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Loving Mesh - Proud of myself!!


bodzette Coignet
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So I think I can put the lie to those who say that Mesh creation will be in the "exclusive hands of an elite bunch of creators".

Two months ago I never had even made a single sculpty and had barely been able to build a bunch of prims.

Using zbrush has been a hard slog to learn over the last two months but yesterday I made a reasonable facsimile of an assault rifle and uploaded it to the mesh grid. 

I've also made some sculpty hair which is a lot worse looking that the rifle but I want to be able to do hard surface modeling as well as organics so hair and guns lol

Anyways if I can do it anybody can. I *so* can't wait till mesh comes to the big grid.

 

 

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Congrats on your progress Bodzette - what you have achieved is no walk in the park for sure, but proves that if one is determined, they can learn anything!

I think the most daunting thing for newcomers is getting their head around all the different steps involved in creating a finished mesh object - creating and shaping the mesh itself, UV-mapping and material mapping, and then texturing it effectively. No easy feat to grasp it all... but once figured out, these basic steps are pretty much the backbone of most 3D creation, so are skills definitely worth having and refining / building upon.

Be warned - mesh is a very addictive beast! :smileyvery-happy:

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OK Here's the gun I made.  I used shadowbox for the complicated bits and a cylinder tool for the front part which I masked and alternately inflated. I used lazy mouse and backtrack snap to track for the grooves along with a small brush size on the standard brush. Where there were irregularities I subdivided the mesh up to div 4 and smoothed out there to get better control. Likewise I subdivved it up to that level for better control with the mask and deformation-> inflate.

Then I merged all the subtools into a single tool.

At the end of it all I had a pretty cool though a bit amateurish model (not bad for a first serious attempt though) but with way too many polys at something like 700,000 polys. So I used decimation master to cut the poly count down to to 65 K, after which I exported it all to collada with zsculpty plugin. I textured it just with a black color in SL. I'll get into texturing later once I am reasonably good at sculpting.

 

m16-a4-myversion.jpg

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And here is the hair. I know. It's pretty bad, but I'm sure after doing another ten of them I'll get better. I still haven't added any flexi-prims to it. So far it more or less looks like crappy low-end sculpty hair but I'm a beginner so what the heh LOL

So each of the main pieces are subtools (zbrush equivalent of individual sculpties) on which I used mostly the move brush and occasionally the standard brush. I also imported a SL avatar head in obj and resized the mesh round it to give me some scale on the SL head for reference. Then I tried to bend the mesh round the head using the move brush and also the matchmaker brush to try to deform the various subtools better round the head mesh. Then I deleted the head mesh subtool out of the subtool list and used subtool master to merge all of the tools into a single subtool. Then I made a 1024 pixel UV map, set UV map to map-planar and used Zsculpty collada exporter. The version you see in the SL side of the photo is a sculpty version rather than the collada version, also exported with Zsculpty because it works with both. I need to seriously bring up my sculpting skills though but whatever, it's all good fun in the beginning. I think I have the workflow basically down now. Just need lots and lots and lots of practise.

 

hairfirstattempt.jpg

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Thanks for the pictures! The rifle is awesome.

As for the hair, well everything comes in time :D Hair is a bit of a tough market to crack I think. There are a lot of great hair makers. I don't know how many of them will move to mesh.

I think it will be a challenge to make long, rigged mesh hair that looks good. Even then I think people will still want flex prims in their hair to make it move. A rigged mesh hair base that does not cut through the body might be interesting. I am waiting to see what creative people will come up with.

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The look is good, but the challenge is to get the poly count on a sane level.

65k is very much...The official number is that the whole scene (everything on the screen, avatars w.attachments, ground, buildings, trees,...) should be around 250k polys. The rifle with 65k would already eat 1/4 of the poly-pool...

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You might find Zsketching a nice solution for making hair.  Here's a pic of a quickie example (not textured).  I used zsketch and the snake brush tool to pull out "strands" and a few other basic tools for shaping, then decimated.

hair_001.png

Edited to add picture of quick polypaint texture test (grey scale image slapped on  hi res version using spotlight and color tinted in SL):

hairtextured_001.jpg

 

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In your artistic hands  Vivenne zsketching will be a magical hair making machine!

It's alot of fun!  For anyone wondering how I set myself up, I loaded the avatar and deleted the top and bottom to reduce polys that have to be drawn.  Then I append a zsphere as a subtool.  Press "N" to select the zsphere"  Press "SHIFT A" to go into zsketching mode and draw your zsketch right on the avie head.  Keep toggling "A" to see how its going and when happy press "make polymesh".  Pick it up in the tool pallette.  Smooth and model.  Decimate.

It might be hard to texture from the the "quick and dirty" UV master UV's, but with polypainting, maybe not.  I haven't gotten that far yet.

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 Thanks bodzette and your gun is excellent - I meant to post that!  Thanks so much for showing us your work. 

Zbrush is soooo addictive.  I'm sure you're following the Zbrush Central forum for tips and help.  If not, I can't recommend it enough. 

This quickie hairstyle is about 39 prims and could be less if I took  time on it (or maybe a bit more with added flexis for some movement)  I'm guessing a  nicely modeled hairstyle might be able to sacrifice the flexie part.

 My average prim/sculpty/flexi hairstyle is about 180 prims and although there's no limit to attachment prims, it helps alot overall to tone the attachment primcount down.  Hopefully those extra talented SL Hair artists will adopt mesh put that into practice.

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Nacy,

Thanks so much for the tip on how you made your hair!

I haven't been able to do anything so far except (finally!) got a bunch of zspheres drawn onto an SL Avatar head but I'm going to stubbornly hack at it until I get something that resembles a hairstyle and then hack at spotlight till I figure out how to texture. Here's as far as I got till now:zsphereshair-firstcut-1.jpg

 

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LOL: couldn't figure out how to get it to a polymesh after I'd played with snakehook tool. I suspect what I'm doing wrong is using the 2.5D snakehook tool. So instead I didn't use Zspheres. I redid it with standard spheres and cones etc and then used the snakehook brush which applies to mesh in edit mode. I also used the move tool and the rake tool. I subdivved the individual subtools to div 4 or 5. This is what I have so far. Ugly but it's a work in progress that feels like it's moving in the right direction.

 

hairdosecondattempt.jpg

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Bodzette, you want to be working in Zsketch, not Zspheres.  If you are using ZB 3.4 or 4 this should be available to you.  Its basically a drawing mode for zspheres and you set it up by appending a zsphere and pressing "SHIFT A" to start the zsketch process (also accessible in the tools palette).   If you go to the Pixologic website there are some excellent videos teaching the ins and outs of zsketching and its worthwhile to learn this.  In a bit I'll post some pics of the process I used.

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