Scott McClellan (pffsfs)

16 replies · posted

Old Dog - Melvin will be the death of me, Kent?!?

Yeah. Yeah. I know time and patience. I'm about to take this little lump of digital clay and feed it to my paper tiger. RAWR!!! Shape of a potato. pffft. I'm about to make hash browns out of the little bugger.

Okay I feel better now. End of rant. Back to Melvin.

I know I'll be throwing this one out because the right back leg has already grown together with the rear-end geometry (talk about kicking yourself in the butt). I figure I'll continue and finish this version and then start from scrath and see how easy it gets from there. I've already thrown out 2 skin modified Melvins due to tears in the geometry. I'm feeling better about that part of the process now.

After a little fiddling, was able to remove Melvin's foot from between his buttocks. And am feeling a little better about the controls. Still having issues abut 'subdivide collapse/edges and such. But it is starting to feel like I might yet get the hang of this.

Oh... and though it isn't seen here, I added a second bend to his 'right' leg as it seemed much shorter than the other. Call it artistic license. lol. Sorry if these notes bore the bejeebers out of anyone. I find it therapeutic. I am beginning to realize that there are definitely a small handful of brushes/tools that one gets very comfortable with and can almost use exclusively. Someone feel free to say that's a bad thing - I just find it habit I guess.

  • crew

    I take it it's been a long and hard road for you to get to this point pffsfs, but as soon as I loaded up the page I thought "This looks like great progress! Wonder why it'll be the death of him..."

    So be encouraged. This absolutely reads like Melvin from the exercise. At least on the way to be him, given the eyes and mouth details aren't there yet. But based on this angle, I'd say you're nailing it.

    And YES - After sculpting digitally for nearly 10 years, I use the same handful of brushes 99% of the time:

    • Grab
    • Inflate
    • Flatten
    • Snake Hook (since development of dyntopo)
    • Pinch
    • Crease
    • Scape (with locked view angle, only for hardsurface sculpting)

    So there's nothing wrong with sticking to your favorite brushes.

    It certainly looks to me like you're getting the hang of this. Take a breath, listen to me and feel good about your work, and keep it up!

    • Kent,

      I guess it's more frustration than anything. I see 30 minutes of tuts getting to the point I've posted, except it's taken me 3-4 hours and two skin-modified Melvin's to get there. And it's just some potato-ey shaped figure with arms and legs.

      35 years ago, this "make a mistake and start over approach" (i.e. trial and error) wouldn't have bothered me a bit. I KNOW it's a part of the learning process and I have to keep telling myself that.

      I appreciate know that most of those brushes are 'specialty' brushes. Some of the settings on them will take getting used to... in time (there's another 4-letter word). And thank you for the feedback. I'll get there. Just don't get too disappointed if you see posts like this from time to time.

      If my literary tirades give others out there comedic relief because they're going through a similar issue, cool. Gotta add some humor to the problems we encounter.


  • Question: How does on enavigate to the back of Melvin's mouth, turn around and look out to see the back side of the teeth. Is there a user preference that I'm not activating? Also, I don't seem to have full range of navigational motion on the character, Google in this instance wasn't my friend - and that's rare.

    • crew

      You have some show/hide options in sculpt mode which enables you to isolate certain parts of your sculpt, like the mouth cavity for example. In sculpt mode, look in the Hide/Mask menu of the viewport header (beside mode select). Take a look at this lesson to see more on this.

      As an aside, also consider this: If it's hard for you to reach as a sculptor, does it really need to be sculpted? The point being to focus your time where it's valuable. Chances are no one will see the back of a character's teeth, so why spend time on that?

      Just food for thought :)

  • Dear Scott,

    I hear you when it comes to the subdivide edge/collapse lingo, couldn't get my head around it. What usually happends when I'm facing obstacles......try to move around them.

    The thing that is working for me is keeping the 'Dyntopo' detail type method to 'constant' and increasing the resolution step by step as your working towards the actual shape. When I feel I've missed a couple of spots, the mesh doesn't get a homogenous detail of verticies, I just press the 'Detail flood fill' button' and the entire mesh gets updated with the amount of details/resolution I've typed in.

    Also, a big step for me regarding sculpting, my Wacom tablet, just love it.

