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Sculpting to add fine details

From: Modeling for Product Visualization in MODO

Video: Sculpting to add fine details

In this video we'll look at how to use the sculpting tools to add further details, and help visualize the overall finished form of a concept design. In order to do this we'll increase the depth of our subdivision surface model by adding more multi-resolution levels, and then use Image Ink and some other tools to add in fine detail that would be very difficult to sculpt otherwise. So to start, I'm going to create some little vents in the side here.

Sculpting to add fine details

In this video we'll look at how to use the sculpting tools to add further details, and help visualize the overall finished form of a concept design. In order to do this we'll increase the depth of our subdivision surface model by adding more multi-resolution levels, and then use Image Ink and some other tools to add in fine detail that would be very difficult to sculpt otherwise. So to start, I'm going to create some little vents in the side here.

But if I get something like my Carve tool and a nice, small brush, you can see that I'm really not getting enough detail yet. So I need to increase my maximum level. Now, one note is you should be careful and watch your GL count, this is the number of triangles being drawn on screen as you do this. Right now we're at 300,000, so I have quite a bit of headroom to increase this. Every time you increase your maximum level, this number is going to quadruple. So, I'm going to set it up one more, to number four, and actually, let's hide our background mesh so you can see that we're really only dealing with 98,000.

Here for the helmet, and that was including the skin, so let's increase that again to level five, and now I've got nearly 400,000 just for the helmet. So now I can go in, and I can start to get little bit better vents here. So actually I'm going to go increase this one more, and it may take a second as you increase some of these levels. Now I'm at about a million and a half polygons. And this is going to allow me to get relatively good detail here. So I'm just going to add in a little vent there.

And I'm going to go back here, and increase my offset amount just a little bit so I get a nice deep cut here. And I'm also going to change my contour. So you can see right here it has this peaked contour. I'm going to click down here, you can see that my shape preset is Linear. I'm going to change this to Sharp. So you can see now that it creases in like that. And this is going to help me get a little bit more of a tight form. Remember, these aren't going to be exact shapes, these are going to be the things that you'll use as you visualize your continued work for your finished model. So I'm just going to rough in a few vents there on the side. You can see I've got my symmetry on, so that continues to work there. And then I'm also going to do something similar here on the back. I'm going to create a few more of these.

Once again, using a pressure sensitive tablet might make this. Little bit cleaner, but for now these will do. And I'm going to go back here, and just, kind of, really lightly smooth these out, and maybe give them a second pass here. Here we go. Now, with this here, it's looking a little bit on the mushy side, so I'm going to go back and use the Tangent Pinch tool, and that's actually the same thing that I used. To kind of flatten out some of the creases here that were giving us the hardened contours.

So with, this tool, I'm going to go back and change my preset to Smooth, so that I get a little bit more even falloff. And I'm just going to pinch this all back in. And what the Tangent Pinch tool does, is it takes everything inside the brush radius. And it pulls it in towards the center of the brush. And I'm going to just, kind of, go through here and really roughly tighten these up to give myself a little bit better contour.

That's a little bit more of what I'm looking for. Now once again you don't have to get to exact on these unless you really plan on just taking the sculpted mesh and making that. Your target of your finished renders, but we're going to go a step beyond that and add some topology tools to clean and up and create a nice smooth polygonal mesh. For this area up in here, I want to get something that's more dense than these slashes, so I don't want to just use a single brush.

What I want to do is use Image Ink in order to imprint a more tight and detailed image with my sculpting into that area. So, let's get Image Ink, let me get my brush, and down here you can see Image Ink right here by default it's selected my bricks texture. I'm going to use this great PNG that is out of your nature ink folder here. So, let's go ahead and click to put that image in, and I can move that off to the side.

Now the right hand box will change the scale of this. The middle circle will change the position. Note this does tile evenly across the screen by default. You can turn that off by turning off Repeat. And then the top circle will rotate this shape. But I don't need to do that right now. So, I'm going to move in here closely and if I hold nothing and just go straight across here, you can see that it's pulling that shape out. It's actually the opposite of what I'm looking for, so I'm going to undo that, and I'm going to hold Ctrl while I crick, click and that's going to inset that shape.

And overall that's working, but it's pretty heavy. So I'm actually going to undo it, and go one more time here. But I'm going to decrease my offset amount down to about 5 or 6%. And again, hold Ctrl, and add this in here. Now, I don't have a ton of resolution for showing this off, but for the sake of visualizing it, I think this is working relatively well. And what you can do always is increase your subdivision surface level so that you can get a cleaner subdivision there. So, let's go ahead and try that here.

So I increase my max level now to seven, and that's going to pull my polygon count all the way up to a little over 6 million. So this is going to take just a moment. for it to work. There we go so now we're at 6.3 million, and I'm going to drop my tools here by pressing Q and the Escape key twice. And now I'm going to hold the Shift key. And smooth this out a little bit. A little bit bigger brush, and smooth out some of those details just a little bit. Make it a little bit more even.

And there we go. Using that same sculpting process, in kind of an iterative workflow going over and over, adding details, checking, seeing if they work, going back, adding other details on top, moving and pushing and pulling. Here's another version of the helmet that I created. This one pulls down around the ears to give a little bit more. Protection and also has some extra areas for the housing here. Now notice that even though this one carries a lot more detail than the previous one, a little bit more time was spent on it. But it is still relatively lumpy in the open areas, and that's because the end goal here is not to create a perfectly finished model. The end goal here is to flush out your ideas and your concepts. And allow you to get the form down.

Now, once the form is completed, as much cleanup as you need to do can be done with the actual polygons that were built on top using retopology. So, using your sculpting tools at various levels, you can create good, solid concepts. In relatively small amounts of time, and then create multiple concepts in order to flush out ideas more completely.

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Modeling for Product Visualization in MODO

33 video lessons · 1086 viewers

Ellery Connell
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