Studio 1 Development Blog 9

Welcome back, sorry there has been a delay. Today we will be talking about researching new tools to add to my workflow and development practices.

So I spent quite some time researching how to sculpt in Mudbox so I could extract a normal map from a high poly model and apply that to a low poly version to achieve higher detail in a more efficient manner. I will post links to my research at the bottom of the post for those of you who are interested.

I modeled a skull as my base mesh in 3DS Max. This is what the base mesh looks like:

Skull_basemesh

It’s quite high poly about 3,000. I then took the mesh into Mudbox and sculpted it into this colossal 3,000,000 poly monstrosity:

Skull_Sculpt

I was very happy with my first sculpting experiment, all things considered. I think that in my next sculpting experiment I will try to do it more efficiently working more at lower subdivision levels. After sculpting I extracted a normal map from the high poly model and applied it to the low poly mesh (not without its own problems that required exporting a 3M poly sculpt as an .obj file to ensure all faces were quads) and got this:

Skull_Low_normalized

It definitely didn’t work as I had expected, firstly its weirdly chromed and shaded and secondly there isn’t as much of the sculpt detail as I would have liked.

I have taken some time to reflect on the outcome of this and have boiled the problem down to a few possibilities, but most likely a combination of them. First I should have taken the 3M poly skull and re-topologised it from scratch rather than trying to loosely edit the low poly mesh. Second the UV maps are created with symmetry and so I think having flipped UV’s laid on top of themselves is creating the weird shading.

All in all, a lot was learned and much more is yet to be learned and built upon in future endeavors.

‘Till next time….

*oh, and here are the links to my initial research:

Thank you.

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