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The Anatomy Project

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YOu know I'm going to entirely redo everything I've done so far. Digman showed me that power of displacement mapping in 3d coat and the amazing real time displacement rendering in the work viewfinder. . And it also opens the door to really getting in and hand painting displacement in a powerful way..

This looks very rough but it's just the beginning. Damn I'm loving 3d coat.

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I needed a break from texturing in light of new stuff I've been learning about using displacement maps and sculpting to a much higher level than voxels allowed with the surface tools, particularly the live clay tools..probably going to redo everything I've done so far to encapsulate everything Digman's been showing me.

The pelvis is a damned complex piece of bioengineering. The entire thing manages to act as a platform to support the spine, a cradle to hold the intestines with two little sockets for the hips all thrown in together in one little strangely sculpted pair of hip bones. It's an amazing piece of minimalistic functionalism..

I like flowing back and forth from Maya to 3d Coat and back.

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I wrestled with it for hours and I'm still not satisfied but at least now I'm ready to go from voxels to surface mode and Live Clay detailing...

Before I went to that step though I thought I'd test it out for it's overall form buy doing another autopo of its latest state, exporting it to Maya and duplicating it on a negative one on the x dimension to assemble a 2/3 complete pelvis.

Autopo was to 10,000 polygons..

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The sacrum represents more than just the problem of sculpting it as an independent bone here.. It forces me to organize my workspace in preparation for the entire spine development. And the sacrum-hip bone connection is a very tight one that will require boolean subtraction between the sacrum and hip. I had to monkey around quite a bit last night figuring out how to bring in my meshes from Maya for voxelization and still obtain symmetry. I solved that before I went to bed, so now the stage is set for the full development of all the vertebrae in rapid sequence with separate layers for each bone.

And with those little technical problems solved I can just spend my morning enjoying sculpting the structural elegance of the sweep of the bones and learning the secrets of the body's engineering...

Later near the end I'll carve the rough contact of the sacrum to the hip bone then subtract it from the butted hip bone...

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This is what I love most about 3d coat and voxels...you need to make a hole? Just poke your finger through it like wet clay...no fuddling around trying to understand the mysteries of topology mathematics..

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The sacrum progressed along to the point where I couldn't resist making a save and then a quick experimental autopo, just to see how Andrew's algorithm handled such a topologically complex toroidial object; all those holes!

I didn't do anything, no painted weights, no splines, I just let the algorithm do its thing...and it passed with flying colors. Very impressive.

And an aside; when you undertake to do the human or any other animal form there's a natural human tendency to become an Aristotelian and seek some ideal human form with ideal proportions, but of course that's absurd. In my simple researches for this I can't believe how much the same parts diverge from one another in their genetic variations. The sacrum particularly seems to be very individualized...there's nothing even close to being a typical sacrum. It's all very strange and a little bit unnerving. Who and what are we anyway? The more I study it, the less I seem to know about what it actually should look like..

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The dorsal sacrum after quickly sketching in its landmarks...lots of structural mysteries to explore ahead of me..

Oh and if you haven't discovered it yet, and your computer can run it, try Voxels/Cast Shadows for a vastly superior experience sculpting.

And as yet all this is still just voxel scupting. I'm going to take the entire project as far as I can in voxels before going back to redo everything at the surface/live clay level...that should provide me with the optimal displacement maps that I can extract before going into per pixel painting..

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I carried twenty pounds of birdseed back from the market and now my sacrum (or the muscles attached there to) are killing me. Nice to know what the bugger looks like.

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I carried twenty pounds of birdseed back from the market and now my sacrum (or the muscles attached there to) are killing me. Nice to know what the bugger looks like.

That will be your psoas muscle

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Note; I tried saving and exporting the sacrum and hip bone meshes separately but when I autopoed them I had them visible. And as Digman told me...if an object is visible in 3d coat it will be worked on by the program like it was selected...so remember to turn off visibility of any assets you don't want included in an autopo etc..

And loving ghost mode. Very handy.

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"That will be your psoas muscle", spot on!

I couldn't get by without Ghost mode.

Nothing will alleviate your lower back pain like a good psoas stretch. Make sure to do it evenly for both sides! Most pain is inflamation of the the muscle sheath. You can calm that down with ibuprofen...$4 for 200pills at the Superstore without a prescription.

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And the voxel stage of the pelvis is done; time to do the vertebrae..

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So producing all the spinous processes the superior articular, pedicle, transverse processes, and vertebral foramen turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be, a lot easier than the last time I undertook this task over a year ago..

Just about ready to return to 3d coat to merge this stuff into voxels for some detailed scupting.

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Like a WWI battle you start the day with high hopes of a breakthrough but it always winds up in an ugly wrestling match with a stubborn opponent.

And there's no elegant "standard model" to turn to. Every example seems to be radically different almost like something from a different speces. The body appears to be a jury rigged contraption at times..

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You can thank evolution for that. It only works with what went before rather than a brand new optimal design.

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Sometimes, I think it is what the person has done doing during his lifetime. what kind of work, diet, couch potato, slave... etc... Many factors make up the development of our bone structure. This is more true when the bones are still forming. With all the sitting down kids do at school in the last 80 years, It's a wonder that the pelvis /spline region develops as well as it does... We were not designed to sit for hours on end... oops better get my butt off the computer, Oh, yeah that's right, I do go to the gym..

You are becoming a bone veteran under the fire of sculpting.... :)

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