body talk Mod­el­ling and tex­ture lead artist Krys­tal Sae Eua shares her se­crets of cre­at­ing pro-level char­ac­ters with ef­fi­ciency

ImagineFX - - Contents -

Pub­lisher The Gnomon Work­shop Price Sub­scrip­tion only (from £39 per month) For­mat Stream­ing video Web www.theg­nomon­work­

The Hol­ly­wood dream fac­tory needs a con­tin­ual sup­ply of new tal­ent to cre­ate its visual ef­fects and an­i­ma­tion. But if you want to get a foot in the door as a char­ac­ter mod­eller, you need more than just abil­ity. You need to un­der­stand the process, and what other mem­bers of your team ex­pect from you.

That’s where Krys­tal Sae Eua’s video comes in. Her em­pha­sis here is not on how to model, but on the fin­ished form your model needs to be in, so it’s ready to pass on to your project’s an­i­ma­tors or rig­gers. Here, Krys­tal cre­ates a re­al­is­tic fig­ure that’s suit­able for visual ef­fects, but her work­flow prin­ci­ples for mod­ellers are broadly ap­pli­ca­ble to artists in a char­ac­ter an­i­ma­tion project, too.

You’ll see the steps she takes to pre­pare the topol­ogy so it de­forms cor­rectly when it’s an­i­mated, and how she mod­els cloth­ing and hair with the light­ing and ren­der­ing stages al­ways in mind. An ex­ten­sive sec­tion on UV map­ping shows you an ef­fi­cient way to pre­pare for tex­tur­ing.

Nar­rat­ing speeded-up footage of her own process, Krys­tal is a nat­u­ral teacher, of­fer­ing a huge amount of de­tail while al­ways keep­ing the tone mea­sured and re­laxed. She also pro­vides a char­ac­ter ref­er­ence sheet, a base OBJ fig­ure and pref­er­ences for cus­tomis­ing your ZBrush set­tings, so you’re well-equipped for try­ing out this project your­self.

While Krys­tal uses Maya and ZBrush, with a side help­ing of Mar­velous De­signer and a dash of Arnold, her em­pha­sis on pro­duc­tion work­flow means you’ll get a lot out of this video re­gard­less of the soft­ware you use. More to the point, you’ll speed up your own process and en­able team­mates to work more ef­fi­ciently, too.

The re­topol­o­gi­sa­tion stage sees Krys­tal Sae Eua con­fig­ur­ing the model’s poly­gons so that they an­i­mate cleanly. Get your char­ac­ter pro­duc­tion process into shape as Krys­tal shows you how to make your char­ac­ters ready for the an­i­ma­tion stage. In the video you’ll see how to make tex­ture-ready UV maps that work ef­fi­ciently. The work­flow should ben­e­fit both you and po­ten­tial col­leagues.

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