Essential LightWave 3D- P13

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Essential LightWave 3D- P13

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Essential LightWave 3D- P13: What you have in your hands is, quite simply, a collection of tools and techniques that many professional LightWave artists use every single day doing what we do in our various fields. The tools and techniques explored in this book are essential to creating the caliber of imagery that you see on film and television and in print and video games.

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  1. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-91: Extend the points at the inside of the eye, then size them down and move them back slightly. Now let’s work on the nose by adding a The image at the bottom of Figure basic nostril. Select the four polygons 14-92 shows the results of the Smooth (there will be a total of eight selected if Shift operation. you’ve got Symmetry turned on) shown in 3. Sculpt the nose as shown in Figure Figure 14-92. 14-93. The points around the tip should 1. Activate the Smooth Shift tool by be moved outward. The points at the pressing . top and bottom of the nostril should be 2. Position your mouse over any of the moved up slightly. This will round the viewports and click either the left or outside of the nostril and create a right mouse button. Make sure you slightly concave shape underneath. don’t move your mouse when you click! Figure 14-92: Select the four polys in the top image, then smooth shift to get the results shown in the bottom image. 348
  2. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-93: Sculpt the nose region and refine the nostrils. Looking at our model again, it appears that 3. Hold down the key (or use the skull of our character no longer seems your middle mouse button) and drag to fit the reference image. Let’s fix that. your mouse to the right, stretching the 1. Select the polygons that make up the head horizontally about 107% or until top of the head, shown at the top of it more closely fits the background Figure 14-94. image. 2. Activate the Stretch tool and position Zoom out and take a look at what you’ve your mouse just above the center of done so far. These small changes have the ear in the Right viewport. made big improvements. In order to make the rest of our changes, however, we’re going to need a serious reduc- tion in polys. Figure 14-94: Stretch the top of the head slightly so that it more closely matches the reference image. 349
  3. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Polygon Reduction So far, we’ve achieved the first goal of head Click the Maximize button in the top modeling, namely, developing good flow. right Perspective viewport to enter full- But the second goal of minimal polygon screen mode. Press the key to fit your count is still unmet. You may have noticed model to the viewport. If you spin your as you worked through the steps in the last model, you will see consecutive bands section that even minor adjustments to the which, if merged together, would not cause vertices of your model had a serious impact problems to the mesh. Figure 14-95 shows on its overall appearance. Trying to work arrows running down the center of several with this number of polys can be a real of these bands. nightmare and often makes the detailing process unnecessarily time consuming. In this section we’ll work through the process of reducing the number of polygons, leaving us with an object that is easier to edit. Note Reducing the number of polygons will have a drastic effect on the appearance of our model. Don’t panic when you see that the reduction is making things look worse rather than better. Modeler has several automated polygon reduction tools, but frankly, they don’t work that well. I’ve found that I can get much better results by simply merging key bands of polygons. The primary tool for this is Figure 14-95: The polygons on either side of these arrows can be merged together to create BandGlue, found under the Construct | one new band. Reduce | More menu. Select the two polygons shown on the left of Figure 14-96 and activate the BandGlue tool. The result of this operation can be seen in the image on the right of the figure. 350
  4. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-96: Select the two polygons on the left and run BandGlue to merge them together. The image on the right shows the results. Continue running BandGlue on the groups of polygons shown in the next 13 illustrations. Figure 14-97 351
  5. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-98 Figure 14-99 352
  6. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-100 Figure 14-101 353
  7. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-102 Figure 14-103: Be sure to turn off Symmetry when selecting these polys. 354
  8. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-104 Figure 14-105 355
  9. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-106 Figure 14-107 356
  10. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-108 Figure 14-109 The last step is to eliminate the triangles at two polygons, we can safely merge them the top of the head. You should have already into one single quad. turned Symmetry off when selecting the Press to merge the polygons as polygons in Figure 14-103. Select the poly- shown in the upper-right corner of Figure gons shown in the upper-left corner of 14-110. Now repeat the process for the two Figure 14-110. Since there are only four polys on the opposite side of the X axis points on the outside perimeter of these shown at the bottom of the figure. 357
