Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mudbox Basic Lesson 1 Part 1

So I decided I will learn Mudbox,and since I don't have the money to buy books about it, or pay for courses it's hard to scrap together from the basics to advanced lessons, so I decided I will put some here as I learn.

Before starting:
- check it out if you have the system requirements, and at least 4G, better 8G RAM, or more and a decent video card.
- be familiar with other 3D applications, like Maya or 3DS Max, Blender, Zbrush, etc. (I use Maya)

*I am using Mudbox 2014, so some button, or options might be somewhere else.

Before starting to sculpt you need to be familiar with navigation hotkeys. I always hated looking through videos of 5 minutes of basic hotkeys, so here's a list:

Alt + LMB: rotate view (tumble, spin)
Alt + MMB: move view (pan, track)
Alt + RMB: scale view (dolly, zoom)
A, F: quickly zoom in and out, focus on area
W: show wireframe
B + moving the mouse: scaling the brush's size
M + moving the mouse: scaling the brush's strength
Shift + D: add new subdivision level
Page Up + Page Down: switching between subdivision levels
Ctrl: when sculpting, instead of adding material takes away
Ctrl + Z: Undo
Hold L + moving the mouse: changing the light's angle

Loading a base mesh:
- can choose a premade mesh from the library
- import file (File/Import-> select the .obj file and open)
- create mesh

*base mesh must be unwrapped

- unlike in Maya, here is only one active viewport, and can switch between cameras:
      Windows/Object List, lists the cameras, right-click on one of the cameras and choose Look through. (in the cameras Properties you can Reset to original if moved, Lock zooming, rotation, etc.)

Work Pipeline:
 base mesh -> block in shape -> add subdivisions-> sculpt -> paint -> export or render

Quick walkthrough through a simple pipeline:
- Create a sphere (Create/Mesh/Sphere). Rename it (don't forget to rename mehes, layers, etc.) in the Object List (right part of UI, lists meshes, cameras...), by selecting mesh and renaming it in the Properties window below.
- Save you scene: File/Save Scene As/ (or Ctrl+Shift+S) select folder and name and save.
* Faceting: on lower subdivision levels, like 0, this happens, when the mesh's edges is not smooth.
- Subdivision levels: Subdivision levels show the mesh on different levels, by default there is level 0 and 1, which are not too detailed. When starting to sculpt add some mosre levels, depending on how much detail you want. (I usually add to be 6-7 levels). Adding a level always multiplies the number of polygons by 4. Can add levels by Shift+D, or Mesh/Add new subdivision level.
* If needed hard surface, hard edges when adding a level: Mesh/ Add new subdivision level options: uncheck Smooth Positions.
- Sculpting Layers: make sure the Layers tab is selected on the right side. There are two types of layers, sculpt and paint. Above the list of layers, there are 3 buttons, the first is create a new layer. In the list, you can toggel visibility of a layer by clicking on the small white dot, can lock it by clicking in the empty column of a lock. The L column shows which subdivision level can be sculpted on that layer. (this shows up only after the first strike of a sculpt brush, so be careful on which level you are when sculpting) For one layer you can only sculpt on one level, so if you want to sculpt on a new (except on the base layer, there you can sculpt on any level, but you should use more layers for better result and easier handling). You can rename layers as well. The last column, Strength, there you can adjust the layers opacity.
- Sculpting: on the lower side of the UI select Sculpt Tools, and select a tool, for example the sculpt tool. In the prperties or with hotkeys you can adjust size and strength. You can check in the Advanced options to Orient to surface (brush aligns with surface of mesh) and Remember Size. In the lower menu bar can set Falloff, which adjusts how the side of brush behaves on mesh. Can set to use a Stamp, can choose from many Stamp images, or import your own, and can set to randomize the Stamp.

Next Lesson: Paint Layers, Rendering, Exporting