Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zbrush 3point lighting tutorial

Ok time for a tutorial, this time about rendering a good 3-point lighting setup in zbrush!

                1. With your tool opened in zbrush select Basic Material (You have to  use a standard material because all matcap materials have a static light) this will make your model turn gray.

                2. Go to the render menu > Render Properties > and turn on WaxPreview, and AOcclusion.

                3. Still in the render menu > BPR Shadow and change the Rays and the Angle to 40 (this makes the shadow more realistic).

                4. Under the Material menu > Wax Modifiers turn the Strength up to the desired look (the default color of the wax modifier is red, but if you wish it to be blue move the temperature slider to the left). 

                5. Under the light menu move the dot to the position desired for the key light. 

                6. Now press Shift+R (default zbrush shortcut) for Best Preview Render, after a few seconds under the BPR RenderPass menue (Render > BPR RenderPass) there will be images created (shaded, Depth, Shadow, AO and Mask). Click no each one and save them out as your desired format.

                7. Back in the Light menu, move the light dot to represent the kicker/fill light. Then Press Shift+R again.

                8. This time only save out the shaded image.

                9. Back in the light menu double click on the light dot to make the light go behind the model. Then increase the Intensity to your desire and then capture another BPR render and Save out the shaded image again. 

10. Now in photoshop, open all the images and copy and paste all the images into one image (making sure each image is becoming a new layer).

11. Copy the Depth and the Mask layers and paste them into the channels as masks.

12. Change the layer setting on the shadow layer to multiply, and then press Ctrl+U to bring up the Hue/Saturation menu. Turn on Colorize and adjust to a color/setting of your liking. (The lightness slider controls how deep your shadow is). Do the same thing to the AO layer.

13. With the lighting layers, change their layer setting to Screen and likewise adjust turn on Colorize in the Hue/Saturation menu. The first light layer (the one which the AO and shadow images were made from should be the bottom layer in the stack of layers) can be colorisezed as well if desired.

You now have a 3 point lighting setup with zbrush renders. If you have a very dynamic model and wish to have field of view in your image…

                14. Press, Ctrl+A (select all), Ctrl+Shift+C (Copy all visible layers), Ctrl+V (paste) This will create a new layer with a copy of the current image. Now go to Filter> Blur> Lens Blur…

                15. This will open a new menu, change the source to Alpha (whatever one is the depth layer is named) Now play with the Blur Focal Distance until you find a depth of field that you like and press ok.

And Ta Da!  Your zbrush 3point lighting setup now has a depth of field blur to it! The last image we copied and did not use was the mask image. This is used if you wish to make a background of some sort

Monday, October 15, 2012

Proportion Critiques

Like the title suggests this post is to look closer at the proportions of some of the art I posted earlier.

 I put all the critiques on to  the images, to read click on them to view.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reaching out

So as per instruction, I posted something in a 3d forum community that needed critique.
My website.
I posted this on polycount and asked people to critique it and my art on the site. So far here are the responses along with my response.

Hello everyone,
I put together a blog a while a few months ago to replace my website, and I never threw it up here to get critiques and feedback. I guess it just slipped my mind.

So please if you can critique the lay out, the format, color, artwork. Anything that can and will make my site/art work better would be much appreciated.
I asked some of the people I worked with and I got their feed back now I'd like to get some greentooth feedback!

Thanks in advance

Good name haha ;)

New site looks good. Layout/visuals look good, I'd probably darken the background just a bit more so theres more contrast with the content, and you could put a faint image background in the header/title section.

You've worked on some awesome titles! and this is what the viewer should see first.
Make your 'professional 3d art work' page your homepage.

Just my opinions, hope it helps!


Good thing I read danpaz3d's post, because otherwise I would have missed your 'professional work' section. HELLLLLLL YES that should be the opening page. People may not care enough to look at more than a couple images on your site, so those first couple images need to be the best images you have. Right now, that's your professional work (and the first model from your personal work).

As for your personal work, you have a pretty steep curve in quality. Your most recent model looks really good. 3 models down, and it's a noticeable drop in quality. Only thing I can say is, try to pump out some stuff to better reflect where you are currently. It looks (from your professional work section) like you have a good bit of sculpting experience. I suggest you dedicate an hour or so every day to making something in zbrush. Even if you never take it to a finished state, it's an easy and quick way of making something that looks good and reflects one of your best talents.

Thank you both for the responses! I'll try to figure out how to move the professional work to the main page and the personal work to the second tab.

