James Thornton

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About James Thornton

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  1. I enjoy this workflow, too. Best way to get 3dc meshes into a good rendering app imo. Really amazing works you've done here. Very surreal concepts and great renders.
  2. Beautiful final result
  3. If you don't mind, p.m. or email me when it's available. Thanks
  4. FYI, when I click on the link to buy, it says "Fatal Error!" lol ; ) Scary. Might want to contact kurv though. I'd like to give them some money, but they're dying on me!
  5. Thanks! I like how it just drops it into a new layer.
  6. I think you're talking about polys ^here^ but... Random question, is there a way to decrease voxel resolution? I think I read about a way some time ago that decreased the resolution, but you lost the higher res for good. Could've been seeing things again though.
  7. No problem ; ) Just keep experimenting with different approaches and you'll find what works best for you. I would continue to try different settings in quadrangulation as well. I've only used it a few times, but I've never had a mesh blow up like that. Aside from n gons and random edgeflow, it's generally worked really good. Maybe it's the nature of the beast, dunno. Haven't tried it on a mesh like yours, only a couple heads. Good luck and keep at it! You'll figure it out ; )
  8. Depends on the workflow. For me, having clean geometry when possible is good because I often manipulate the mesh outside of 3d Coat. There are automatic options though. Decimation is great, but only in certain situations for me. Quadrangulation is cool, but you'll still need to clean it up using the retopology tools, as it produces ngons, etc. Still mostly automatic and quicker than doing it by hand. I would really dig in and study those some more to figure out how to make them work for you. My guess is quadrangulation will eventually make it click-of-a-button as it develops. Remember that how hard an object is to retopo isn't dependent on how hi res the mesh is, but rather how complex. For instance, if you have wires and everything going all over the place on a low res mesh, you will not want to retopo! Yet if you just have a simple, super hi res shape, it's easy. You just block out the cage w/ edge loops and subdivide, viola. Here is an example of a test mesh I made to study workflows where you won't want to retopo. The voxels are simply exported as an obj, decimated in ZBrush, and rendered in modo. It's the first time I've tried decimation, and look forward to experimenting with 3d Coat's in house option asap. So take note that you have to look at your sculpt, and decide what meshing option is the path of least resistance for your workflow. In this case, I think even quadrangulation would have made my computer explode! Either that or I would have lost a ton of detail. What I learned is to keep the voxel objects that will need different meshing approaches in separate layers. Then you can export them separately and bring them back together.
  9. The retopo tools are a breeze, use em! Strokes tool is your new best friend if you have a tablet. It's the best way to get clean meshes out of voxels. That is, if the mesh isn't too complex to retopo of course. In your first example I would start drawing out retopo in two groups, one for the box, and one for the blob. Make them both as low res as possible, with as many even quads as possible. Resort to triangles and poles before ngons. The tools will make it faster than you think. The reason I suggest doing these in separate groups is because they are of different detail. With 3d Coat's retopo, when you subdivide, the poly's vacuum to the voxels. This allows you to only have to focus on your basic edge flow while making a super low poly cage. Then just let 3d Coat do all the work ; ) Although it takes some effort, don't think that you have to actually lay it all out point by point. So you could do an extra simple mesh over the box part, and a tad more complex mesh over the blob. Then subdivide the box mesh until it's of similar density to the blob. From there just select the mesh of one group, copy it into the other, and connect the two. Even in one group you can build onto areas separately and connect them, but they will subdivide together. At first, the voxel > poly thing was tricky, but I quickly learned that there are more than enough tools to make them compatible with any work flow.
  10. Very clean and sharp. I look forward to seeing the detailed version!
  11. Nice, thanks for sharing! I gotta learn how to leverage the tools like that.
  12. Thanks for the tips! Should have a chance to get back at it during Thanksgiving break. I want to fully study this software if time allows, so I appreciate the advice.
  13. Hey, thanks for the tip! I learn more about this cool app every day. I suspect that getting good at converting poly meshes into voxels can come in handy for MUCH more than retopology. That's something I haven't tried. It's good to know even though I'm having a lot of success with polys. Transferring to voxels for retopo is something I will definitely experiment with. Sounds groovy. Might add a step, but might add some advantages as well. Definitely worth a look though. Cheers, James
  14. No problem, and good luck! Here's another tip if you like using these apps together, but want to start off with voxels. Do your sculpt, starting at a lower res and gradually increasing. Jump into the retopo room. Use the tools to do a very basic, low res retopo w/ good edge flow. Initially, it won't retain the detail of the voxel sculpt due to low resolution. Export this base mesh. After you've done the low res retopo, you can subdivide it. The mesh will vacuum to the voxels (genius!). Use the brush tool, sometimes with shift to smooth to clean things up between each time you subdivide. Keep dividing until you have a mesh that represents the voxel sculpt. Export this as a hi res mesh. Import the base mesh and hi res mesh into the ZBrush tool palette. Append the hi res to the base mesh as a subtool. Under tool>subtool hit ProjectAll. This will project the hi res onto the base mesh with subdivisions! Now you can delete the hi res subtool. This, of course, is if you want to do detail in ZBrush. You can further detail the new mesh in 3d Coat as well, by sculpting the mesh, and through painting (sculpting) difference maps, even vector displacement! Just thought I'd share because I'm having a lot of fun with it ; )
  15. Because retopologizing over a dense ZBrush sculpt in 3d Coat is ....s....l.....o.....w.... Even just a 3 mil mesh is sluggish. I've got some that are in the 20's that you can't even open. Meanwhile, even a mesh that's 250k is so smooth to retopo it could make you grin ear to ear. I can get away with something around 50k. My suggestion is if the ZBrush sculpt Ian is trying retopo is fairly dense, which is likely. So a great way to leverage the awesome tools of 3d Coat without slowing down the system is to export a lighter mesh that still holds the form. Exporting an obj from a middle ground subdivision level still retains plenty of shape to create the new base mesh. In this situation, projecting the details and generating the displacement/normal map in ZBrush makes the most sense. It's the path of least resistance. As is doing the retopo in 3d Coat. At the time, ZBrush retopo calls for tediously clicking each vert individually. So this is a great way to leverage each app when using them together.