Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video A tour of the sculpt brushes, part of Mudbox 2016 Essential Training.
- Understanding the function and properties of the Sculpt Tools is important. However, Mudbox is a very tactile software package. It's imperative that you learn the overall feel of the tools. In this video we'll look at the results each sculpt tool produces on a simple plane. So here we have this simple plane of geometry and I've simply created that under the Create, Mesh, Plane. And I've subdivided up to a little bit higher level just to be able to really illustrate the differences between these sculpt tools. Now I should note here, if you have access to the exercise files, this is available in a Chapter Four, Sculpt Tools file.
And what I have in here, prepared for you, are all of the different tools kind of already done. Something that illustrates the difference between each tool. So for example, what's the Sculpt? The difference between Sculpt and how it works with our smoothing brush. And all of these tools for the sculpt tray are all down here in the bottom left-hand corner. And this is where we can access these others by clicking on them or by using the number keys. Now, I'm working in my Sculpt layers and again, I have this prepared for you in two ways just to show that sculpt brushes that's showing here.
Underneath the Paint layer, I've created the Sculpt_Labels. And I've also done these for the other side of the sculpt tools. We turn this on. And that is these tools here over on the side here using things like Spray, Repeat, and Imprint. These are very much stamp-based tools that are going to kind of populate a blast across a surface, details that you can work with. And then I get into things like masking. So if I use this little Mask icon, on the top of the Sculpt layer here and I click that, you'll see in red, a mask exists.
All this mask is, is an area that that sculpt area exists there, but I'm masking it out. If I hold down with my Mask tool, the CTRL inverse effect of this, and I start to paint back over there you can see that that effect exists, but I've actually been using Mask to mask it out here anyway. So I can preserve the sculpt detail and just mask it out. That's very different from what we get with Erase, of course. Because Erase is actually just essentially deleting or erasing any of your sculpting detail as you work. And Freeze is going to give a very different effect.
If we take this area here. If I have an area that I need to freeze out that I don't want to affect with my sculpting, if I hold down CTRL, I get the inverse. Let's drop down a whole new sculpt layer by using the little page and plus sign and number one to get in my sculpt brush. If I drag across there, you'll see that I'm only affecting the areas that are not frozen, represented by blue. And if I hit CTRL to inverse there, you can see that I'm getting that same result there. So I'm freezing out the area that I don't want to touch. Now, if we go back to our Sculpt Tools, I'm just going to turn on those layers there.
My freezing is still there from what I've utilized for the freezing and I'm actually going to take shift + u hotkey to unfreeze anything on the geometry that's frozen up. Now the difference between a lot of these tools is quite simply when you're going to use it. Sculpt is for base kind of details that you're going to work with that you don't need a build up of form. You can see that we get this overlap as I sculpt. And with something like Wax, you see that I don't get that overlap as much or that bulging there. This actually allows the accumulation essentially of almost like clay the way you're accumulating over top of each other to build up base forms and structure, especially if you're building up anatomy for something, muscles, overall bone structure.
And then if we get into the things like Smooth, any of these tools can access Smooth at any time by hitting the shift hotkey. So it doesn't matter what tool I'm in. Let's say for example, I'm in Foamy here. And if I hold down my shift key, I can at any time begin to smoothen out. I need to be on that active sculpt layer, which is this one. I can hit shift and begin to smoothen out that area there as I work. Now with Pinch, that's only going to allow me to pull in the geometry, but it also allows me to sharpen things as well. So, this is were we have kind of this deep valley carved in and I've simply pulled those in.
If we go to Pinch, this is where you're going to want to use this to bring in maybe some tight grooves on a creature, for example, or even more importantly, if you need to tighten up wrinkles, the Pinch is going to give you that sharp kind of effect on a wrinkle. And furthermore, when we're on to things like using Pinch for wrinkles, this is were you can get into things like the Grab brush, as illustrated here. All the Grab brush is doing is essentially allowing me to grab geometry in there and actually deform it over.
So I'm able to move it-- Oops, I have the Twist effect on in here, so if I pull this, it's actually allowing me to disturb or change the overall effect. Just a note on this Twist that I had turned on, if you're using a version of Mudbox below 2016, you won't have access to Twist, just like you won't have access to Relax. Those are two new features here in the Sculpt Tools. But with Twist on, that's simply going to give me this overall twist effect. Where if I just grab an area and start to pull it along it's going to twist or give me this overall twist function.
So, it's important to understand how the different tools operate. Couple of the bases exist, most of the tools have steady stroke, except for things like Grab. And steady stroke is certainly will allow you to sculpt in simple, smooth areas there. And when we get into tools like Scrape and Fill, those are essentially the removal of sculpted detail or the filling of detail. And that's important if you have grooves, for example on a creature or even a prop, and you need to fill in areas. You can simply fill in sculpted areas there. So if we take this Fill brush, I'm actually filling in the geometry.
Different than Erase. It's filling up that groove. If I took Erase right now, Erase just going to simply delete away any sculpting on there at all. And if I take this Scrape brush, Scrape works best on highest levels here, So if you have something that's kind of a built up higher level like this Wax, I can go through that and I can scrape down. The opposite of Fill. I'm taking away. Think of it as taking away geometry or taking away details. And I can just go in there and scrape that based on the size of my brush.
Now we looked at the Grab brush and how that can pull things around. Smear is a lot like Grab, but in the way that it is essentially just going to push the details across the surface. Essentially just smearing the geometry there as you go. This could be good for droop effects like different kinds of wrinkles or if you're going a very fatty kind of character, you can certainly smear that effect across a surface there. Now, the last thing I want to point out here as well, I talked about how I've built up kind of these images here and I have these nice little labels. If we go back to this one here, for example, I have all these different labels on in here, but you can grab these as images for kind of off-line reference as well.
So thanks for taking a look at the Sculpt Tools. It's important to understand the overall feel and the structure of those and how that relates to your sculpting work flow.
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