week 08 20th – 26th
- 21st hair brush and facial detail
- Research into methods of making hair
Polygon planes – tutorial for creating real-time hair
I’ve always found hair to be a bit tricky to make, I’ve never found a chance to really try to make good hair or explore how to make hair, I’m really still trying to refine my modelling skills, earlier in project while I was making the base model for the sculpt, I tried making the hair using, Nnurb curves and the loft function, the results of this weren’t really adequate so I’m looking into other methods.
Box modelling the hair is one option, I think when it’s done well, box modelled hair can look really aesthetically pleasing; some good examples of this would be the character models from the game “Overwatch” such as “Tracer”, “Mercy”, “Mei”, “Junkrat”, and “solider:76”
Now knowing how easy it is to re-topologies models in Zbrush, I think it’s more than likely that some of the hair for those characters was sculpted rather than box modeled. The re-topologies tool allows people to work from high to low detail, rather than working from low to high as normal, from what I’ve seen, this workflow seem quite fast, allowing for rapid prototyping and is definitely something I want to try in future
There also hair simulations, weather its Fibermesh in ZBrush or Nhair in Maya, although these are realistic and aesthetically pleasing when done correctly, this method can be tricky to get right, more often than not the result are not the desired ones, requiring many tries and iterations to get the dynamics to work in the desired way, we also don’t really need our hair to look photo realistic or need it move in a realistic fashion as the focus of our app is on the body and how it moves, not the hair.
Enter polygon planes, I think this might be the best solution for creating hair for our character, often used in video games, this method uses strips of polygon planes to create hair, the polygons planes form the shape of the hair and the then maps, such as, normal, alpha and defuse to create the illusion of hair, I managed to find a tutorial on-line, showing me the workflow to creating hair using this method, explaining how to create an IMM brush within Zbrush, how to UV the hair, and how to create the maps and textures
- 22nd facial detail and hair base model
Sculpting in the facial detail, what details? Muscle details? Geometric shape? What is that shape made from? Bumps, folds, crevasse, wrinkles
I had tried pretty hard to sculpt in all the muscles of the body, it was now time to sculpt in some detail for the face, the appearance of our faces are the results of few various factors these being, the structure of the skull, the facial muscles, weight, age and, the wearing of the skin in some areas from use(the skin loses it elasticity as we get older, more so in areas that are often pulled and stretched when make an expression), I wanted to try to make the character look somewhat realistic, so rather trying to make the standard pretty face, opposed to hollowing out the cheeks, and making the bones structure more pronounced, I focused on the nasolabial fold, and making it more pronounced by making the sides of the dorsal base more subtle. I also deepened the laugh lines and slightly hollowed out the area under the eye.
Making the hair
Using the tutorial from earlier and the concept art made by Julie, I started to make the characters hair, rather than start in ZBrush and use Dynamesh, I started in maya and created a skin cap from the topology of the characters head as a starting point, extruded it outward, built the ponytail from polygon cubes and attached it, mapped the uv’s and exported it to Zbrush.
At this point I decided to use a combination of both the box modelled and polygon plane hair because I thought it would be faster, it would give us same shape as the concept art, then I could just cover it with polygon planes using the IMMbrush I made, achieving the look of the hair from the tutorial without having to create shape using polygon planes.
I feel like the concept art wasn’t really great but thought it didn’t really matter, I thought that I just needed to know what the hair “sort of” looked like. It looked like it was tied back and tied up with multiple hair-ties running down along the length of the ponytail, Emma said that she was planning on rigging it with a spline so, I kept the model simple with increased resolution in the pinched areas because I thought those were the areas where the hair would bend and deform.
Unfortunately, I feel like I spent too much time sculpting the hair and really should have only done some light sculpting, letting the textures and the polygon plane textures do most of the work
With the sculpting finished I created a normal and a displacement map and then laid on the strands of polygon planes. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the IMM brush I made, or at least I thought there was a problem. After exporting the model to Maya, it turns out that most of the planes weren’t connected, thus I had to fix that, I remade the brush but later found that there was nothing wrong with the brush, I simply missed a step, or rather that the tutorial I was fallowing didn’t mention that I needed to hit a “weld” button, to weld the planes together, I found another tutorial that showed me this.
During this time the UV’s had become a mess, I tried to follow the tutorial as it explained how to easily create the UV’s but I must have made a mistake, I tried to lay the UV’s out like how they were in the tutorial using a different method but in the end that didn’t work either, so I tried to follow the tutorial for the second time, this time it worked
Continuing to follow the tutorial, I used ZBrush to make a custom hair normal map and tried to make an alpha map using Polypaint, unfortunately I lost the Polypaint information when trying to create the UV’s for this model and ended up creating the alpha map in photoshop using an ambient occlusion map, I couldn’t get the Zbrush to create the correct UV layout so I ended up exporting the model to mMayaand using it to map the UV’s,
- 23rd hair base model, hair uv’s and hair sculpting
- 24th shirt and hair
- 25th fixing hair brush, hair brush uv’s, normal maps