    Try it, things take time, as industry veteran Tom Wright mentioned, talent doesn't exist, it's the amount of passion and time you'll invest.

    best regards,


    • crew

      Already seeing a member quoting Tom. That's awesome.

    • Using a Wacom myself. Low end, but it still does the trick. Recommended from somebody here.

      Appreciate the advice regarding detail. Shall try to keep that in mind. It doesn't seem like it's really a lot to tale in, until you start trying to put Kent's tut to use. Then, it starts to seem like a lot.

      "One step at a time. Digital clay is cheap. Use as many lumps as you need."

      Thank you Stefan

  • Well... Melvin is out of my hair. I was pleased that I could salvage the original and make it presentable. Came in at 34K verts. Still not pleased with how long it took, so I'll probably star this from scratch again (maybe a couple of times) while I continue through the Learning Flows. Next ones on the list - Retopology and Intro to Shading. Yeah I'm playing with two Flows at once (Intro to Blender and Modeling in Blender). They seem to go together.

    Thank you for the advice along the way Kent and Artechs. SilentHeart, unless Sculpey comes with its own USB to plug in after modeling, how would I upload to sketchfab. lol. I appreciate the option of another medium.

    There he is in all his glory.

  • I think he looks great, I am about in the same place you are in learning flows, and would hate to admit how many times I have had to start over on something.  The thing is each time I do it I learn something new, part of the fun is overcoming the frustration and actually learning something new.

    • Tanya,

      Thank you. Glad to see someone along the same lines. And yes, less frustration equals better atmosphere which relates to 'fun'. And I really don't mind the repetition part so much as the time it takes to repeat those exercises again. Maybe finding a different simple subject to model.

      Hey Kent! You said Melvin was from a game devised called 'Eat Sheep' I believe. Got any of those sheep laying around to model. lol. I'll have to do some Googling.

      Happy modeling Tanya

  • Your welcome and nice work Scott!

    Regarding your 'larger number, dense mesh' issue, be aware that 'constant' detail and 'relative' detail works differently from each other. It seems like your confusion comes form the fact that Kent uses 'relative' detail and I think you had it set to 'constant detail'.

    Copy/paste from the blender doc manual:

    Detail Type

    Dyntopo uses three different detail methods to create dynamic detail to an object.

    Relative Detail
    This method uses a detail size based on the number of pixels, and in turnwill create topology in that size. Zoom out big details, zoom in small fines details.
    Constant Detail
    To keep detail uniform across the entire object, Constant Detail can be used.The Detail is based on the percentage of a single BU.
    Brush Detail
    Giving more control over the topology, with this method you can create topologybased on the brush size. You can increase and lower topology by simply resizingthe brush itself. The detail size is based the size of the brush itself, where100% will create topology the size of the brush ring itself.
  • Melvin 2.0 is going a lot better. Keeping control of the mesh density - pretty much done blocking out the body and about to add the mouth (6K Verts). And it's only taken roughly half an hour rather than close to the two hours it took the first time around. This makes a nice break between going through new Learning Flow segments (Retopo).

    Bring on the sheep!!!

  • I know, how could you show us all you've done when Sculpey is a physical medium?  Photos help, but not as fun as being able to look around the various parts yourself.  But, I just thought maybe you could help build your skills a little faster by having a tactile medium to mess around with.  Plus, you can just pick it up and play with it versus booting up Blender and opening the file and switching between various modes.  Completely up to you.  I've found having a little history in traditional media has helped with the intuition in digital media.  Sometimes it doesn't quite translate, but it helps.  Up to you, though.

  • Figure I'll update this thread rather than starting another one.

    Melvin 3.0 I tried to have a bit more fun with and the process seemed to go easier as well. I started recognizing the startings of a workflow. Now it's just a matter of remembering it and trying to do something each day with sculpting. This seemed like it took longer for some reason. The oe horn gave me  bit o' trouble - you'll see the defect.

    Anyway, enjoy.

    Melvin 3.0

    • Good job!  Looks much better than 2.0!  And dammit, I was gunna put a perky butt on mine!  Ah, well.  Good to see you taking things into consideration.  One leg is still smaller than the other proportionally, and you know your troubles with the horn.  Could maybe use stronger creasing in the eyes.  There seems to be a weird crease running around the unbent leg.  Don't know what happened there.  This is me getting more picky (because you keep getting better), so don't feel like I just keep attacking you lol.  Definite improvement, though.