26 March 2014

Getting Muddy....

In the little time I've had to play recently I've managed to make some progress with the character that I started in the previous post.

One of my aims in this collaborative project is to develop an understanding of the sculpting software Mudbox, it's toolset and the workflow between it and Maya. Up until this point I've never really had the desire to sculpting software but packages like Mudbox and Z-Brush are becoming a more and more integral part of the production pipeline and so I figured it was time to get my hands dirty.

I think that my reticence to use sculpting software stems from the heavy handed approach that so many artists have demonstrated through their practice. I have found that there is an abundance of work created through these packages which carries a certain look, a look that screams "sculpted" at the top of it's voice. Deep gouges and symmetrical lines are the most common offences and it is this style that I am hoping to avoid in my efforts.

Anyway, once I got over my fear of carving heavy marks into my model found the transition to sculpting pretty rewarding, the tools in Mudbox are very intuitive and after I had learnt to navigate 3D space with my Wacom it became a rather therapeutic exercise. Developing a workflow took a little time but I soon realised that, much like sculpting in real life, it's best to work down to the building finer detail from larger strokes.

Now that I have a project that benefits from the use of this software I am beginning to understand it's potential and will most certainly be using it again in the future. I still believe that it is important to understand that not everything needs to be sculpted and good old fashioned texture and bump maps are still absolutely valid practice in the professional workflow.

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