Digital and traditional figure sculpting/drawing

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  1. #1
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    Red face Digital and traditional figure sculpting/drawing

    Hey everybody!

    First thread here on CA, hopefully this is the right place to post it. I'm a 3d modeler, but have been trying to work on traditional sculpture, and traditional figure drawing to round my skills out as they all benefit each other.

    The main purpose of this thread is to hopefully get some help and critique from all of you amazing artists regarding my lackluster anatomy knowledge. Though my prefer style is a very stylized one, my lack of real world anatomy has been holding me back. I'm gonna try to do at least a few digital sculpts and charcoal figure drawings from life.

    This is a 2hr digital sculpt, posed then sculpted asymmetrically to reference, the way I would approach a traditional figure sculpt or drawing:



    A realtime interactive turntable of it, so you can see all of the anatomy problems:

    http://p3d.in/imw6x

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  3. #2
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    This isn't bad, but it's hard to give you a list of individual tweaks--it's not like there's anything glaringly wrong here, it's more that everything about the pose and the anatomy is sort of 10% "off." If it were me, I'd build the figure in a neutral pose (in Maya/Lightwave/3DSMax/whatever), rig it and pose it in the pose I wanted, and then export the posed mesh to ZBrush for final tweaks. At some point in the future when you have a better sense of anatomy and contapposto, you might be able to nail it directly in ZBrush--but in my opinjon you're not at that stage yet.

    Just my two cents, as always.

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    Thank you for the comment Giacomo! I see what you mean. I have a little grasp of anatomy just from practicing sculpting and doing life drawing sessions in large charcoal format, but it doesn't look natural or believable to me yet. So do you mean I should just be building the base and posing it in Maya, then doing everything else in Zbrush, or do you mean doing the actual bulk of the work as far as forms go in Maya, then just detailing in Zbrush?

    I did this one earlier before seeing your comment, so it's the same process as the last. 2hr asymmetrical sculpt, this time done from imagination since this pose is hard to find reference for. It doesn't look good to me, but hopefully progress will ensue.



    Interactive turntable:

    http://p3d.in/CVrUA

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    Quote Originally Posted by polaroid29 View Post
    I have a little grasp of anatomy just from practicing sculpting and doing life drawing sessions in large charcoal format, but it doesn't look natural or believable to me yet. So do you mean I should just be building the base and posing it in Maya, then doing everything else in Zbrush, or do you mean doing the actual bulk of the work as far as forms go in Maya, then just detailing in Zbrush?
    I'm saying model (in as much detail as you can), rig and pose the figure in Maya--then freeze (or whatever it's called in Maya) the posed mesh and send that to ZBrush. Maya's basically an analytical tool; ZBrush is mostly intuitive. The goal here is to get a deeper understanding of both the large masses of the body and the surface anatomy of the muscles, and the only way I know of to do that is to be analytical about it.

    Hope that is of some use.

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    Hi good to see your work. Looking at the first sculpture you posted the proportions are all correct. I'm guessing you used standard base mesh and hove posed it.

    The torso is looking good. The places that need the most work are the ankles, neck and knees (ignoring the hands and feet).

    Really good anatomical reference will help you understand what is going on under the surface of the skin. The image your using as reference is quite high contrast with strong shadows. This can be a deceptive when picking out forms, muscles and bones. So even if you have complete 360 reference photos you are going to need other reference for comparison.

    With the neck her Sternomastoid muscles are creating the V shape where they connect to the Clavicle and Sternun. The clavicle is looking a bit large on your model and shape needs refining as it leads out to the shoulder.

    The Trapezius muscle also needs a bit of work. This connects the top of her back shoulder and neck. On your model this is almost a straight line. On the reference you can see the top of the Trapezius muscle and Sternomastoid as it wraps around to the top of the neck connecting to the skull. Also on your model the line is concave. There are few concave lines/forms in human anatomy. Most forms are convex. There is a slight bulge in the Trapezius at the top of her back which helps define the regions.

    I hope this helps for the moment. I'll post a pic to help explain what I mean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    I'm saying model (in as much detail as you can), rig and pose the figure in Maya--then freeze (or whatever it's called in Maya) the posed mesh and send that to ZBrush. Maya's basically an analytical tool; ZBrush is mostly intuitive. The goal here is to get a deeper understanding of both the large masses of the body and the surface anatomy of the muscles, and the only way I know of to do that is to be analytical about it.