Also I never though about darkening the background of the images, I though it was causing to much of a contrast and would be hurtful to the viewer's eyes. Well your suggestion makes more sense.

I do sculpt almost everyday, but most of the time it is not worth of showing even on our speed modeling thread. But once I get something good enough to replace that last image the rogue in my personal page then I'll get it off of my site.
Because people don't remember you for your best image but your worst.

This is what so far has been said, if you would like to go to the thread and view if anyone else has said anything here is the link.

Now I have to figure out how to change my website, because the critiques make a lot of sense.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

CG forum hunter

Let me tell you what! Besides polycount there is few other cg forums I frequent. But one that The one that I do go to a lot is cghub.
CGhub is one website is a great resource. Everything from posted job to inspiration art work on the front page, this site has so much to offer.
But to be honest I have not used their forum at all, I have looked through their forums but I have never and I can't see myself ever posting on their forums.
With all the professional and good looking work on their front page, the forum seems to be confusing and for the most part filled with poorer quality artwork then the front page. An aspect of this site that I will be using will be their "portfolio". You can upload your images, and even upload a banner image and use it as a portfolio if you do not/can not make your own. Or if you are like me and are cheap, and refuse to spend the money on a domain name it is a nice free option to host and promote your artwork. Likewise the professional appearance and since the making of  the site is already finished you can better focus on making better art and not a better website.
This is of course if you do not mind having a .cghub after your website name.
Mine is, but I have as of yet put any of my art work on the website.
As soon as I finish my assassin character I am working on I'll upload it and some other things I am working on at work (as soon as they are released and I can talk about them  that is).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ethics and the norm

I'm flabbergasted that we honestly have to have one whole week dedicated on the subject of ethics! I mean when did we as a race fall so low that we need professional teachers to tell students hoping to enter a work force about Integrity, or Humility and good work ethic just to name a few. Maybe it is me, maybe I am the odd one out. Maybe these things I did naturally is not the natural state of the majority of humanity. It could be because I am older (not really I at the moment am only 28), or since I have been out and about more then the average person my age... maybe a tad bit wiser. Or it could be because I am old fashioned and follow the morals set for me in a book written about 3.5 thousand years ago, with a revision added to that book some 2 thousand years ago. But once again I am just dumbfounded by the fact that we have this as a week of study. Of course I do acknowledge that we do need this in today's day and age.

I of course am not above the need of improvement. The hard part is seeing where you could be better or are failing at all. I will try to point out some of my greatest faults and how I have fixed them or how I am currently fixing/dealing with them. At first while at school getting my BS while attending the Art Institute of California San Diego, I honestly can say I was overly cocky. Though I though I was humble and I still believe I am humble to this day, I know now looking back to when I was at AI I was cocky, at least in my final year. Well I did not have to do anything really to fix that, it was the big fish in little pond effect really. I also had a few years on most of the people that were in the same class that I was so I drew and modeled faster and better then most of them. Most being the word I want to stress, I never though I was the best, though I did thing I was better then the majority of the students at the school. That also could be affects still clinging on me from the military... But regardless I look back on my attitude and my actions and I am ashamed of myself. I even approached someone I went to school with and apologized for my actions and the way I talked to her back then.

But that was then, lets look at what I am dealing with now.

I have been working in the same job for almost 4 years now, I get the same tasks day in and day out. Any task even if you love it, will get boring after doing it for the thousandth time. About a year ago I started to watch movies in a little window on the bottom of my second screen (this is common mind you and almost everyone in the company does it). But I have seen my self over the past year watching more and more movies/shows and it has effected my work flow. Along with that I did catch myself going to a lot, so much that I almost always had it up on my other screen (I don't do facebook, so I guess this was my facebook). About a month ago I noticed myself doing these things, and have taken steps to change it. I no longer go to polycount while at work, it is to much of a challenge for me to just look at one page, or just one thread... I could spend almost all day on that site. So I cut my self off from it almost completely.
 Other then that I don't know what else to say.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One snobby critic

