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L'Ancien Regime

Louis XV wood mantelpiece

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With architectural subjects I like to start out with a polygonal mesh that I'll merge into 3d Coat.

This gives me the best of both worlds; a really strong rectilinear, curvilinear design that subd/ smoothed polygons allows and the organic modeling that voxels and Live Clay allow.

I'm now finally at the stage (after many struggles with Maya ) where I've voxelized my my merged mesh and I'm doing some roughing in of the details, mostly using the Move tool in Voxel mode. Once that stage is done I'll be going into surface mode for detailed sculpting.

Looking ahead to the completion of the sculpting the debate between Digman and myself is whether do autopo,it then bake it out for per pixel painting or to go directly into microvertex painting and produce .ply files.

Digman is arguing pretty convincingly in favor of microvertex painting with .ply file output.

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Is this going to the space where your mirror resides? Very nice work! If you go directly to Microvertex painting, where does the mesh come in?

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Is this going to the space where your mirror resides? Very nice work! If you go directly to Microvertex painting, where does the mesh come in?

Yes this is part of the room I'm making to house all the artifacts I want to create.

I'm not quite sure about what the workflow for microvertex painting yet. I'm hoping Digman will be producing a video on this soon. My understanding is that you paint directly onto the Live Clay mesh and then export and render this as a very fast rendering .ply file.

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Yes this is part of the room I'm making to house all the artifacts I want to create.

I'm not quite sure about what the workflow for microvertex painting yet. I'm hoping Digman will be producing a video on this soon. My understanding is that you paint directly onto the Live Clay mesh and then export and render this as a very fast rendering .ply file.

Nice work!

I'm also curious about the microvertext painting workflow for this.

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Just to clear this up...

Micovertex is for creating true displacement maps, requires a uv set.

Vertex color maps, no uv set but quality depends upon the number of vertices in your surface mode mesh so you might not want to use it as a final up close to the camera render. There are lots of uses for VCM that a video can help to show...

I am looking for the day when Andrew has time to upgrade 3DCoat's renderer. Then we could have high quality VCM color because we would not have to decimate upon export our model to render in another program.

The close up view of the mantle you showed me yesterday is outstanding workmanship!

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Just to clear this up...

Micovertex is for creating true displacement maps, requires a uv set.

Vertex color maps, no uv set but quality depends upon the number of vertices in your surface mode mesh so you might not want to use it as a final up close to the camera render. There are lots of uses for VCM that a video can help to show...

I am looking for the day when Andrew has time to upgrade 3DCoat's renderer. Then we could have high quality VCM color because we would not have to decimate upon export our model to render in another program.

The close up view of the mantle you showed me yesterday is outstanding workmanship!

Frankly I spend the morning at the gym puzzling over this stuff and how I should proceed with this project in light of the new information I'm being bombarded with; should I sculpt with surface mode but NOT use Live Clay tools??? I was hoping to use them. If I did use Live clay what then? How to bring that to a render.

And did you see? This thread hit over 1400 visits in under 24 hours. This means there's a lot of people interested in 3d coat and that's good.

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This is a roughing in of details at 4 million voxels. Pretty tough going at this scale of operations. I seem to use 50% Move Tool, 30% Build Tool, and the other 20% is Scrape Tool, Smooth Tool and Fill Tool. My Wacom Bamboo Tablet is just not cutting it. This sculpt is 100% mouse...a Logitec EOM $10.00 mouse. :rofl: . Once I've established what I want I should be able up the resolution comfortably to 8 to 10 million voxels and then I'll go back over all the ornaments again to smooth things out and emphasise a greater realism of detail particularly in the scrolls of acanthus leaves and flowers..

It's a lot easier sculpting to just shove aside all the popups and have a full screen canvas to work on then bring up my brushes with the Spacebar.

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Continuing to work out the ornament at a relatively rough 4.9 million tris in preparation for upping it to 10 million or so and then going to surface mode and doing a surface smooth. I spent most of the day messing with the garlands draped from the side volutes.

When I was preparing the original mesh I made a big fetish of getting everything set up for a perfect mirror flip so I'd have no problems with symmetry and it's paid off. 3d Coat's symmetry has performed impeccably even under the most arduous circumstances on this project.