  11. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-110: Select the two polys on either side of the X axis and merge them together. Zoom out and take a look at your model. It’s head modeling: great flow and minimal kind of ugly. But this is where the fun really polygons. Now it’s time to play. Save your begins! You’ve done the hard work and model and move on to the final phase: achieved the two most important goals in advanced detailing. Advanced Detailing One of the hardest concepts to grasp for still looks bad. Almost without fail, the solu- those new to organic modeling is that most tion in these cases is to push past the 90% models look awful until they’re about 93% mark. You’d be surprised at how quickly complete. It shouldn’t be surprising, really. things can come together, especially if When you think about it, people all over the you’ve done everything right from the start. world share identical features (eyes, nose, If you’ve followed the technical direction mouth, ears), but the subtle differences in in this chapter, I can tell you that you’ve size and shape determine whether one done everything right. You have created a person is considered ugly and another beau- head model with great flow and minimal tiful. Nevertheless, I frequently see people polys that is 85% complete. In the next few in online forums asking for tips on how to minutes, we will bring that up to the 90% improve their models when quite often, mark. The biggest challenge before you, there’s nothing wrong. At least, not techni- then, is whether or not you’re willing to cally. Oftentimes, the problem is that push past the 90% mark. they’ve hit the 90% mark and given up in We are nearing the completion of our frustration. They’ve come to a point where head model and there is little left for me to all of the geometry is in place and they’ve teach you. It is up to you as the artist to developed a reasonable flow with an accept- take what you have learned and apply it in a able number of polygons, but their model manner that expresses your artistic vision. 358
  12. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d As I mentioned earlier, this is where the fun modification tools (I prefer the Drag really begins. This is where I let go of the tool, but you can also use the Dragnet, bike and you begin to pedal on your own. I’ll Magnet, or even Move tools). You still be here to guide you, but I encourage should work toward creating a more you to begin making this model your own. almond-like shape. Be sure to turn on Experiment and play, for that is the true joy Symmetry so that the changes you of modeling. make to one side of your model will be Take a look at Figure 14-111. There is reflected on the other. virtually no difference between the model 2. When you’re finished shaping the eye, shown on the top and the model shown on select the ring of points highlighted in the bottom. They both have the same num- Figure 14-112 and pull them back in ber of polygons and exactly the same toward the face. Doing this causes the polygon flow. Yet one looks markedly better inner two rings of points to jut out, giv- than the other. This is due to the subtle dif- ing the appearance of eyelids. ference in size and shape that I spoke of 3. Grab the outside point also highlighted earlier. By simply moving points and sizing in Figure 14-112 and move it down and polygons, your model can go from “ho- out slightly. This point acts as the hum” to “holy smokes!” Let’s take a brief upper support for our cheekbone. By look at how to do that. moving this point around, you can The four prominent areas of change are make drastic changes to the shape of the eyes, mouth, cheeks, and jaw/chin. You your character’s face. should spend time working on each of these areas. 4. Continue refining the points and poly- gons around the eye to match the 1. The eyes are currently too boxy. Begin bottom two images shown in Figure by sculpting them with one of the 14-111. Figure 14-111: There is virtually no difference between these two models. 359
  13. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-112: Move the highlighted ring of points back on the Z axis to create the appearance of eyelids. Then adjust the highlighted point for the cheekbone. 5. Reshape the three bands of points radi- band of points defines the outer muzzle ating out from the side of the nose as of the face. The third (lower) band shown in Figure 14-113. The first (top) enhances the middle band. Adjusting band should be moved up and out. This the points in the third band determines band defines the overall shape of the how strong of a crease you’ll get where cheek and acts as the lower support for the cheeks meet the muzzle of the the cheekbone. The second (middle) face. Figure 14-113: Adjust these three bands of points as shown, distributing them more evenly to define the cheeks and muzzle. 360
  14. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d 6. Redistribute the points below the group. Hold down the key (or lower lip to shape and form the jaw, as press the middle mouse button) to con- shown in Figure 14-114. strain the motion and drag down until 7. Select the lower set of points that form the points are roughly in line with one the upper lip highlighted in Figure another. Then, with the points still 14-115. Activate the Stretch tool and selected, move them up slightly so that position your mouse in the Back the mouth region is open. viewport over the lowest point in the Figure 14-114: The points below the lower lip can be reshaped to form the chin and jaw. Figure 14-115: Even out the points of the upper lip and continue to shape the points around the mouth. 361
  15. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 8. Continue to shape the points in and 11. Make sure that Symmetry is turned on around the mouth so that they create and select the four polygons shown in the oval-like shapes seen at the bottom Figure 14-117. of Figure 14-115. 12. Activate the Smooth Shift tool and, 9. Select the innermost ring of points that making sure that you do not move your make up the mouth and from the Mul- mouse, click either the right or left tiply | Extend menu run Extender mouse button. A new band of geometry Plus. will be created. 10. Shape the points in the mouth region 13. Sculpt the nostril as shown in the bot- as shown in Figure 14-116. tom image of Figure 14-117. Figure 14-116: Extend the ring of points around the inside of the mouth. Then shape the points as shown. Figure 14-117: Select these four polys, smooth shift, then shape the nostril as shown. 362