They say that you are your own worst critic. Well if that is true, why is there always someone who dislikes something that you did that you liked.
Maybe that term does not work in the context that I wish to speak...
I will be trying to a short critique on some of my newer and older works. The critiquing part will not be hard it will be the making it short for each piece will be challenging.
 This half head sculpt of a little girl is competently done, yet the smaller detail forms are missing in many areas. Such at as the eye brows and hair.
 This half head sculpt of a baby is well done, yet once again there is no secondary forms in the hair on the infant's head.
 This half head sculpt is in fact missing all secondary hair forms in the head. It apears that the top of the head is lumpy instead of looking like its hair. Likewise the forms under the eyes are to pronounced for a child and should have been made less exaggerated.
 This head sculpt is my latest and in my opinion the best I have done as of yet, but still has some failing aspects about it. The hair (that was suppose to resemble the old roman marble sculptures) does not match the rest of the detail on the head. Or to better put it, the minor pore detail and detail of the stubble and hair detail in the eyebrows does not match the hair on his head which has no detail at all.
 This model is a work in progress. As it is a WIP I'll only be able to critique what I have here and not what it will be. The proportions look about right but the armor is too generic and has nothing to make this look unique. The clothing, pants shirt and body all need to have their sub division pushed to a higher level to put more information on them. Left arm shirt folds do not work.
 This was a practice in hand painted textures to resemble world of warcraft's style. While not achieving the actual look of it the textures cam out looking well. The main failing point in this piece is the pose of the character.
 This break down sheet had devoted a lot of space to the texture and less to the wired view of the model.
 Arguably one of my weakest to date that I have on my portfolio. The torso and head are quite interesting yet the arms of the creature are lacking in any real detail or interest in them at all.
 This break down sheet has the same fall backs as the prior one has, large area devoted to the three maps, yet still not being able to see the maps clearly; along with very tiny and  over lapping wired and colored views on the model.
 This concept art of the above monster is more interesting then the actual model. The arms have form with the ridges running down each one and the elephant trunk like ending on each arm. The main failing on this concept art piece is the fact that it is only line art and no value or dept at all.
 This concept art is of the above WIP model. This concept piece look off center and off balanced. Adding something that the model would stand on would make it feel to have more weight and less of a floating feeling to it.
 This is one of my oldest pieces I have on my portfolio. The lack in contrast in the texture, and the lack of variety of color in the color palate. Along with the lack of a good specular map for the metal on the character makes this the weakest piece in my portfolio in my opinion.
 This concept art once again fails due to the lack of shadow and value in the drawing. Grounding the character on a surface would have been smart as well.
 This concept art developed as a character front and side orthographic views does not seem to work all that well. Since the character from the front and from the side seem to be two different characters all together and not the same one.
 This zbrush model of burnt soldier I did for resistance burning skies seems good enough. But the presentation of the model is quite low. The materials could have at least been the same color, and the screen capture should have been done at best render mode.
 This is the in game model of the same burned solder from resistance burning skies. The back ground of the image and the textures of the model make it quite hard to see what the texture looks like on the model. Like wise no textures are shown.
 This is the infected scientist I modeled for Resistance burning skies. The main failing point on this model was the hair, it looks lumpy and did not look like hair but more like clay on his head. Also no texture of the head is shown.
 This model is of Rachel for resistance burning skies. Her hair was not nearly sculpted enough and the strokes made in zbrush are apparent and should have been blended more. Also no texture of the head is shown.
This is the model of Bill Amherst I did for resistance burning skies. This model looks good but the bags under his eyes are to exaggerated, and the repeating form does not look natural. Also no texture of the head is shown.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

No idea

So while sitting at my desk at work, I stare at the computer screen. I have been tasked to to something, it could be another texture... (there are always more textures to do), or the odd chance I get to sculpt. I look at the reference, and then I look to what I have on my screen and then it suddenly dawns on me.

Now that is not saying I don't know what I am doing from a technical stand point, or even from an artistic stand point. I complete the task and I do a good job of it, but I still have the feeling at the end of the day that I am completely lost on what I just did.

My name is Daniel Driussi, I graduated from The Art Institute of California San Diego in 2008. Half a year later I found myself working at VASG (Visual Arts Service Group (and worst acronym ever)) a studio owned by SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) in San Diego as a production artist. My job was to process scanned data and sculpt them so they are ready to be textured and then have the final sculpt phase done on it. After two or three weeks of working there I was asked to try my hand at doing some photo realistic textures basted on the photos from the scans. I have been doing that and getting the occasional final sculpting job for almost four years now. Now I find myself with in the character art and scan team bouncing back and forth to whom ever needs me. My sculpting is good enough, yet I take to long to complete the sculpts that I am tasked with to be fully useful in the character team as a sculptor more then a texture artist. I still help process scan data when they need a lot done fast, and my primary job it seems is to do high quality textures. 

But what do I want to do? I know I would rather sculpt then texture. I also know I would like to work in either the game or movie field, either does not matter to me. I know quite a bit about what I do and what I want to do. I know how I got to where I am, and I know how to  get to where I want to be.

Then why do I have this feeling still that I have no idea what I'm doing?