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I finished the rough voxel sculpt this morning and then I started in on setting things up for the final sculpting;

First I upped the resolution (and this felt like quite the crapshoot at almost 5 million tris). I wound up with almost 20 million tris running on 8 gigs of DDR2 RAM and two quad core Harpertowns. When I went to surface mode I got quite a few artifacts as you can see in the isoparm type patterns on in the mesh. (In case you don't know; hit "w" to get the mesh displayed in surface mode)

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Then I smoothed it using these options;

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Smoothing took a long time...something like five or ten minutes. Upping the resolution from 5 to 20 million tris was nothing by comparison...maybe thirty seconds. The result was a sculpt of identical resolution of details but the rationalization of all those pattern artifacts in the mesh;

Then I went to the Voxels menu and performed Clean Surface which took even longer to run.

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Then I set about stripping all the excess polygons from surfaces that would neither be sculpted or painted with the Clean Clay tool, as you can see in the illustration. Note that I include painting here because even on the top entablature where it's totally flat I'm going to want to paint wood grain in fine detail so I won't be stripping polygons from there...only in areas that are totally hidden like the back and the bottom. And this Clean Clay operation turned out to be well worth the effort since by the time I was done I'd whittled that 20 million tris down to only 14 million tris without touching any surface that will be revealed in the final renders

And a big Thank You to digman for showing me all this...

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You are progressing well in learning the ropes of Surface mode. You do not need to run Clean Surface since the new smoothing selections we have now for the smoothing tool. Clean Surface can remove some of the sharper edges depended somewhat on how many polygons your surface mesh has, The less polygons the more you lose edges, greater amount of polygons the less...

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You're the maestro at this technique. A video showing the creation of the above would be much appreciated. Do you use a template or other reference? Or do you just wing it?

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You're the maestro at this technique. A video showing the creation of the above would be much appreciated. Do you use a template or other reference? Or do you just wing it?

I've got three photos that I found on the internet that you can see in the Maya shots. Once I took it out of Maya I put it on them on my laptop next to my two other screens as reference. I love having two screens for Maya; one for viewport and one for attribute editors etc. I'm thinking of doing a video but I'm not sure yet. I've got the project in stages so I could go back and show the steps ...

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I spent the entire day wrestling with the acanthus leaves. Looking back to where I started from at 5 million tris to now with 20 million it's not a whole lot of difference considering all the voxel wrangling I went through today. But...I think it'll pay off if I use the mantel as a base for close ups of other new artifacts I'm planning on.

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I've been listening to MGMT a lot during this work;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCHVyGSFxxI

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This is becoming very fast a WOW sculpture... Great workmanship and it shows off the power of 3DCoat...

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I started thinking about the wood texture I'd use for this work; I searched all over the place and nothing was really long enough; the mantle is made of three pieces of wood apparently; two uprights and one horizontal piece. All the larger files I had were of floorboards etc, not quite what I wanted. Finally I found one piece that had a similar wood grain but it was too small and it had huge dark areas of swirls that were almost knots that spoiled it for my purposes. But it was the closest I could get so like all good 3d artists I got resourceful;

I duplicated it and flipped it horizontally to double its length to around 5880 pixels width. I fused the seam a bit with the Clone Stamp. Then I got rid of the big swirling areas that were almost big dark knots by cutting out long strips from a duplicated version and spinning the strips around 180 degrees and inserting them over the dark swirls and then blending them with a soft 20% Eraser Tool. I did this several times then went around with the Clone Stamp again just trying to blend edges without muddying up the wood grains too much.

Then I played around with Brightness, Contrast, and Hue to emulate the colours in the original source photos.

It's not perfect but I don't think it has to be; a lot of it's faults will be hidden in the jumble of surface details of the sculpted mantel. This is about an eighth of it's size and resolution.

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The scope of the project grows...

But so far this is just a very rough sketch . I'm finding 1.2 million tris for a human figure is just about the minimum even for a sketch. But maybe that's just me.

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I'll throw this third one in just so you don't go away with the impression that her arms are too short...

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