  16. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-118: Use Smooth Shift on the inner polys of the nostril and move them into the nose. 14. Select the four innermost polygons 2. Select the polygons that make up the from the nostril and smooth shift them back half of the eye and press again. With the four polygons still to remove them. Since we selected, activate the Move tool and won’t ever be seeing the back of the move them up into the nose as shown eye, we can safely eliminate the extra in Figure 14-118. geometry here. Zoom out and spin your model. From here, 3. Create a new surface for this object you should continue adjusting the mesh, () called Eye. watching the changes that take place in The eye is covered by a transparent surface your smooth shaded viewport. If your called the cornea. The cornea bulges out model doesn’t look like the background slightly at the center. It is this bulge that image, don’t be too concerned. The most catches the light, creating a glint that gives important thing is that you resolve any the eye a “lifelike” appearance. Let’s create issues with the overall appearance. If the the cornea. model looks good to you, then it’s a suc- 4. Copy the Eye object to a new fore- cess. Continue refining until you’re happy. ground layer and place the original in Then continue reading to build the remain- the background. From the Modes but- ing details. ton at the bottom of the interface, We’re down to the last two details: the change your Action Center to eyes and the ears. Let’s start with the eyes. Selection. 1. Deactivate Symmetry. Then go to an 5. Activate the Size tool and drag your empty layer and activate the Ball tool mouse, resizing the eye by about 1% so by pressing . In the Back that it is slightly larger than the viewport, drag out a circle over the eye original. on the right side of the head. Hold down the key to constrain the 6. Select the two bands of polys at the Ball tool. Position your mouse over the center as shown in Figure 14-120. Acti- Right viewport and drag to create a vate Smooth Shift and click the left or perfect sphere. The size of this sphere right mouse button. Then use the should be roughly the size of the eye Move tool to move the polys out shown in the background image. slightly. 7. Use the Size tool to scale the polygons down by about 85%. 363
  17. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 14-119: Create a sphere for the eye and delete the back half of the object. Figure 14-120: Use the Smooth Shift, Move, and Size tools to create the cornea. 8. Give this object a new surface () At this stage, you will need to shape the and call it Cornea. area around the eye socket so that it fits 9. Cut the Cornea object and paste it into snugly over the eyeball. Place your head the layer with the eye. model in the foreground and your Eye objects in the background. Activate Sym- 10. Finally, use the Mirror tool to mirror metry mode and then begin sculpting. If the eye across the X axis. you can see the background layer poking through your mesh (as in Figure 14-121), 364
  18. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Figure 14-121: Reshape the eye socket to better fit the eye. you need to either move the eye back do not pass through the cornea, you can end slightly or reposition the polygons in the up with rendering errors. face to accommodate it. Sculpting this area With the eyes finished, it’s time to move can take time, so be patient and pay close on to the ears. When new users are asked attention to detail. what they consider to be the most difficult Before you finish with the eye, make part of the head to model, the ear is almost sure that the points that make up the inner always at the top of their list. Ears are not ring of the eye socket get pulled back into that hard to model, as you’ll soon see. They the eye, past the cornea. If these polygons are, however, very detailed and require that Figure 14-122: Select these four polygons to begin modeling the ear. 365
  19. Chapter 14 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · you pay close attention to the overall form. 1. Activate the Smooth Shift tool and, As you model, you should focus your atten- ensuring that you do not move your tion on what you are modeling more than mouse, click the left or right mouse how you are modeling it. The most impor- button. tant question to keep in mind is not “Am I 2. Reshape the polys into the basic form following the steps correctly?” but rather, of an ear. The back of the ear should “Am I making this look like an ear?” begin to bulge out away from the head Begin by selecting the four polygons as shown in Figure 14-124. shown in Figure 14-122. Figure 14-123: Smooth shift the polygons to add extra geometry. Figure 14-124: Shape the polygons to resemble an ear. 366
  20. · · · · S p l i n e M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 2 : M o d e l i n g a H u m a n H e a d Note 6. Select the 12 polygons we smooth Sculpting the ear requires frequent move- shifted in Step 3 and smooth shift them ment around the Perspective viewport. Since again. the ear is a highly detailed form, be sure to 7. In the Back viewport, use the Move check it from all angles as you continue modeling. tool to move these 12 polygons away from the head slightly. Then use the Stretch tool to resize them as shown in 3. Select the four polygons at the center Figure 14-126. and the eight polygons forming the 8. Continue reshaping the ear as shown in loop around them. Smooth shift these Figure 14-127. The points at the center as you’ve done in the past. on the left side of the ear should lie 4. Change your Action Center to Mouse flush with the rest of the head. The and using the Stretch tool, resize the center point from our original four polygons that are still selected after polygons should continue to be pushed using Smooth Shift in Step 3. back into the ear to form a concave 5. Use the Drag tool to continue reshap- shape. ing the ear. The point at the very 9. Select the original four polygons at the center of the four polygons should be center of the ear and use Smooth Shift dragged in to create a concave surface. again. Then drag this same point toward the back of the head slightly as shown in Figure 14-125. Figure 14-125: Smooth shift the 12 polys that currently make up the ear, then size them and continue sculpting. 367
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