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- What are HyperNURBS?
- Setting up reference shapes
- Creating a shape with the polygonal modeling tools
- Connecting shapes and bridging gaps
- Refining shapes with knife cuts
- Moving points
- Working with sculpting layers
- Preparing objects for render
Skill Level Beginner
The first step in your sculpting process should be to prepare the geometry that you're going to use as your sculpting base. Now, if you're just starting from a sphere, then that's just going to be making a cube editable, and subdividing it. But if you're going to be sculpting on an object, like we are in this movie, then you have to do a few things with the geometry. The needs of the sculpting engine are a bit different than the needs of the HyperNURB engine, and so we have to do some things to this existing type example in order to make it work. So the first thing we need to do is get rid of the HyperNURB object. We don't need that anymore. So let's take that out of the hierarchy, and then delete the HyperNURB.
And then we need to go into a Point mode, and take a look at how the geometry is made. If we zoom in on that, you can see that in our original type example, I had created this ridge around the center of the type that gives us that hard cut. This tight grouping of polygons around the center ridgeline is going to be problematic for the sculpting engine, so we want to get rid of it. So I'm going to use something called the Weld tool to go and get rid of these edges. So let's switch over to the Live Selection tool, and I'm going to orbit around a bit, and I'm going to focus on this point right here.
I'm going to start right here. I'm going to grab all three of these points, and I'm going to pan a selection around those three. I'm going to right-click, and go to the Weld tool, which is right down here. When I do that, it's going to ask me to click, and when I click with those points selected, they're going to be merged into a single point. Now, I accidentally grabbed one point too many. Let's undo that. I don't want to grab this point right here. Let's hit the spacebar to get back to the Selection tool. Hold down the Control key, and deselect that point, and merge just those three points.
Let's right-click, and go to Weld, and then click, and that merges them together. Now I can work my way around the model, and I'm going to use the spacebar to get back and forth between the two tools. That's going to allow me to move quickly through the model. So I'll hit the spacebar, grab the points, hit the spacebar, and click. Then navigate to the next point. Grab those three points, hit the spacebar, click; spacebar, back, spacebar, click; Spacebar, click. And I'm going to keep doing this all the way around the face.
At the ends of each of these serifs, I'm going to have to do that same three point arrangement. I want to be careful which points I grab. Undo, grab just those three points, and then weld that together. This process is going to take a little bit time, so we'll cross dissolve to the point where I've got all of these ridges corrected. So here we've got all of the ridges corrected, and I'm going to Control+drag a copy of that object down. Let's put it under a new Null object, and this null is going to be called Hider. And I'll make both dots on that red by holding on the Alt key, and clicking twice on there.
Now, back on the original object, the next step in the process is going to be to add in some ridges. The polygons around the ridgeline on the face of the letters need to get split in order to have a more favorable distribution of polygons when I sculpt. And so I'm going to use the Knife tool in Loop mode in order to cut those. Let's grab the Knife tool, and change its Mode to Loop if it's not there already. And I'll uncheck these options, if they're not already unchecked for you.
And I'm going to zoom in here. I want to grab this edge right here; notice where my line is going. Now, don't forget, I'm getting a screen redraw issue here, and you should be seeing lines traveling around your object instead of dots. And so I'm going to click once, and cut that edge. And then I'm going to go down here, and do the same thing on this inner edge, and I'll click once. Boom. Now, I'm getting a weirdness here, and the reason I'm getting weirdness on this polygon here is because when I thought I put my object under the Hider, I actually just made it below the Hider instead of making it a child of the Hider.
So I'm going to correct that by dragging it right up under here. That was a little mistake I made. Let's click back on the main object, and then we're going to work out way around. And basically what we want to do is to split up all of these phases, so now I have to loop this edge here; boom. And I'll loop this edge here, boom. Now, we're going to end up with a couple of spots in the model, like this, and down here where we've got a lot of polygons, but that's going to be okay because of the good things it's going to do for the rest of the model. Now I want to cut this one right here, because that's a -- a long polygon like this is not good for the sculpting engine either.
So I'll cut that one, and I'll cut this one right here as well, and then I'm going to cut this one right here, and then I'll make two cuts: one right here, and one right here. And see how it splits up that edge? Then I'm going to go on to the G, and make a cut all the way around on that one right there. It's going to make a cut there; make a cut there. Now I can repeat that process right here, and right here, and I can break this one up too.
And then last, but not least, is this one here. I'm going to cut that one there, and cut that one there. I think that's pretty good. Let's make another copy of the object. Hold down the Control key, and drag it down, and we'll call this one edge cuts; okay. And then we'll go back to the original object. Now, the last thing we need to do to prepare this is to get rid of some of these guide cuts, or actually just move them around a bit. Normally, on a HyperNURB object, these edges that we see here, the one I have highlighted right now, would serve to create a transition from the face to the sides.
And we don't really need that in our models. So we're going to click on that. Oops! I accidentally forgot that I have the Knife tool selected when I made that cut. Let's Command+Z or Control+Z to get rid of it. And then we'll go back to the Selection menu, and get the Loop Selection. And with Loop Selection, now I can select all the points, and when I click on that, I've selected all the points around the outside edge of the G. Let's repeat that process for the matching edge on the inside letter R. Hold down the Shift key to add to the selection, and now I'll switch to the Move tool; hit E on the keyboard, and now I can move that edge back.
You can see I'm moving that whole edge back somewhere around the middle or so. Right about there; about a third of the way back. I won't worry about the outside edge, because that's on the back. What I'm going to do instead is move this one back just a bit, and then grab this next inside edge right here. Let's go back to the Selection menu, and get the Loop Selection. Then I'll grab this loop right here, and then do the same thing on the inside of the R. Hold down the Shift key to add to the selection. Switch to the Move tool, E on the keyboard, and then drag that back a little bit.
Now what we've got is a better distribution of polygons on the object. That's the last thing we needed to do to prepare our model, and this arrangement of polygons is going to give us a much more favorable result when we go to subdivide in the sculpting engine.