    Hope that is of some use.
    I see what you mean, the slowness of Maya will definitely force me to analyze all of the forms more thoroughly :p. I'm going to try to incorporate this process into the next sculpt I do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobiahs View Post
    Hi good to see your work. Looking at the first sculpture you posted the proportions are all correct. I'm guessing you used standard base mesh and hove posed it.

    The torso is looking good. The places that need the most work are the ankles, neck and knees (ignoring the hands and feet).

    Really good anatomical reference will help you understand what is going on under the surface of the skin. The image your using as reference is quite high contrast with strong shadows. This can be a deceptive when picking out forms, muscles and bones. So even if you have complete 360 reference photos you are going to need other reference for comparison.

    With the neck her Sternomastoid muscles are creating the V shape where they connect to the Clavicle and Sternun. The clavicle is looking a bit large on your model and shape needs refining as it leads out to the shoulder.

    The Trapezius muscle also needs a bit of work. This connects the top of her back shoulder and neck. On your model this is almost a straight line. On the reference you can see the top of the Trapezius muscle and Sternomastoid as it wraps around to the top of the neck connecting to the skull. Also on your model the line is concave. There are few concave lines/forms in human anatomy. Most forms are convex. There is a slight bulge in the Trapezius at the top of her back which helps define the regions.

    I hope this helps for the moment. I'll post a pic to help explain what I mean.
    This really does help a lot! I appreciate you taking the time to look at my work and point out the problems. As far as the process, I used Zbrush's Mannequin, which is a really basic generic mesh with no form, but that can be posed very easily.

    I would love to see your pic, and I will try to fix all the problems when I can. I didn't even think of the concave/convex thing, that is really interesting.

    Haven't had time for another sculpt yet, but here is some figure drawing to supplement my learning. The man is trying to replicate a master drawing, the woman is from a live model session ~20 minutes. Sorry for the terrible pictures, they are charcoal on large format 18x24 toned paper, so I didn't have any ways of scanning them.

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    Digital and traditional figure sculpting/drawing

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    Thank you kindly Jacobiahs, I totally see what you mean now. I started a new sculpt today and decided I'm not comfortable enough going at it asymmetrically yet. I tried to incorporate the changes you pointed out though, even though it is on a male this time around.

    I feel like I'm grasping forms better than before, but a lot about this still looks wrong to me. To my untrained eye, at least, I feel like the arms and the back both do not look accurate or natural. Also, the profile view looks off to me as well.

    Hope I'm moving in the right direction though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by polaroid29 View Post
    I feel like I'm grasping forms better than before, but a lot about this still looks wrong to me. To my untrained eye, at least, I feel like the arms and the back both do not look accurate or natural.
    Just off the top of my head: The upper arms feel a bit short compared to the forearms, and the arms tie into the back and shoulders a bit too early. His hands don't really seem to have palms, either...in the front view the fingers sort of merge into the wrists.

    The problem here--both in your sculpture and your drawings--is that you are fussing over musculature when you don't have a good sense of the basic masses and how they relate to each other. If it were me, I really wouldn't concern myself with surface anatomy at this point. My advice is: Quit out of ZBrush. Fire up Maya and build a basic human form. Rig it and pose it...you'll immediately start to understand where you're lacking in terms of basic proportion. Until you do that, you're just sort of dicking around. There are no shortcuts to understanding the human form.

    As always, just my two cents.

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    You want to work from big to little. Work with the lowest resolution mesh you can and get as much from that as you can. When you can't add any more detail because there is not enough geometry then you should increase the resolution. Keep working the forms with large masses first and then slowly work towards the small details over time.

    In your latest model the torso isn't as strong as the first post. There are parts that look overworked compared to others. If you work the entire piece and then gradually up-res it then the forms will flow into one another more naturally.

    On the back I'd look at the Trapezius as it's slightly off in the mid to lower portions. The Lats should be higher up the back and tuck round into the armpit. The Lats insertion is on the humerus bone at the top of the arm. Understanding where the origins and insertions of muscles are will help you understand how the muscles work in conjunction with skeleton.

    I would forget the arms and legs and focus on the torso first, then the head and then work out toward the extremities. Complete 5 or 6 sculpts of that and then work out from there.

    Also look at some techniques in traditional sculpture. They always work from big to little working the whole piece constantly.

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