Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 227

Next was a lesson in extracting maps from the sculpted model. I've done this before so the basic idea is that there is too much information in the model and some applications like a video game wouldn't be able to handle it. One way to sidestep that is to extract information from the high rez model and apply it to a lower rez version. Above we have a displacement map that Mudbox generated off of my model.

Now in Maya, I can take that map and apply it to the low rez version on the left so when I render the model, it'll look like what's on the right. The displacement map is actually changing the shape of the model at render time so it still takes a fair amount of computational power. An alternative is to use a normal map which Mudbox can also generate. 

A normal map tells the computer how light should bounce off the model and isn't that graphics intensive. So when I apply the normal map, I can see the results in real time as opposed to just at render. Above I have the normal map applied and the green lines represent the actual polygons in the model. By using the map, I can get the look of a 10 million polygon model on one that's just 5000 polygons.

So with that I'm done with the book. I decided to try out one last thing. I went back to the girl head I sculpted and used the reference photos I was provided to try to paint the real face onto the model. Since I had a number of photos from different angles, it was able to get decent coverage and not end up with obvious seams where one photo ends and another begins. I didn't try to get it perfect or finish though since my sculpted hair was different than the photos, but I may come back to this in the future. Otherwise, I thought this was a good book. It wasn't super in depth but I liked how it went over anatomy. It seemed like the book was more geared towards real life sculptors who wanted to learn digital sculpting.

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