Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Organic medium details, part of Mudbox 2016 Essential Training.
- Once our base forms and structure are in place, we can begin to see our simple anatomy take shape. So, we have the simple base form layer, I'm able to see the base form structures take shape there is well. What we want to do now is step up another level of subdivision to provide us with more geometry to manipulate our overall creature into a more believable detailed structure. Here, we can begin to form the basis of what will become large folds and wrinkles. So, I'm going to create a new layer, drop it down. I'm actually going to name this "Mid Forms." And with Mid Forms, this is where we want to continue on with a lot of the way we're working, with Symmetry and even with the Wax brush, but we'll introduce a different brush here as well.
I'm going to step up using the "Page Up" key, we stepped up to Level 3. And this is where I want to start to build in these different forms here. So, as we go, I'm going to use my Wax brush. I might start to switch to something a little more bold on the falloff here, so you can see that we have a little less subtle falloff here, and this is going to give us just a little bit more sharper detail as we go. And this is where we want to start to work with these kind of folds and large wrinkles, and even things like on the nose, some of these nose ridges in here.
So, if we just start to fine in, just subtly, I'm just rubbing in. With the pressure sensitive tablet, I'm able to just kind of get the overall feel for how I want to work with that. And again, you can start to see the difference in working up at this level now, is that we're starting to be able to define more these kind of more broad and obvious details, right? We have our base form and structure down, now let's define our top of that, and that's exactly what we're doing here.
And as I'm working here with these forms, I'm going to be varying the brush size. I'll keep the strength probably pretty much the same because I'm relying mostly on the overall feel with the pressure on my tablet as I work. But really, what I'm trying to do is get these more defined, almost sharpened. We're starting to get into a little more sharpened detail on the features as we go. And looking at this ridge, this is where we really want to start to define. You can see that we can kind of start to define a little bit more of a bold edge along that fold that comes right down along the nose.
Back around to kind of these smile lines along the cheeks. And with this here, we can start to work with a little bit more of a smaller radius, and just kind of build up underneath the eyelids here so that it really builds up the contrast around those eyes and even underneath. So, right now that eyelid's very kind of smooth going into the structure of the eye, and I want to break that out by using something here that provides a little more definition. So, you can always come back to your visibility here and just kind of turn it on and off and just see how you're starting to build it up a little bit.
While we're here with the Wax here on this resolution, this is where I'm going to start to build up a little bit more ligament-like structure. And this is where I'm not afraid to use a little bit of Smooth if I have to to go in and give that kind of subtle blending, right? The Smooth brush is excellent for smoothing out bumps and that, but it's also a great blending tool. So you can see here, that's a little too bold for my liking, so, I'm just going to hold down my "Shift" key, smoothing that out a little bit, and then may be vary the size, I want a little bit bigger at the connection point to the head, and a little more smaller or subtle as it comes off towards the tip here.
Vary up these more defined structured forms here as well. There we go. Now, let's switch over to our Foamy brush. And the reason why we want to do that is, I find personally, the Foamy brush is the best for using to define things like wrinkles and folds. So, if I use this, I going to use the default falloff, and I find that a great place to start. This is where we want to start defining folds and wrinkles like on the forehead. I'm going to turn Symmetry off. And the reason why I want to do that is you're typically not going to have completely the same symmetrical folds and wrinkles as we go.
And I'm just roughing this in right now. And the Foamy brush going to give you that bulging effect that really lends itself to be able to manipulate underneath and around it, and I'll show you what I mean by that here in a moment. Let's just overlap a couple of simple bold wrinkles over top. And then, what I can do is if I invert, bring the brush down a little bit and hold down "Ctrl," we can kind of push underneath that wrinkle there. Use "Smooth" just to kind of blend in a little of that overall effect. And again, we're just building that base form.
We don't have enough resolution here yet to really get in to define the real fine wrinkles, and that's fine, we don't want that. We want to be at a lower resolution, so that we're really able to kind of build up those forehead wrinkles here. And this is where I'm doing almost more with the Inverse function of these folds here with the Foamy brush than I am of the regular function of it. So that, I'm defining these structures as they come in. You can see I'm not using Symmetry right now, along the nose I might want to. I'm going to use the Inverse here just kind of push that down a bit.
And I'm just going to balloon up the edge here before that fold a little bit with the Foamy. And I'm going to smooth that out with the Smooth brush here by holding down "Shift." And we start to build out those forms. Now, we're getting to a subdivision level here that we can start to see the overall forms a little bit better. And here's a handy tip when you're working: I find that when you're working with these details at a lower level using things like viewport filters isn't going to provide too much for you when you're building.
But, at the higher level, we're starting to get in these kind of mid subdivision levels. Go into your "Viewport Filters" tab here underneath "Layers," and turn on either "Ambient Occlusion," you'll see the result that you get, it starts to define things a little more. I find I prefer to use "Cavity Ambient Occlusion." The quality level, you have "Good," "Better," and "Best," switch it to "Best." It's going to give you as much ambient occlusion as your subdivision level is at. So, we're not at a very high level, but we can start to kind of accentuate or see how those forms are coming in here. And sometimes I'll just leave that on over here, as I'm working, so that I can switch back and forth.
When I want to start to sculpt up these areas here, specifically using the Foam or Wax, I can come back and forth and turn that on and off just to see the contrast of the surrounding area is working. And then, we want to use this Foamy brush, let's go back to our Layers, and I'm going to kind of build a new layer that I'm going to call "Ligaments." This is simply because we have these bold forms and structures down here, but we really want to get into something a little more finite.
That's maybe a little bit too thin there. That's fine over there, but let's make one a little bit bigger. And this is where we want to kind of define those ligaments along the throat. And again, I'm using Foamy. with that falloff that we have set here. But I find with Foamy, the best way to work with the Foamy brush is to sculpt it in, then bring down the radius and hold down "Ctrl," and get the inverse in between. And this really starts to build up that form in that structure. Again though, as I'm working, I'm working with Symmetry, which is fine.
We're going to break the symmetry up here a little bit later. We don't really care about it being totally asymmetrical, except for the obvious things like the forehead maybe right now. This is where we're building in a lot of these simple forms; the ridges along the nose, a little bit of wrinkles and folds along with the forehead, and especially these folds along and around the mouth. And then, with the falloff here, I'm going to use this more subtle falloff on the Foamy brush. Let's puff up these lips a little bit, or define them a little bit more, right? Bring up the radius, and just really subtly, softly, sculpt is that lower lip.
He kind of has this big underbite going on here, and we want to kind of really define that. So, now that I've pulled that up, let's do again hold down "Ctrl," and just subtly push that in, just to really give us that definition. We can kind of cut into the chin a bit, and there. So, if we take a look at what's happening here with these Mid Forms, we're really starting to get that structure going in there. Haven't done much on the back of the head here with this one. Most of this is going to be kind of broad musculature to begin with.
But with the Foamy brush, we can certainly do kind of an inverse effect there to bring that up. And most of what we want is going to be on the front here. And see we have these throat ligaments, Mid Forms. And what we've been able to do now is work with these Mid Form structures on top of our base anatomy. And using things like the Wax brush to define things a little bit more boldly with broader strokes, but now we're getting into Foamy, where we've utilized that brush to build up folds and wrinkles before we can get into anymore fine details.
Craig Barr also covers retopology, posing, and rendering and exporting, providing a complete learning experience on Mudbox workflows typical in feature film, game, and character design projects.
- Getting around Mudbox
- Creating primitives
- Importing models
- Working with layers
- Painting with stamps and stencils
- Retopologizing models
- Extracting detail maps
- Texture painting
- Rendering and exporting