Crea­ture Mod­el­ing for Pro­duc­tion

GOOD TO GO Guer­rilla Games’ Ben Erdt takes you into the world of an­i­ma­tion-friendly mod­el­ling – with bags of de­sign tips along the way

ImagineFX - - Workshops -

Guer­rilla Games’ Ben Erdt takes you into the world of an­i­ma­tion-friendly mod­el­ling.

Even if you’ve no in­ten­tion of ex­plor­ing the 3D tools that Ben Erdt’s video ma­jors in, the first sec­tion of his seven-hour tu­to­rial is es­sen­tial view­ing. It’s as good an over­view of how to re­late per­son­al­ity and en­vi­ron­ment to char­ac­ter or crea­ture de­sign as you’re likely to see.

The crea­ture Ben goes on to model doesn’t just look cool: ev­ery part of its anatomy and cos­tum­ing re­lates to the back-story and set­ting that Ben has cre­ated. Whether you’re into 2D or 3D, watch and learn from this.

Af­ter the hu­manoid alien crea­ture is in­tro­duced, the fo­cus switches to 3D pro­duc­tion for games or film, as Ben presents his work­flow for build­ing a char­ac­ter or crea­ture that’s ready to hand over for an­i­ma­tion.

Ben cre­ates his base model in ZBrush, adopt­ing a prag­matic mixand-match ap­proach to his choice of tools: some Dy­naMesh sculpt­ing here, a lit­tle ZSphere mod­el­ling there. He shows how to re­late the level of de­tail you need to pro­duc­tion re­quire­ments: if the hands are never shown in closeup, for ex­am­ple, there’s lit­tle need to place ev­ery pore on the skin there.

The model trans­fers into Modo for the rest of the video, al­though the prin­ci­ples Ben cov­ers here ap­ply to any 3D soft­ware with de­cent mod­el­ling tools. Re­topol­o­gis­ing the model (rebuilding it so that it’ll de­form cor­rectly dur­ing an­i­ma­tion) is a nec­es­sary grind, he re­veals.

Ben’s a per­son­able tu­tor, of­fer­ing some broader in­sights into work­ing within a pro­duc­tion team and punc­tu­at­ing his tech­ni­cal over­view with quirky tips. There’s a mo­ment when he zooms the cam­era so far back from the crea­ture it be­comes a speck on the horizon: the ul­ti­mate way of read­ing a model’s sil­hou­ette.

You’ve got your 2D con­cept in place – now it’s time to turn it into a 3D as­set. Ben shows you how. Ben’s ZBrush sculpt­ing re­volves around en­sur­ing that the anatomy works at all lev­els of sub­di­vi­sion. Re­topol­o­gis­ing the model in Modo is time-con­sum­ing and te­dious, but nec­es­sary. Ben’s video helps you cre­ate mod­els that not only look great, but are tech­ni­cally ready for an­i­ma­tion.

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