. You might have to click it a few times to make it work.
Also you can turn off the layer, or at least turn off its visibility by clicking on the eye. So now you can go back to what it looks like before you did any of that sculpting. I really like working like this because if you don't like the sculpting that you've done into a layer you can just simply delete it by clicking on the X here, and then you can make a new layer and try again. It takes some of the pressure off because you don't have to worry about messing up your model in order to sculpt these things. Let's make a new layer now. I'm going to click on the plus. And let's call this one details.
And in this layer, I want to do some interesting things. I want to pull out kind of a fin or a crest off the back of the head. So what I'm going to do is go into the Move Tool, BMV, so I'm going to click and drag on the back of the head and pull up kind of a pin shape. And let's go to the flatten, BFA, and we're just going to flatten this down so it's kind of more of a streamline shape. Maybe go back into the move tool, BMV, and maybe just adjust the shape of this a little bit. Maybe get something that's a little bit more aerodynamic, or has a nice curve to it.
Let's look at the layers again, so I'm going to turn off record for this layer And now we can play around with mixing and matching these different layers, so we can see what each one looks like by itself or with both of them together. So this can really help us get some ideas of where this design is going and how different design elements are working together. By putting detail in layers, we're going to make it easier to design this android. In the rest of this chapter, we're going to use them to create machined looking parts all over the body.
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